New years resolutions. Goals. Affirmations. Call them what you will, it’s pretty hard at this time of year to avoid them. Whether you make them or eschew the whole idea, it’s fairly common following the holidays to want to eat a little healthier. After the excesses of the last few weeks, like it or not, most of us could stand to dial it back a bit on the fat/richness/carb factor in our meals.
One of my continued goals in 2012 is to eat locally sourced food as often as possible. The problem is that the one thing I always want at this time of year is citrus. Which of course couldn’t be less local for me if it tried. Now I confess, I eat lemons like they are going out of style all year, but come the winter months I crave ruby red grapefruit and oranges. I blame it on all the ordering of Florida citrus we did as band fundraisers growing up (is that an Eastern thing?)
Some weeks are just lazy cooking weeks. You’re sick, you’re busy, the kids (or cats in my case) need to go to the doctor, the house is a disaster, laundry piles up and the weather outside gets worse. That was last week. Dinners were uninspired to say the least. It was kind of an open-up-the-fridge-and-see-what-you-can-create week. The result was a lot of simple meals. Nothing fancy, just the basics.
It is officially fall. Boo. Yet it’s hard to be sad when Vancouver is having absolutely fabulous weather and my garden is happy.
In the spirit of keeping summer alive here is a gloriously simple cucumber salad. Perfect as a side with almost anything, it is also great with some chick peas or quinoa added for a complete meal in your lunch box.
2 english cucumbers or 1 large field cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4c olive oil
1/8c white wine or rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsps chopped fresh dill
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Thinly slice cucumber and red onion. A mandolin works well (and quickly!) for this.
Toss together in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and chopped dill.
Pour oil, vinegar and lemon over top of cucumber and onion. Toss.
Taste test. Add more dressing, dill or salt if necessary.
This can be eaten immediately, but it’s better made the day ahead as it lets the flavours meld.