After a week of binge desserts, festival food and family gatherings for Diwali post a whirlwind trip to India, I needed to quickly get back on the real food wagon. Oodles of sweets and savories, jaggery laden manoharams, murrukkus, gulab jamuns– top these with food coma induced naps countered with jet lag and a crazy road trip, and I was back to needing another vacation.
It’s amazing how your body begins to tell you (more like when you listen to it:) when you fall off the wagon and what it needs to get back on track. For the 10 days that I was filling my body with whatever was in front of me, it showed in my energy levels and my skin. I returned with breakouts, allergies, sinus headaches and all that I thought I had left behind months ago. Not that I wasn’t eating sweets and such in general – I‘m a big believer of eating everything in moderation, but a healthy balance of exercise and greens was doing the trick so far for me. It has now taken a full 10 days to get my schedule and energy back with my favorite green smoothies, juices, and greens.
So I figured I would get started with updating my salad repository or rather actually trying the many salad recipes I have stored in my Evernote files. I’ve been an avid user of Evernote of late, on my desktop and phone. I find it extremely useful when I’m browsing through my various news feeds and find anything that catches my eye, and this could be a list of books, articles, quotes, anything that tickles my funny bone and my palate. The best part – I can sync my notes with my tablet and phone and access my notes anywhere. So I have collected over 450 notes so far, more than half of which are recipes of course. I find this very handy when I’m planning my weekly lunch and dinner menus to pick from the various folders that I have saved recipes into- it’s a virtual cookbook that I can access from anywhere 🙂
This week, we had watercress and carrot slaw with home-made orange vinaigrette, and vegetable soup (with sandwich for those who wanted some extra heavy carbs) for dinner on Monday night. Today I toted along a cucumber tomato feta salad for lunch. You can use the second salad as an accompaniment to an Indian meal if you leave out the feta.
I used a useful gadget called the Salad Zinger to make the orange vinaigrette and it was amazing. Recommend the buy if you’re a gadget freak like me;) though you can still make it in your good old blender.
Here are the recipes.
Watercress, green apple and carrot salad/slaw (Serves 2)
- Watercress – a big bunch, chopped
- Red cabbage – 1 /4 , grated
- Carrots – 2, grated
- Cherry tomatoes – 6-7, halved
- Green apple – 1, grated
Orange vinaigrette dressing:
- Navel oranges – 1, deseeded and quartered
- Red onion, a small slice
- Parsley, a small bunch about 1/8 cup
- Garlic pod – 1
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
- Red wine vinegar – 2 tbsp
- Honey – 1 tbsp
For making the vinaigrette in the Salad Zinger, you will need to fill the first 4 dry ingredients in the bottom half of the gadget and screw the blades and bottom back on. Fill the top part with the liquid ingredients, shake the contraption and let the juices from the orange, onion mixture seep into the olive vinegar mixture. Let it sit for at least a half hour before adding to the slaw.
Alternatively you can coarsely chop the first 4 ingredients in a blender, add it to a bottle and fill the bottle with the wet ingredients. Let steep for a half hour before serving.
Take the grated veggies in a bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
Cucumber, tomato and feta salad
- 3 cups of cucumber, coarsely chopped
- 7-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Mint leaves, 2-3 tbsp, chopped
- Scallions, 2, chopped with the leaves
- Green olives, ¼ cup
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
- Olive oil, 2 tbsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, mint in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt as feta is salty by itself. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and sprinkle the crumbled feta before you serve.