Summer Cucumber Salad

Julienned Cucumbers, carrots in a yogurt sauce

Summertime Cucumber Salad

I’m reposting this as I think summer calls for cool, tangy salads, and this is one of my favorites.

My German grandmother was a terrific cook. One of her specialties in summer was a refreshing cold salad made of sliced cucumbers in a creamy dressing of red wine vinegar and sour cream, topped with fresh dill or chives. My updated version juliennes the cucumbers, adds carrots and a yogurt-based dressing instead of sour cream. It’s easy to make, very tasty and refreshing as an accompaniment to a summer meal such as grilled chicken or burgers. I like it by itself for a light lunch as well. It also keeps in the refrigerator for at least a few days and gets even more flavor.

It’s a funny thing- somehow marinating the cukes in this dressing makes them more digestible- as I find raw cucumbers sometimes upset my stomach. This salad never has. You can do the cucumber/salt drainage* technique in advance if you like but I confess I rarely have- as I am too impatient!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 cucumbers ( medium size- if very large one might be enough)
  • 1/2 medium carrot; julienned or chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 cup plain yogurt (I use whole milk Greek type), or a 1/2 and 1/2 mix sour cream (I like the “light” reduced fat sour cream–I can’t taste the difference) and yogurt mix
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (it sounds like a lot but the cukes need this amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. Xylitol (see my previous blog posts for more details about this natural no-sugar sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt free seasoning ( or 1 tsp salt if you like)
  • fresh herbs- chives, dill or thyme
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld. Mix the yogurt (and sour cream if you’re using it), red wine vinegar, xylitol and seasonings (not the herbs)– I use a wisk. Taste to make sure it has enough vinegar- should be tangy.
  2. Peel and slice thinly or julienne the cukes- I use a Mandolin with the julienne blade.
  3. Wash carrot, peel or brush well. Juienne or cut into small cubes and combine with the cucumber; add green onion (optional)
  4. Add dressing and mix well.
  5. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  7. Sprinkle with Paprika (or smoked Paprika) to add a bit of color

* To drain and remove excess moisture from peeled, sliced cucumbers in advance of making the salad; put them in a colander with a larger bowl underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt or more depending on amount of cukes, (sprinkle lightly) and let sit for approximately an hour. You can then blot with paper towels. It does help to keep them crisper and less watery in the salad.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Summer Salad with Fresh New Peas and Strawberries

Gardens behind the Boonville Hotel, Boonville CA

Lovely Boonville Hotel gardens

Summer Salad with fresh new Peas and strawberries

Summer Salad with fresh new peas and strawberries

 

We recently visited Boonville, CA, a small bend in the road (rte 128), on the way to Mendocino. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Boonville Hotel, actually a top level hotel and restaurant that serves fresh farm-to-table selections; many items, such as the peas, right from their beautiful on-property gardens.

I was especially knocked out by this salad combination so I tried to recreate it on my own to share with you. I added avocado (which is a “good fat” along with the olive oil), plus sliced almonds. Served with a tangy, lemony olive oil dressing, this salad is refreshing and delicious.

One important thing is that the peas need to be very young and tender. (I made a mistake the first time I made it and the peas, especially the pods, were tough- no good!) If you can’t use fresh, young English peas, use snap or sugar peas instead.

So good, so easy, so pretty and with very fresh peas and sweet strawberries– one of the best salad combos I’ve ever tasted!

Summer Salad –serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Head of Red Butter, or Red Leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces; (and/or arugula; if adding to lettuce use 1cup)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas (plus pods, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, any strings removed and quartered)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. Sliced toasted almonds (Trader Joe’s is my friend)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( adjust to taste)
  • Dash of white (or red) balsamic or white wine vinegar- again, adjust to your taste
  • fresh Thyme leaves (about a Tbsp.)
  • Salt-free seasoning and pepper to taste
  • shake or mix with wisk

TO DO:

1. Wash and spin dry lettuces

2. Put lettuce(s) in salad bowl; chill in fridge until ready to serve

3. When ready to serve, add dressing to lettuce and mix (a tip–mix dressing with lettuce before adding other ingredients, so they don’t sink to the bottom)

4. Add other ingredients on top

5. Add seasonings and salt if you like.

6. Serve; (especially good with fish)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

beautiful fruit salad with oranges, raspberries, kiwi and blueberries

Video #2! Beautiful Fruit Salad with no-sugar Raspberry Sauce

Here’s the link to make beautiful, low carb fruit salad with raspberry sauce– follow the step-by-step video!Make this beautiful fruit salad!

