Looking for a bright, nutritious lunch option? Strawberry avocado salad is just the ticket.
Does fruit belong in salad?
I have a lot of friends who shall not be named who think fruit has no place in salad. They say salads are meant to be savory, and to that I reply with, “nah.” I love fruit in salad, but there has to be a balance between sweetness and savory.
There is a restaurant near my house that serves a “world-famous strawberry salad” with a poppy seed dressing. The dressing tastes like straight-up frosting. I couldn’t coat the thing with enough pepper to power through. If you’re going to put fruit in a salad, the other elements have to be savory, spicy, sour, or a combination to ensure you don’t feel like you’re consuming a leafy desert.
Some words about strawberries…
If you’ve followed along with my recipes over the past few years, you’ll know I’m not a huge fruit person. I do, however, love a good berry. For those of you who aren’t sold, please do yourself a favor and buy some organic berries. I promise you’ll change your mind!
Strawberries are my favorite berry because they have a longer shelf life compared to blackberries and raspberries. While raspberries would be my favorite if I didn’t feel like I had to eat them as soon as I left the grocery store, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Strawberries make a good first choice in the berry department because of their flavor, texture, and lasting freshness.
Strawberries are also great for you. These bright, juicy, sweet treats are high in vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B9. In addition, strawberries are also high in antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in the body and can even assist with blood sugar regulation.
In addition to all the vitamins and minerals, did you know strawberries are composed of 25% fiber? Fiber is super important to the digestive tract because they help feed the good bacteria in your gut which helps you process food better.
Now about those avocados
Avocados rule. In strange situations where you find yourself at a restaurant with few vegan options, often you can swap out cheese or meat for avocado for no upcharge. This delicious fruit is full of good fats that help your brain stay sharp throughout the day.
If you’re looking to increase your potassium intake, did you know avocados are denser in potassium than a banana? Wild. They’ve also been known to help improve cholesterol, granted, all vegan food should due to the fact that there is zero cholesterol non-animal products.
Got an avocado that you need to ripen up quickly? Toss it in a brown bag with a banana. Granted, you need both a brown bag and a banana to do this, and I guess after the banana browns you can use it to make banana bread. Ha!
Violife Just Like Feta is “Just Like Heaven”
While I love a good tofu feta (if you haven’t had mine yet, it makes an appearance in this Mediterranean dill salad), I thought this salad needed a different texture. While I don’t usually love to make recipes with hard-to-find products, Violife Just Like Feta kicks this salad up to the next level.
It’s been probably fifteen years since I’ve last had a dairy feta cheese, but from what I can recall, Violife comes very close. You still get a little bit of that coconut cheese aftertaste, but on the forefront, the cheese is tangy, creamy, and soft. I’m super impressed with the depth it adds to this strawberry avocado salad.
So you’ve got strawberries, avocado, and vegan feta. What else goes in strawberry avocado salad?
To tell you the truth, there isn’t much more that goes into making a delicious strawberry avocado salad. In addition to strawberries, avocado, and Violife Just Like Feta, there is arugula, walnuts, red onion and a simple vinaigrette made from coconut oil, orange juice, and champagne vinegar.
To prepare strawberry avocado salad, you’ll start with the dressing. In a small saucepan add a half cup each of coconut oil, orange juice, and champagne vinegar with some cornstarch. Whisk together until emulsified and the mixture starts to boil. Simmer the mixture for 3-5 minutes.
While the dressing simmers, add arugula to a large bowl with sliced avocado, strawberries, red onion, walnuts, and feta pieces. Toss the dressing or serve on the side, and optionally add salt and pepper. Serve immediately
Also just a note about coconut oil – it will congeal when it’s cold, so you’ll need to melt the dressing on the stove or microwave if prepared in advance. Additionally, if your salad ingredients are too cold, it will also cause the coconut oil to congeal across the meal. Ensure your dressing is warm when you apply and/or that your ingredients aren’t too cold when you assemble.
In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make strawberry avocado salad! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s Recipe Jam is Napoleon by Riki.
If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing your creations!
Strawberry Avocado Salad
Strawberry Avocado Salad
- 16 ounces baby arugula
- 16 ounces organic strawberries
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 1 block Violife Just Like Feta
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small saucepan, add coconut oil, orange juice, champagne vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-5 minutes then remove from heat
- While the dressing cools, assemble your salad. In a large bowl add arugula with sliced strawberries, avocado, red onion, chopped walnut, and Violife feta pieces. Serve immediately with dressing mixed or on the side. Add salt and pepper to taste