Festive Summer Salads
Looking for a new tasty recipe? Salads are a great way to increase diversity in our diet, boost our nutrient intake and enjoy the colours and flavours of the season! By eating a broad range of wholefoods, we encourage a healthy, diverse gut microbiome and robust immune system. Read below for salad creation tips from our Naturopath Bec Eldridge, and also a recipe for Avocado & Pea Pesto Salad, perfect for the festive season!
How to build a tasty wholesome salad
Choose a theme or cuisine and aim for flavours which suit e.g. Mexican, Thai, Moroccan, Italian, Greek, or experiment and just aim for a rainbow of colours and textures. Then choose from a selection of base, middle, topping and dressing ingredients to create a spectacular salad.
Base ingredients - choose at least one vegetable and one grain
Vegetables: baby spinach, rocket, kale, mixed lettuce, finely sliced red cabbage, green cabbage etc.
Grains: quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, black rice, rice noodles etc.
Middle - choose a few vegetables and at least one protein
Vegetables: roast veggies (beetroot, sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, carrots), capsicum, carrot, cucumber, tomato, grated zucchini, grated beetroot, radish, olives, avocado etc.
Protein: chickpeas, lentils, peas, black beans, kidney beans, 4 bean mix, tofu marinated and cooked etc.
Toppings – choose a few from each category
Herbs: parsley, basil, mint, coriander, dill, chives, spring onions etc.
Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds etc.
Dressings – get creative and mix a few in a jar/bowl
Olive oil, lemon juice, un-hulled tahini, apple cider vinegar, tamari, raw garlic, Kaffir lime, lemon grass, ginger, chilli, paprika, cumin and other herbs and spices.
Avocado & Pea Pesto Salad
A great festive or Christmas salad! This pesto can be whipped up a few days before your gathering, making the last minute salad assemble nice and simple.
Pea & Basil Pesto
1.5 cups of green peas
1.5 bunches basil
1 large avocado
1/2 cup soaked & drained cashews or 1/4 cup raw pine nuts.
2 cloves garlic
1/4 - 1 lemon, depending on your citrus palate
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil (approximately)
Pepper to your palate
Salt a pinch or two
Extras: nutritional yeast, chilli, other fresh herbs, rocket, kale, spring onion or nuts/seeds.
Combine all ingredients in a blender or NutriBullet, and pulse until your desired consistency. Some people prefer it with plenty of texture, others like it smooth.
In a large bowl combine; baby spinach, cherry tomatoes halved, thinly sliced radish, 1-2 spring onions thinly sliced, chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds. Cover the salad generously with the pesto, serve and enjoy!
This salad contains lots of lovely fresh greens – increasing intake of fiber, iron, vitamin K, folate, magnesium and B vitamins. By adding legumes (fresh peas, soybeans etc.), pulses, nuts and seeds to salads we can boost our protein intake and build nourishing hearty salads.