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A (Gorgeous) Simple Salad with Healthy Fats

Spring is officially here in the US (even though we still have about a foot of ice/snow mixture here in New England). With spring comes more sunshine and longer days meaning fresher produce sprouting up at local farms and gardens.  This salad is inspired by the spring season so it’s full of fresh, seasonal and some local produce plus the dressing is easy to make and so delicious.  The base for this salad’s dressing is walnut oil.  Walnut oil is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, “healthy fat” that boasts omega-3 essential fatty acids.  Walnuts are linked not only to reducing inflammation but also being cancer, diabetes and heart disease preventive.   While our bodies don’t convert as much plant-based omega-3’s into its “active” form of EPA/DHA, compared to animal sources, like wild salmon, there’s much to be said for the benefits of plant-based omega-3s like those found in walnuts.  Research has shown that walnut oil, most commonly consumed as salad dressing, can help to lower triglyceride levels in the blood, reduce certain markers of inflammation and mitigate negative effects of metabolic syndrome.  The apple cider vinegar is wonderful in dressings – read more about its amazing health benefits here.

Arugula, also called rocket, is part of the famed cruciferous veggie family that includes superstars like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.   It’s slightly bitter flavor let’s you know it’s packed with good-for-your-liver (your body’s fat burner), natural detox-promoting and cancer-fighting sulfur-based phytonutrients.

Arugula + avocado & walnut oil dressing are a winning combination.  Arugula is rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for your eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration.   These fat-soluble carotenoids are best absorbed when consumed with a healthy fat.  It’s food synergy happening right here in your bowl!

I used a mandoline to thinly slice the raw beets and radishes.  A mandoline is an excellent kitchen tool for your Reboot you can find for a variety of price points.  Just be careful for your thumbs!

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 large handfuls of arugula (rocket)
  • 1 small beet (beetroot)
  • 2 radishes
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley , chopped

Dressing Ingredients (this makes enough dressing for 8 – 10 servings) :

  • 1 cup (250 ml ) walnut oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, washed and chopped
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Salad Directions:

  1. Wash all produce well.
  2. Cut off ends of beets and peel. Save greens for juicing.
  3. Dry arugula on paper towels and place in bowl.
  4. Slice beets and radishes into salad using a mandoline (or a knife slicing thinly)
  5. Chop walnuts as desired.
  6. Chop parsley.
  7. Slice avocado in half, all the way around, then twist to separate. Remove pit and scoop out flesh with a spoon, then slice.   Save pit in other half of avocado for another use (add lemon to help prevent browning).
  8. Layer salad starting with arugula, garnishing with the parsley.

Dressing Directions:

  1. Pour walnut oil, honey, apple cider vinegar into blender. You can start with 1 tsp each of honey and apple cider vinegar and increase either or both to taste.
  2. Squeeze lemon into blender and mix.
  3. Wash and chop parsley then add to blender and mix.
  4. Smash garlic to remove peel and then add to blender and mix.
  5. Add salt & pepper to blender then blend on low to medium or whisk briskly in a bowl until blended.
  6. Pour 1-2 tbsp of dressing over salad and save the remainder in an air-tight container in the fridge. Keeps for about 7 days. 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1

Substitutions

  • Arugula – kale, collard greens
  • Beets – red cabbage, tomato
  • Radishes – red cabbage, fennel
  • Grapefruit – oranges, tangerines
  • Walnut oil – avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil

Calories: 370

Fat: 33g

Trans Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 100mg

Carbohydrates: 21g

Fiber: 10g

Sugars: 9g

Protein: 5g