Normally I wouldn’t violate his privacy this way, but Henry the Wonderdog is about four pounds overweight.

I found out last week when I took him to the vet to have his nails trimmed, and the vet’s assistant acted like she couldn’t believe I let his fat ass out in public.


So, she asks me what he eats, and I have to admit I have no idea, because Henry is the Canine Roomba. I used to spend half the day pulling things out of his mouth. Bread ties. Dead leaves. George Washington’s Inaugural Bible. He’s ALWAYS CHEWING SOMETHING, like an old man with a cheek full of tabacky.

Once, I dropped a hot wing, and he swallowed it whole before it hit the floor. Did I panic? Yes. Did he so much as burp? No. So, I don’t get involved unless there’s a possibility he’s chewing a.) glass or b.) a fast-acting poison.

What does this have to do with my Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Pecans?

Ever since I’ve put Henry on a diet, he gives me the hungry eyes and follows me around, hoping I’ll accidentally drop a scrap of chicken or a ribeye or an entire Red Velvet Cake. Yesterday, I dropped a balsamic vinegar-soaked strawberry, and he looked at me like WOMAN! AWWW, HELL NO! Turns out, this lovely combination of strawberries, toasted pecans and peppery arugula tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette is perfect for a light spring lunch AND canine appetite-control. Today, I think I’ll drop a lemon.

Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Pecans

Adapted from “Everyday Food”

Serves 4

  • 1/2 pint strawberries (about 2 cups), hulled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bunches arugula, trimmed and thoroughly washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
  1. In a large bowl, toss strawberries with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar; let sit 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together another tablespoon balsamic vinegar with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. To the strawberries, add arugula, the vinaigrette and pecans. Toss to combine, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving) – calories: 187, fat: 17g, carbs: 9g, fiber: 3.5g, protein: 2g, PP+ = 5