Simple and refreshing Cucumber Salad. This cucumber-based salad is a great make-ahead lunch that is quick to put together, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, and paleo friendly—a healthy and filling salad that only takes 10 minutes from start to finish! Add grilled chicken for a balanced, high fat, low carb meal.
When did salads become synonymous with lettuce? Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of leafy greens out there that can add some major nutritional value to a bowl full of veggies, but I’m just not that into them. To clarify, when I say “them,” I’m referring to a couple of greens that have been given a superfood status: kale and spinach (don’t even get me started on arugula, ick!).
Sure, I understand why they’ve been given this superfood classification; kale and spinach both contain iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium. But here’s the thing: I get plenty of iron from grass fed beef, lots of vitamin A from pasture-raised egg yolks, and ample vitamin K and calcium from the grass fed butter in my Iced Bulletproof Matcha Latte. So really, kale and spinach just aren’t that interesting to me. I’d rather stuff my face with veggies that fill my mouth with flavor, and fill my tummy with substance.
Does this mean I don’t eat salads? Puh-lease. Enter this Cucumber Salad.
Lettuce-free salads are what I’m all about. Whether I’m hunting down some paleo appropriate ingredients at the Whole Foods salad bar (I’ve actually become quite the pro at this, but that’s a story for a different day), or I’m throwing together a salad for the next day’s lunch, I’m totally diggin’ the crunch and hydration I find from a lettuce-free salad. This Cucumber Salad recipe is no exception.
The really great part about this cucumber salad is you can make it in advance and top it with your favorite dressing without having to force feed yourself a bunch of mushy and wilted leaves the next day. Just leave the avocado off until you’re ready to eat, and you’ve got yourself a killer make-ahead meal, with no risk of a salad-dressing-spill-in-the-lunchbox fiasco.
It may not be the average flavor profile for a salad, but you’ll love the creaminess of the avocado juxtaposed with the crunchiness of the cucumber, and the sweet pop from the blueberries offsets the peppery crunch of the radish. So give your tastebuds something to get excited about, and ditch your leafy greens.
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What is MCT oil, and why do use it in my dressings?
You’ve likely heard accounts of coconut oil having fat fighting benefits, right? Well when it comes to comparing coconut oil and MCT oil, the difference between the two is the carbon chain length in the fats. Medium chain triglycerides (the chain lengths found in both coconut oil and MCT oil) can reach a chain length of C6, C8, C10, and C12. Now, all fats and oils are composed of either short, medium, or long chain triglycerides, but the MCTs are what our bodies metabolize most efficiently.
Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Blueberries
1½ organic English cucumber
¼ cup green onions
¼ cup fresh basil
1 pint fresh, organic blueberries
½ teaspoon sea salt
- Thinly slice cucumber, radishes, basil leaves and green onions.
- Combine together in a bowl with blueberries and diced avocado.
- Squeeze the juice of two limes on salad, and sprinkle ½ tsp sea salt on top.
- Dress with MCT Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing (below), and let sit for at least 30 minutes for flavors to combine.
MCT Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (find organic ACV here)
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard (find organic stone ground mustard here)
1 clove fresh garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup MCT oil (can be replaced for EVOO) (find non-GMO MCT oil here)
- Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, sea salt, and pepper.
- Slowly drizzle the oils into the mix and whisk fast to emulsify. If your dressing separates, try pulsing in a high-powered blender to fully emulsify.