I crave salads in the summer. How about you? When that urge strikes, here’s a new salad for ya. If you’re a mango lover like I am, it’ll literally make your mouth water!
The Recipe Redux theme this month is “Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape.” Rather than cutting up this salad’s fruit into a new shape, I decided to add shape on it. I created crosshatch grill marks on mango “cheeks.” Using grilled fruit is a simple way to upgrade a recipe! Not only does it add eye appeal, it adds smoky flavor interest. What’s more, I used grilled mango in two ways here—as cubes and pureed into the dressing.
Hint: Add black beans, edamame, or grilled shrimp or organic chicken to transform this side salad into an entrée!
Calories saved: 40
Why it’s better for you: Spinach and pistachios further boost this salad’s lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that can play a key role in prevention of age-related macular degeneration.
Disclosure: I work with Wonderful Pistachios to help consumers make healthful snack choices.
- 1 large Tommy Atkins mango (1 to 1 1/8 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 small lime (1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach or arugula (3 ounces)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 3 tablespoons shelled, salted, roasted pistachios or sliced toasted almonds
- Preheat a grill or grill pan. Stand up the mango and cut a large slice off of each side of the mango, coming as close to the large flat center seed as possible. Brush the cut surfaces of the mango pieces (“cheeks”) with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Place cut side-down on the grates and grill over direct medium-high heat until charred and heated through, about 7 minutes, rotating once halfway through grilling. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Score each “cheek” into cubes in the peel, not cutting through the peel. Then scoop the cubes out of each peel. Add 1/3 cup packed grilled mango cubes to a blender; reserve remaining cubes.
- Add the lime juice, salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the blender; cover and puree on high speed until creamy. (Note: Drizzle in a little apple cider vinegar or additional extra-virgin olive oil if needed for proper blending.)
- Arrange the spinach, mint, onion, and avocado onto 2 salad plates or bowls. Spoon half of the grilled mango dressing onto the salads. Sprinkle with the reserved grilled mango cubes and pistachios. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
Per serving: 290 calories, 20g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate, 7g dietary fiber, 17g sugars, 5g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by Mango and Avocado Salad
Per serving: 330 calories, 22g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 300mg sodium (estimated), 36g total carbohydrate, 10g dietary fiber, 24g sugars, 4g protein
- For more texture in a salad, finish with nuts. Try pistachios; they’re versatile in cuisine!
- For more fragrance in a salad, add fresh herbs, such as mint.
- For more intrigue in a salad, grill a veggie or fruit you plan to include, like mango.