This is the time of year that I find myself seeking out simple and refreshing salads that allow for less time in the kitchen and more time spent outdoors.
When cooking is out of the question, its important to have some non-heat methods for adding interest to your meals.
That's why, in my opinion, summer is the best time to play with new shapes and textures that bring interest to the table while still allowing the natural flavors of summer's fresh ingredients to shine.
In light of this month's The Recipe Redux theme, which is to get your fruits and veggies "in shape," I had to share this fun and simple Asian-inspired seaweed gomasio cucumber salad.
When I first learned about this month's theme, I felt like I should probably dig out my spiralizer, as its the obvious choice for creating fun shapes with your fruits and veggies.
But to be honest, I really don't break out that thing too often. (I think I need one that's smaller and easier to clean...suggestions?!)
So, instead of digging it out for this challenge, I'm keeping it real. (Hi, my name is Steph and I'm too lazy to wash small kitchen appliances that contain more than two separate components.)
But also because there are so many tools that you probably already have in your kitchen that are perfectly capable of bringing fun shapes and textures to your summer salads.
My personal favorites for shape-making are the mandolin slicer (which I used to slice these cucumbers into thick "noodles") and the humble vegetable peeler (used to make the carrot shreds here).
I avoided mandolin slicers for a long time (anyone else intimidated by those crazy sharp blades?) but set aside my fears and added one to my kitchen about a year ago.
And now I just cannot imagine life without it.
Its a huge time-saver too. I mean seriously, do you have time to carefully cut veggies into ⅛" slices? (If you do, please share your secrets.)
With these benefits, I'll let that one time I fell victim to the mandolin blade slide... (But please watch out for your precious fingers while hand-washing.)
And have you tried seaweed gomasio?
Gomasio is another thing I added to my kitchen about a year ago. And another thing that I just don't want to ever have to live without.
It's a simple blend of ground roasted sesame seeds, sea vegetables, and sea salt.
And also one of the simplest ways to add a punch of flavor to your favorite stir-fry, sushi, soup, and/or salad dishes. (This is the gomasio I used in this recipe.) Seriously, just toss it on everything.
This simple salad is ready in just 10 minutes and requires zero cooking. It's great for a light lunch or side dish but you could also add tofu, edamame, fish, or any of your other favorite protein sources to make this a substantial meal.
Cucumber salads are best served fresh, so try to make this recipe as close to serving time as possible!
- 3 cucumbers sliced thinly into ribbons (I used a mandolin slicer)
- 1 carrot sliced into thin ribbons using vegetable peeler
- ¼ cup dulse roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce use gluten free tamari or liquid aminos if needed
- 1 tablespoon seaweed gomasio substitute with sesame seeds
- Crushed red pepper to taste
Combine salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and then toss with the salad immediately before serving. (Best served fresh.)
What are your favorite raw food dishes? Which kitchen tools do you use to create fun shapes and textures with your fruits and vegetables?
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