Category Archives: cucumber

Dijon-Marinated Wax Bean and Cucumber Salad is a Summer Winner!

What happened? It’s already the end of the summer — the time when we often have a lot of vegetables left over from our numerous trips to farmer’s markets, co-ops, and supermarkets. Two vegetables that seem ubiquitous are cucumbers and wax beans. Recently, we faced a conundrum — our refrigerator’s crisper was filled to overflowing with cukes and beans. We’d rather perish than waste food, especially fresh veggies! Fortunately, with very little fuss, we were able to whip up this yummy salad. It requires few ingredients, and is cheap and easy to make. On those muggy summer nights when hot food is unappealing, this dish is a winner.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cups wax (also known as yellow) beans
1 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2-3 chopped scallions
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (get the kind with the “Mother”)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the marinade by combining mustard, turbinado sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir vigorously and set aside. Meanwhile, slice the wax beans sideways along the seam, then chop into 3-4 shorter pieces. Lightly steam the beans for 2-3 minutes until they are al dente, but not hard or mushy.

Place the beans into a large bowl. Peel the cucumbers and slice into rounds. Be sure to compost or eat the skin! Chop each round into 3-4 smaller pieces and add to bowl with beans. Toss in the chopped onion, chopped scallions, and marinade. Stir all of the ingredients together and allow them to marinate for 1-2 hours. You can either marinate them on your counter or in the refrigerator, depending upon your preference.

Drain any excess fluid from the salad by placing it into a colander inside your sink. Toss the salad and transfer to a smaller bowl. You can add an endless variety of garnishes for a festive touch –cracked pepper is good, or mint sprigs, diced sage leaves, or fresh, chopped basil, or anything that appeals to you and your guests. Get creative!

This deceptively simple but delicious salad is great as a side dish with a protein-packed, vegan main such as fried tempeh. It’s also delicious with other, more robust sides like gluten-free bread, brown rice, or quinoa. Serves 2-3 people, but feel free to increase the size of the recipe if you have more guests. Gotta use up those beans and cucumbers! You’d better enjoy the waning days of summer, because autumn is just around the corner.

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Nothing Says Summer Like Strawberry Gazpacho!

Cold soup is manna to your throat on a hot summer day. When the outdoor temperatures soar, appetites often plummet. However, you don’t want sunshine to cause you to sacrifice good eating or proper nutrition! This vegan, gluten-free recipe is incredibly easy to make (and inexpensive!), and you won’t have to spend hours slaving over a hot stove. The addition of strawberries to the traditional gazpacho recipe makes the dish sweet and extra-zesty. You can top the soup with gluten-free croutons and/or sliced strawberries if you’d like to get fancy. Here’s how:

SOUP INGREDIENTS
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (We used red. Any color will do).
1 cup chopped cucumber, peeled
2 cups chopped strawberries
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable broth (make sure it’s wheat-free!)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

CROUTON INGREDIENTS
3-4 slices gluten free bread, chopped into cubes
3-4 springs thyme, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
olive oil for pan (about 1 tablespoon)

SOUP INSTRUCTIONS

Place all soup ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend on medium setting until thoroughly combined. If mixture is too thick, add additional vegetable broth. It should have a nice, creamy consistency and appealing color. That’s really all there is to it! Pour into container, cover securely, and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Serve with croutons and/or additional sprigs of thyme.

CROUTON INSTRUCTIONS

Cut your gluten-free bread into small chunks and dice garlic. Chop the thyme into tiny pieces. Coat the bottom of a small pan with olive oil and fry the garlic until it’s slightly browned. Add the bread cubes and continue frying until they begin to turn brown. Make sure not to burn! Add the thyme and fry for another 2-3 minutes until bread is golden brown and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Remove bread from pan and allow excess olive oil to drain. Sprinkle croutons and/or sliced strawberries on top of your gazpacho and serve!

This magnificent dish serves 5-6 people. It pairs well with a small salad or an additional loaf of gluten-free bread. For a festive experience, serve outdoors with a pitcher of lemonade, a glass or two of vegan white wine, or a mug of gluten-free beer. Your guests will love this summery meal, and you will, too. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days, but don’t wait that long to consume it! Have a lovely summer, and stay cool!

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