I feel kinda bad for cucumbers. Thanks to the world’s obsession with its famous cousin, the versatile zucchini, people are zoodling their lives away without even giving the cuke a fair shake. Well, sorry zucchinis, but cucumbers have some impressive qualities, too. And one of them is their ability to make you want to ditch the kale for a salad that’s crunchy, satisfying, and super-hydrating.
Cucumbers are typically used as a salad topping, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be the star of the show. A large cucumber contains 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and a solid amount of vitamin C and vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium, which is known to help with bloating (something kale commonly causes). On top of that, since cucumbers are 96 percent water, eating them makes it easy to stay hydrated.
To take full advantage of the many benefits of cucumbers, create some hearty salads you can devour all season long.
The 5 best healthy cucumber salads
If you like a little spice in your life, this cucumber salad featuring finely-diced jalapeños is a winner. Combined with zesty lime, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Give your cucumbers a Thai twist with this quickie salad that’s loaded with red onion, lemon juice, cayenne powder, and chopped peanuts.
To satisfy both your sweet and spicy cravings, whip up this cucumber salad that contains ingredients like rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and diced red onion.
For the ultimate hydrating cucumber salad, add in some other refreshing veggies too: cherry tomatoes, radishes, and red bell pepper.
This cucumber salad ups the flavor with wakame, a type of seaweed that brings on plenty of health benefits. It’s been shown to help fight off cancer, decrease your risk of heart disease, and provide mental health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
4 whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons minced ginger
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Using a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and 2 Tablespoons arrowroot until frothy. Place the chicken in the bowl and coat with the egg mixture. Allow the chicken to sit and soak up the mixture for about 5 minutes.
- Warm a nonstick large skillet on the stove. Place the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed pepper, garlic and ginger into the pan. Whisk together and heat until boiling. Turn the temperature down to low; cover, and allow the sauce to simmer for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Combine the water and remaining arrowroot in a mixing bowl, and stir until the arrowroot is dissolved. Stir with the whisk as you slowly add the water to the sauce. You may add more water, such as 2 to 3 tablespoons, if the sauce becomes too thick for your liking.
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the chicken to the oil in small batches. Stir the chicken around the pan with a wooden spoon for 3 to 4 minutes, so that it cooks evenly. Drain the cooked chicken on clean paper towels.
- Once all of the chicken is cooked, toss it in the sauce until it is well coated. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion.
Orange chicken is traditionally served over white rice, but you may substitute sides as you like. Some pairing suggestions include sautéed spinach, steamed broccoli, rice noodles and vegetable spring rolls.
This simple, high-temperature cooking method condenses both the sweet and savory qualities of sweet potatoes.
3 pounds sweet potatoes roughly equally sized
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced or chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon arrowroot
Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch thick rounds. Arrange on a half sheet pan, not touching.
In a large bowl toss the potatoes with the butter/coconut oil mix and the salt and pepper.
Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, or until the undersides of the slices have caramelized to a deep brown. Carefully flip the sweet potato slices and return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Flip the sweet potato slices once again and scatter the chopped or garlic , or garlic granules, over the sweet potato slices and then pour the broth over the potatoes. Return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely tender and the broth has reduced to a thicker consistency. Use a spatula to transfer the Melting Sweet Potatoes to a serving plate and drizzle the sauce from the pan over them.
This wonderful chopped salad is from Che Fico in San Francisco. I have adjusted it to be healthier and dairy free.
1 small acorn squash (2–3 lb.)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 tsp. honey
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
8 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove
1½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ cup plus ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2½ oz. fennel salami, sliced ⅛” thick, slices cut into quarters (about ½ cup)
1) Place a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Cut squash into quarters and scoop
out seeds. Place skin side down on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Whisk lemon juice,
honey, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl and rub all over cut sides of squash; season with salt
and pepper. Roast until very tender, about 11/4 hours. Watch very carefully, due to the honey it can burn very quickly. Let cool.
2) Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Arrange brussels sprouts cut
side down in skillet and cook, undisturbed, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Toss and
continue to cook, tossing occasionally and reducing heat as needed, until browned all over,
about 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium; add butter, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Tip
skillet toward you so butter pools on one side and cook, spooning butter over brussels
sprouts, until butter smells nutty, about 4 minutes; season with salt. Add vinegar and toss to
coat. Cook just until vinegar and butter form a glaze over sprouts. Let cool; discard herbs.
Combine vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, and a big pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Finely
grate in garlic and whisk to combine. Let sit 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat red pepper flakes, oregano, and ¼ cup oil in a small saucepan over medium
until oil is warm but not yet sizzling. Add remaining ⅔ cup oil to cool down infused oil.
Pour infused oil into vinegar mixture; whisk until smooth. Season vinaigrette with salt.
Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Toss scallions, salami, olives, and dill. Scoop out bite-size pieces of roasted squash until you have 2 cups; save remaining squash for another use. Add to mixture along with Brussels sprouts and glaze. Add radicchio and lettuce and toss to combine. Add more vinaigrette to taste; season with salt.
Serve salad topped with pomegranate seeds.
These gluten-free, paleo-friendly mint double chocolate cookies are rich, decadent and highly addictive. They’re firm on the outside and lusciously soft on the inside.
Yield: 12 cookies
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid at room temperature or melted butter
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degreest.
- Add the coconut sugar, coconut oil, almond butter, egg and peppermint flavoring to a bowl. Use a hand mixer to cream the ingredients together.
- Add the almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda and salt to the creamed ingredients and blend together again with the hand mixer. The dough will be VERY thick and hard to mix. That’s okay, you just need it combined.
- Then add the chocolate chips and use your hands to mix everything together. It’s easiest with your hands as the dough is so thick.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and use a cookie scoop to drop mounds of the dough onto the baking tray. Then flatten the cookies with your hands into flat, cookie-like shapes. These cookies will not flatten much with cooking, so mold them into the shape you’d like. At this stage, the dough will also seem overly oily, but that will disappear with cooking.
- Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking tray before moving.
These are on the menu for delivery this week. They would be just as good with chicken meatballs as with beef.
2 lbs ground grass-fed beef
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 t teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
For the dipping sauce;
1 mango, peeled and cut away from seed inside
2-3 tablespoons dry d mustard
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey
dash of chili powder
salt, to taste
For the balls:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Put a large skillet over medium heat and add your diced bacon to it.
- Once bacon has rendered some fat in the pan, add your onions. Mix together and poke at it randomly to make sure the bacon and onions don’t burn. Once bacon is cook through, add the bacon and onions to a plate with a paper towel on it to cool and soak up some excess fat.
- Now add your ground beef to a large bowl, then add your cooled bacon and onions, along with egg, almond flour, and seasonings.
- Use your hands to mix all that goodness up thoroughly.
- Now roll into golf ball size balls and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for around 12 minutes, using tongs, turn meatballs over. Bake another 10 minutes.
For the dipping sauce:
- While your meatballs are baking, time to make your sauce.
- Add your peeled and sliced mango to a food processor and puree until your have a sauce.
- Now add your ground mustard, yellow mustard, and honey to it and puree it all together.
- Taste to see if you want it sweeter or more tangy and add extra honey or mustard as needed.
- Add spices and salt and puree one more time.
Servings 0 4
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon all-spice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper
- 1 pound white meat fish
- 6-8 warmed corn or flour tortillas
- 1-2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup cooked black beans
Tequila Lime Pineapple
- 1/2 a pineapple thinly, sliced into half moons
- 1 jalapeño, sliced (seed if desired)
- juice of 1 lime
- 2-3 tablespoons tequila (optional)
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the orange juice, honey, all-spice, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add the fish and toss to coat. Let sit in the marinade for 10 minutes.
2. Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet to high.
3. Cook the fish for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through, drizzling the marinade over the fish, as it cooks.
4. To assemble, divide the rice among warmed tortillas. Add the black beans, and pineapple. Add the grilled fish and serve drizzled with the Chermoula Sauce. EAT.
Tequila Lime Pineapple
1. Add the pineapple and jalapeño to a shallow bowl and pour over the lime juice and tequila. Let sit 20-30 minutes or up to overnight. Serve alongside the tacos.
1. Add all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Taste and add salt as needed. Serve drizzled over the tacos.