When it’s especially warm outside (which we’re finally starting to experience here in Washington) I tend to crave fresh, light meals. Salads are my summer staple for this very reason, not to mention that this is peak time for TONS of delicious produce you can toss in to add an insane amount of flavor (as well as host of nutrients). In case you haven’t been to the grocery store as of late, strawberries are majorly in season and tastier than ever. They’re so easy to buy local and can brighten many a dish with their supa sweet taste and gorg vibrant color.
Now we all know strawberries are abundant with vitamin C, which has a vital role in anti-aging and keeps our skin lookin’ young. But did you know they are also an anti-inflammatory fruit rich in antioxidants like Manganese (helps strengthen bones) B-vitamins and Biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails (seriously what girl doesn’t want that)?! I should also mention that strawberries contain a compound called nitrate that has positive effects on blood flow and oxygen and ultimately aids in weight loss. It also stops muscles from becoming too tired after exercise. Thus it’s a good idea to snack on these suckers both pre and post gym (I also like to toss em in my GGS).
But I don’t need going to the gym as an excuse to munch on strawberries. I’d eat them all day erey day. So you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across a salad recipe starring strawberries and other seasonal produce like asparagus and leeks from one of my FAVE vegan bloggers- Oh She Glows. And you really will feel like you’re glowing after you eat this ish. I tweaked this recipe (because it’s what I do) by whipping up a slightly sweet lemon poppy seed dressing and topping it with avocado (DUH) and roasted pistachios for an additional crunch. Other than that I recommend keeping it simple and letting the star produce shine.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 leek sliced into rounds
1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
4 handfuls spring greens mix
1/4-1/2 cup pistachios, roasted and unshelled
1/2 avocado chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp coconut nectar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions (i.e. bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until fluffy and all water is absorbed). Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with sea salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the peas and heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
3. Blend together all dressing ingredients.
4. Put spring greens in a large bowl then add in cooked quinoa and vegetables. Top with strawberries and pistachios and then toss well with poppy seed dressing.
MLB (meat lovin’ boyfriend) says it’s not his favorite dish but it still ranks within the top 20. Solid.