Avocado Strawberry Caprese

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 7, 2016

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I absolutely love the work I do each day; given the choice, I wouldn’t pick any other field, which feels pretty awesome after following an unexpected, winding path to get here. (When I started the blog way back in 2008, I had just graduated with a Master’s degree in Social-Personality Psychology and was working as a researcher.) If I could take on a few more big projects right now, I would in a heartbeat because lately the inspiration never stops! It seems like Eric and I discuss new ideas every week. If you’re curious, some of the ideas include: creating cooking videos, redesigning the blog, opening a cafe or juice/smoothie bar and delivery service, creating a meal plan service, writing a children’s book (seriously!), starting an apparel line, growing our recipe app, taking food photography courses, and the list goes on and on. But then reality sets in and I know my priority has to be keeping my head above water, and not biting off more than I can chew. So lately, I feel like I’m in this confusing place with my career. I’m decent at judging how much I can take on, but still find myself yearning to do more and lagging behind the speed of my dreams. This passion makes it easy to feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Throw motherhood into the mix, and it’s even more of a juggling act; my parenting and self-employed roles are 24/7, always on call, with problems popping up just when I think things are going smoothly. There are big highs and lows, often in the same day. This is part of what makes life so rewarding though, and it fuels me to want to improve—or at least on the worst of days, to work on my patience and practice a bit more self-compassion.  

As I mentioned in a recent post, Eric and I have talked a lot about whether we should take the next step and grow—such as by hiring a small team—although it feels almost as daunting as it does exciting. That said, I hired an editorial intern earlier this year, and it’s worked out very well! Part of me now realizes that a whole team of inspiring minds would be something absolutely amazing, but I guess I don’t know how to make that happen with a second baby, book, and renovations all happening this year. When is the right time, and is there ever a right time? Or, do I simply accept what I often read: that my career is destined to be in “maintenance mode” for the time being as a new parent? Do I dive in headfirst or start small and take baby steps along the way? I’ve been following the latter approach for years; even though it feels right to my practical mind, I get impatient at times.

There’s no real point to this thinking out loud today, other than to share what’s on my busy mind, and to remind myself that this journey is a work in progress. And it will always be. Maybe you are struggling with similar questions or wondering how to juggle various priorities in your life, too. We’re all doing the best we can each day, trying to make good decisions; they don’t always work out, but some will exceed our wildest expectations. It often feels like other people are doing more or growing more (a feeling that the internet seems to multiply a million times over!), but they’re probably feeling just as confused and taking it one day at a time like most. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself! Plus, I’m a firm believer that life isn’t a competition; we can build each other up to achieve success, no matter how we personally define it.

“But if you don’t have the courage let’s try to get you some. Because creative living is a path for the brave. We all know this. And we all know that when courage dies, creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic (2015)

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When my brain is running a mile a minute, simple meals are where it’s at. Especially in the summer. That’s why I’m so excited to share this easy salad from the Love and Lemons Cookbook. I made a few small changes (such as omitting the mozzarella, increasing the balsamic vinegar, and swapping toasted pecans for sesame seeds). This salad is right up my alley, and I think it’ll be a new favourite for you as well!

I’m a big fan of Jeanine and Jack’s blog and their simple approach to cooking with seasonal produce. You can’t help but be inspired to eat more veggies when you visit their site. Their first cookbook, Love and Lemons: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking, was released earlier this year, and it’s an absolute stunner from the design and layout to the food photography. Since the book is divided into chapters by vegetable (or fruit category like berries, citrus, and stone fruit), it provides plenty of vegetarian cooking inspiration when you just don’t know what to cook with that on-the-brink-of-death eggplant or giant bag of sweet potatoes you just impulse-bought at the store. Big congrats Jeanine and Jack!

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4.9 from 16 reviews
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Avocado Strawberry Caprese

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

Meet your new favourite summer salad! This delightful combination of strawberries, avocado, basil, and tomatoes is tossed with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, and drizzled with homemade balsamic reduction for a refreshing, lightly sweet salad that's great on a hot day. This recipe is lightly adapted from the Love and Lemons Cookbook (2016).

