There are times when you just want an easy-to-prepare, no-cook meal to quell your hunger pangs. If want to take a break from cooking, and you're craving a light and refreshing salad, here's a simple but nutritious green salad recipe you can prepare in 20 minutes or less.
Did You Know?
- Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C and A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and other nutrients
- Arugula, sometimes known by the more interesting name "rocket," is famous salad green that's loved for its delightfully pungent leaves and unique appearance
- How you de-skin your avocado can significantly affect how much valuable phytonutrients you get from it. Read more to learn how to peel an avocado properly
- Enjoy the combined goodness of these three delicious and nutritious ingredients in this healthy salad recipe
Try my simple Grapefruit and Arugula Salad with Avocado recipe:
Grapefruit and Arugula Salad with Avocado Recipe
Serving Size: 2-4
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 2 grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
- 1 avocado, sliced
For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the grapefruit, reserving for the salad dressing.
- Peel the grapefruit by cutting off each end then working your knife around the perimeter. This method removes the membrane from all outside edges.
Hold the peeled grapefruit in one hand over a bowl. Use a paring knife and in a sawing motion, cut each segment from the membrane on both sides. Let the juice drip into the bowl and place segments in another bowl.
- When all segments have been removed from both grapefruit halves, squeeze the remaining juice from the membranes and reserve 1 tablespoon of the juice for the dressing.
- To prepare the dressing, combine all ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Whisk to combine then slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until fully emulsified. Set aside.
- To prepare the salad, place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Toss with about half the dressing. Divide the greens among salad plates; top with grapefruit segments and sliced avocado. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.
(From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)
Grapefruit and Arugula Salad with Avocado Preparation Tips
The best thing about this recipe is there isn’t any cooking involved. However, I recommend choosing the freshest greens and vegetables for you to truly appreciate the refreshing and palate-cleansing flavors of this recipe.
When choosing grapefruit, look for those that are firm but give a bit when pressed – they should not be too spongy. It’s best to keep them at room temperature, if you’re sure to consume them within a week. If you plan to store them longer, keep them in the fridge.
Before peeling the grapefruit, wash the skin thoroughly, as any germs on the peel may transfer onto the fleshy part of the fruit. Be careful when peeling the grapefruit, as it can be slippery, especially when the flesh inside becomes exposed. Use a sharp knife so you can peel the thick skin easily.
Arugula, also known by the more interesting name “rocket,” is a famous salad green that’s loved for its delightfully pungent leaves and unique appearance. But, remember that older darker leaves have a bit of a peppery taste to them, which is more ideal for soups and other recipes. For salads, it’s best to use the young, paler leaves, which is why I indicate baby arugula in this recipe, due to their milder flavor.
Make sure you choose fresh organic arugula with unblemished green leaves that do not have any signs of wilting or yellowing. Store it in a produce bag in the fridge to keep it from wilting. It will last for a week. Tip: if you cannot find baby arugula in your local farmers’ market, you can substitute with spinach, which will taste just as great.
Then, there’s avocado. I consider this fruit a real superfood because of its potential to help with weight management, and benefits for your heart and brain.Personally, I eat a whole avocado virtually every day, which I usually put in my salad. This increases my healthy fat and calorie intake without seriously increasing my protein or carbohydrate intake.
Remember that how you de-skin your avocado can significantly affect how much valuable phytonutrients you get from it. According to research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the dark green fruit closest to the inside of the peel has the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids. So to preserve the area that holds the most antioxidants, here’s how you should peel an avocado:
- Cut the avocado lengthwise, around the seed.
- Holding each half, twist in opposite directions. This will cause them to separate from the seed.
- Remove the seed and cut each half lengthwise.
- Using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece.
Why Is Grapefruit and Arugula Salad with Avocado Good for You?
Aside from its refreshing flavor, the wide range of nutrients that the ingredients of this salad offer makes this a truly wholesome addition to your diet:
This vegetable’s nutritional value mostly comes from its cruciferous family roots. It has glucosinates that offer antioxidant benefits and enzymes that can help with detoxification. Arugula is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, and K, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium. You can also get high levels of zinc, copper, protein, thiamin, and pantothenic acid from this vegetable.
Arugula is said to help raise good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol levels. It also has a high flavonoid content that can prevent cholesterol from sticking to arteries, increase blood flow, improve blood vessel function, and lower inflammation.
Grapefruit offers a healthy nutritional punch, as it is a good source of vitamins C and A, with 120 percent and 53 percent of the recommended daily value, respectively.
Grapefruit also offers dietary fiber that decreases that transit time in the colon, as well as potassium, which is crucial for the make-up of cells and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. You can also get folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, magnesium, calcium, and phytonutrients from this citrus fruit.
However, grapefruit may interfere with certain medications. It contains furanocoumarins, which block an enzyme that normally breaks down drugs in your body that, if left unchecked, can reach toxic levels in your body. So if you are taking any prescription drugs, check with your doctor first before consuming grapefruit.
According to the California Avocado Commission, a medium Hass avocado has 22.5 grams of fat, two-thirds of which is monounsaturated. Not only is monounsaturated fat burned by your body for energy instead of storing it, but it also enables your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients (such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein) more efficiently in other foods eaten in conjunction.
Avocado is also a low-fructose fruit, and is actually helpful for regulating your blood sugar levels – a definite boon for people suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes. This superfood also contains close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including:
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
- Potassium (it actually has more potassium than a banana, which is essential for balancing your potassium-sodium ratio)
To learn more about the health benefits and uses of avocado, check out this infographic, “What Are Avocados Good For?”
Olive oil is also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that can help lower your risk of heart disease. It also benefits your insulin levels and blood sugar control, which may help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. High-quality olive oil also contains important vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants and is very gentle on your digestive system. It can even help prevent gallstones and soothe ulcers.
The therapeutic benefits of ginger have been known for at least 2,000 years all around the world. It actually has broad-spectrum antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. This versatile rhizome has also shown promise in fighting cancer, and research found that it has anti-tumor activity that may help defeat colon, lung, breast, ovarian, pancreatic, and skin cancers.
Ginger has also been found to have beneficial effects on insulin release and action, as well as improved lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, which makes it potentially helpful for people suffering from diabetes.