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

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

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

Vietnamese Bean Sprout Salad

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Vietnamese Bean Sprout salad

Asian bean sprout salad with carrots in a green bowl

Vietnamese Bean Sprout Salad

The spring weather here in Santa Cruz is making me crave salads. One I made recently is this very tasty salad with flavors that remind me of the fresh, delicious, inventive foods we enjoyed on the amazing Vietnam journey we took a few years ago. This salad is made with simple ingredients; fresh bean sprouts, green onions and carrots. But it’s the dressing that gives it the sweet, tangy goodness that makes you want to lick your plate!

As I’ve used previously, the sweetness comes from Xylotol, a low carb sweetener made from hard wood. It’s easily obtainable at most grocery stores that offer organic foods, such as Whole Foods and New Leaf, a local NorCal chain.

This recipe is modified from a cookbook we got in Vietnam–“Vietnam Cooking made easy.” (Although many of the recipes really aren’t that easy- this one is!)

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)

Vietnamese pickled bean sprout salad

  • 1lb. fresh bean organic sprouts, rinsed (caution: be sure the bean sprouts can be safely eaten raw. Those bought in Asian markets may have a warning that they must be only eaten cooked. Don’t use those for this salad!)
  • 2-3 spring onions, rinsed and cut into 1 ” lengths
  • 1-2 small carrots, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks to yield 1 1/2 cups

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup white vinegar (I use standard white vinegar and add a few Tbsp. of white wine vinegar.)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Fish sauce (Thai is ok; it’s often easier to obtain then that made in Vietnam.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Xylotol
  • 1 cup water

TO DO

  1. Rinse bean sprouts and set aside to dry for approx. 1/2 hr.
  2. Combine sprouts, carrots, green onions in salad bowl and refrigerate.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the Dressing ingredients to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes to dissolve the Xylotol.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Dress the salad and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
  6. Drain excess liquid before serving. (You can use the dressing excess to marinate chicken or fish.)

Optional: serve with chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!

 

 

New Tuna Salad

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In the previous post I told you about the delicious lunch combo and gave the Lemony Kale Salad recipe.

Now here’s the 2nd half; the New Tuna Salad recipe. What’s new about it? If you’ve followed Type2delicious for awhile you may remember “Rick’s Chicken Salad,” chock full of carrots and other good things; you can find in previous recipes under “Light and Tasty Lunches.” This time I added hummus to the salad mix, along with a dollop of Mayo, carrots, red onion and spices, and of course, fresh lemon juice.

You can serve the tuna salad on a bed of romaine lettuce or a slice of whole grain toast, depending on your dietary needs; of course, the lettuce base is ideal for low carb diets.

This is a perfect lunch dish to enjoy when the weather cooperates and you can eat al fresco, as we do in our “Cafe Baxter,” named for our cat who likes to rest on the chairs in the CA sun.

Our backyard Cafe!

Our backyard Cafe!

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Baxter on his favorite cafe spot.

INGREDIENTS

New Tuna Salad ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 can solid Tuna (I use water packed but oil is ok too-up to your dietary needs and likes)
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 celery stalk, chopped fine.
    • 2-3 tsps. sliced toasted almonds or pine nuts (I use Trader Joe’s pre-toasted unsalted sliced almonds.)

Dressing

  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice (or more – to taste)
  • 1/3 cup hummus, any flavor; (I tried tomato basil hummus and liked it, also a lemon garlic one was delicious.) You can add a bit more once you mix the dressing with the tuna to get the consistency you like.
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise; Best foods (or Hellman’s) light is my favorite.
  • no-salt spices of your choice, including lemon pepper

TO DO

  1. Combine/mix dressing ingredients; I use a small wisk to mix well.
  2. Combine Tuna and veggies in medium size bowl.
  3. Combine Tuna salad and dressing, and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Optional: Top with chopped cilantro, dill or chives

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemony Kale Salad and New Tuna Salad

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A delicious lunch combo

A delicious lunch combo

We are lucky in CA to have warm days in April that beg for outdoor eating “al fresco.” We take advantage when we can and enjoy these two delicious salads together; crunchy kale with a tangy lemony dressing along with our favorite tuna veggie salad. This time I added hummus to the tuna, along with Mayo, carrots, red onion and spices, and of course, fresh lemon juice.

You can serve the tuna salad on a bed of romaine lettuce or a slice of whole grain toast, depending on your dietary needs.

First comes the Lemony Kale Salad recipe; the Tuna to come. Stay Tuned!

INGREDIENTS

Lemony Kale Salad (serves 2-3)

  • 2 cups baby kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup sprouts ( your choice)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin, approx. 1/3 cup
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pita nuts or a combination

Dressing

  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice (or more – to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive and/or walnut oil; (it’s  expensive but really adds flavor– you can add just a Tbsp. with the olive oil if you like)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • no-salt spices

TO DO

  1. Combine/mix salad dressing ingredients and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Combine kale and sprouts and onion in salad bowl.
  3. Brown seeds/ nuts in skillet or bake 350 on cookie sheet for 10 minutes – let cool.
  4. Dress salad and sprinkle nuts/seeds on top.

Optional: grate semi hard goat cheese, such as Midnight Moon, Trader Joe’s White Goat Gouda or regular Parmesan on top

Enjoy!