Earth Bowl with Spicy Avocado Dressing

So lets talk about salad. Can you make friends with it? Absolutely. Gone are the days when salad meant a few limp lettuce leaves, slice of tomato and some grated cheese (if you wanted to be fancy) thrown on the side of the BBQ meat. These days salads are anything from fancy starters to full, nourishing meals that stand on their own. The secret to satisfying, fill-you-up-until-dinner time salads even your partner will eat is to follow a simple formula:

  1. Pick your carb: Low carb may be all the rage but it might mean your salad won’t give you the energy to get through the day and you’ll miss out on lots of valuable fibre and vitamins. Avoid the refined white stuff and think high fibre whole grains (cooked buckwheat, long grain brown rice, red rice, quinoa, pearl barley or millet) or starchy veg such as sweet potato. 1/3 – 1 cup is enough per serve depending on your energy needs.
  2. Add a protein:  This will help to keep you fuller for longer. I love going for legumes such as chick peas or kidney beans or some cooked lentils. Other options are a handful of seeds or nuts, a little cheese or some grilled fish/meat if thats what you like – tinned tuna is always super simple.
  3. Mix up the veg: you don’t have to restrict yourself to salad veg, try adding roasted veg for a burst of sweetness – I love roasted pumpkin, zucchini, onion, capsicum, parsnip or cauliflower. Add variety with some fresh and crunchy veg too – snow peas, radish, celery, and sprouts are all great to try.
  4. Add a herb- pack a punch of flavour in, I love mint, parsley, coriander or basil.
  5. Nail the dressing – the bottled stuff really doesn’t compare. You can make a simple dressing with some lemon juice or vinegar (such as balsamic or red wine vinegar) mixed with a little pepper, dijon mustard and extra virgin olive oil, or a by mixing up pesto with some lemon juice and water to thin or using avocado to make a creamy mayonnaise like dressing (without the need for heaps of oil and raw egg!)
  6. Make a big batch.  I love making a big salad at the start of the week then portioning it out for a no brainer lunch I can grab on my way to work in the morning.

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Earth Bowl with Spicy Avocado Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 serves
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 1cup raw buckwheat
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced into batons
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1x 400g can lentils, drained
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed, chopped and blanched in boiling water until wilted.
  • 1 handful rocket
  • ½ bunch coriander, leaves only
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, roasted
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp water
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. For the salad:
  2. The night before, cover the buckwheat with water and leave to soak – you can omit this step but cooking time will be longer.
  3. When you are ready to cook it, drain and rinse well and place in a saucepan with plenty of fresh water, bring to the boil then simmer 1-2 minutes or until only just ‘al dente’ – don’t overcook or you will have mush. Drain and run under cool water. Allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the carrot, zucchini and olive oil and spread onto a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 190C for 25-40 minutes (depends on your oven) or until cooked and starting to brown.
  5. Combine cooled buckwheat, carrots and zucchini in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Place on a nice serving platter and drizzle over the creamy, spicy avo dressing.
  6. For the dressing:
  7. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor, blender, bottle blender or stick blender (if all else fails mash with a fork) and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to season.

 

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