This is one favorite salads. Which is odd considering the fact that it’s main ingredient is cucumber and just a few years ago I despised cucumbers. But I wanted to like them, so I forced myself to try a little every time they were served and then one day I suddenly liked them. Not only did I like them I couldn’t get enough. I went through a phase where I ate this salad about 3 times a week for about 2-3 months before getting over my obsession. Another reason I was eating so much of this salad was because this happened around the time I got married and I was eating super clean to stay lean to fit my wedding dress/rock my honeymoon bikinis.
Cucumbers are a great item to add to your diet especially when trying to loose weight. They are hydrating, full of vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and aid in digestion. This salad has all raw veggies (well, technically, a cucumber is a fruit) and a light dressing made with miso. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you know how obsessed I am with miso and the health benefits it offers including boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, restoring probiotics to the digestive system, and helping to detoxify the body.
I have been saying for weeks now that I need to cleanse, I slacked off with my healthy eating around the holidays and although I made a weak effort at getting back on track by cutting out alcohol for the month of January, I haven’t really kicked the bad habits I let take over back in November. I am making a good effort starting now though. Again, no more alcohol, cutting wayyyyy back on sugar, and making a conscious effort to make every meal at least 50% veggies. This salad is going to return to the top of my healthy lunch options list for the next few weeks as hit the reset button on my metabolism and digestive system. But don’t worry, I have been saving up some delicious and indulgent recipes to share with you too so don’t run away. Healthy can also be absolutely delicious- this salad is proof.
Try adding more veggies to it like shaved carrot, sweet potato or red cabbage. Or serve with a piece of salmon for a heartier meal. I hope you like this salad as much as I do.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, you may need to add a little more water to get the right consistency.
Partially peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, then slice about 1/4" thick depending on your preference. Remove the stem and root of the radish and slice thinly, or use a peeler. Roughly chop the green onions and finely slice the red onion.
Mix all the cucumber, radish, red onion, and green onion. Toss with dressing. Garnish with avocado and black sesame seeds, serve immediately.
If you are packing this for your lunch, make sure to pack the dressing separately because if it sits too long in the dressing the veggies get soggy and the dressing turns watery.
I am a sucker for those monthly subscription boxes. There is nothing more exciting to me than getting boxes in the mail every few weeks with surprise items for me. It’s like a birthday present every month, except I have multiple subscriptions so it’s like surprise presents a few times a month. The two boxes I currently subscribe to are Birchbox and the Hatchery Tasting Box. I will share more on Birchbox in another post, this one is all about Hatchery.
The Hatchery Co. is a marketplace for trying new foods and has artisan products ranging from small batch salad dressing, spice blends, seasoned salts, rubs, hot sauce, syrups, infused honey and so much more. Each box comes with 5 items along with a card that gives ideas on how to use each item and some recipe ideas. I have had a subscription to Hatchery for over a year now and I still get so excited when I get my box. It constantly gives me new flavors and ingredients to experiment with. And a lot of the items can be incorporated into my routine recipes to jazz them up or give them a slightly different taste. Some of my all time favorite items from Hatchery over the last year are Formosa Chipotle Hot Sauce, Green Sriracha from Preservation and Co., Hepp Salt Applewood Smoked Salt, Chi Cho Sauce, and Saucy Sisters Rum Caramel Sauce, Wei Kitchen Shallot Oil, Wholespice Granulated Honey, Gourmegg Gracefully Greek Seasoning, Dave’s Homemade Sweet and Sassy Smokehouse Rub, and Savour This Kitchen’s Nomad Spice Blend. (And those are just the ones that came to mind right away).
The Hatchery Box cost $20 per box and you can pay monthly, they also offer gift subscriptions for 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions. These boxes make really fun gifts that keep on giving for anyone who loves to cook and experiment with new ingredients. Every time they get a new box it will remind them of the one who got it for them, you may even get a photo showing you what they made with some of the items.
I will be sharing one recipe a month that uses a Hatchery Box ingredient over the next few months so be sure to follow along. Every item I use can be purchased in the Hatchery Marketplace even if you are not a subscriber. If you decide to purchase any items and use any of the links I provide, I will receive a small commission. All opinions expressed in these posts are my own, I would never share a product with you that I didn’t actually love.
This holiday season feels so chaotic to me. I don’t feel prepared for it at all, even as it is happening all around me it still doesn’t feel real yet. Even our annual Rowland family Christmas party didn’t really make it sink in that Christmas is 5 days away! What the heck? It was JUST Thanksgiving like a week ago. I was planning on sharing all these holiday things with you, but time has really just gotten away from me. Finally, though, I have a minute to share at least this one appetizer recipe with you.
For the family Christmas party I was put in charge of coordinating all the appetizers so I felt compelled to make sure the ones I contributed were good ones. This recipe is from my Aunt Lisa and is one of my favorites. It’s cool and spicy and bright and tangy, delicious and addicting. Seriously, if you want to stop eating it you either have to finish the whole thing or go to a completely different room. You could use canned or pre-packaged cranberry sauce for this and skip 1 below, but the fresh cranberries are prettier and taste much better. Jalapenos vary so much in spice level, sometimes I use 2 and sometimes just 1. This last time I only used 1/2 because they were so spicy so add a little at a time and taste test until you get to the spiciness level you like. I also really like the red onion, but feel free to cut back on it if it’s too much for you.
Wash cranberries and place them in a saucepan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Assemble the Dip
Place the whole jalapeno in a pot of water, covering completely. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove and let cool.
Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapenos (you may want to use gloves) and mince them.
Add cranberry sauce, cilantro, jalapenos, lemon juice, green onion, and salt to a bowl and mix well. Let sit for 2 hours or so in the fridge for flavors to incorporate.
Pour over 1/2 the sauce over a block of cream cheese, serve with pita chips.
I like to make this cranberry sauce an appetizer by pouring it over a block of cream cheese and serving with pita chips, but it would also be delicious on turkey or even wrapped up in baked brie. If you find a new use for it, please share with me!
My husband and I moved into our current home in the middle of summer. It was a huge upgrade for us coming from a tiny apartment on the third floor to a house three times the size of the apartment with a backyard, a garage, and a GRILL! I never realized how much I would really miss having one until I got one. We grilled all summer. It was glorious. Some of my favorite things to grill are corn on the cob, fancy burgers, zucchini, and cedar plank salmon. I absolutely love cooking on the cedar plank. All summer I was using the McCormick Grillmates Smokehouse Maple seasoning as my go to grilling seasoning even if I wasn’t using the cedar planks. (Sorry for my inability to focus, but if you sprinkle that stuff on sweet potatoes and roast them then puree them into a soup it is supremely delicious). Then, in fall I made a discovery that would change my life forever. Ok, maybe I’m being dramatic. But maybe I’m not. Maple Bacon Salt is very possibly life changing, at least in my home. Anyways, I decided to make my own smokehouse maple dupe using the Maple Bacon Salt I had made. Eric said it was the best salmon he has ever tasted and there was only a little bit of wine involved. He calls the Maple Bacon Salt “cheater dust” because it makes everything that I put it on so good. (I also catch him sneaking little pinches of Maple Bacon Salt, so maybe that explains a little bit…)
If you chose not to make the Maple Bacon Salt you are truly missing out, but you could use the McCormick Smokehouse Maple instead of my seasoning blend. Just remember, you don’t realize how blind you are until you put on glasses….same goes with Maple Bacon Salt. You just don’t know what you’re missing. (And in case you are wondering- those corn cobs below basted with miso butter just before they were done. Another thing you should try)
Now that I have you hooked on cedar planked salmon and Maple Bacon Salt, let me let you in on another little secret. I pre-soak then freeze cedar planks so that I don’t have to plan in advance to make cedar planked whatever. Eric can tell me at 5pm that he would like cedar plank salmon for dinner and I can stop at the store on my way home and pick up salmon. Then pull the wood from the freezer to thaw while I prep veggies and heat the grill and we are ready to grill. All you do is soak like you usually would, put the plank in a zip lock freezer bag and stick it in the freezer. Life changed. Also, cedar planks can be expensive, so I buy them on Amazon- Cedar Grilling Planks – 12 Pack (affiliate link). .
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 TBS pure maple syrup
1 tsp Maple Bacon Salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
fresh cracked pepper to taste
1.5 lb of salmon, skin on
1 12×5 cedar plank
Prep cedar plank (or just whip one out of the freezer) by filling a shallow dish with water, put the plank in and put something heavy on top to keep it submerged. It should soak for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat the grill to medium heat. While grill is heating, season the salmon by combining first 6 ingredients into a thin paste and rubbing on salmon.
Put the plank on the grill (without salmon) for about 5 minutes with the lid closed.
Then add the salmon skin side down. Close the lid and cook 15-20 minutes until the salmon is light pink and cooked to your taste. Try to open the lid as little as possible to keep the smoke in for best smokey flavor.
Just as I promised in my last post Hosting a Dinner Party- 3 Tips And A Download, over the next few days I am going to give you three fully planned menus that will work for pretty much any holiday. I am doing all the leg work in researching recipes that have flavors that compliment each other and are easily prepared for a dinner party scenario. I warn you, these are not traditional holiday meals- these are meant to be menus that you can keep in your arsenal for any type of dinner party any time of the year- perfect these three and you can’t go wrong. Whether in-laws are in town, your bestie just got engaged, or you got volunteered to host the holiday party any of these menus should do the trick. Who says you have to serve traditional turkey and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving anyways? How about cheesy scalloped potatoes! And green bean casserole is great, but why not mix it up with bacon wrapped green bean bundles.
I have chosen these recipes from many other wonderful bloggers out there, if you love them, show the creators some love for me. Here’s the first menu. Click each image to open the recipe in a new tab.
How to prep:
The day before
Prep the pork tenderloin up to just before actually cooking it, put it in the baking dish you will use, cover with foil
Make the candied walnuts (if you don’t plan to buy them)
Cut the carrots, toss in
Make the Parsley garlic butter (don’t add them to the carrots yet, you will do this after reheating them)
Cut the potatoes, toss them in the olive oil and salt and pepper and put them in a baggy
Make your salad dressing
Just before guests arrive
Put all salad ingredients together except the dressing
Put the carrots in the oven
Dump the potatoes onto a sheet pan to roast and continue to make as directed
Roast the pork tenderloin.
Why this is a good menu: All the baked/roasted items are at 400/425F. You won’t need to work in batches or worry about one item getting cold while you cook another at a different temp. I would start the oven at 400F for the first 30 minutes, at which point you will toss the potatoes in Parmesan and put them back in the oven, remove the carrots and toss with the garlic parsley butter and check on the tenderloin. Then bump the temp up to 425 to finish the potatoes for another 10 min or so. In that last ten minutes go ahead and toss your salad, plate you carrots and your tenderloin and gather the guests. Easy peasy.