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Arugula, Avocado, Walnut and Plum Salad

I love a myriad of colors, textures, and flavors in my salad, whatever inspires me at the market, or while foraging. I love to incorporate a sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, and sour element. The sweet might be a light drizzle of honey, maple syrup or mirin (sweet sake), while the sour might be lemon, lime, or vinegar (red, white, balsamic, or sherry). I get salt from miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, or just regular sea salt. The spicy note might come from freshly ground black pepper, chilies, ginger, or garlic, for example, while the bitter note might come from citrus zest. The possibilities are endless.

As for what constitutes a salad? Well anything you want, really! Greens, nuts, seeds and fruit, provides a nutritious combination that is high in fiber, protein, and all sorts of minerals and vitamins. It's good to switch it up and not make it the same every day, so you don't get bored. Variety is a key element in staying healthy and fit.

Pure and simple!

RECIPE: Arugula, Avocado, Walnut and Plum Salad

Serves 4

4 cups baby arugula

2 haas avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 cup raw walnut halves

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 ripe plums, halved, pitted and each half sliced into 4 wedges

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup olive oil

Kosher salt or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Local honey

1. In a shallow bowl, scatter the arugula, avocado, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and plum wedges. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Drizzle over the salad, followed by a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle lightly with honey to taste.

3. Let the salad stand for 15 minutes, allowing the dressing to work its way through the ingredients. Serve without tossing, so as to keep the arugula crisp.

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