Yield
Serves 2
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (135 g) hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup (160 g) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup (8 g) loosely packed basil leaves, chiffonade cut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds or chopped pecans, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Once the vinegar starts to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, uncovered, until the vinegar thickens, and reduces in volume by half. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add the strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, and basil into a large shallow bowl.
  3. Drizzle on the oil and gently toss until the veggies are coated. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again just briefly.
  4. Scatter on your desired amount of toasted seeds or nuts. Drizzle on all of the balsamic reduction.
  5. Serve immediately. This salad is definitely best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a few hours if necessary.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 2 servings | Calories 230 calories | Total Fat 15 grams
Saturated Fat 2 grams | Sodium Fat 280 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 28 grams
Fiber 5 grams | Sugar 11 grams | Protein 4 grams

Nutritional info is based on 2 servings.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

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Hollie June 13, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Love this recipe! I’m going to try it.
@BlueBarnKitchen

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Sara June 14, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Angela,

I wanted to write you to say that I have been following the recipes on your blog for the past few months though I’m not vegan. I appreciate the healthy, wholesome approach to living and eating well. It wasn’t until recently, however, when I was given news that my current education program where I work is being terminated while I am in my second trimester pregnant with my first child that I have really been eagerly paying attention to your life/career posts. They are giving me so much inspiration and courage to think beyond what I thought was my career. So often I have found I have limited myself and your creative spirit, balance, and focus on what’s important (family, compassion, courage, etc) is truly helpful to learn about. I often wonder “how do people do that? how do you just start something from scratch?” followed quickly by “I could never do that!” I’m starting to believe I can – and starting small is enough.The rest may fall into place. Thank you for writing and for the great recipes!

Also, I made the “Lighten Up Summer Granola” by the way this weekend. It is some form of natural crack. So good I made another batch last night and sent to my dad for father’s day.

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Connie June 15, 2016 at 7:03 pm
Recipe Rating:

Loved this salad; I skipped the sesame seeds/pecans, but I will definitely do that next time, just to take it to the next level.

I turned down a promotion when my twins were about a year old; I agonized, but in the end, just felt that the extra money wouldn’t balance out the additional ‘pull’ on me – I wanted to be fully present for the kids. Now I’m ready and just interviewed for a spot, so we’ll see… No right or wrong answer, but it sure sounds from all the comments that you’re not alone in the agonizing! And it’s the fact that you care so very much that will ensure your kids know they’re very much loved – regardless of your choices!

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Ren June 16, 2016 at 3:15 pm
Recipe Rating:

This salad is simply amazing!. I followed the recipe exactly using toasted pecans. If I did stray at all it was with the tomatoes. I used a variety of heirloom cherry tomatoes. I would suggest drizzling a little of the reduced balsamic on the salad and then serving it with the rest of the balsamic on the side for people to add if they wish. It seemed a little heavy on the balsamic, but that’s just me! Perfect summer side salad.

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Angela Liddon June 17, 2016 at 8:03 am

So glad you enjoyed it Ren! And great idea about the balsamic on the side–amount of dressing can definitely be a personal taste, thing!! :)

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MeCooks June 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Great recipe, I need to try it in the future :-)

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Mara June 20, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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Made this. Ate both servings. Will make again tomorrow; and the day after; and the day after that; and…

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Angela Liddon June 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Hahaha! Sounds like a great plan, Mara ;)

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Diane June 23, 2016 at 8:32 pm
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Made this tonight and it was excellent!! Did the version with the pecans. Perfect for summer. My husband loved it as well. Definitely a keeper! Thank you!

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Angela Liddon June 24, 2016 at 11:20 am

It’s so great to hear you and the husband enjoyed the recipe, Diane! You’re right, it’s so summery–I can’t get enough of it!

