I’ve been developing recipes for a restaurant group with a focus on healthy ingredients, mainly vegetables, grains and fruits and some proteins. All they want is simply prepared dishes from the local vegetable garden. Testing recipes on a daily basis and eating this kind of food made me realize once again how powerful such a diet can be in terms of energy and mental alertness. I feel charged like I’ve had several coffees. Granted a normal person’s diet does not have all these local goodies available like I do right now during recipe testing but their goal is to make healthy & deliciously prepared foods accessible.
(edamame with slivered almonds and shredded carrots)
No doubt Spring time puts pressure on one’s social schedule -- Mother’s day, Easter, bridal showers, weddings, cocktail parties and the list goes on. People are out and about all day and in the evenings chatter in sidewalk cafes sipping wine or coffee. It’s nice to sit outside and be part of the Spring party.
When I think of my Sunday family meals (that is when I cook at home) I want to prepare crisp greens, crunchy radishes, fresh peas, peppery arugula. The socializing with friends and family allows less time to spend behind the stove and I certainly don’t think of braising that hunk of meat like I did a few months ago when temperature was close to zero. Right now my aim is to put springy, nutritious food on the table at home, and since now people are peeling off their layers, thinking about bathing suits and next week is Memorial Day it’s the time to get started with a leaner diet.
So with that in mind it’s time for salads!
(recipe yields two entree sized portions)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Sea salt, to taste
Vegetable Options - use as many different vegetables that you’d like for your salad
2 grated carrots – rinsed no need to peel before grating
4 cups shredded red cabbage – equals about 1/4 of a 6-inch diameter red cabbage
4 cups sliced red cabbage - equals 14 ounces whole radish
4 cups soy beans – I use the frozen, shelled ones
1 bok choy – one large piece cut in 1/8-inch thick slices
Salad Accessories – add as you like
½ cup toasted nuts such as almonds, sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 sliced scallions
I love the versatility and quickness of salads with endless variations and the physicality of the preparation is fun too – shredding, chopping, grating – it’ll make you nice and hungry!