Kickin’ Melon Cucumber SaladPosted: June 28, 2012 Filed under: Fruit Dishes, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: agave, barbeque side dish, canteloupe, cayenne, cucumbers, easy side dish, fourth of july salad, fourth of july side dish, summer salad, sweet and spicy vinaigrette 1 Comment
Whatever it is that makes pregnant women crave weird things, I’m pretty sure I have it all the time. As I’m trying to eat everything in my refrigerator before vacation (this is counteracting my plan to get in shape for the beach, by the way), I keep finding myself pairing the oddest things.
Oreo cookies, cream filling removed and replaced with peanut butter and banana.
A baked sweet potato doused in hot sauce for breakfast.
Crackers dipped in tomato paste and hummus.
Sometimes I question my authority to co-write a food blog. I mean seriously, how can you trust the palate of someone who removes the filling from their Oreos?
However, sometimes my weird cravings create something truly delicious. When I took a bite of this salad with crisp cucumbers, bright tomatoes, sweet cantaloupe, red onion, and an agave and cayenne vinaigrette, I was in love. It’s an odd combination of fruits and veggies, of spicy and sweet, but it works I tell ya, it really works.
It would brighten up and bring a perfect balance of acidity and flavor to grilled tofu or chicken for a healthy summer dinner. It would also be a great side dish for Fourth of July parties, no refrigeration needed for at least a few hours.
Just be prepared to answer the questions, “How did you come up with this combination? Are you pregnant?”
Rachel’s Kickin’ Melon Cucumber Salad
Serves 6-8 side portions
2 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 c. cucumber, chopped
1 . red onion, diced
2 c. canteloupe or other melon (watermelon and honeydew would both work), chopped
3 T. rice vinegar
3 T. agave
3 t. salt
3 t. crushed black pepper
1 t. cayenne
Mix vinaigrette ingredients and toss with chopped fruit and veggies. Serve.
It’s that easy!
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The Title: Kickin’ Melon Cucumber Salad
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Avocado Mango Salad “Cocktail” in Jicama NestsPosted: June 25, 2012 Filed under: Appetizers, Gluten Free, Mexican Dishes, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies | Tags: avocado, honey, honey lime dressing, jicama, jicama avocado mango salad, jicama salad, lime dressing, mango, summer salad, tomato Leave a comment
What would you do if given the gift of one uninterrupted day, a day where your kids, your husband, your friends and your boss gave your their blessing to walk away and create your own perfect 12 hours? A day to refill your soul?
Some seasons of my life are busier than others and the last two months has been filled to overflowing with people, appointments and a list of “to-dos” that seemed endless. Seeing his wife was in a state of overwhelm, Greg hugged me on Friday night and said, “Honey, tomorrow I want you to take the whole Saturday just do anything you want at any given minute, all day long. Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll even make my own meals.”
It may have been the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard anyone say. (True to his word, Greg made his own lunch: two pieces of leftover corn on the cob, a piece of leftover blueberry pie and some leftover salad. Yes, he missed the protein food group, but it was a great improvement over his usual “bachelor diet” when I am away: potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and cereal.)
Saturday dawned with the song “Saturday in the Park” playing in my mind, and the line, “I’ve been waiting such a long time, for Sat-ur-day” echoing again and again. The feeling of unencumbered space stretched out for the next 12 hours left me near euphoric.
I spent the day writing on our new book in uninterrupted bliss at Denver’s famous Tattered Cover Bookstore, then lunched and wrote some more at The Corner Bakery, over-looking a gorgeous outline of the Rocky Mountains. When I walked in the house that evening there was a vase of sunny yellow flowers and a loving card from Greg, “Just because.” I wrote in my Facebook status: I feel like a wilted flower that has been put in the fresh water of creative work, healing solitude, and the benevolent blessing of a good man who wants little in this life but for me to be happy. I may yet live!
After I opened the card, Greg and I went to the back porch for our Summertime Happy Hour, a ritual we started in early June to make sure we have a little time to connect before dinner. One of the things that centenarians the world over have in common is “joyful rituals.” This has become one of our favorites. I made us clementine mojitos using the mint from my herb garden, perfectly refreshing.
The day of rest and writing left me infused with creative energy as I cooked supper a little later. I grabbed a crisp jicama, a vine-ripe tomato, an avocado and a mango out of the crisper. In my mind’s eye I saw this recipe appear: a pretty salad of orange, green and red nestled in a bed of white grated jicama, drizzled with a fresh lime dressing and served in margarita glasses. It would be our “salad course.” Let me tell you, it was every bit as tasty as it is beautiful! So cold and refreshing after a 100 degree summer day.
I am delighted to share this recipe with you, along with encouragement to take time out for “Fill the Well Day” for your body, mind and soul as soon as you can!
Avocado Mango Salad “Cocktail” in Jicama Nests
2 cups peeled, grated fresh jicama
1 fresh tomato
1 fresh mango
1 T. chopped cilantro or parsley or mint
2 T. chopped green onion
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 t. salt
4 t. honey
4 T. crushed corn or tortilla chips
Cajun seasoning or Tajin chili-lime seasoning to sprinkle on top
Lime slices for garnish
Place 1/2 cup grated jicama in each of 4 margarita glasses or pretty glass bowls to create a white “nest.” Mix avocado, tomato, mango, herb of your choice and green onion together in a bowl and gently toss. Place this mixture on top of the grated jicama, dividing evenly in to the four glasses. In a small bowl mix the dressing of lime juice, salt and honey. Drizzle evenly over each of the salads. Top each salad with 1 T. crushed chips and a nice sprinkling of Cajun or Tajin seasoning. Serve with long teaspoons if you have them and put a slice of lime on each rim. Have guests stir and toss their salads once they are served to make sure everything gets coated with the lime dressing.