Superfood Salad

The simplest and quickest of all diet-conscious meals, requiring no culinary skills at all, but utterly delicious, and psychologically satisfying as it ticks all the boxes! The Asian-influenced dressing spices it up.

It feels a bit silly including this as a recipe, as it doesn’t involve any cooking at all, and the ingredients are imprecise and infinitely variable – but it’s become a favourite and has been important to me in helping resist my carnivorous tendencies. For the quantities here, it makes a meal on its own, but it can, of course, be served as a side salad, perhaps omitting the prawns or adding other veg ingredients.


Ingredients for superfood salad

For the version illustrated here, approximate quantities per person (adjust/omit any or all ingredients according to your preference!). Basically use whatever you can find in the cupboard or fridge that works….

  • 50g cooked Quinoa (I used ready-cooked from a packet!)
  • 15g Pine nuts
  • 25g Cashew nuts
  • 70g peeled and defrosted Prawns
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 1 Tomato
  • ½ Avocado
  • 6 Black Olives (pitted)
  • 1 Sun dried tomato
  • 1 dessert spoon Capers
  • Fresh herbs (basil in the picture, because I had it, but coriander or parsley would be better)

For the dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon extra light mayonnaise
  • Juice of ¼ Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon grated Ginger (or ginger paste from a tube)
  • 3 or 4 fine slices of of Red chilli
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Chop the tomato and avocado into small cubes, and halve the olives
  2. If the nuts are raw (i.e. not already roasted and salted), toss them gently in a frying pan over medium heat until lightly toasted. Chop the nuts in half.
  3. Chop the sun-dried tomato, spring onions and capers
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  5. Make the dressing. Remove the seeds and slice the chilli as finely as you can. Stir the lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil into the mayonnaise until completely mixed, then add the chili and ginger and stir again.
  6. Add the dressing to the salad, mix thoroughly and enjoy!


By Oliver Dowson

Over the last 40 years, I’ve built companies in many countries from the ground up. I have created, managed and sold businesses in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, China, Germany, Czech Republic and Spain. I have travelled extensively in over 120 countries, spending an average of 8 months a year over the last 20 years away from my home base.
In my early business life, I successfully created 7 new businesses in different sectors in the UK for overseas owners. I moved on to invent and build one of the world's first energy and environmental management consultancies – long before Global Warming became a headline issue. Over the following 30 years, I grew that company, EnTech, into a true international business by opening 11 offices in 9 countries - and along the way, set up many more international companies for others.

I’m fortunate and proud that EnTech became the international energy management company of choice for Fortune 100 multinationals, selling services directly to GE, GM, HSBC, Citi, Honeywell and many others. Working closely with them gave me invaluable insights both into how multinationals work and the different business cultures in countries around the world. In April 2014, I sold EnTech to EnerNOC, becoming a Vice President and overseeing a seamless M&A transition over the next 18 months.

In all my business activities I’ve also used my languages and programming/software development expertise.
I am also now a Business Angel, investing in companies with international ambitions where I can provide mentoring and support from my practical experience, especially those headed up by women and minorities.

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