Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad

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I love a good easy summertime side.

Because sometimes you just don’t want to deal with mayo/sour cream, long cooking times, or having the oven or stove on for long periods of time in the middle of August.

That’s why I am a big fan of marinated salads.

They are vinegar-based, which means low food-borne illness risk (yay food safety!) and they are made and served cold, which means no hot surfaces are needed (because who wants to be chained to the stove on a beautiful day?).

Marinated salads are late summer supper saviors (say that three times fast!).

And this is my favorite – Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad. All the color and beauty of summertime in fast salad form. (plus it’s really delicious!)

It starts with really good tomatoes.

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I got these babies from the local farmer’s market – I just love their bright red color and their sweet flavor this time of year. But if your grocery store has some good lookin’ tomatoes, buy them and make this salad!

Next, grab yourself a cucumber – an English, or seedless, cucumber to be exact.

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Then chop it into big chunks! I use a seedless cucumber because I personally find it a little less bitter than a traditional cucumber and also because I am lazy – the seeds are so tiny and tender in this type of cucumber that you don’t even have to seed it (which means we can eat quicker!). I also leave on the skin for added color and a bit of extra fiber.

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Finally, add in some finely sliced scallions for an onion-y kick and some freshness.

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All that’s left to do is dress the salad with your favorite vinaigrette. This is my homemade stand-by that is always in a mason jar in the fridge – olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, oregano. If you don’t have the homemade stuff, any good basic vinaigrette works here.

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All that’s left is to toss and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This allows the veggies to marinate and lets the flavors come together and meld… AKA it takes the salad from delicious to divine!

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Then all you need to do is serve it alongside your favorite summer dishes, like grilled chicken, steaks, or hearty pasta dishes. It is a fresh, easy (and healthy) side dish that will definitely please your guests at your next gathering.

Enjoy, everyone!

Your marinated salad obsessed friend,

C

Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad

  • Servings: 4 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 medium-to-large tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 large seedless cucumber, quartered and cut into chunks

1-2 medium scallions, finely sliced

½ cup vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought

Steps:

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, and scallion. Drizzle over the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine – you can adjust the amount of dressing based on your personal preferences. Set the bowl aside for about 15 minutes to allow the favors to come together. Serve alongside your favorite grilled meats or pasta dishes.

Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (1 serving):

108 calories Ÿ• 8gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 1gm fiber •Ÿ 1gm protein Ÿ• 9gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 492mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 1mg iron Ÿ• 24mg calcium

 

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: ⅛ cup - one person
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Steps:

Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Nutritional Information (⅛ cups):

130 calories Ÿ• 2gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 1gm fiber •Ÿ 0gm protein Ÿ• 14gm fat Ÿ• 2gm saturated fat Ÿ• 800mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 1mg iron Ÿ• 26mg calcium

Weekend Eating

I ate a lot this weekend.

Well, I normally eat a lot on the weekends, but this weekend was different… somehow.

I think what separated this weekend from the other 51 was that many meals I chose were seasonal and very fall-like. Nothing like celebrating the season with some good food (and good company!).

 

The weekend started with an amazing lunch during my tour of the urban gardens in the Bronx.

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Roasted chicken, sautéed spinach, rice pilaf studded with beans, peas, and corn, and a barley salad full of butternut squash, red bell pepper, and scallions. Delicious, nutritious, and warm – the perfect warm-up break during a soggy day touring through gardens.

Despite my filling lunch, I cannot be in NYC without getting a pretzel.

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No matter what, before I leave, I need to have a pretzel… extra salt, please!

 

Sunday mornings in my house means one thing – a big breakfast. Waffles or pancakes are on the menu, usually studded with chocolate chips. But, in deference to the season, we decided to dive into the world of pumpkin breakfast items.

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These are Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin waffles. Pumpkin perfection (plus they make the house smell like pumpkin bread)!

I adorned my waffles with the two things that I love to pair with pumpkin – chocolate and almonds.

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Yum!

The best fuel for a morning full of church and a trip to the farmer’s market.

 

My weekend of chowing down culminated in the farm-fresh salads my family made for lunch. We laid out a bunch of salad ingredients and let everyone create their own.

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Mine took a salad niçoise turn… salad greens, tuna, soft-ish boiled eggs, cucumber, and tomatoes. So it’s salad niçoise minus the green beans, olives, capers, and anchovies. Similar? Ehh, maybe not. But it was still a perfect lunch!

 

It was a great weekend full of fall foods, sweet and savory. Now it’s back to reality… PB&J for lunch, anyone?

Your still in a food coma friend,

C

Fall Salad with Grilled Salmon

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It is now (un)officially fall, which means that I can unapologetically consume every pumpkin, apple, spice, and cranberry product within arms reach without anyone questioning my sanity (and season identifying skills).

My parents left me (and The Cat) home alone this weekend with a plethora of leftover grilled salmon, which we took upon ourselves to finish…

So, in honor of the new season, I decided to make a fall salad and top it with some of the grilled salmon.

And it was the perfect answer to all of my life’s dreams and goals.

 

It starts with the “fall” components of the salad.

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Dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and some sliced green onion. Sweetness, crunch, and zip.

The lettuce I used was some arugula that was hanging out in my fridge, but you can use any type of lettuce you like.

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Confession… the lighting was wonderful on/around my stove, so I took all my pictures on the range top. Please don’t judge me (but how awesome do the pictures look though!).

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Place a piece of salmon on top of the arugula.

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Sprinkle on the dried cranberries.

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The sliced almonds.

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And the green onions.

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Then some red wine vinaigrette dressing.

This is how you make it (super easy and so yummy)!

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In a container with a tight sealing lid, pour in some olive oil.

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Then add some red wine vinegar.

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And a good amount of mustard, salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

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Put on the lid and shake vigorously!

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Then you have a perfect vinaigrette that you can use on everything.

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Like Fall Salad with Grilled Salmon!

 

Enjoy, kiddos!

Your salad makin’ friend,

C

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: one person
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

 

Steps:

Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.