Good afternoon everyone! It’s just another lovely spring day…oh WAIT! It’s MAY 1st today! That’s craziness, because there still aren’t leaves on all the trees here. It doesn’t feel anything like May. I’ll have a birthday in just about a month and I’m used to the weather being so much better by now – it’s kind of giving me this false sense that time isn’t passing as quickly as it really is. This has been the weirdest winter-spring I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived here in Michigan for…
I had to just think about it, and I’ll admit it took me a sec to do the math in my head. And when I realized how big the number was, I realized something else. I’m getting old…
Anyway. One of the great things about spring time is that it’s garage sale season again! I went out this past weekend and got some great props for my photos. I’ve been shopping at Pier One (I have an addiction. You too? Wanna start a support group?) for some great props and I’ve seen so much that I love from there, things that would be great for shooting food photos…but I should probably actually start making some money from this blog before I spend too much more. So there were about ten garage/estate sales in the neighborhoods around my house last weekend, and I’m really excited about some of the great finds I got. I found old baking sheets, a few really cool old metal bread pans, a glass cheese dome, a beautiful tall glass pitcher, some of those little salad dressing bottles that look like a genie might live inside them…all sorts of stuff! I think I only spent about $50 too! My favorite thing hands down though was this really cool old ice cream scoop. You can see it in the Toasted Coconut Sorbet post from a few days ago. It’s really solidly made! They don’t make things like they used too! There’s a nice patina on it too. Fun fun fun!
So, on to food. I’ve got your five minute lunchtime fix today in this lovely little salad here! I promise you that once you’ve tried this simple salad you’re going to be packing it up for lunches all summer long – it’s that good! Springtime means the berries are on sale. EV.ERY.WHERE. And one of my favorite and simplest ways to use berries is in a salad. Meijer makes a prepackaged berry salad that kind of inspired my version – I used to get it for lunch sometimes when I worked at the bank. But that was a little bit pricey, so I thought, “why not make it at home and then just take it in your lunch instead?” Fresher and more cost-effective = winner. I added avocado in mine because avocado married to berries is like an irresistibly great combination. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
Ok, so I feel a little bit guilty posting this salad, because it’s so simple that it doesn’t even feel like a real recipe. It’s seriously a knockout though. And the redeeming factor is that homemade raspberry vinaigrette is simple to make, but knocks the socks off of store-bought dressing. In fact, I made some spare dressing just to shoot in those fun new salad dressing pitchers for you. Every time I look at this pic I start humming Genie In A Bottle… don’t judge!
Stay tuned in this weekend – I made a dish for Cinco de Mayo yesterday and it was really good! I’m going to test it once more tonight and then hopefully will get it up between Saturday and Sunday for you. Mexican is one of the things I miss most since becoming a vegetarian, because most of my favorites had meat in them. But I think I finally found a go-to dish that’ll fix your Mexican craving!
BERRY PECAN AVOCADO SALAD WITH RASPBERRY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
PREP TIME 5 mins
15 mins A quick and healthy berry pecan salad with a delicious homemade raspberry balsamic vinaigrette
Author: Lyndsey Crosbie
Serves: 4 INGREDIENTS
- 3 cups baby spring mix greens
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 avocado
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup raspberries
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey or agave
- 2½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp coarse-ground black pepper
- Rinse and pat dry all of the berries, as well as the greens (if not pre cleaned)
- In a large salad bowl, place the greens and toss well so that the spinach and spring greens are well combined.
- Place the berries on top of the salad greens, keeping the raspberries on top if stacking, since the raspberries will be crushed otherwise.
- Peel and dice the avocado into ½ inch cubes, and add to the salad.
- Add the pecans.
- For the dressing, place the ⅓ c raspberries in a small bowl. Using the back of a large metal spoon and the edges of the bowl, crush the berries until they are well-mashed and liquid.
- Add in the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and pepper.
- Whisk vigorously with a balloon or emulsifying whisk until all the ingredients are combined and not separating.
NOTES You can store left-over dressing in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Optionally, you can toast the pecans in butter or coconut oil and salt for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, to add another layer of flavor to the salad.NUTRITION INFORMATIONCalories: 452 Fat: 38.7g – 60% Saturated fat: 5.4g – 27% Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 26.6g – 9% Sugar: 13g Sodium: 45mg – 2% Fiber: 12.2g – 49% Protein: 5.4g Cholesterol: 0g
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