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RECIPE: Simple Asparagus Kumquat & Avo Salad with Spiced Walnuts by Juli Novotny from PURE MAMAS


I’m not only very flattered to be asked to guest post here today but I’m proud to be able to help a fellow blogger with some fun healthy content while they are busy with new baby!! I mean, that’s what motherhood is all about, right? Moms helping moms!

I am Juli, from the blog PUREmamas, where we talk health food, create veggie recipes, share design ideas and modern parenting and pregnancy stories. It’s a good peruse for some clean diet motivation…if you will.

Today I’m sharing with you a salad that I created at home last night. I loved the simplicity of the salad and yet also the complex flavors that come from the vegetables, herbs and nuts.

The nuts were fun. I often like to dehydrate soaked nuts  overnight and I add different flavors – sweet or savory! They are awesome to have around because a) they are a healthy vegan protein, b) they make a wonderful snack and / or salad topper and c) my kids like them, too, so why not?

But last night I decided to bake walnuts in the oven. I coated them in fresh basil, smoked sea salt and coconut sugar first. The result was a lovely toasty crunchy addition to the simple delicate salad of asparagus and cumquats. Perfect for a light Springtime Salad. Not oily or too filling but full of nutrients.

Sweet Basil + Smoked Sea Salt Walnuts

2 cups raw walnuts
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1/2 – 1 tsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
spray coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl add nuts and then the rest of the ingredients. Toss everything together. Spray the nut mixture with spray oil until well coated. Using your hands mix the nuts until they are evenly coated in oil and the herb/spice mix.

Transfer nuts to a baking dish or cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Mixing once in between. Be sure nuts don’t burn but turn only a light brown.

Simple Asparagus Kumquat & Avo Salad with Spiced Walnuts

5 asparagus, cut into pieces {lower stems removed}
10 kumquats, sliced into small pieces
1/2 – 1 avocado, cut into slices
2 cups arugula or butter lettuce
2 Tbls sweet brown rice vinegar

toasted basil walnuts {recipe above}
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

In a sauce pan cook the pieces of asparagus with olive oil on low to medium adding pinches of salt and pepper. Keep tossing and cooking until asparagus has softened and cooked through. Add more oil if the asparagus seems to be burning or dry.

In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients, except the nuts. Toss until avocado has mashed up and mixed in pretty well. Add asparagus. Top with nuts when ready to serve. Salad should be room temp. Add pepper or sea salt to taste.


ABOUT JULI: Juli Novotny is a mom of 2 young boys – just 12 months apart – her enthusiasm for CLEAN, healthy, organic food and her passion for children has been the vision for her PUREmamas blog.
In highschool…Juli was the head pastry chef at a popular pastry shop near her house. 
By age 24…A few years after she graduated from UCLA, she started a vegan health food company, Kookie Karma, in Santa Monica, CA where she resided for over 8 years. She also studied to get her masters in holistic nutrition while simultaneously running her business. 
Now 33…Juli lives in San Diego as a full-time mom of two little rascal boys: Pierce and Roman! A few years into motherhood, Juli decided that Kookie Karma {a labor of love} needed more attention and care than she could give it. She and her family spend their days at the pool, at the beach, at the park or watching mommy cook while eating yummy food in the kitchen which then she blogs about.

You can find Juli @ 
instagram: @julinovotny
Twitter: @julinovotny
May 17, 2013