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mango and avocado salad recipeHave you ever wondered where your food really comes from? I thought about it, but in truth, I didn’t think it all the way through. I know that lettuce comes from the ground, but the lettuce that I buy in a bag? How does it get in there? Well, after a wonderful trip to Monterey to visit Dole and attend their Blog Summit, I now know. I was blown away by how simple the process is. We started the day at Dole headquarters where we had a roundtable discussion with various members of the Dole team. It truly was a discussion, and one that was incredibly informative. I learned that Dole is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world; they work with 9,000 growers, employ 76,00 people, and their products can be found in 90 countries. I will never again question myself for buying lettuce from a bag. I was truly impressed with the clean practices that Dole uses. 85% of Dole lettuces have 0% pesticide traceability. The packaging is also made from recyclable plastic that is made from 70% previously recycled materials. Add in their non-use of GMO’s, and now I am a Dole consumer for life.

After our trip to headquarters, we headed to Carmel, which happens to be the cutest town on Earth. We had an unforgettable meal at La Bicyclette. Truly, I cannot stop thinking about the carrot risotto we had. Everything was served family-style and it was a spectacular lunch.

We hopped on the bus, and headed to Salinas Valley to visit the farm. We met the adorable Mark, who is a 5th generation rancher. Not only is his family committed to working with Dole, but some of some of the farmers that we met have worked for 45 years on Dole ranches. He explained how the whole thing works. What they grow, how they grow it, how they harvest, how they package. It was mind-blowing to see it in action. I guess that I assumed that it would be automated, but people were pulling Iceberg out of the ground. The lettuce went from the ground, to a conveyor belt of sorts where it was washed.  It was then loaded into a truck to be made into salad mix. When the lettuce is going to be sold as a head of lettuce, it is bagged on the farm and sent to the plant and then sent to the store. So simple.

We then went to the processing plant down the road, and began the tour in the lab. We walked in and found 28 different varieties of lettuce on tables with numbers. It was up to us to identify the type of lettuce that it was. I used to think that I knew about lettuce; let’s just say this was a humbling experience. I got about half right. I will never look at my bag of mixed greens the same way again, that’s for sure. We then saw the lettuce go from whole heads of Iceberg to a bag of American Blend. We watched it go through a triple wash, and have the extra vegetables added in. My son’s favorite show is Unwrapped, so he was incredibly jealous.

That evening, we returned to the modern and gorgeous Clement Monterey. There we were lucky to have a beautiful cocktail party overlooking Monterey Bay. There were various themed salad stations with wine pairings at each. I have to say, the food on this trip was incredible! A lot of times when you go on a trip you can feel weighed down by food, but this trip was nothing but fresh and healthy meals that were truly innovative and creative. It was a delight. I am excited to share more Dole-inspired recipes in the next few days. I literally got home from California and went straight to the store to buy ingredients to recreate some of the amazing things that we enjoyed.  That is how much I liked them. Just like this salad, I could not stop thinking about it all day.

While were were at Dole headquarters, we were sampling some of the salad mixes. When you purchase a bag of Dole lettuce, there is a suggested pairing printed on the bag. The arugula with mangoes, avocados, and macadamia nuts was a stand out pairing for everyone. I ended up making my own recipe for the dressing when I recreated it at home. I was rifling through the bags of arugula in my grocery store looking for this particular pairing, but my store only had bags with a different pairing printed on the bag, (the dressing recipe is also included on each bag), so I came home and made my own. I must have looked nuts to passersby…crazy woman rummaging through bags of salad. This salad will be making many appearances on my table, I can guarantee.

dole saladThe other bloggers that were on this trip:

Amie from The Healthy Apple
Barbara Ruhs, Registered Dietician for Bashas supermarket
Brandi from Bran Appetit
Dana from Dana Treat
Gina from Skinny Taste
Irvin from Eat the Love
Kevin from Closet Cooking (a fellow Canadian! Whoo hoo!)
Maria and Josh from Two Peas and Their Pod
Nancy from A Communal Table
Paula from Bella’alimento
Rachel from Coconut and Lime
Shannalee and Tim from Food Loves Writing
Sharon Palmer, RD, author of the upcoming The Plant-Powered Diet
Stef from Haute Apple Pie
Stephanie from Recipe Renovator
Susan from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic Ricki from Diet, Desserts, and Dogs

mango and avocado salad recipe1 bag Dole arugula
1 avocado
1 mango
1/3 cup macadamia nuts

Pineapple Cilantro Dressing:

2 Tablespoons cilantro
2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
1 Tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

mango and avocado salad recipeMake the dressing by blending all of the dressing ingredients in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

mango and avocado salad recipeDress arugula with dressing. I like to lightly dress the greens, and serve more dressing on the side. I do not like too much dressing on my salad.

mango and avocado salad recipeAdd slices of avocado, mango, and macadamia nuts. Drizzle with more dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

mango and avocado salad recipeI like to have a few slices of toasted whole grain bread on the side. I spread the avocado on the toast and sprinkle it with sea salt. Heaven, so, so good.

