Blueberry, Papaya, Spinach salad with Chilli and agave pistachio nut topping

By Deena Kakaya •

This salad is packed with super foods such as blueberries, spinach and nuts.  It's sure to liven up any table in winter months. 

I feel too young for aches and pains and body complaints. My knee is creaky and my back is full of rocks; it is muscular tension. Sniffles and coughs, fatigue and sleep deprivation. It's all self induced. 
My uncle was, and still is, one of the patriarchs of our family. A strong and disciplined man, he is giving and loving and he was always firm and fair. Growing up, when he would visit us and was offered tea by my folks, he would always reply that he would drink it only if I made it. He was one of those that limited his food intake and I actually never saw him indulge. 
He's now crumbling in his golden years and knowing this has provoked much thought on how I should be grateful and look after this one and only body I have. It is true that some things we simply can not control or avoid and chips taste very good.  It is true that making time for exercise is tough and that eating well is sometimes expensive. But, life is short.
My blueberry basil, papaya and spinach salad with chilli and agave pistachio is good for the body, the eyes, the taste buds and is very easy to put together. Blueberries are often talked of a superfood and I eat them like sweeties. Spinach is fabulous and best raw I reckon and let's talk about papaya. I ate loads of the stuff after giving birth to my boy, it's said that it has healing properties.  This fresh and easy salad will liven up any table at this time of year and will encourage picking on fruit, not crisps.

Blueberry and basil, papaya, spinach salad with a chilli and agave pistachio nut topping 

Serves 2-3
150g blueberries
15g basil, chopped finely
A pinch of pepper
One medium papaya, peeled and cut into slices
3 tbsp Agave nectar 
1/3rd tsp chilli powder
20g shelled pistachio, coarsely ground
2 large handfuls of spinach 
1. Heat a nonstick pan and tip the blueberries into the pan. Add 2 tbsp of agave nectar and stir. Introduce the basil and black pepper. Simmer it on a medium flame until the blueberries are pulpy. It should take about 5minutes.

2. To make the chilli and agave pistachio topping, toast the nuts of a hot non-stick pan for 3-4 minutes before adding the chilli powder and 1 tbsp agave nectar. Toast it for another couple of minutes before turning the heat off.
3. Layer the spinach on the bottom of the plate, top with the papaya, then blueberries and finally a sprinkling of the pistachios.

For more lighter and low carb recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


Deena Kakaya

Deena is a food writer with work published in UK magazines such as BBC Good Food, Delicious, Cook Veg and Fork. Her recipes use influences from throughout the world, often combining an Indian influence. They also happen to be completely meat-free. You can follow Deena on Facebook here. 

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