This is not a recipe to be followed slavishly but an invitation to improvise with whatever grows green and fresh in your area during the winter months.
Calgary has a short growing season but I have year round access to locally grown pea shoots and there are always beautiful mixed greens available. I love soup as much as the next girl but at least once a week in the winter I try to eat a big salad and get my fresh and green on. Remember local and green together equals nutritionally dense.
I find winter salads need a little more substance than summer plates of spinach and strawberry, so I use up left over bread to make turmeric croutons. Their golden glow sits so beautifully with the jewels of the ripe pomegranates we enjoy around Christmas time and add a festive air to the salad.
Turmeric has a peppery, warm, bitter flavour and a wonderful aroma.It has also been indicated in clinical trails as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and to contain anti-cancerous properties. But this is a salad with more than one superpower! Oleic acid in the avocado enables the absorption of the carotenoids from the fresh greens and the pomegranates, rich in antioxidants, provide anti-ageing, anti-allergic and immune-boosting effects.
- 2 large handfuls of fresh mixed greens
- 1 large handful of pea shoots, sunflower sprouts or whatever is local to you.
- 1 large avocado sliced thinly
- 1handful of walnuts broken roughly
- 1 pomegranate de-seeded
- 2 slices old bread
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp turmeric
- Additional olive oil
- ½ lemon
- Start by cubing the bread and in a bowl toss it in the olive oil and turmeric.
- Bake in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes tossing half way through.
- Lay the mixed greens in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle over a handful of pea shoots.
- Lay on the avocado pieces.
- Sprinkle with the broken walnuts.
- Spread the pomegranate seeds and baked turmeric croutons on top.
- Drizzle with more olive oil and some lemon juice if desired.
- This salad is beautiful enough to hold centre stage at a celebratory meal.
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