Mango and Arugula Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Dole arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • Pineapple Cilantro Dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing by blending all of the dressing ingredients in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Dress arugula with dressing. I like to lightly dress the greens, and serve more dressing on the side. I do not like too much dressing on my salad.
  3. Add slices of avocado, mango, and macadamia nuts. Drizzle with more dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. I like to have a few slices of toasted whole grain bread on the side. I spread the avocado on the toast and sprinkle it with sea salt. Heaven, so, so good.
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36 Responses to Mango and Arugula Salad

  1. What a fun time! I’ve always loved Dole products. This salad looks spectacular!

  2. Priyanka says:

    Hope you had loads of fun .
    Loved the salad idea….as i was coming to office today I saw mangoes and wanted to try a salad….thanks for the recipe…now that my weekend lunch idea
    Priyanka recently posted..CARDAMOM FLAVOURED ICED TEA GRANITA — Guest Post by Lubna Karim @ Yummy Food

  3. This salad is so pretty! Yum!
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar recently posted..Banana Walnut Oatmeal

  4. This looks delicious. A great summer salad!
    Hilliary@Brunch and Cupcakes recently posted..Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

  5. Ricki says:

    I loved that salad–your recreation looks great (and such stunning photos!). It was great to meet you in Monterey!
    Ricki (another fellow Canadian!) :D
    Ricki recently posted..Dog Day: Mum, This is Your Day

  6. Your pictures are so good, Bree. Seriously. That top shot especially. I mean, this was my favorite salad recipe from the trip, but you make it look even better.
    Shanna | FoodLovesWriting.com recently posted..Foolproof Homemade Cheesecake with Pecan Crust

  7. [...] and Arugula Salad May 17, 2012 By bakedbree 4 Comments If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for [...]

  8. brandi says:

    wowza – those pictures are gorgeous!!

    I had the salad for lunch today :) SO good! i might have it for dinner, too.

  9. What a gorgeous salad! I love combing mango and avocado. And that dressing looks dreamy.
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious recently posted..Chocolate Brownie Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and Roasted Macadamia Nuts

    • bakedbree says:

      The dressing is really fresh tasting and light. Perfect with this salad. SO good for this time of year.

  10. This salad looks amazing! I love all those ingredients and never would have thought to put them together. I’m hoping to experiment with some more salad creations this summer rather than the old standby “garden salad” and this will be going on my list of to-try! What a wonderful trip you got to experience and that is great to know all about Dole and their farming practices also.
    Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic recently posted..Eating the Alphabet: Letter G & H

    • bakedbree says:

      I have really grown to love and crave salads. The more interesting they are, the better they are to eat. I have really experimented and now some of my favorite recipes revolve around salads.

  11. Gorgeous salad! Looks like you all had a fun trip. I love Carmel, it’s one of my favorite places on earth! Great post!
    Julia {The Roasted Root} recently posted.."The Ush" ~ Breakfast Scramble

  12. I love the idea of the spicy arugula with smooth mango & avocado – well done. The dressing sounds superb! I have a big (read: huge!) bunch of cilantro in my fridge right now, so I’m excited to have another recipe to make with it :)
    Christine (Take with Food) recently posted..Springtime is Asparagus Time

  13. This salad is beautiful! I don’t normally like arugula – too peppery – but it seems like the creamy avocado and the sweet mango and dressing would really make a nice counterbalance!

    • bakedbree says:

      thank you! I have grown to love arugula, I used to think the same way you do. The baby arugula does not seem to be as strong, it is a good place to start.

  14. guest says:

    Great recipe! absolutely loved it :)
    As for Dole, no big food processing companies, (like Dole), can be trusted. The only way to trust your food is by going organic and/or knowing the people who grow the food you consume, but I see what you did there ;)

    • bakedbree says:

      I will have to agree to disagree. I am pretty happy to get any fresh produce where I live, so I cannot rely completely on organic produce. There are pros and cons to all kinds of growing, even organic. I completely agree that it is best to know first hand where your food comes from. I saw it with my own two eyes at the Dole plant, and am confident feeding my family with the product that Dole produces.

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  16. Chineka says:

    This looks delicious and I love how the salad dressing was so easy to make.
    Chineka recently posted..Instagram, Facebook, and Sneak Peek

  17. corey says:

    Delish! I can’t wait to try this! What an amazing, tasty trip!

  18. [...] far May has been a whirlwind. In a good way, but it is flying by. A few weeks ago, I went to Dole, and this week, I went to Minneapolis to visit General Mills International Headquarters. If you [...]

  19. [...] had this ice cream when I was in Monterey at a gorgeous party that Dole had for us. They served the ice cream with a delicious brown sugared fruit made with Dole berries, pineapple, [...]

  20. [...] sauce. You can also use it as a sauce for grilled fish or chicken. Ever since I got back from the Dole trip, I have been using a ton of arugula. In salads, on top of shrimp, in sandwiches. When I have a [...]

  21. […] Preparation Read full directions on Baked Bree […]

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