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Lynn Camacho June 26, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Hi Angela,
I stumbled upon your website today while looking for a recipe for kale chips. Needless to say, the chips came out perfectly crispy and wonderful, but I think I added too much cayenne pepper because they are too spicy for me! That being said, I will try some other toppings, but I am so excited that your recipe worked so well. I am looking forward to trying others. Everything looks amazing!

Lynn

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Angela Liddon June 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Hi Lynn, It’s wonderful to hear that the kale chips recipe turned out well for you (if a bit too spicy! haha). Enjoy experimenting with the seasonings, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment!

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Andy July 19, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Wow! This looks too gorgeous to eat! This is my first time on OSG and I’m finding such a wealth of simple and healthy recipes in here! I’ll be sure to bookmark this site for future use. :)

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Angela Liddon July 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Hi, Andy! I hope you love whatever recipe you decide to try first. :)

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susan August 7, 2016 at 9:35 am
Recipe Rating:

Fabulous salad! Enjoyed it a few times. Now that strawberries are no longer local, am looking for a substitute.

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Nancy Smith August 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made this for lunch today and it was so amazing! I knew it would be when I saw the ingredients. This will be my new favorite salad. I only made one change. I added a handful of kale which I massaged with sea salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil until it was softened. I then followed the rest of the recipe as is using fresh basil from my garden. YUM!. I think it was the best salad I’ve ever eaten. Thank you!

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Angela Liddon August 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

So glad you enjoyed the salad, Nancy! Kale sounds like a great addition – I’ll have to try it myself!:)

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Debby - The Window Cleaner September 19, 2016 at 12:56 am
Recipe Rating:

I’ve recently discovered your blog, and I can happily say that this is the best cooking blog I’ve ever read. I’ve tried many of your recipes and my family knows your name very well now. I think I’m speaking from everybody’s name who doesn’t have the imagination for creating an outstanding recipe – A BIG THANK YOU!

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Angela Liddon September 19, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Aw, thanks so much for the heartfelt comment, Debby!! :)

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Megan Paterson September 22, 2016 at 10:57 pm

It would be amazing if whenever you posted a recipe, that you could include suggestions to serve with it. They could be links to other recipe of yours perhaps. It would just make that much easier when trying to prepare a menu plan for my week. And I am sure other people would like that as well. I really hope you consider this. Thanks for being so awesome!!

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Angela Liddon September 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, Megan! I’ll definitely keep that idea in mind for future posts. :) If there’s every any recipe in particular you’re wondering about accompaniments for, please feel free to ask, too, and I’ll do my best to answer. (Plus, questions like that are especially great for including in Friday FAQs!)

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Nastasha November 7, 2016 at 10:00 am
Recipe Rating:

This is salad is definitely a must try , I can’t wait to try
Visit me to at http://www.cakecentral.co.in

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Susan February 20, 2017 at 9:04 am
Recipe Rating:

I have made the Caprese salad three times now and it is fabulous! Thank you for this wonderful recipe (which I double).

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Mark49 June 7, 2017 at 8:23 am

Hello, do you allow guest posting on ohsheglows.com ? :) Let me know on my email

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Gaby June 24, 2017 at 3:59 pm

I’ve tried a few of your recipes and love your book! Thank you!

Quick question: are the pecans roasted as well or only the sesame seeds?

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Angela Liddon July 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

Hi Gaby, Thanks for the love! The pecans should be toasted, as well (though it’s still great untoasted too). Hope this helps clarify!

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Shanasy July 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

This has got to be one of the best recipes ever! So colorful and with a burst of summer flavor. Thank you so much! I’ve shared it on my FB site “Super Quick Plant-Based Recipes” (where I share recipe sites that offer PB recipes that take 20 min or less to prepare). https://www.facebook.com/SuperQuickPBRecipes/ I think my group will love it and your site!

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Angela Liddon July 7, 2017 at 10:13 am

Aw, thanks for the shoutout, Shanasy!

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