About this Recipe
We eat some of the best salads every day here in Grandmother's kitchen. This simple salad in my mind sounds like a dessert salad! There are so many tasty ingredients in it. It is really fun to create easy delicious salads with combinations of foods that go well together and offer you a bit of crunch, a bit of smooth sweet, and a delightful pow of citrus tang. The combination here with the smooth avocado and pecan nuts alone make this salad super appealing. There are endless options for combining live foods together and live food is packed with enzymes and antioxidants, both vital to building a happy, strong body.
1. Choose the nicest looking lettuce you can find and find the one that gives you the most leaves for the dollars. When we buy lettuce and it is sold by the head, we take the time to observe if a head is nice and big with lots of leaves or just one that is a lot smaller in size. Lettuce plants are all going to be somewhat different in size and when you are paying by the head, you want to get as many leafs as you can for your dollar.
2. Where we live lettuce is normally sold by the head and not the pound, but pay attention so you don't get surprised at the checkout. Cauliflower is often tricky that way. You think you are paying a certain price for the whole head, but in fact many times it is sold by the pound in the area we live in.
3. Baby spinach works best with this salad, although if you are using larger leaves, just tear them into bite sized pieces.
4. Mandarin oranges happen to be in season at the moment so we used that for the salad. Any variety of orange will do nicely.
5. Choose a good natural yogurt. Read the label, be sure there is not any additional sugar or flavor in it and that it contains probiotics.
6. This is quite a sweet dressing because of the maple syrup. You can cut the maple syrup in half if you want it less sweet.
7. The dressing portion can easily be doubled if making for more people. Do a taste test and decide how much maple syrup you want to add as you won't need to be doubling the sweetness porton.
Makes 2 Servings
Avocado Spinach Pecan Salad With Orange Slices:
2 large lettuce leaves, we use leaf lettuce
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 avocado, cut in half
1 fresh mandarin orange, cut in half (or you can use a regular orange)
1/4 cup pecan nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Yogurt Maple Syrup Salad Dressing Ingredients:
Makes 4 ounces, 2 servings worth
1/8 cup natural plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon pure apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste
Make the dressing first.
1.Combine all the ingredients into a Magic bullet blender and turn on. Let combine.
2.Stir the whole pecans into the dressing.
1. Make just before serving. Tear the lettuce leaves into bite size pieces. Arrange on a plate.
2. Arrange the spinach leaves on next. Place the orange pieces and sliced avocado on next.
3. Spoon the dressing with pecans onto the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.
Salads can be made from any variation of greens. You can use a plain lettuce, romaine, Bibb, along with spinach, watercress, arugula, endive or any other green you enjoy. The avocado is one of the stars on the plate as it is an incredibly nutritious food to enjoy.
It is good to understand how to prepare salad correctly. For example lettuce leaves should be carefully detached and if the outer leaves are damaged or discolored, just discard them. Use a sharp knife to cut off the bottom off the lettuce plant to separate the entire lettuce plant. Always wash the lettuce gently in cold water. If non-organic it is a good idea to add 1 cup of vinegar to a full sink of water and let the lettuce soak about 3 minutes. You can either use a lettuce spinner to dry the leaves, or swing dry in a salad basket then pat them with paper towels or a clean dish towel. This must be done thoroughly or two things happen. The moisture make the lettuce go bad faster when refrigerated and also the water will dilute the dressing on the salad and it will be lacking flavor.
It is always good to wash and refrigerate ahead of using so the lettuce will be nice and crispy when you eat it. If lettuce is limp, chill it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
A green salad should not have the dressing mixed in with it until the last minute before serving. Putting the dressing ahead of time will make the leaves wilt and become unappetizing. If making for a crowd you can prepare the salad ahead of time and leave it in a working bowl. If you are going to put dressing on the entire salad, do it just before serving and transfer to a more fancy salad bowl.
When we prepare salads for personal use in Grandmother's kitchen, we always do up single portions, adding the dressing at the moment of serving. If you have all the ingredients prepared and ready, it becomes easy to make salads part of everyday eating habits. So many people don't care for salad and from what we've come to believe, it is often because they don't like the taste of the dressing, or the greens are not appealing in the way they were prepared. Homemade dressings are one of the keys to enjoying salads. There is nothing odd about their taste as you know what you are putting into them and the taste is not confused with artificial flavorings or enhancers. The oil you select is key as well. Some oils taste so strong and they ruin the dressing.