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Avocado, Cucumber, and Berry Salad
- 2 cups mesclun/baby spinach/cos lettuce (or a mixture of all three)
- 1 tangelo (or orange)
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 small cucumber (like Lebanese or half a telegraph)
- 1/2 large avocado or 1 small avocado
- 3 strawberries (or more if you like)
- 1 cm fresh root ginger (optional)
- salt (Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)
Firstly, make sure that the salad greens are clean (or you could not wash them, apparently you’re meant to get vitamin B12 from that, but after finding slugs in my greens, I’m a bit wary of that). Toss them in a salad spinner to get excess moisture off.
Place the greens in a bowl and squeeze the tangelo over the top. Peel and slice the ginger finely and add to the greens. Toss the greens, ginger and juice together.
Peel (optional) the cucumber and place on a cutting board. Chop the cucumber into either matchsticks or horizontal slices using a sharp kitchen utility knife. Pit and peel the avocado and slice into pieces with an avocado slicer. Add the cucumber and avocado to the salad, but do not toss (you might like to arrange it into rings with the cucumber slices on the outside and avocado pieces on the inside). (Here’s some awesome spiralizers to use!)
Cut the green part of the strawberry and slice it, but do not cut all the way to the top of the strawberry. Then slowly separate the slices (similar to opening up a fan) without breaking them. The strawberry should then look like a type of fan. Repeat this with however many strawberries you like.
Place the fanned strawberries in the middle of the salad and sprinkle the blueberries on top. Season with salt and serve immediately as a side salad for two or a light lunch for one.
Sprinkle on some homemade dressing from your salad shaker.
Recommended reading: Best Mediterranean Cookbooks
- 4 large sheets lasagna
- 500 grams fresh or frozen spinach
- 600mL tomato puree (or pasta sauce)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 8 button mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
- 1 red onion (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
- 1 capsicum
- 1/2 cup coriander (cilantro)
- 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp oregano (use more if fresh)
- 1 tbsp dried basil (use more if fresh)
Usually I cook the lasagna sheets first, but if you’re using fresh lasagne then you can omit this step (for cooking the lasagna sheets, just place in a large pot of water boiling rapidly and cook for the amount of time specified on the packet, usually around ten minutes).
Peel and slice the onion and crush the garlic cloves with the best garlic press. Add to a skillet or electric wok and fry with enough olive oil or rice bran oil to cover the pan. (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)
Cook over a medium heat until soft.
Make sure the spinach is thawed (if using frozen spinach) or chop the fresh spinach. Finely chop the coriander and basil and oregano (if using fresh herbs) with a sharp Japanese knife. Wash and slice the button mushrooms. Place spinach, mushrooms and herbs in a large bowl and add the onion and garlic. Mix together until all the ingredients are evenly spread throughout the mixture.
Place one sheet of lasagna at the bottom of an oven proof dish at least 5cm (2 inches) high and about 25cm wide (depending on how large your pasta is. If the pasta sheets are not very wide then you’re just going to have tall lasagne instead!). Spread approximately a seventh of the tomato puree (around 80ml) over the pasta sheet. Spoon a third of the spinach mixture onto the puree. Pour another seventh of tomato puree on top of the spinach. Then sprinkle half a cup of mozzarella over the top. Place another sheet of pasta on top and repeat these same steps twice.
You should now have three layers in your lasagna with a pasta sheet on top. Now, spread the remaining tomato puree onto the sheet and the rest of the mozzarella. Make sure the mozzarella covers the whole sheet, otherwise the lasagne will go crispy at the edges.
Core, deseed and slice the capsium horizontally and place on top of the mozzarella. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for at least half an hour. Serves four or more, depending on how much pasta you use and how hungry everyone is! Freezes well.
Recommended reading: Best Italian Cookbooks
This recipe may seem slightly unusual, but it tastes great and is an excellent way to get your mono-unsaturated fats. You can use any type of berry, but strawberries are nice in spring.
- 1 cup apple juice (or 1 cup water and 2 tsp maple syup/agave nectar)
- 1 cup strawberries, trimmed
- 1 ripe banana, frozen
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (don’t use the artificial stuff)
- 1 strawberry (optional, for decoration)
In a blender, blend the apple juice and the flesh of the avocado until smooth. Add the strawberries and banana (broken up into pieces) and vanilla essence. Blend until smooth. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little water. Pour into a tall glass and press the strawberry into the top of the glass so that it sits on the side. Serves one. Note that you can also use a milkshake maker for this!
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