Follow the video link to make beautiful fruit salad with a no-sugar, low carb raspberry sauce. I’ve made this with all kinds of fruit–and it’s always been a big hit at my dinner parties or when I’ve brought it to others. One thing that makes it look so beautiful is to make sure that you add a variety of colors, using fruits such as kiwi, for green, peaches/nectarines in summer for orange/yellow, oranges/tangerines for the same in winter, blueberries and raspberries, etc. The raspberry sauce is made with frozen berries, so the season doesn’t matter. It’s so good and a great dessert for those who want a delicious, sweet, yet low carb treat.

My brother Dan Mainzer, a professional photographer/videographer, (Mainzerphotography.com) was here in Santa Cruz last winter, and we collaborated on a series of three recipe videos. Hope you’ve seen the first one, how to roast Delicata Squash, now followed by How to Create a Fruit Salad with No-Sugar Raspberry Sauce, and coming soon, a Making a Scrumptious Cheesy Appetizer.

I hope you like them! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Enjoy!

Susan

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad with Goat Cheese

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad topped with Crumbled Goat Cheese

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad

 

If you’re looking for a fresh tasting salad to accompany rich holiday dishes, this is a good choice. The combination of tangy arugula with the sweetness of figs, cucumber freshness and a lemony dressing blends so well together. It’s a tasty, healthy treat rich in fiber and folates *–and very easy to prepare. Topping with crumbled goat cheese adds additional richness and a creamy mouth feel to finish it off deliciously!

Arugula Salad with Fresh Figs, Cucumber and Goat Cheese

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • 1 large bunch or 2 bags of washed arugula (washed and spun in a salad dryer); you can remove some of the stems if you like
  • 2-4 fresh figs, sliced thin (if fresh figs are not available, use tangerine pieces)
  • 1 small/medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (depending on how much you like)
  • 1/4–1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese; (Trader Joe’s sells it in a container)
  • Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup olive or walnut oil (Walnut oil is a delicious choice)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt-free spice mix (there are several I use–including the 21 Spice Salute from TJ’s–yes, I’m a TJ’s fan)
  • Salt-free lemon pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Wisk dressing ingredients–let sit for about 1/2 hour to blend–then wisk again just before adding to the salad.

2. Put washed/dried arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette. (Tip: add dressing to salad greens before adding “additions” so that the additions stay on top for serving)

3. Arrange sliced figs/tangerines and cucumber on top of salad.

4. Crumble goat cheese on top and sprinkle with lemon pepper to taste.

(http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/arugula.html)

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

SHAKSHUKA–Middle Eastern Brunch Delight

dish of poached eggs on top of chopped vegetables and tomatoes

Delicious Middle Eastern
egg-veggie brunch dish

Shakshuka--final with poached eggs on top of veggies/tomatoes

Shakshuka–final with poached eggs on top of veggies/tomatoes

I want to share a new breakfast/brunch discovery–Shakshuka. This is a wonderful skillet dish that originates from the Middle East; I’ve been told it’s a staple in Israel; (not sure what other countries). It’s very delicious and is easy to customize and prepare. You can change out the spices and throw in whatever vegetables you have on hand. For my version I used chopped red pepper, onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and jalapeño peppers (diced) and plum tomatoes.

We had it for brunch recently and were knocked out by the combination of sweet tomato flavor, vegetables, spicy undertones of the jalpeno (but not too spicy) and the creamy, rich eggs. It’s now one of our favorites.

This is a great dish to serve company or enjoy with your family when you have a leisurely weekend brunch. I suggest you serve with crusty whole grain toast to mop up the delicious sauce!

I’ve been out of town and apologize for not posting for a few weeks. Fall is in the air; next I’ll post a hearty fall vegetable stew–my version of Ratatouille. Please follow–stay tuned!

Shakshuka

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 4-6 large eggs (for 2 eggs per serving)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped into 1/2″ pieces (1 Cup)
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped mushrooms (I use Cremini)
  • 1 cup carrots; chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 small can diced Jalapeño peppers (more if you like it spicier–or add tabasco)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sweet or smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced plum tomatoes, including the juice
  • no salt seasoning or 1/2 tsp. salt depending on your situation; ground black pepper
  • Feta or Goat Gouda, depending on your tolerance (Rick only eats goat cheeses, so we use that)
  • optional: Cilantro and/or oregano for garnish

TO DO:

1. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet (I use an AllClad pan)

2. Add onion, sweet pepper, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, jalapeños, spices, seasonings. Saute until tender, but not browned–about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer about 10-12 minutes, uncovered; stir occasionally.

