Tag Archives: cucumber

Cranberry and Cucumber Potato Salad –Cranberry Bog Blog #2

26 Jun


July is fast-approaching, so we better get our potato salad game in check. In addition to the potatoes and the dressing, I like my potato salads to have something crunchy, something pungent, and a little something unexpected.

  • Potatoes: red or yellow skinned
  • Something crunchy: usually another vegetable such as chopped cucumber or green beans, or chopped nuts or chickpeas
  • Something pungent: onion, shallot, scallion, garlic scapes
  • Something unexpected: dried cranberries, boiled egg, something pickled, or spices such as Old Bay, paprika, mustard seed, or caraway
  • Dressing: I like the creamy kinds, but keep it healthy by using mostly yogurt with a little bit of mayo or sour cream

This potato salad recipe comes from the Cranberry Marketing Committee. Who says you can’t put a little fruit in your potato salad? Potatoes with chopped cucumber, sliced scallion, and dried cranberry get tossed in an easy yogurt and sour cream dressing.

Celebrate the summer season with this Cranberry and Cucumber Potato Salad. It’ll go swell with whatever it is you’re pulling off the grill. Continue reading


Shutterbean’s (and Ina’s) Greek Panzanella

27 Jun


My gal Michelle and I are both avid followers of Tracy Shutterbean and her food, family, and boozy adventures. The day Tracy posted about this Grilled Greek Panzanella, Michelle and I went nuts! Within 1 day, we were at my place, chopping away in anticipation of enjoying a cool crunch on a hot summer day.

Intense New York City summer weather means salad for dinner. A big honking salad with lots of bread cubes and raw veggies, salty feta, and “evoo”.

Store-bought hummus and tzatziki add an easy Mediterranean touch with a bit of protein. It makes a huge difference (aesthetically) to scoop the dips into ramekins or little bowls and embellish with your own spices i.e. adding extra paprika on top of the hummus.

Giant salad. Bread. Dips. A chilled bottle of white. And a small scoop of Steve’s Blackberry Honey (vegan) ice cream to finish.

Catch the recipe over at Tracy’s blog. We used a whole wheat French Bread, but you should use whatever bread strikes you (I imagine a white seeded bread would be nice!). We lightly toasted the bread on the stove top. And we used fresh basil instead of oregano.

Tracy served her salad with lamb meatballs and grilled eggplant. YUM!

Now get chopping and eat a giant bowl of this deliciousness! Makes great lunch leftovers, too.


Tofu Bento Bowls

10 Jun

A light dinner for a warm summer night.

A vegetarian take on the Japanese bento box, the containers with separate compartments usually used for  lunch to-go.

Vegetarian Times Magazine is a great resource for healthy vegetarian meals. This Tofu Bento Bowl, along with the Hearty Grain Soup With Beans and Greens and the Peanut Butter Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips are some of my favorite recipes that I tend to make over and over.

Finally, I felt satisfied with my skillet tofu skills. The secret? I drained and patted the tofu until it was nice and dry, which, as so many tofu experts preach, is the best way to ensure a great tofu product. No excess water to interfere with the heat and the sauce that flavor the tofu. I also tried not to turn the tofu very often; I just let it get nice and brown and flipped it only once or twice.

Tofu Bento Bowls

serves 6, adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine (october 2006 issue)

For some crazy reason, I did not have hot chili-garlic sauce (I know, I need to get on that asap). I omitted the chili-garlic sauce and instead used a combo of a spicy chili sesame oil and a regular dark toasted sesame oil. I also sprinkled a few red chili flakes into the mix for an added kick. 

I also used lime instead of lemon because that was what I had on-hand. 

You could also omit the yogurt in the recipe to make this a vegan meal. And if you use a gluten-free soy sauce, this could be a gluten-free meal! Boom.

Spicy Tofu

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup hot chili-garlic sauce

2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil

14-oz. extra firm tofu, cubed

5 green onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice


1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. hot chili-garlic sauce

2 cups cooked brown rice

4 1/2 cups mixed baby greens

2 carrots, peeled into ribbons

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

To make the Spicy Tofu: First, drain and pat your tofu dry. Wrap it in paper towel and put a skillet on top to ensure that the tofu dries out. Change the paper towel a few times.

While the tofu is drying, whisk together the soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce (if using), and sesame oil in a bowl. Cube the tofu and add it to the sauce mixture. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Let the pan get hot. Add the tofu in one layer and cook it for about 10 minutes, or until browned, turning occasionally. Save the remaining sauce. Cool the tofu.

Add the green onions, yogurt, and lemon juice to the remaining sauce. Toss it with the tofu.

To make the Salad: Whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, and chili-sauce in a bowl (I added some more scallions to the dressing). Mound the rice into bowls. Top with greens. Add the carrot ribbons, cucumber slices, avocado, and tofu. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the sauce.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: 297 calories, 12g protein, 15.5g total fat (2g sat. fat), 30g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 858mg sodium, 6g fiber, 3g sugar