Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars

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What is Christmas without getting your hands dirty in the kitchen and baking some lip smacking desserts for your friends and family. The festive mode is on. Even my social media pages is enjoying the festive cheer. Infact I think my Instagram is on a sugar high! Its loaded with stunning images of some amazing desserts and cookies and I can’t stop drooling over them. Boozy cakes to edible wreathes, gingerbread cookies to cookie boxes, apple pies to cranberry pies – its all there. Yes I feel the sugar overload too but its all about celebration and merry making. In the middle of this cheer, don’t miss out on baking these Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

These bars is everything you would want in your dessert – sweet, tart, earthy and super easy to make. The homemade Cranberry Jam lends a freshness to the whole dessert. Buttery, crumbly, soft and delicious is all what this dessert is about. Perfect for a get together this Christmas. Make sure to make a double batch, because its a guarantee that one batch will not be sufficient. Just when the cookies and pies were getting  commonplace, bake these holiday special Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 9 bars)

For the shortbread bars:

  • 260 grams whole wheat flour
  • 220 grams unsalted butter, room temperature + extra for brushing the mould
  • 80 grams light brown granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt

For Cranberry Jam: (Recipe on the blog)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

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METHOD:

For Cranberry Jam:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

For Shortbread bars:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes and butter the baking pan and keep aside. (I used an 8 inch baking tin)
  • Meanwhile beat the butter until smooth and pale. Add granulated white sugar and beat for 40 – 50 seconds until creamy.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Add whole wheat flour, salt and nutmeg powder and beat on low speed until it just comes together. Make sure the clumps are still there and it doesn’t form a proper dough.
  • Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the baking tray and press down evenly. Now using a fork prick the bars and allow it to bake for 15 minutes or until the sides are slightly brown.
  • Once done, allow it to cool slightly and evenly spread the cooled down cranberry jam leaving some gap on the edges.
  • Crumble the remaining shortbread dough on top of the jam evenly and gently press the dough down.
  • Allow this to bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown on top.
  • Once done allow it to cool on the wire rack. While it is sightly warm, cut it into 9 bars of equal sizes. Once it cools down completely, remove it from the baking tray and eat!

4-Ingredient Homemade Cranberry Jam

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Jams often reminds me of my childhood days. It transports me back it in time when mum used to generously slather store bought jam on a piece of bread and then tummy was happy! The fridge door was usually adorned with a plethora of beautiful and colorful jars of jams – berry, orange and lots more. To me jam making always seemed like a difficult process, until I tried to give it a shot. My first homemade jam was a strawberry chia jam and believe me it was darn delicious! I realized how very few ingredients can be turned into something so wonderful and addictive. With Christmas approaching, I have already begun the multitude of baking sessions in my kitchen. This Cranberry Jam is a must try. Layer it on your toast, swirl it in your festive loaf cakes, fill it in your cookies – it tastes delicious.

A quick, 4 ingredient recipe is sure to win everyone’s heart. Planning to gift homemade goodies this Christmas to friends and family or planning to make some dessert for the party, this Jam is the answer to all your needs.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 cup)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

METHOD:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

 

French Toast with Chocolate and Berries

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Some dishes are like a dream come true on a plate. I often dream about it, obsess about it and then try to make my dream a reality. Yes I have been procrastinating my indulgent weekend brunch of French toast for quite some time now. With the nip in the air and overcast skies, its time to enjoy a cozy breakfast/ brunch aka Simple French Toast.

French Toast often reminds me of Fall. Even though here in India we do not witness an official Fall season, I am reminiscing my days in US – the rustling and falling of leaves, the delicious Fall inspired food, warmth of the spices and oh everything suddenly becomes simple yet dramatic. This French Toast is just that.

