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Top 5 Summer Salads

Many may think ‘salads are boring’, ‘too healthy’ and ‘not filling’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Salads are such a fantastic way to add great nutrition, texture and flavour to the dining table!

Think outside the square; add herbs, fruits and flowers (that’s right – edible flowers i.e. lavender, pansies, violets) to your salad to add colour and interest. Nuts and seeds are also a brilliant way to jazz-up a salad and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

1.    Raw Salad with Tuna and a Sweet Agave and Avocado Dressing

Prep time: 23-35 minutes

Cook time: 6-8 minutes

Serves: 4

Avocado and agave dressing:

400g tin tuna in spring water (optional)

1 tbsp of Agave nectar or honey (Agave nectar/syrup is available in the health food section of your local supermarket)

1 avocado, seed and skin removed, diced

2-3 red chillies, de-seeded and roughly chopped (choose the small chillies for a fiery taste or the large ones for a milder taste)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon mixed zest, (orange, lemon and lime)

1/3 cup of fresh mint leaves, picked

1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves, picked

¼ cup of olive oil

2 tbsp of water

Raw vegetable salad ingredients:

1 red capsicum, trimmed and cut into 2-3 cm lengths

1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-3 cm lengths

1 cup raw broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets

1 cup grated beetroot

1 cup grated carrot

2 cups fresh wild or baby rocket, washed

Method:

  • In a food processor or jug blender, combine all dressing ingredients, blend until smooth. Set aside until needed.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss briefly to combine the tuna, capsicum, beans, broccoli, beetroot and carrot.
  • Place a handful of the rocket on each plate and top with vegetable salad.

 

2.    Salmon with Roasted Beetroot, Avocado and Apple Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:

2 x 200g salmon fillet, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper

3 medium beetroots, peeled and cut in quarters

3 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into half moons

2 avocados, seed and skin removed, cubed

½ cup of rocket

½ cup of watercress

Dressing:

1 tbsp of horseradish

1 tbsp of raspberry vinegar

3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp brown sugar

3 tbsp of skim natural yogurt

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and place the beetroot on a tray with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then put into the ovento roast. This will take approx. 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to sit until room temperature.
  • Cover the salmon in foil and place on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for approx. 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, flake the salmon and then mix together the roasted beetroot, apple, avocado and watercress. On a plate, place the rocket and the beetroot mix on top of the mixture.
  • For the dressing, mix all the dressing recipe ingredients together and then pour over the salad.

 

3.    Cauliflower, Avocado and Almond Salad

Prep time:  15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

4 baby cauliflower (or ½ regular cauliflower, cut into large pieces)

8 button mushrooms, stalks removed and slices thinly

1 avocado, seed and skin removed, thickly sliced

50g blanched whole almonds, cut into slivers

2 inner stalks of celery cut into 3cm x 5mm sticks

2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed, dried, excess stems removed

Dressing ingredients:

2 tsp almond oil (or use walnut oil)

1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pepper to taste

Method:

  • Pre-heart the oven to 180 degrees and toast the almonds until golden-brown.
  • Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Drop in cauliflower for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh quickly and then soak in icy-cold water for 20 minutes. Drain very well and pat dry in a clean cloth.
  • Mix the dressing ingredients together.
  • In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

 

4.    Moroccan Marinated Chickpea with Citrus Avocado Dressing

Prep time:  20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

400g of organic tinned chickpeas

1 large carrot grated

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp of organic currants

1 cup of parsley, finely chopped

½ a cup fresh mint, finely chopped

2 cups of wild rocket for the serving plate

Chickpea dressing ingredients:

1 avocado, seed and skin removed, mashed

½ an orange, juiced

1 tsp zest of orange

½ a lemon, juiced

1 tsp zest of lemon

½ a lime, juiced

1 tsp zest of lime

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp organic honey

Method:

  • Add all chickpea ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • In a food processor mix together the dressing ingredients and then add to the chickpea mixture.
  • Combine thoroughly and then leave for 30 minutes so the dressing can permeate through the chickpeas.
  • Serve the chickpea mixture on a bed of rocket.

 

5.    Prawn and Avocado Salad

Prep time: 30-40 minutes

Cook time: 20-30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

450g sweet potato, peeled

Olive oil, cooking spray

1 large iceberg lettuce, washed and left as a whole lettuce round

50g rocket leaves, washed

150g snow peas, washed and trimmed

200g cherry tomatoes (mixed red and yellow), halved

1kg cooked king prawns, peeled, de-veined, tails left intact

1 large ripe avocado, seed and skin removed, chopped

50g snow pea sprouts, washed and trimmed

Freshly ground black pepper, to serve

Dressing:

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoons tomato sauce, reduced salt (good quality)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Salt to taste

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Cut sweet potato into 3-4mm rounds and spray with olive oil, place in a single layer on a baking paper lined, large flat baking tray and cook 20-30 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through.
  • Bring a medium size saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch the snow peas until just tender, rinse under cold water and drain well.
  • Put the lettuce rounds onto individual plates. Top with rocket and snow pea sprouts. Arrange snow peas and sweet potato on top of the greens, and then top with prawns and chopped avocado.
  • For the dressing, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, season.

 

For more tasty salad with avocado recipes, visit the Australian Avocado Recipe Finder.

 

- Zoe

Founder of Nutritional Edge, Zoe Bingley-Pullin, has long been passionate about the food in our lives. A nutritionist (Diploma of Nutrition, Sydney) and internationally trained chef (Le Cordon Bleu School, London), Zoe helps people embrace the benefits of food through education and understanding

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