Refreshing Cucumber Salad



I’ve been getting tons of cucumbers from the CSA. I juiced some of them this weekend (cucumber mango juice is great!) but I still had some lying around. One of my friends suggested pickling them, but it’s so hot I thought they’d be perfect for a summer evening meal. Throw in some sweet corn and parsley and you get pretty much the easiest salad ever. I had alongside some hummus and pita. And minimal standing in front of the stove time, unless you use dry beans like I did for the hummus, but the pressure cooker allows you to at least go to the next room for a while and escape the hot kitchen!

For the hummus:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (I used dry beans and cooked in pressure cooker but canned is fine, just add less salt)
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup water (or cooking water from pressure cooker if available)
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
Throw everything in the food processor until it’s smooth and creamy. Garnish with some paprika and parley.
For the salad:
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • crushed red pepper
Toss everything together in a bowl and garnish with some parsley sprigs (for prettiness, of course!)

Red Bean Quinoa Salad


The horrible heat wave that hit the east coast finally broke today with some rain, so I could finally stand to go back into the kitchen and in front of the stove! And because I’ll use any excuse to use my pressure cooker, here’s a little salad I whipped up.

I made a big batch of red beans to last me for lunch for the rest of the week, so I only used about half in the salad. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you should get one! I’m so wary of eating canned beans (because of the whole BPA in the aluminum lining thing) but sometimes it’s so tedious to think ahead and soak the dry beans overnight. So having a pressure cooker solves that, and is one of the things I think a busy cash-strapped vegan should have (since dry beans are way cheaper too.)┬áIf you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use canned beans (Eden Foods doesn’t use BPA in their cans) or soak the beans overnight and cook in a regular saucepan for about 1 -1 1/2 hours.

This was also the first time I’ve ever cooked corn from scratch, and it was surprisingly easy. Plus you get to use words like “shuck.” You can also just use frozen or canned corn, but fresh and local is so much better!

For the beans in a pressure cooker:

  • 16 oz bag of small red kidney beans
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  • sprinkle of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 cups of water
In the pot over medium heat, add the oil and sweat the onion with a sprinkle of salt until it starts to become translucent (about 4 minutes). Add the green pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring up to high pressure. Cook on high for about 30 minutes and release the pressure. Let cool uncovered for about 10 minutes. Makes about 5 cups of beans.
For the rest of the salad:
  • 2 ears of corn, husks removed and dropped in boiling water for about 4 minutes, kernels removed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups of cooked red beans
  • 1 1/2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt, black pepper, and red pepper to taste
Toss everything together in a bowl and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving. Makes about 5-6 servings.