Just like my previous recipe, I was planning to post this salad for more than a year. Roasted strawberries, balsamic vinegar and goat cheese are amazing flavours to combine. I also added some bee pollen which gives it a fabulous honey taste!
Here is why I like bee pollen:
- It's a super-food high in protein (30-40%), B, C, D and E vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and selenium
- Studies show that it lessens the negative effects of chemotherapy and it's great for boosting immunity.
- May help with allergies. However, if you have pollen allergies, you have to be careful, as bee pollen may cause severe allergic reactions. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
"Research reported by Dr. Airola has found that bee pollen is good for prostate difficulties, hemorrhoids, asthma, allergies, digestive disorders, curing intestinal putrefaction, chronic bronchitis, multiple sclerosis, gastric ulcers, arthritis, and hay fever, and possesses anti-aging properties. According to Dr. Alain Caillais, in Le Pollen, 35 grams of bee pollen per day would satisfy the total nutritional needs of the average person." (PDF)
Low-carb / paleo diets are already high in nutrients so you won't need to consume the 35 grams of bee pollen as recommended above. Also, bee pollen contains too many carbs for those following a keto diet, so you should use it sparingly. 1 teaspoon / 9 g / 0.3 oz contains 3.8 g net carbs. Make sure you use high quality organic bee pollen free of chemicals.
Nutritional values (per serving)
|of which Saturated||19.5||grams|
|Magnesium||74||mg (18% RDA)|
|Potassium||510||mg (26% EMR)|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (5.5%), protein (16.9%), fat (77.5%)
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Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
- 1 cup strawberries, ideally fresh but frozen work too when thawed (144g / 5.1 oz)
- 2-3 packages goat's cheese rounds (150g / 5.3 oz)
- ½ cup pork rinds / skins / cracklings, powdered (25g / 0.9 oz) - you can make your own
- ½ cup pecans, raw or roasted (55g / 1.9 oz)
- 4 cups fresh lettuce, green, red or mixed (120g / 4.2 oz)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- optional but recommended: 1 tsp bee pollen, organic - this will add 1.9 g net carbs per serving
Note: When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
- Place the pork rinds into a blender and pulse briefly until crumbled / powdered.
I used homemade pork rinds from pork skin I get from my local farmer. When I don't have any left, I sometimes get pork rinds from here. These must be the only pork rinds made with pure pork skins (no additives) here in the UK.
- Cut each goat's cheese round in half widthwise and cover in the powdered pork rinds. You can brush some olive oil on the dry side to help them stick to the cheese. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper with the cut side up and put in the freezer for about an hour. This will prevent the cheese from melting when grilled.
- After an hour, place the tray under a grill preheated to 225 C / 450 F and cook for just about 5 minutes. The longer you leave it, the more likely it will start melting.
*Make sure you freeze the cheese before grilling. Here is what happened to my cheese when I didn't freeze it. Even with the cut side up, it melted it the oven in just a few minutes.*
- Meanwhile, wash the strawberries and place them on a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spray / cover in balsamic vinegar and transfer into the oven. Cook at 225 C / 450 F for just 7-10 minutes. The strawberries will release its juices and mix with the vinegar creating a delicious caramelised vinaigrette!
Make sure you get your strawberries organic, they are on the Dirty Dozen Plus list for 2014!
- Wash the lettuce and place in a salad spinner to dry or pat dry with a kitchen towel. Place in a serving bowl and add the pecans. You can use roasted or raw pecans. Roasting the pecans will add depth to both texture and flavour.
- Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the strawberry and the strawberry juices. Optionally, sprinkle with the bee pollen to add a honey kick!
Make sure you use high quality organic bee pollen.
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