This doesn’t require bells and whistles to make you fall in love with it. Simple basic pantry ingredients is all what you need. The perfectly golden and fluffy bread, the cinnamon-y flavour, those tender berries and dark chocolate shavings – a perfect start to a lovely morning!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)

  • 1 brioche bread loaf, cut into 0.5-0.75 inch slices
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 180 ml whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 1 cup sliced bananas (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate shavings, for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp almond slivers, for garnishing (optional)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, for garnishing
  • maple syrup, for garnishing

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl lightly whisk the eggs using a wire whisk or fork. Add milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt and whisk it. Transfer this mixture into a shallow bowl and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take a flat pan and put it on medium flame. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in it.
  • While the butter is melting take a slice of bread and put soak it in the bowl of egg mixture on either sides.
  • Put the bread on the pan and let it cook until  golden brown on either sides.
  • Transfer it to the serving plate. Garnish with chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, berries and powdered sugar.
  • Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Triple Layer Chia Pudding

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Chocolate, Berries and Superfood – mornings just got better and brighter. All of these packed in a jar and I am in seventh heaven. This trip layer breakfast pudding is a reminiscence of my childhood. Of course I didn’t eat chia seeds or even oast as a child, but all the flavours are inspired by when I enjoyed as a child. Mornings has gotten better with this pudding since I can kickstart my day on a healthy note. And definitely brighter since breakfast has become a no-brainer! Concoctions and combinations of whatever is available in the kitchen and you have something absolutely gorgeous to start your day with .

The flavours are inspired by the different milkshakes mum used to make for me and my cousins. I thoroughly enjoyed milkshakes. Thick shakes, loaded with goodness from ice creams – oh so yum! My favourite was mum’s berry shake (which I can assure is the best berry shake in the world) and my brothers loved decadent chocolate shake. Every shake mum served was loaded with drama – some were a treasure trove of all the good things while others had fresh fruits and nuts in it. Life was simple and full of awesomeness.

And now is the time when such fancy things adorn my pantry. Keeping abreast with new food trends and fancy thingsavailable in the supermarket , I try to incorporate some of the good things into my diet. Something which is easy, nutritious and tasty. I enjoy some and I outrightly reject a few after a few attempts. Chia seed puddings are my favourite. This triple layer pudding has a surprise in every bite. The berry layer adds a freshness to the dish, the vanilla-oats layer provides a good break before we dig further into the creamy chocolaty layer full of chia seeds.

Its time to eat right and eat tasty!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 5  tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 – 2.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp  pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 2 – 3tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (you can substitute it with honey)
  • 2 tbsp kiwi, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take half of the coconut milk, cacao powder, 1 tbsp agave nectar, chia seeds and whisk until it is lump free and it is evenly mixed. Once done keep aside in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • In another bowl, take the reamining coconut milk, vanilla extract, rolled oats and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar and whisk it well and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take a saucepan on medium heat and put the berries along with remaining agave nectar and water and cook it until it becomes mushy. This takes around 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool to room temparature and mix in the lemon zest and keep aside.
  • In a jar first put the chocolate – chia layer. Then top it with vanilla-oats layer. Finally put a generous layer of berry compote.
  • Cover the lid of the jar and allow it to set in the refriegrator overnight.
  • Take it out of the fridge around 5 – 10 minutes before consuming it. Garnish it with fresh fruits of your choice and enjoy!

 

Berry and Pistachio Biscottis

 

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Who doesn’t loved baked goodies? Sometimes simple baked goodies give you the utmost pleasure. Yes, I am talking about Biscottis. The crunchy biscottis is on the top of my coffee pairing list. Monsoons, your daily dose of cuppa and these lovely Berry and Pistachio Biscottis – perfect!

WARNING: They are highly addictive.

These biscottis reminded me of the rusk and crunchy Indian biscuits I used to enjoy as a child. Dunking those into my glass of milk and biting into it was so much fun. These biscottis are slightly more exotic, but being a biscotti lover I still dunk it into my cup of coffee and enjoy every bite.

It is slightly messy to make these yummy treats but when the aroma of freshly baked goodies waft through the entire house, you can’t help but rejoice. Golden and crisp studded with berries and pistachios is an epitome of how simple things can make life so much more exciting.

