When a major study by the U.S national public health institute found watercress achieved a perfect nutritional score of 100, we asked naturopath and Endeavour graduate Meg Thompson to create a recipe for us with the number one powerhouse vegetable as the star ingredient.
Meg went away and dreamed up a delicious, simple and nutrition-packed watercress, halloumi and strawberry salad that highlights the delicate, peppery flavour of watercress. Loaded with calcium, protein, fibre, antioxidants and vitamins C and K, this little gem works just as well as a delectable lunch as it does a side or as part of a larger spread.
Watercress, halloumi and strawberry salad
A handful of green beans, tips removed
4 strawberries, tops removed and sliced
¼ cup walnuts – or another nut of your choice, macadamias would also be great, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp seeded mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
A good pinch sea salt
1. Rinse the watercress and remove any larger, thicker stems.
2. Slice the halloumi and sauté in a fry pan over medium heat until golden on both sides.
3. Remove the halloumi and throw the green beans into the same pan. Stir them around for about 10 seconds and then turn the heat off but leave in the pan. The residual heat will be enough to cook them a little more until just tender.
4. Meanwhile, place all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl or cup and stir to combine. This will make more than you need for this salad – which is great – pop leftovers into an airtight jar and store in the fridge for future creations.
5. To assemble your salad, arrange the watercress, halloumi, beans, strawberries and walnuts in a bowl and drizzle over the dressing. I also found micro-watercress and used this to top the salad for added cuteness and nutrition – but this is totally optional.
Naturopaths will often look to the gut when determining the origin of many types of disease. Prebiotics by definition is foods or ingredients that selectively promote the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms (gut bacteria), and are different to the bacteria themselves called probiotics. Prebiotic foods in this recipe include; onion, garlic, asparagus, chickpeas and the vegetables in general. Promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria has flow-on effects to improve digestive function, the immune system, mental health, skin health and almost every aspect of health.
Autumn is approaching and the change of season can sometimes be a challenge to our health. Give your immune system the best chance of staying in good shape by adding these quick and easy immunity gummies to your day.