Sunday, August 23, 2015

Eating For Your Future/Super Salad!

Have you ever heard of a lemon cucumber??? I stopped by a friend's house a few days ago as she has such a lovely garden, and I wanted to beg for one of her cucmbers. My husband had stopped by a few days before and she gave him an English Cucumber that was out of this world. When I arrived, lucky me, she was in the garden harvesting a few things and had just picked the lemon cucumber and asked if I would like to have one. Sure!!!, I'm always game to try something new.
As it turns out, a lemon cucumber does not taste like a lemon, just looks similar to a lemon.
When cut open, they have the loveliest green center and the richest cucumber smell I've ever smelled.
I decided to look around for a recipe that would be fitting of my precious little cucumber and I found a delightful website called 101 Cookbooks, A Natural Foods Recipe Journal. The recipe that caught my eye is called
Orzo Super Salad
1 cup dried (whole wheat) orzo pasta
8 - 10 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
1/2 a medium head of broccoli (or broccolini), cut into small trees
small handful of cilantro(or mint if you prefer), chopped(I used mint) 
1 small clove of garlic, mashed with a big pinch of salt and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
a small handful of sprouts
1/3 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
As usual, I made a few changes. While shopping for the ingredients that I needed, I came across a Quinoa pasta that looked interesting, so I decided to give that a try rather than the orzo.
The recipe says to throw the broccoli and the asparagus in the boiling water for the last 30 seconds of cooking. Be sure to do this as the vegetables stay crunchy, but not as hard as they would be if they are completely raw.
For the salad dressing, be sure to mash the garlic with the salt as directed. Makes all the difference in the world.
I'm growing pear tomatoes this summer and they are just beginning to ripen, so I decided to add them to the mix. I'm also growing jalapeno peppers, so I added one of those as well. I do like my peppers!!! 
I left out the sprouts as I was just too lazy to make the trip to the store where I can find them, My neighborhood market typically doesn't carry them.   

You can find the full recipe HERE. This is such an amazing salad. The mixture of the mint, lemon and garlic make for an especially tasty salad dressing. I used a Bulgarian feta which is rather creamy, fabulous! Since the feta added such a creamy aspect to the salad, I left out the avocado. Be sure to add the slivered almonds and be sure to toast them. Adds just the right amount of crunch to the salad.
You can eat the salad just as it is or serve it on a bed of greens. It would make a wonderful light supper and then the leftovers are perfect for lunches.
Once you visit 101 Cookbooks, be sure to look around a bit as she has some wonderful recipes posted. I plan to just camp out a while on her website as there are a number of recipes that I want to try.
Hope you enjoy the salad as much as I did if you give it a try!

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  1. That looks so delicious! Lauren and I both eat a strict GF diet, so I keep some of that Quinoa pasta in the pantry. I also like the Jovial brand, if you can find it. (It's rice based, no corn.) Thank you for posting the recipe, I may need to try that this week.

    1. Thanks for the info on the quinoa with rice pasta. I'll look for it.

  2. And no, I've never heard of a lemon cucumber, that's a new one to me!

  3. I've grown the lemon cucumbers for several years. Just LOVE them! The salad looks wonderful. Another recipe I must try.............thank you!

    1. Oh my, don't tell me that, you just may have me knocking on your door now ;)

  4. lemon cucumbers are new to me too. This recipe looks delicious

  5. That looks delicious and what an interesting veggie. .. lemon cucumber. With it cut, Its almost too pretty to eat.

  6. Never heard of this variety of vegetable, it looks lovely though :)