4. Crack each egg individually into a small bowl, and and carefully add, one at a time, on top of the vegetable mixture.

5. Cover, reduce heat and cook 5-8 minutes, until the whites are set and yolks are firm but still soft.

6. Serve with grated or crumbled cheese, oregano and/or cilantro.

That’s it! Pretty easy and delicious- a feast for the eyes and…!

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Summer Cucumber Salad

Julienned Cucumbers, carrots in a yogurt sauce

Summertime Cucumer Salad

My German grandmother was a terrific cook. One of her specialties in summer was a refreshing cold salad made of sliced cucumbers in a creamy dressing of red wine vinegar and sour cream, topped with fresh dill or chives. My updated version juliennes the cucumbers, adds carrots and a yogurt-based dressing instead of sour cream. It’s easy to make, very tasty and refreshing as an accompaniment to a summer meal such as grilled chicken or burgers. I like it by itself for a light lunch as well. It also keeps in the refrigerator for at least a few days and gets even more flavor.

It’s a funny thing- somehow marinating the cukes in this dressing makes them more digestible- as I find raw cucumbers sometimes upset my stomach. This salad never has. You can do the cucumber/salt drainage* technique in advance if you like but I confess I rarely have- as I am too impatient!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 cucumbers ( medium size- if very large one might be enough)
  • 1/2 medium carrot
  • 1/2-1 cup plain yogurt ( I use whole milk Greek type)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (it sounds like a lot but the cukes need this amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. Xylitol (see my previous blog posts for more details about this natural no-sugar sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt free seasoning ( or 1 tsp salt if you like)
  • fresh herbs- chives, dill or thyme

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld. Mix the yogurt, red wine vinegar, xylitol and seasonings (not the herbs)– I use a wisk. Taste to make sure it has enough vinegar- should be tangy.
  2. Peel and slice thinly or julienne the cukes- I use a Mandolin with the julienne blade.
  3. Wash carrot, peel or brush well. Juienne or cut into matchsticks and combine with the cucumber; add green onion (optional)
  4. Add dressing and mix well.
  5. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

* To drain and remove excess moisture from peeled, sliced cucumbers in advance of making the salad; put them in a colander with a larger bowl underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt or more depending on amount of cukes, (sprinkle lightly) and let sit for approximately an hour. You can then blot with paper towels. It does help to keep them crisper and less watery in the salad.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Low Carb Clafoutis–Fun Fruit Dessert!

No-sugar fruit dessert made with peaches

Summer fruits beg to be eaten and one delicious way is a low carb, no-sugar version of the French fruit dessert, clafoutis.

I make it with Xylitol*, a low carb sweetener that my readers will recognize- it has no weird aftertaste and allows folks with carb restrictions to enjoy at least some sweet tasting desserts to their low carb diet.

Clafoutis! Just the name makes me smile- such a cute word for such a tasty dish! I made this version mainly with peaches, (and a nectarine), but I’ve made it with plums with just as delicious results; (if you read my previous recent blog posts, you’ll know we had a bumper crop of plums last year).

Clafoutis is originally from France, made with dark cherries that traditionally aren’t pitted. There’s a chemical, amygdalin, in the pits which gives a unique flavor. However, I’ve never made it that way. In any case, I’ve been a clafoutis fan this summer especially, and have made it almost every time we’ve had dinner guests. I can’t have it too often!

In winter or fall, it can be made with apples and/or pears. I look forward to trying it then too, but now I am reveling in the summer fruit version.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 4-6 fruits sliced, – peaches, plums, nectarines (depending on size), in any combination; peeled if you like, (I usually don’t peel them). The main thing is to cover the bottom of the pie plate.
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (or milk substitute- I’ve used almond milk, for instance)
  • 2/3 cup flour- I use King Arthur whole wheat white flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Almond meal (Trader Joe’s has this–I keep a bag in my freezer–lasts a long time)
  • grated peel of one small lemon
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. Xylitol
  • butter for greasing pan

TO DO: preheat oven 375 degrees F

1. Butter a 10″ pie pan (I use a glass one) and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the Xylitol  over the bottom.

2. Arrange the fruit slices so that they cover the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 2 more Tbsps. of Xylitol over the fruit.

3. Combine the remaining Xylitol, eggs, milk, flour, lemon zest, almond meal, vanilla and salt (remember, just a pinch- about 1/4 tsp.); blend in a blender or use an immersion blender.

4. Pour this liquid over the fruit in the pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until “toothpick” firm and the top is lightly brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack.

6. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing. (if you have no restrictions, vanilla ice cream is great with this.)

That’s it! A real treat!

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com