HDL COOKS: Strawberry Avocado Babyleaf Salad

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Strawberry Avocado Babyleaf Salad

Something not many people know about me is how much I love a good salad. They range from refreshing to hearty and can combine almost any ingredients to make a healthy lunch or side dish. Something I’ve found, though, is that eating substantial salads on a student budget can prove to be pretty lacklustre – nearly all of the recipes you come across these days include some form of quinoa and kale, which needless to say do not appear on most student shopping lists. This recipe uses affordable ingredients that make eating healthily a delight, rather than a chore.

Salads can often seem simple to produce, and for the most part, they are. But when you take something simple and add more and more flavours to the mix, it becomes very important to strike a balance between them. For example, the strawberry, feta and red onion combination in this salad works perfectly, and the crunch of the walnut pieces perfectly offset the softness of the avocado. However, I preferred a little less walnut and a little more avocado when we had this for lunch, but my boyfriend didn’t like the avocado and wanted more feta. Ultimately it all comes down to a matter of preference, though I personally would endeavour to keep the avocado in, as it contains a good portion of healthy fats to compliment an otherwise nearly fat-less meal.

I chose babyleaf salad as opposed to any single type of salad leaves, because it was cheap and included all our favourites anyway, but it’s really up to you. Next time I’d like to try it with just spinach or just rocket and see how that affects the overall flavour. One thing I wouldn’t necessarily advise would be to have this with iceberg lettuce, because the strong flavours of the leaves do offset the sweetness of the strawberries, and I’m not confident that iceberg lettuce would have the same effect.

Ingredients:
– 83g babyleaf salad
– 220g strawberries, quartered
– 1 small avocado, sliced
– 75g feta cheese
– 75g walnut halves
– 1 small red onion, sliced
– dressing of your choice, to taste (I used French, but in future would use a simple lemon vinaigrette)

Gently add the strawberries, avocado and red onion to the babyleaf and toss.
Crumble the feta over the salad in pieces of about an inch, garnish with the walnut halves and dressing.
Gently mix once more and serve.

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