Mango, cucumber, avocado, curry salad

It’s another scorcher here in DC.

Temperatures like this tend to diminish even the most robust of appetites (mine), so I often turn to a large, nutrient dense smoothie when it tops 100 degrees. Today, however, I just wasn’t in the mood to sip my lunch (it’s never quite as satisfying as chewing a meal, is it?), so I turned instead to a refreshing, summery salad with mango, cucumber, avocado, and curry vinaigrette. I was not dissapointed; though I threw this one together rather randomly, using ingredients I had at home, I loved it, and it’s likely to be a new staple salad.

A few years ago, I confessed to a raw foodist friend that I didn’t much care for mango. She looked at me as if I’d just confessed to disliking babies or puppies. “I know,” I said. “I’m pretty weird about fruit.” This is true: I disliked most fruit as a child, and to this day I have certain strong aversions (I’ll eat watermelon on a hot day, but it’s not my favorite; I tend not to eat stone fruits unless I blend them into something, and I can’t bring myself to eat kiwi no matter how much I read about its rich stores of Vitamin C). I like to think, though, that blogging has opened me up to many fruits. Green smoothies encourage me to eat more pineapple and citrus, and lately, I’m loving cherries as a mid-morning snack. Most shockingly of all, I’m really warming up to mango, so long as it’s fresh and ripe, and now’s the right moment in the year for it.

Not surprisingly, I suppose, the way I learned to love mango was by throwing it into my meal-sized salads. (I wonder if you could persuade me to eat just about any food by putting it in the right salad? Probably.) This mango and avocado kale salad is now a favorite of mine:

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…and I recently made a spicy mango and tomato salad that I loved, too. Today’s salad—a random mix of greens, mango, red pepper, and a curry dressing that brought it all together beautifully—is my new favorite, and I hope it’ll be one of yours, too.

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Summer Salad with Mango, Cucumber, Avocado, and Curry Vinaigrette (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 1

2-3 heaping cups baby greens
1/2 cup diced mango
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 small cucumber, sliced thin into rounds
1/4 avocado

For the dressing (you’ll have some leftover):

2 tbsp avocado, flax, olive, sacha inchi, or hemp oil
1 tbsp (more if you like things tart) apple cider vinegar
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all salad ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients, and top salad with just enough to suit your taste. Don’t overdress: the flavors in this salad are delicate! Serve.

Sweet, spicy, and savory all at once:

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And such a burst of color!

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This salad would be a really good appetizer for summer dinner parties, as well as a good weekday lunch. If serving as a meal, I’d suggest serving with some of your favorite raw crackers (I’m working on a flax cracker recipe this week, so I’ve been going through tons; that was my side dish!), some seared tempeh for extra protein, or a small fruit smoothie as a nice and refreshing dessert.

Happy munching to you all, and see you here tomorrow.

xo

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