Yes, I bought more strawberries!
At one point, I had fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries in my fridge. Oh, and Rob’s bananas, too. I am addicted to the fresh fruit. It was a good thing that Rob didn’t buy the case of fresh figs, too.
My Mom is probably scratching her head.. I just told her that I spend around $10-15/week on groceries. Granted, I have a pantry packed with my staples (beans, grains, nuts, spices) and a garden with herbs and greens (kale and collards) which makes things easier. Each week, I basically buy fruits and veggies. Cilantro, green onions and regular onions, too. Garlic and ginger every few weeks. Tofu or tempeh once a month. Veggies aren’t that expensive, guys! My recent grocery glories were zucchini for 39c/lb, bananas for 29c/lb and red pepper for 79c/lb. Oh, and two HUGE bunches of Swiss chard for $1. Suffice it to say, strawberries were on sale for $1.50/lb, so I got some more.
During my week of the salad, I tried so many different leafy salads. I am not that heavy with salad dressing, so they last a long time. I still have dressings left over. I need more greens! I also like variety, so I tried yet another dressing. This time, though, I made less. This is a simple dressing to put together, so I can easily whip it up again. And I will because it was glorious. Roasted hazelnut oil. Balsamic Vinegar. Chocolate. Need I explain more?
Oh wait, please, let me tell what I paired the decadent chocolate balsamic vinaigrette with: Strawberries. Avocado. Mint. Toasted Almonds. Raw Cacao Nibs…… oh, and lettuce, too.
Pray-tell, was it the lettuce that made you swoon? I thought not! ;)
I know some people don’t like fruits in savoury dishes (not me!) but here I am left scratching my head wondering whether this should be dessert or an appetizer. Does plating something on lettuce automatically relinquish this from being a possible dessert? Anyways, I ate this for dinner. And it was delicious.
This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, to this week’s Wellness Weekend, to this month’s Simple and in Season, to this week’s Summer Salad Sundays and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.
Strawberry, Avocado and Mint Salad with a Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from Choosing Raw
4 cups lettuce, coarsely torn (baby spinach would be great here, too)
1 cup strawberries, washed, destemmed and quartered (any fruit would work here)
1 cup avocado, sliced (from 1 small)
1 tbsp mint, slivered
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs (they give a great crunch) (optional)
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp hazelnut oil, or oil of choice
1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/16 tsp salt
2 tbsp water, or to thin to your desired consistency
1. Begin by making your dressing: Mix together the balsamic vinegar, hazelnut oil, cacao powder and salt. Thin to you desired consistency with water. The cacao powder may not dissolve very well but that is ok!
2. For the salad, plate the lettuce, top with strawberries, avocado and mint. Add almonds and cacao nibs just prior to serving.