Sitting in the balcony, watching the rain come down, enjoying coffee and biscottis, chatting away with my hubby and enjoying my lil one grow day by day – peaceful! So bake these now because its definitely enjoyable at anytime of the day with all your friends and family.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 24 pieces)

  • 240 grams all purpose flour + 1 cup for dusting and kneading
  • 140 grams granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 grams unsalted pistachios, shelled and broken into 2 – 3 pieces
  • 60 grams dried mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp dried rose petals (optional)

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C for atleast 15 – 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs using an electric beater on high speed until light, pale and fluffy. This would take about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and beat it for 10 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder and whisk it.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat it until just combined.
  • Now fold in pistachios, mixed berries and rose petals one by one until its evenly distributed throughout the dough mixture.
  • Generously flour the kitchen top and transfer the dough onto it. Smear your hands with flour also so that its easier to work with this dough.
  • Form a log which is 30 cm long and 9 -10 cms wide. Gently place this log on the baking sheet and bake it for 22-25 minutes or until its slightly firm to touch.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool on the wire rack for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150 C.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut diagonals of the log (1.2 – 1.3cm thick). Take the cut biscottis and place it on the baking sheet and bake it for 8 -10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Turn the slices over and bake it on the other side for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. You can store it an air tight container for atleast 8 – 10 days.

Dunk it and enjoy!

 

Chia Seed Pudding With Poached Cherries and Grilled Peach

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Finally jumped into the chia seed pudding bandwagon. A great morning workout and a delicious yet healthy breakfast makes me feel kind of excited and pumped up to kick start my day. Eating a healthy breakfast bug has bitten me majorly. And what better than a chia seed pudding with seasonal fruits. These magical little seeds are full of goodness and loads of nutrition. Grilled peaches and red ruby like cherries are stunning additions to the dish, isn’t it?

This chilled pudding is creamy and scrumptious. The almond milk lends a nutty dreamy creamy texture to whole dish. While the grilled peaches adds warmth to the dish, the poached cherries lends the sweetness and tartness to the entire pudding. The dish completely reflects the summer season and tastes absolutely gorgeous. I adore this pudding not only because its healthy but also because you can make it over the weekend and enjoy it for a few days. And yes, the plumped chia seeds soaked in almond milk reminds me of the chilled sago milk pudding my mum used to make during summer vacations.

There are umpteen flavor combinations with which one can play around and broaden your repository of beautiful breakfast chia seed puddings. The plethora of colors from the fruits looks like you are painting your canvas.

So, just when you were thinking about how to eat a healthy and yummy breakfast, we have this pudding for you!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1 – 2 people)

For the pudding:

  • 200 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 90 grams plain Greek Yogurt (I used Epigamia Greek Yoghurt)
  • 3 tbsp black Chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp agave nectar ( you can use honey or maple syrup) (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the poached cherries and grilled peaches:

  • 10 – 12 pieces of red cherries
  • 1 medium sized peach, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp water

For garnishing:

  • few dried berries
  • unsalted pistachios, coarsely crushed
  • edible flowers (optional)

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RECIPE:

For the pudding:

  • In a bowl whisk Greek Yoghurt and almond milk until the yogurt is well incorporated.
  • Now add vanilla extract and chia seed and whisk well. Make sure there are no Chia seed lumps.
  • Transfer the mixture in to a container and set it in the fridge to set overnight or atleast 6 – 8 hours.

For the poached cherries and grilled peaches:

  • In a saucepan take fresh cherries, water, lemon zest and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar let the mixture boil on medium heat until the cherries are soft.
  • Once done let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile take a bowl and whisk melted butter, remaining agave nectar, cinnamon powder.
  • Take the cut peaches and marinate them in the mixture.
  • Put the grill pan on stove on medium heat. Once its hot put the marinated peaches on it and allow them to grill. This would take about 40 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove it from the heat and keep aside.

To assemble:

  • Take the chia seed pudding in a container in which it was set overnight. Place the grilled peaches and poached cherries on top of it.
  • Garnish with dried berries, crushed pistachios and edible flowers.

Dig in and have a healthy morning!

 

 

Crunchy Berry Breakfast Granola

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Say hello to my new breakfast friend – Crunch Berry Granola. Being incredibly summer here, I like my post-workout morning breakfast to be a bowl of chilled yogurt topped with a generous amount of homemade granola. The big beautiful flavors from the granola is a perfect example of yummy and healthy food.

