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.
These raw vegan tarts created by nutritionist Hayley Richards are a great healthy dessert option free of refined sugars and gluten and packed with nutrients you’d usually miss out on with more traditional desserts.