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This salad has become a mainstay in my diet lately. It is inspired by my friend Elena, who has me truly energized about my fitness and food. The plan is working: I feel better, and my clothes are fitting differently. I’ve really made small changes to my diet. It wasn’t terrible in the first place. But eliminating sugar and wheat have made important differences for me.

Now that I am eating this way, I crave foods in this salad: creamy avocado, peppery arugula, delicious citrus dressing. Here’s how to put it together for 2:

2 large handfuls of arugula (you could use any mixed greens to taste)
4 radishes
1/4 of a large, red pepper
1/4 c of white raisins
1/2 of a cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, halved
small bunch of cilantro
sea salt & pepper
protein of your choice

Citrus dressing
juice of 1/2 orange, freshly squeezed
juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed
3/4 c of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Combine the juices in a bowl. Using a whisk, slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking. The juices and oil should be completely emulsified together. Continue whisking until they combine smoothly. Season with salt and pepper.

For the salad, divide each of the ingredients between two dinner plates.

Start with a large handful of arugula, and give it a coarse chop. Your plate should look like this:

Chop about this much cilantro:

At this point, sprinkle the greens with about this much sea salt (it’s the secret ingredient)

Cut 4 radishes into paper slices. A word about this – your knife makes all the difference. I got a pair of Shun knives for Christmas. They make me look forward to chopping and slicing.

Dice the red pepper and sprinkle over both salads. It make such a pretty contrast against the greens.

Slice the avocado in the skin, then scoop out. Like this:

Peel stripes off the 1/2 cucumber with a vegetable peeler. Then cut lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Finally, cut into strips and dice. Like this:

Finally, coarsely chop the raisins. This little bit of sweet makes this salad special.

Drizzle with citrus olive oil dressing, and add a couple grinds of fresh pepper. Top with your favorite protein. I’ve tried albacore tuna, but I love this salad with cold salmon burgers.