An easy recipe which you can mess around and cook with your lil one. While making the granola, my entire house was filled with a heavenly aroma. The concoction of crunchy toasted granola and the nutty almonds is studded with dried berries and chia seeds and spice mix. The mild sweetness from the agave nectar (Yes, you can use honey!) was deeply satisfying. The textural pop from this homemade granola makes you crave for it during breakfast and even mid day snacking each day!

Seeing my lil one enjoy this granola completely swooned me. Its simple, its comforting and yummier than store bought granola. So just when you thought of going healthy and bringing some variety to your breakfast table, this recipe is at your call and will become your absolute favorite in the kitchen.

Feel free to play with different flavors you love!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 3 cups)

  • 1.5 cups of oats (I used Quaker oats)
  • 35 grams slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup of dried berries (I used dried cranberries and blueberries)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 20 grams unsalted butter, melted and brought to room temperature
  • 45 ml agave nectar (you can use honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  •  pinch of salt (eliminate this if you are using salted butter)

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METHOD:

  • Line a baking tray with parchment/ baking paper and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 150C for atleast 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile mix oats, slivered almonds, dried berries and chia seeds in a bowl and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mix melted butter,  vanilla extract, orange zest, cinnamon powder, salt and agave nectar and whisk it well to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with the spoon mix it so that no clumps are formed. I like using my hands and making sure all the elements are well coated and no lumps are formed.
  • Now transfer the mixture on to the baking tray and spread out evenly. Put it in the oven and bake at 150C for 18 -20 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes take the baking tray out and using a spoon stir the entire mixture so that nothing is over done or burnt. Put it back in the oven.
  • Once done take out the baking sheet from the oven. The mixture won’t be crunchy now. Allow it to cool.
  • As the mixture cools, it becomes crunchy. Transfer it to an airtight container and you can store it upto 2 weeks in the fridge.

Happy eating!

 

Mango Smoothie Bowl

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Each day being hot and muggy, you need something absolutely delicious to recharge yourself.  Off late breakfast had become mundane and to break from the typical options, I started making more creative options. This smoothie bowl is a pretty start to my day. After sweating it out in the gym, my husband and I are lured to these smoothie bowls almost instantaneously.  This smoothie bowl is great guilt-free make ahead breakfast option that leaves you satisfied and happy.

There are myriad of options with which you can play around while making your bowl, however this Mango Smoothie Bowl is a nice way to honor the summer by including the most delicious mangoes available in the super market. The bursts of different flavors from the fruits makes you crave for more. The simplicity in preparation and inclusion of super foods and healthy ingredients in this bowl makes you devour this yummy bowl.

After all that sweet sweat, you deserve this little reward. Why wait, go and make your favorite breakfast bowl now!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS (For 2 people):

For the base:

  • 2 cups low fat yoghurt
  • 1 medium sized alphonso mango roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp agave nectar (optional, or you can substitute with honey)
  • 1 tsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

For toppings:

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 plum, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tsp black chia seeds
  • 10 – 12 pieces dried berries
  • 1 alphonso mango, diced

METHOD:

  • In a blender mix 1 mango and yoghurt until it forms a smooth puree.
  • To this mixture add agave nectar, chia seeds and rolled oats and mix well until well incorporated and oats don’t form clusters.
  • Divide this mixture evenly between 2 bowls in which the dish will be served ultimately.
  • Refrigerate it overnight or atleast 8 hours.
  • 30 minutes before serving, top the oats mixture with diced mangoes,pomegranate seeds, grated coconut, plums, chia seeds and few dried berries.
  • Dive in!

 

Strawberry Shortcakes

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Strawberries in desserts – ultimate food coma! There is always a soft sweet spot in my heart for strawberries. Almost the perfect time to make these and celebrate the month of love with your loved ones. I am completely smitten by the fragrance of the fresh strawberries. They are so fleeting in my house that I have to gather some will power not to gorge on them also hide from others so that I can end up making some desserts out of it. Among all the comforting desserts you can think of strawberry shortcake wins the laurel, hands down.

The buttery base with the tartness and sweetness from the macerated strawberries and the creaminess from whipped cream, all comes together to make a perfect dessert. It is definitely a crowd-pleaser. The syrup of the macerated strawberries is so enticing to your taste buds, that you can end up having those solely. Hence is always better to make a larger portion size.

So now when you are thinking of calling friends and family for get together, make this decadent dessert in no time and enjoy the season of these red ruby pearls!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 10 shortcakes)

For the cream scones:

  • 270 grams all purpose flour
  • 55 grams castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 80 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 750 grams fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 120 grams castor sugar
  • 250 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Firstly  take half of the fresh strawberries and roughly chop them. Using a masher just mash them  gently so that the juices start coming out a little. Now add the remaining roughly chopped strawberries along with 60 grams of castor sugar in a bowl and keep it aside for 35 – 40 minutes until its well macerated.
  • Once macerated, add the lemon zest.
  • Meanwhile, to make the scones, in a bowl add all purpose flour, baking powder, castor sugar  and pinch of salt and whisk it using a wire whisk.
  • Add the cold cut butter cubes and blend in the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your finger tips.
  • Once the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, keep it aside.
  • In another bowl, mix milk, vanilla extract and  1 egg and lightly beat it.
  • Now add the milk-egg mixture to the flour-butter mixture along and fold it gently with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix it.
  • Slightly flour the surface and knead the dough a little and pat it to form a 7 – 8 inch disc shape. Using a round cookie cutter, cut the dough and place each scone dough into the baking sheet.
  • Now take a pastry brush and brush the top of the scones with the  remaining lightly beaten egg to get a good color.
  • Bake the scones for 15- 17 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool on the wire rack for a while once its completed baking.
  • Meanwhile, chill a bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. Take the whipping cream and remaining sugar and whip it until stiff peaks form.
  • To assemble cut the scones horizontally. Put some whipped cream on the lower half. Top it with a generous amount of macerated strawberries. You could also first put the strawberries and the place the whipped cream. Put the remaining half of the scone.
  • Drizzle some juices obtained from macerated strawberries on the scone and now serve!

 

 

 

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

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STRAWBERRIES – yes I am completely smitten by this gorgeous fruit. When the stores are full of  fresh and juicy strawberries, you can’t stop thinking of the multitude of recipes that you can end up making. From desserts to smoothies, jams to salads, strawberries is the star of the dish where ever you add them. So don’t be surprised if my recent posts have lots and I really mean lots of strawberries in it.

Strawberry Avocado Salad is a classic salad which is highly nutritious and yummy. This is a must try recipe when the fruit is in its best form. While the avocados add the creamy texture to the salad, the strawberries shine brightly adding the tanginess and sweetness to the salad. And by now you might have figured out how I love balsamic in my dishes so here we have honey balsamic vinaigrette to get the salad all together.

So when strawberry is in season and you are trying to eat right, eat healthy – this salad is not to be missed. Yes, healthy can be definitely delicious!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 15 strawberries, cut lengthwise
  • 1 avocado, diced into cubes
  • 10 almonds, cut into slices
  • 6 big spinach leaves, washed and pat dried
  • 1/4 cup dill leaves, for garnishing

For the dressing:

  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
  • freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 150 C for atleast 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toast the almond slices for 8 minutes or until light golden.
  • Once toasted keep it aside for final assembly.
  • Meanwhile take balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard and olive oil in a bowl and using he wire whisk, keep whisking until well incorporated.
  • Now add the  crushed garlic clove, red chili flakes, salt and pepper and whisk it again and transfer it to a container.Place the lid and keep it in the refrigerator until you will serve the salad.
  • Now to assemble the salad, place the spinach leaves on the bottom of the serving plate. You can choose to chop the leaves lengthwise for ease of eating also.
  • Now randomly place the strawberries and avocado cubes on top of the spinach leaves.
  • Now garnish with the toasted almonds and dill leaves.
  • Right before serving drizzle a generous amount of the vinaigrette, toss the salad ingredients and enjoy!