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.

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

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

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.

3 to 4 persons.

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.


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 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.

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

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

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.

3 persons

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.

1. Lina Liwag. Scarlet Salad. (Many thanks for this wonderful recipe!)
2. The World’s Healthiest Foods.


Banana Blossom Salad

Banana Blossom Salad

As a child, a banana blossom (BB) dish that is usually cooked in vinegar and spices did not excite me nor does it as an adult. It’s a relief to learn that there is a delectable way to prepare BB.

BB Salad is among the many dishes I learned from a 3-hour workshop on Ayurvedic Cooking with Pio Baquiran. It’s a cold salad that boasts of creaminess from the coconut milk with a touch of tanginess from the lemon juice. Chili can also be added depending on preference.

I’ve been seeing two types of BB in the market, the red roundish which holds true to BB’s Tagalog name, “puso ng saging” (direct English translation is heart of a banana) and the long yellowish one. For this recipe, I use the latter.

It’s rather funny that while a banana is a blossom or flower, it’s a vegetable. And, when it matures, it becomes a fruit. BB is rich in Vitamins A and C, is a storehouse of antioxidants, and alleviates pain.

2 cups boiled and sliced banana blossom
1/3 cup freshly squeezed coconut milk
2 Tbsp diced red bellpepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey (optional)
Salt and powdered cayenne pepper to taste

1. Boil the banana blossom first to avoid discoloration. Then slice it into strips.
2. Mix the sliced banana blossoms with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Put the salad in a fridge for about 20 minutes.

4 to 5 persons.


Mangocado Salad

Mangocado Salad

A fusion of sweetness and creaminess with a hint of lime, salt, and basil. The recipe from which I draw inspiration describes it in one word, “sensuous.” This, on the other hand, breaks into that dreamy sensation as the crunchiness from the seeds brings in a wholesome feel. Quick and easy to prepare, it can serve as a light breakfast or an appetizer.

Gently mix the following in a bowl:

1 medium-sized mango, sliced into cubes
1/2 small-sized avocado, sliced into cubes
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt to taste
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves



Summeric Salad

Summeric Salad

The salad comprises of chopped iceberg and romaine lettuce, grated carrots, chopped cucumber, diced red bellpepper, roasted and coarsely chopped walnuts, and raisins (optional).

For the dressing, blend the following ingredients. To make it thicker and creamier, add more avocado.

1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1/4 cup avocado
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 clove garlic, peeled
sea salt to taste

Serving size is around 4 – 5 pax.

This is healthy and flavorful. Offhand, turmeric is anti-inflammatory, garlic and honey are anti-bacterial, avocado is of good fats, and lemon is a source of Vitamin C and makes the mixture alkaline. It combines several taste palates—sweet, salty and sour—with a nice herby and tangy taste from the turmeric. All the flavors provide contrast without overpowering the other and it's reminiscent of a milder and sweeter mustard dressing.

The dressing is an adaptation from My Mom has coined the name Summeric Salad.


Pechayote Salad with Garlic Honey Dressing

Pechayote Salad with Garlic Honey Dressing

It’s quite taxing to prepare but the effort is well worth it. This is among our family’s favorites. (^___^)

2 bunch of pechay, chopped
1 medium-sized sayote, peeled and julienned
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
3 to 4 Tbsp sesame seeds, roasted and coarsely grounded
3 medium-sized tomatoes, diced

5 Tbsp natural soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp calamansi juice (may use lemon or lime)
3 Tbsp raw honey

Pepare the salad and dressing separately. I often prepare the dressing first, that is I whisk together all the ingredients under the dressing. Then, I toss all the salad ingredients in another bowl, pour in the dressing and mix everything, ensuring the salad is well covered.

4 to 5 pax.

Recipes from Dr. Tam Mateo and Eileen Bailon.