Green Salad with Mushrooms and Homemade Dressing

We all enjoy a good green salad.

Not only does it bring much needed colour to our meals, but it also provides antioxidants, vitamins and other essential nutrients. Moreover, the inclusion of a homemade dressing ensures that you do not consume any hidden sugars and harmful preservatives.

Using honey in a salad dressing provides a sweet taste without the added health concerns that white sugar can bring. Also, by using olive oil as the main component in the dressing, one will get a great healthy dose essential fatty acids.

Health benefits of salads

In regards to the salad’s ingredients, the use of portabellini mushrooms, green beans and papayas actually ensures general health.

Firstly, mushrooms are viewed as the anti-aging fungus due to their ability to boost the immune system and prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (1). Green beans are legumes and as we know, legumes are a staple of every healthy diet. This is credited to their ability to be an effective plant-based source of protein. Moreover, aside from their cholesterol-lowering abilities, papayas can also ease PMS symptoms by alleviating menstrual pains.

papaya | Longevity LIVE

If you’re looking for a delicious side meal or even a light lunch, enjoy this nutrient-dense recipe from renowned food consultant Heleen Meyer.

Green salad with mushrooms


To Prepare:
Salad dressing
  • 50 ml olive or avocado oil
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) honey
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) wholegrain mustard
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 150 g green beans, cut in thirds
  • 2-3 handfuls salad leaves and herbs, like rocket, coriander and mint
  • ¼ cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small-medium ripe papaya, cut in thin wedges
  • 250 g portabellini mushrooms, quartered
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) sunflower seeds, toasted (see tip)


Salad dressing:

Mix all the ingredients together in a jug and season to taste.


Add to a glass jar, close with a lid and shake to mix well.

  1. Place green beans in a shallow dish and cover with boiling water.
  2. Allow to stand for 5-7 minutes and drain well.
  3. Rinse in cold water to prevent overcooking and drain well.
  4. Arrange the leaves and herbs with the rest of the ingredients on a large salad platter.
  5. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over and serve with the dressing.


To toast sunflower seeds: heat a pan over a medium heat without any oil and toast seeds until golden brown. Take care as they burn easily – toss regularly and remove from the pan as soon as they are toasted.