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.
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!