Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tangy Cucumber Salad

Dear Jess,

I whole heartedly expected this recipe to be disappointing. I made it out of desperation. I had 3 cucumbers sitting in my fridge from the Circle Organic food box that I knew I would never eat in time. I desperately looked up recipes for Cucumber Salad, and pieced together what I thought might work. This is the delicious result.

Tangy Cucumber Salad
adapted from

2 cucumbers (some people say to use seedless... I didn't, and it turned out fine)
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 to 3 tsp honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp yellow mustard (dijon will work well too)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional... but highly recommended)

1. Thinly slice cucumber into rounds. You can do this by hand, or with a mandolin.

2. Place cucumbers and salt in a large colander in the sink. Let sit for 30 minutes. You will lose lots of liquid this way, which is why it is convenient to leave it in the sink.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, cider vinegar and mustard.

4. Place Cucumbers on a tea towel, and thoroughly dry them off. Place them into a large bowl with onions. Pour the dressing over and stir well.

5. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

I found it the best the next day, and the longer you let it sit afterwards. I ate it atop salad greens, with other salads (such as egg salad, and salmon). Jason enjoyed it on a sandwich. I will likely make it again the next time we have burgers! It has a refreshing taste, yet with a little zip from the onions and vinegar. It has won my affection, and a place in my recipe binder.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Chicken Stir-fry with Yams

Dear Jess,

The summer (as always) is flying by. I can't believe we're into August already!

As you have likely noticed, I'm having a chicken and ginger love affair. This recipe has become a quick comfort food for me! If you don't like hoisin, just use soy sauce instead. The yams (or sweet potato in my case) make this dish addictive!

Chicken Stir-fry with Yams
adapted from

2 Tbsp Sesame oil, divided (olive oil will work too, though now with the same flavour)
2 yams (I used a large sweet potato), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch thick rounds then cut into 1/3 inch wide strips
1 medium size red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3 inch thick slices
2-3 Tbsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
Meat from one cooked chicken
4 cups 1/3 inch thick strips sliced cabbage (about 1/4-1/2 head)
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp Sesame oil in a large skillet. Add yams and onion. Cook, covered, for 12 minutes (or until tender), stirring occasionally. I had a little measuring cup of water close at hand, so if it started to burn, I would add a bit.

Add Ginger and Garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and cabbage. Cook for about 5 minutes (or until cabbage is at desired texture. I like my cabbage just a tad bit still crunchy.)

Add Hoisin sauce (add more if desired), soy sauce and salt and pepper. Stir until heated through and remove from heat.

I served this atop a bid of vermicelli noodles. It would go great with rice, or any other stir-fry-friendly noodle.