Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Avocado Arugula Salad

photo from

Summer is here. Okay, maybe not officially; but it sure is hot out there. Hot, hazy and humid. My favorite kind of weather. This is the time of the year when I don't want to fuss in the kitchen. I want to live at the beach.

During the summer months, you crave different foods. If you stop and listen to your body, it will tell you exactly what it wants and needs. Most likely, it will ask for more fruits, vegetables, and foods with high water content.  Soups, casseroles and heavy, hearty dishes are too taxing on your system during the summer months. You should naturally gravitate toward lighter meals, salads, and other simple foods. The side benefit of theses types of foods is that they are usually very quick and easy to prepare.  Who wants to be slaving over a hot stove now? The best part is this: all the water and nutrients you consume in the summer are cleansing your body in preparation for another slow and sluggish winter. This is why it so important to eat the right foods according to the seasons. This also the key to successful weight loss.

I have the perfect dish for you: Avocado Arugula Salad. It's bursting with life and lots of surprises: luscious avocados (good fat), sweet golden raisins and crunchy pistachios. The hummus dressing provides the protein and the aromatic, peppery arugula makes this salad extra special.

This is not your ordinary, boring salad. You won't find iceberg lettuce in here. In fact, I urge you to step away from iceberg. It has no real nutritional value at all.  Arugula, on the other hand, is a nutritional power-house.

Allow me to sing the praises of arugula for a moment: 

Arugula is one leafy green vegetable that stands out as a rich source of many vitamins and minerals. Consider the difference between iceberg lettuce and arugula. Arugula contains about eight times the calcium, fives times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, and four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce.

Arugula also contains beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These are powerful antioxidants that can help  prevent diseases like cancer and macular degeneration.

Are you ready to try arugula now? 

Here's the recipe:

What You Need:

For the dressing:
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons hummus
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
1 tablespoon finely minced chives
1 medium carrot, finely shredded
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:
3 cups arugula
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons crushed pistachios

What You Do:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth. Gently toss dressing with arugula.
Divide dressed arugula in bowls and top with raisins and pistachios.

Serves 4
Recipe from

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