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Salad with Avocado-Wasabi Dressing

Salad with Avocado-Wasabi Dressing

This Japanese-inspired salad is easy to make. Its ingredients are simple and accessible, at least here in the Philippines. Its being healthy does not compromise its taste.

The creaminess of the dressing is akin to mayonnaise with wasabi while the sweetness of the mango introduces sudden bursts of sweetness and softness. The toasted sesame seeds, which are loaded with calcium, adds a bit of crunch.

DRESSING
1 medium-sized avocado, pitted
½ freshly squeezed lime
1 Tbsp grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 tsp wasabi taste
A pinch of sea salt
Water as needed

SALAD
7 leaves of lettuce, sliced
½ medium-sized carrot, peeled and grated
½ medium-sized cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 medium-sized mango, sliced into cubes
1 sheet of nori, shredded
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

PROCEDURE
1. Blend the ingredients for the dressing then set aside. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate while preparing the vegetables and other ingredients.
2. Toss the rest of the ingredients into a big bowl along with the dressing. Mix gently.

SERVING SIZE
3 to 4 persons.

NOTES
1. Feel free to adjust the dressing according to your taste. Personally, I’d like to add more wasabi but my Mom doesn’t like it too spicy.
2. Add water sparingly on the dressing. Use only enough for the ingredients to combine smoothly.
3. This recipe is both vegan- and vegetarian-friendly.

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Scarlet Salad

Scarlet Salad

I’ve been obsessing for some time on how to incorporate red beets into our family’s meals and to actually make it an attractive addition. Adding it to fresh vegetable juices, and its steamed version to salads result in little uptake. Beet-flavored hummus is met with indifference. Seeing the Scarlet Salad recipe at http://www.freshncrunchy.net with a remark that it’s among the favorites in the blogger’s household ushers in new hope. Indeed, our family loves it!

The following recipe is heavily referenced on the said blog entry. Slight alterations have been made to suit my family’s taste and my Mom’s diet restrictions, to produce a smaller quantity, and to replace a few ingredients with those readily available.

INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup red quinoa
1 cup water
1 medium-sized red beet, peeled and grated
1/2 medium-sized carrot, peeled and grated
5 leaves of lettuce, sliced
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
2 Tbsp raisins

DRESSING
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp mustard seed, stone ground
1/8 tsp sea salt
A pinch of cayenne pepper

PROCEDURE
1. Boil the water. Add the quinoa to the boiling water. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. While cooking the quinoa, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a smaller bowl.
4. In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients including the dressing. Mix gently.

SERVING SIZE
3 persons

NOTES
1. Beets are available at the supermarket. I, however, find the ones at our local farmers’ market to be fresher and cheaper, as expected.
2. I buy quinoa at Healthy Options. A friend says it’s cheaper at S&R.
3. Mustard seeds are available at Assad Mini-Mart (an Indian store that has branches in Makati, Marikina, and Manila). You may use Dijon mustard instead.
4. The original recipe calls for dried cranberries, which I replace with raisins; maple syrup with raw honey; and black pepper with cayenne.
5. Using maple syrup instead of raw honey will make this vegan-friendly.

For the longest time, it’s been a love-hate relationship with red beets. Love because it has the color of love and it has countless health benefits, and hate because its taste could be too strong especially consumed raw. Many thanks to this Scarlet Salad recipe, raw beets have become more welcome in our home.

Beet has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It’s also good for the liver as it supports the body’s detoxification process. Quinoa is another interesting ingredient as it is among the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. It’s also rich in fiber and iron.

REFERENCES
1. Lina Liwag. Scarlet Salad. http://www.freshncrunchy.net (Many thanks for this wonderful recipe!)
2. The World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.org