Tired of insipid green salads with tomato and soggy lettuce?
Yeah, me too!
That’s why I created this “bulked up” version – a hearty green salad with avocado and mushroom that satisfies both your tastebuds and your tum!
No more feeling like a soggy rabbit. (Yay!)
Bring this to any social occasion and even if there’s nothing else for you to eat, you’ll walk away feeling full and happy.
And what I love about this hearty green salad is that it doesn’t rely heavily on starches either.
No rice, no quinoa, no couscous, no pasta. None of that.
Just heaps of delicious fresh veggies. Exactly what your body ordered.
To be honest, I’m not sure how exactly it manages to satisfy me every time, but it does.
Maybe it’s the bulk of the avocado, tomato and mushroom.
Maybe it’s the natural oils in the olives and avocado.
Or maybe it’s the tangy flavour of the greens, the red onion, the olives and the dressing.
And it even satisfies in cold weather. What low-starch salad can do that?
And it also works with heaps of different salad greens, like this spicy red mustard.
Frankly, I’m not fussed why it works. I just love that it does.
I love the way I feel after eating it – tastebuds tingling, stomach sighing happily and brain surprised once more that a salad could really be this good.
And I think you might just be pleasantly surprised too.
- 2 cups (100g) endive, shredded (or your favourite salad green)
- 1 med (120g) tomato, sliced / diced
- 1 med (200g) avocado, diced
- 6 (20g) black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 tbsp (15g) red onion, sliced and roughly diced
- 5 med (50g) mushrooms, sliced / diced
- 1 tbsp mediterranean dressing (or your favourite salad dressing)
- Roughly chop the endive or salad greens and place them in a salad bowl.
- Prepare the other vegetables and layer them on top of the greens.
- Just before serving, add the dressing and toss the salad to coat.
During: 10 mins
- This recipe is very forgiving. The amounts I’ve given in my recipe are very precise, but you don’t need to be. Feel free to play around with quantities, or just throw “some” of each ingredient into a bowl. I’m pretty confident it will still taste fantastic.
- When I say “sliced / diced” for an ingredient, I just mean that it’s somewhere between sliced and diced. I don’t really like really long thin strips of stuff in this salad (like red onion or mushrooms), but I also don’t want to chop everything into perfect squares either. So I slice it roughly and then chop each slice into a few pieces, which seems to give it just the right size.
- As I mentioned above, you really use almost any salad green with the recipe and it will work. The reason I say “almost” is that I haven’t technically tried it with every green there is out there, so I can’t say for sure that they’ll all work. But no matter what you have on hand, I reckon it’s worth a go. If your green has an especially strong taste, you might need to adjust the amounts of the other ingredients to balance it out.
- I normally use roma tomatoes as my fresh tomatoes, even though they’re “supposed to be” for cooking, simply because I prefer their flavour. My point? Use the fresh tomatoes you like best – romas, beefsteak, heritage, grape or cherry. Go crazy!
- Don’t skimp on the avocado in this hearty green salad. I have a suspicion that much of the “filling-ness” of this dish (is that a word?) hinges on the avocado. So make sure to use a whole, large avocado, or two smaller ones if need be.
- I am a big fan of kalamata olives, so they’re the black olives I use in this recipe, but once again, I recommend that you use your favourite black olives. The more of your personal favourites you use in this salad, the more you’ll love it.
- You don’t have to use red onion at all in this salad if you don’t want to, or you can add just a really small amount. The tang of the onion does help with the flavour balance, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for “onion breath” so I just leave it out. I’ve also heard that you can rinse and dry your red onion to reduce the bite even further, so I might try that next time.
- Of course, if you’re a big fan of sweet red onion, feel free to add more as well. The sweetness of the tomato and dressing definitely help to balance out the bite from the onions.
- I prefer to use brown (Swiss brown, crimini or portobello) mushrooms in my cooking, because I’ve read that they have heaps more flavour and nutrition than the white ones (a bit like brown bread versus white bread – at least that’s how I remember it). I’m not sure how much truth there is in that, but I’m happy to roll with it.
- I use my Mediterranean Salad Dressing on this salad for a few reasons:
- It tastes really good
- I love the texture of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes
- It’s an oil-free dressing, which makes this salad very low-fat
- I always have some in the fridge
- I suspect that my salad dressing is another reason why this salad is so satisfying – the flavours in the dressing really do add something special, especially if you’re using a good quality balsamic vinegar. If you don’t want to use agave nectar, just use coconut nectar, maple syrup or your favourite liquid sweetener. Next time I make a batch of this dressing, I’m going to try it with Medjool date paste instead.
- You can use your favourite salad dressing on this recipe, but I would test it out in small amounts first, because not all flavours will go well with it.
- If you’re using a slightly firmer salad green like endive or mustard, then this salad does hold up pretty well. Although it’s never really lasted more than a few hours, I kind of like the way the flavours meld. My point is that it’s great fresh, but it also tastes pretty good after a couple of hours too, it just depends on the salad green you’re using.
- The nutritional information on this recipe can only be very approximate, because it depends entirely on the exact ingredients you use, especially the dressing, so don’t put too much faith in it. The values are based on splitting it into eight serves.
- I’ve said that this recipe makes 4 – 8 serves, because it depends on whether you’re having it as a side, or as the main part of your meal. So it will make eight “side serves” or four “main serves”, (or just one big serve if you’re anything like me ;) )
When I was a kid I was allergic to gluten and dairy, and it seemed like every time I went out with my classmates in primary school and high school (to somewhere classy like Pizza Hut), I’d end up eating salad.
And in those days, most people’s idea of salad was literally lettuce, tomato and cheese. I’d pick out the cheese and end up eating lettuce and tomato, and for years I HATED salad. With a passion.
Thankfully I’ve rediscovered the joy of fresh veggies, but any time I make salad, I want to make darn sure that it’s not limp and tasteless.
This particular salad came about from me throwing random things into a bowl on a regular basis (just like my homemade raw muesli). And one happy day I stumbled onto this great combination (and remembered to write it down too).
Summer is a great time for fresh salad greens and tomatoes, but I realised I can pretty much do this one all year ’round, which makes it super versatile too.
I’ve taken this to a few school functions (my kids’ school this time), and enjoyed tucking into it immensely, coming away feeling happy and full.
Which is how every salad should you make you feel!
If you’re not very familiar with endive, here’s a bit more info on what it is and what it’s good for:
If you want to learn more about the nutritional content of brown mushrooms, there’s a couple of articles here that you can check out:
- Mushrooms, crimini @ The World’s Healthiest Foods
- Nutritional Content of White vs. Crimini Mushrooms @ LiveStrong
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And have a really delicious day :)
~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly