FRESH GREENS SUMMER SALAD RECIPE

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Happy Monday guys!! This week, I'm starting the week strong with a confession: I used to hate greens. I used to say the perfect salad was steak and bacon, with dressing on the side. And by dressing, I meant a glass of wine or beer. Fresh and healthy, I know!

While I still enjoy steak and LOVE bacon, I changed A LOT of my views on nutrition during the last few years. And the funny thing is, it happened naturally. I didn't have like, a huge epiphany moment when I realized I was dying. No doctor told me I had to change my habits to loose 300lbs... I just started making enough money to sustain myself on something other than ramen, and I always loved cooking. Which means I love trying new recipes and exploring new flavours.

Gradually, I started incorporating more fruits and veggies in my daily diet and I wouldn't go back for anything in the world. Now, when having a BBQ, I look forward to the grilled veggies and salads as much as the meat. I don't even see the meat as the main course and the veggies as sides anymore. I just look at it as several delicious parts of a meal, that all compliment each other very well.

Each summer, when kicking off BBQ season, I like to come up with a new summer salad recipe, to switch things up a little. My first one this year was this asian-inspired greens salad. It's fresh, super tasty, filling, high in fiber and protein and has many interesting textures. Before going more into details, here's what I put in this summer salad:

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 bag of frozen edamame

  • 2 baby cucumbers

  • 1 big avocado (firm)

  • 2 scallions

  • 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts

  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • salt & pepper to taste

As usual, these are basic quantities, that you can adjust here and there to get the perfect flavour for you. I always use this guideline when I make it, but I might add more lemon juice once if I crave something more tangy, or replace the coconut oil with avocado oil when I feel like it.

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I really love this salad, and one the reasons is how the fresh textures all interact so well with each other. You have the soft avocados and edamame, crunchy cucumbers, hemp hearts and scallions... It's just the perfect combination. Taste-wise, it' also amazing! Edamame and avocado both have strong, smooth flavours that are balanced by the scallions and the freshness of cucumbers. I wanted to add a tiny bit of grains to it and my first impulse was quinoa. But hemp hearts are actually a better alternative for salads (IMO) because they have 0 net carbs and you can just toss them in, without any preparation. They're also really high in protein, which is one of the reasons why this salad is so filling. I also love their mild nutty flavour, and they add a little crunch, just like the sesame seeds.

When it comes to dressing, I wanted to really bring out the asian flavours of the ingredients, that are all really popular in asian cuisine. My favourite asian flavours are probably chilli and sesame. That's why I went for sesame oil in this dressing. I swear, I had this summer salad 3 days in a row.

It's also super simple and quick to make. First, you need to cook your edamame. I like to put a tiny bit of water in a pan, and then cover with a lid to steam them. I usually take them off when they start being soft, I don't like them too mushy. While the edamame is cooking, you can chop your cucumbers, avocado and scallions and throw that in a big bowl. Then, you need to let the edamame cool down a little, before peeling it.

Once all the veggies are mixed, you can add in your hemps hearts and sesame seeds. And then mix all the ingredients for the dressing. I like to add the dressing to the salad right before serving it, because my worst nightmare is soggy cucumbers. I like them crunchy and cold, which is why I try to pop the salad back in the fridge until right before I serve it.

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If you guys enjoy summer barbecues, you also need to check out this skinny cocktail recipe, that's perfect poolside or at a BBQ. It also goes really well with this summer salad. Together, they're the perfect combo to avoid post meal bloat, which is the last thing most of us want when we're wearing our sexiest bikinis at a poolside BBQ.

Let me know if you guys make this summer salad, and how much you LOVED it! Also, if you post your results on Instagram, don't forget to use the hashtag #THBRECREATED and tag me (@thehungarianbrunette) so I can share YOUR version if this fresh greens summer salad with my people, giving you credit of course!

Have a great week guys!

Love, Jenny xx