‘Let it go, let it gooooooooo’… Nope, I haven’t just been watching Frozen (I have), but rather I’m coming to terms with accepting that summer’s on its way out. Gone are the long hours of brilliant, dazzling sunlight… gone are the balmy evenings of chilling on the balcony… gone are the bbqs and lazing around in the park…ahh, it was a nice week…
Just gotta accept it then 🙁 – autumn’s here, and here to stay… in northern Germany anyway. If you live in warmer climes then… lucky you! Not jealous… much.
Anyway, this recipe is one last grasp at summer before its tendrils vanish for another year. It’s a light, bright salad with a citrus kick. The soft avocado contrasts perfectly with the crunchy, tangy tomatoes while the rocket and balsamic sauce flesh it out and add extra flavour.
And the best thing about it? It’s all taste, and it’s all vegan. Yep no little animals killed, maimed or trapped in order to produce it. Isn’t that awesome?
It’s great as a side dish to part of a larger meal, or with a little wholegrain toast on the side. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a lightweight, standalone meal then this one is a great place to start.
Oh, and it only takes seven or eight mins, max. 😉
Health Benefits – Avocado Tomato Salad
Today’s section is devoted to the lovely avocado. It’s an incredible fruit that comes with a whole host of health benefits, but the one I’m gonna focus on now is the way it combines with other foods to get the best out of them.
Cartenoids, found in abundance in things like rocket (rucola/arugula) or other leafy greens are packed with them. They’re strong antioxidants and can help lower cancer and heart disease (1). That’s amazing of course, but it’s important to know they won’t work properly without some kind of fat to help absorb them (2).
And rocket carries very little fat of its own, naturally. That’s where avocados step up. They’re full of these ‘healthy’ or ‘good’ fats (monounsaturated) that you hear about so often, and so when combined in a salad they make sure you’re really getting all that leafy goodness from your greens.
Who said fat was bad for you? 😛
Refreshing Avocado Tomato Salad (8 Minutes, Vegan)
- 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 big handfuls arugula/rocket (You could also use any leafy greens that you prefer - about 100-150g = 2 handfuls)
- 1 large avocado (1 large avocados = 2 small avocados)
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- ½ lemon (juiced)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic cream (or balsamic vinegar)
- 2 slice bread (eg. whole grain toast)
- Put the sunflower seeds in a saucepan over a low heat. They only need 3 or 4 mins, don’t forget about them!
- While they’re toasting grab the arugula, give it a quick rinse and pat or drain dry.
- Slice the avocado(s) open, remove the stone, and scoop out the flesh. Cut it into little chunks, roughly 2cm each. Drip the lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper onto the chunks.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- The seeds should be done by now, time to serve.
- Layer the rocket into a wide bowl, followed by the tomatoes and avocados. Sprinkle the seeds over the bowls next. Add a little more salt and pepper, drizzle the oil then balsamic cream/vinegar over the top and…..you’re done!
- Enjoy your delicious vegan salad 🙂
- Optional: Serve with a slice or two of whole grain toast if that’s what you fancy.