Salads are an area where I tend to have a “kitchen sink” mentality. The more vegetables, the better – I tend to throw in anything and everything that looks fresh and tastes good. More than one type of greens? Check. Radishes? Check. Tomatoes? Check. Cucumbers? Why not? Sometimes, even squash, olives, pumpkin seeds, picked peppers, and pickled okra all show up in the salad. And with some source of protein, such as grilled chicken, steak, or beans, these are good salads for meals (I’m enjoying such a version today for lunch, in fact), but they’re not really composed. There’s something to be said for a lovely salad that is restrained and highlights just a few fresh ingredients.
That’s precisely what this salad does. It’s not fancy, and it takes practically no time. Just some fresh cucumber, chopped fresh herbs, a bit of vinegar and salt, and what arises is a refreshing, light accompaniment to a meal. I loved how bright it was (we enjoyed this alongside a creamy pasta dish with sausage, which was heavy), and it didn’t hurt that it was a very low-calorie way to add some interest. I definitely need to remind myself how enjoyable a salad like this can be, especially as the temperatures start rising in the next few months!
Cucumber Herb Salad
5-6 Kirby cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 T chopped fresh mint leaves
1 t chopped fresh tarragon
1 T rice wine vinegar
Pinch or two of salt
Toss the cucumber slices with the herbs, vinegar, and salt. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 3-4 as a side dish.
A few weeks ago, the appliance that changed our lives forever arrived. That’s right, my dehydrator showed up on my doorstep. Soon after, the dehydrating fest began! I dehydrated sweet potato chips, zucchini chips, made beef jerky (recipe coming soon!), made gRAWnola, and made these apple chips. (I’ve actually made them several times – they just never lasted long enough for pictures!) This is quite possibly my new favorite appliance. It does take up a bit of counter space, but it’s been used SO often I just haven’t put it away. It is a great way to make healthy, whole food snacks, many times raw and still full of nutrients. It’s also so easy, you hardly need a recipe. I don’t have exact measurements – this is merely a guideline. Feel free to experiment. If you haven’t yet purchased a dehydrator, let me tell you – it’s worth your investment. I think that I will break even on my expense in a month or two, as I am not purchasing store-bought snacks (and organic, gluten-free, raw snacks can be super-expensive!)
Raw Cinnamon Apple Chips
3 organic Fuji apples (or your favorite variety), sliced thinly on a mandoline (mine were probably about 1/8 inch thick or so)
1-2 t ground cinnamon
Lay apple slices in a single layer on the racks of your dehydrator. Sprinkle cinnamon over apples. Dehydrate at 110 degrees F for 8-10 hours or until apples are leathery. Store in a sealed container.
Makes about 1 quart of apple chips.
In case you haven’t visited in a while, the Food Revolution is still going strong over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. Check it out, for today I am sharing a delicious kale salad, inspired by Noelle over at Opera Singer In The Kitchen, that requires no heating of your kitchen – a bonus during the hot days of summer! You can see the recipe here.