Baby, it’s cold outside. Therefore, I’m making salads.

003Holy mother of god(zilla), it got cold this week in Illinois. Not only are we looking into ousting our governor, but it snowed like crazy. On Sunday night I told my kids, “Hey it’s like 50 degrees so you guys can take the bus tomorrow.” When I woke up, it was about 8 below so I ended up driving them to school.

I got a little bummed, but not much. You see, I like winter and I love snow. I love to wear extra clothes and I love to bundle up in cute scarves. I like Christmastime also, in spite of being a confirmed atheist. Why? I just like that the scenery changes for a few months. Suddenly, people have beautiful colored lights on their rooftops and reindeer in their front yards. I think the music sucks hard but other than that, I can totally dig on some Christmas.

So, here I was, cold and wondering what I could make to eat. All this summery stuff was on sale at Trader Joe’s for some reason and I bought it all. Then, I remembered a delicious cucumber soup that I had last week at a friend’s house and so I decided to go with summery food, in honor of winter.  I made that cucumber soup, an avocado salad, and a wonderful corn edamame salad as a side dish.

Cucumber soup:

two large seedless cucumbers, peeled and chopped

one pineapple, peeled and cored, then cut up

one jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup of fresh ginger, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Throw it all in a blenderor food processor. Blend until thoroughly chopped. Done. You can serve this to your raw/vegan friends and they’ll freaking love it like I did.

Corn edamame salad (adapted from Veganomicon p. 82):

One bag frozen corn, cooked then chilled

One to two cups cooked and chilled edamame (depending on how much you want in your salad. I love the stuff so I used two cups)

3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Place edamame, corn and sesame seeds in large bowl. In smaller bowl, whisk soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. Mix in with corn mixture. Done!

Avocado salad:

2 avocados, chopped

1 cup candied pecans (I candied mine with brown sugar and Earth Balance.)

1 stalk celery, diced

1 cup dried cranberries

2 apples, peeled and diced (I used one granny smith and one gala)

one or two green onions, chopped

small bunch of mint, if you want

Place your avocado and apple in a small bowl with about 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice. Mix thoroughly. This will keep them from browning too much in one day, but by the next day, your avocados will probably still be brown. Whatever. Anyways, when your done with that, place the avocado and apples in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Mix carefully so you don’t mush up your avocados.

Serve a nice large spoonful on top of a small bed of spring mix salad or just plain old romaine hearts if you want, then drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Not too much dressing, the salad is already pretty sugary.

I’ll leave you with this picture of my kids pretending to enjoy a gift of pretzels they recieved from my husband’s crazy mother. Someday, I’ll write about four or five pages of the craziness of this woman,  just so you can read and understand why I constantly make fun of her.

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