As summer approaches, I decided it was time to put together a summer salad series.
What I love about a delicious salad is that it is simple to prepare and can either be used as a main dish or as a side dish.
There are a few reasons that I love this dish. Firstly, avocado in my opinion is a golden child of “healthy fats”.
Avocados are one of my favourite fruits. Yes, that’s right – it is a fruit. It is actually a super fruit because of its nutrient rich content. Each avocado contains over 20 or so essential nutrients, including healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants which include vitamin A, C & E, vitamin B6 and folic acid and potassium to name a few.
Avocados are also rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients called polyphenols & flavonoids and abundant with lutein which is a powerful antioxidant for eye health.
Having healthy fats in your diet is so important for optimal cholesterol levels and mental health. I sadly see many people reducing all fat and this couldn’t be further from what is needed. Good fats are critical, and avocado is a super food in this arena.
So, this superfood usually appears in my diet daily due to some important health benefits that include heart & cardiovascular health, optimal cholesterol levels, mood, antioxidant support from dangerous free radicals, healthy skin and more.
And then there is the beloved pomegranate seeds which are a gorgeous burst of sweet antioxidant flavour for this salad. Just don’t wear white whilst you are taking the seeds out of the pomegranate as they can splatter a little until you become an expert at taking the seeds out.
I use a sheep feta for this dish and can’t recommend highly enough that you chose a good quality feta such as Meredith marinated feta as it is an important ingredient for this dish.
Sheep and goat cheese have the A2 protein which I prefer as cow A1 protein can be inflammatory in certain health conditions including acne, so I tend to avoid it.
I love adding some pecans to this dish and crumble them on top. I am a fan of activated nuts which are soaked and dried, easier to digest and they taste as if they have been baked. You can buy online or they are readily available in health food stores.
As far as dressings go, you can really just add olive oil, lime juice and a sweet balsamic but for this recipe I have made a tasty gluten free version, but I recommend experimenting.
I like to have this salad as the main part of my meal, so I also add some mixed salad leaves and I always add some form of protein on the side whether that be a piece of fish, tempeh or whatever you enjoy.
- 4-6 cups of mixed salad leaves
- 1 large or 2 small avocados, cubed or sliced thinly
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup of crumbled feta
- 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
- ⅓ cup of activated pecan nuts, crunched up
- ½ an orange sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoon orange juice & 1 teaspoon of orange zest
- 1-2 teaspoons honey depending on your taste preference
- 2 tablespoons of coconut amino vinaigrette (gluten free option) or white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup cold pressed olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- Ground pepper to taste
First, whisk together all of your ingredients in a bowl to make your Citrus dressing and set aside.
Distribute the cubed avocado, salad leaves, red onion, feta, orange slices, pomegranate, and pecans in a bowl and gently toss.
Drizzle with citrus dressing to taste and serve with protein if this is a main meal or pop in the middle of table if using as a side dish.