Alley’s Plush Peach Salad
I’m excited to announce that Alley’s Plush Peach Salad is one of the first personalized real food recipe dishes I’ve ever made!
As many of you may know, I run a Facebook community called Code to Wellness: Feeling Damn Good in Your Own Skin. Around the time of my birthday, I ran a few different giveaways in the group and one of them was entering a raffle for to win a personalized real food recipe designed just for you! I selected two winners at random and Alley was one of them.
We hopped on the phone and chatted about her favorite ingredients, her favorite dishes, her health goals, desired texture & mouth feel, and the experience she craved for in this new dish. I took notes like a madwoman as she shared her love for all sorts of fruits, veggies and proteins (avocado, peach, seafood), ethnic foods (Japanese, Thai, Indian), and creamy textures (especially in the form of soups and sauces). She also shared with me that she wanted a luxurious meal, that was filling yet weight-loss + health promoting – a combination between instant gratification (the kind we all desire from a bite of a favorite dish), true satiety, digestive peace and zero desire to “beat herself up” afterward.
20-minutes later I rolled up my sleeves (more so metaphorically, because, well, I live in Florida and there’s not usually any rolling of sleeves here 😛 ) and did some major brainstorming.
One of the things I noticed right away was the idea of a peach dish, specifically for her, kept popping into my head. I can’t quite pinpoint why but I’m certain that part of it is because she has such a pretty face with clear, soft-looking skin and dewy, peach-tinted cheeks. Originally, I was going to make Alley a real food version of poached peaches with coconut cream but then THIS idea came to me and I knew it was the winner! I think it’s a pretty flippin’ great #tastegooddogood style recipe that fulfills all of the above for my girl, Alley 🙂
First, we pit the peaches. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut them in half. Then, cut the side with the pit still inside in half again. It should be pretty easy to remove the pit from the quarter in which it’s still stuck once you’ve done this. If it’s nice and ripe it should just pull right off. If it’s more firm, you might have to use a fruit night to cut it off.
Now, you can do like I’ve done and cut the peaches into slices or you can cut them into smaller cubes if that suits you. Slices look prettier in a salad but smaller cubes or chunks are generally more functional seeing as they fit more easily into a bite.
Once you’ve sliced the peaches to your liking grab the other ingredients and begin to arrange them on a plate. I like to use the spinach and arugula as the first layer followed by the peaches, then the speck. The cherries, nuts, nut or goat cheese and thyme get sprinkled on top after that.
WHY WE LOVE PEACHES IN OUR PEACH SALAD
We love peaches because they’re –
- Full of vitamin C (they contain 17 percent DRV) which also functions as an antioxidant fighting cell-damaging free radicals + infection and is key in building connective tissues
- Abundant in potassium, which we wrote all about last week over here
- Rich in flavonoids, such as lycopene, which, according to Nadine Artemis and researchers in the UK, help your body build up an internal SPF offering a way for it to naturally assist itself in protection from sun damage
Finally, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top of the peach salad. I didn’t add any extra salt because between the nut or goat cheese, the speck, and the balsamic vinegar, there was no need for it. Salt would be overkill. Although, if you ‘ve made a vegetarian version of this salad and removed the speck, I probably would sprinkle on a bit of extra Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink.
Look at those gorgeous, bright colors! Isn’t she a beauty?!
You know, it’s interesting. I never liked adding fruits to my salads up until recently. I could never appreciate the synergy between the sweetness of the fruit and the savoriness of the other flavors. Maybe they were the wrong flavor combinations or maybe my mind was just closed to the idea. It’s likely it was a combination of both. The good news is, that is no longer the case because this salad hits the dual-flavor nail on the head with both (thanks to inspiration from Alley!), hands down.
Alley, what I think you’ll like about this salad is that it’s more than just a combination of sweet and salty. It’s got some serious tang and tartness from the dried cherries and the nut or goat cheese which also appeals to your love of creamy textures. The peaches aren’t just sweet, they’re luscious and juicy. The speck isn’t just salty it’s also deliciously buttery. The thyme, arugula, and spinach are fresh and sprightly like the spring season we’ve just entered and your lively personality. And, the walnuts lend a satisfying crunch-factor. There is as much variety and adventure in this salad as there is in your palette and together, it makes for a luxurious, satisfying, weight-loss promoting dish!
If you like this post and/or give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and tag a picture #codetowellness #eatmovethink on Instagram so I can see your kitchen samurai skills!
- 1 Peach or Nectarine
- 1 handful of Pecans
- Nut cheese (or goat cheese if you can tolerate it)
- 1 handful Arugala
- 1 handful Spinach
- A few springs of fresh Thyme
- 1/4 C Dried cherry
- 2 oz American speck sliced thin (I like this one by La Quercia which I pick up Whole Foods)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Arrange all the ingredients to your liking on a large salad plate. Then, evenly drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over it all. Enjoy that awesome crunchy + creamy first bite! The first bite is always the most satisfying.
- If you're vegan or vegetarian, remove the Speck Americano. This salad is still spectacular without it. I might add in some presoaked chickpeas, sprouted buckwheat or pumpkin seeds for extra protein that compliments the flavors and textures already there 🙂