Pepita Salad with Avocado & Orange

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There are salads and then there are salads.  This is the latter. Big hearty salads bursting with fresh produce and a bright, flavorful dressing. Whenever I talk to my clients about incorporating more salads into their meals, I get the obligatory eye-roll. But I’m not talking about boring salads of lettuce, croutons, shredded carrots and fat free dressing.
Gross. I wouldn’t want that either.

Big bountiful salads filled with raw or roasted vegetables, bright, flavorful dressings, lean protein & creamy avocado (a must for me). These are the salads dreams are made of.

Next time you’re craving a salad, try this one or follow my below guide:

1. Pick a base: any lettuce will do
2. Add extra green vegetables: green peppers, sprouts, broccoli, whatever
3. Add a pop of color: red bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, you get the idea
4. Crunch! My favorite part- nuts, seeds, toasty things are best
5. Mix in extras: My go-to’s- chickpeas, baked tofu, cooked quinoa, rice or millet
6. Top it with a flavorful dressing! Save this mix-and match guide for healthy, delicious choices

Pepita Salad with Avocado & Orange
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Balsamic Chipotle Dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • pinch sea salt
Pepita Salad:
  • ⅓ cup pepita seeds (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 4 cups spring mix
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 oranges, peeled, membrane removed and sliced into segments
Make the Dressing:
  1. In a small blender combine the olive oil, chipotle, balsamic vinegar, and dried oregano. Blend until combined. If you don't have a blender, whisk the ingredients together.
Make the Salad:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss the carrot slices with olive oil and pinch salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes until crispy and cooked through.
  3. Place the pepitas on a baking sheet and place in the oven the last 3 minutes the carrots are roasting. They should be toasted, not burned. If they need longer, roast them for another minute being careful not to burn.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the spring mix, orange segments, toasted pepita seeds, roasted carrots, cilantro and avocado.
  5. Toss with dressing.

Why not keep the salad love going? Enjoy these favorites:

1. Winter Kale Salad winter kale salad with preserved lemons and persimmons

2. Collard Power Salad
Collard Power Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

3. Autumn Salad: Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower with Horseradish Dressing
Roasted Brussel Sprout Salad with Horseradish Dressing

4. Roasted Peanut Kale Salad
peanut kale salad


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