As surrounding friends have learned, I haven’t been cooking this year half as much as I used to last. Call it busy, call it lazy, call it I’d-rather-spend-$20-on-a-shitty-meal-outside. I’ve found neither recipe nor inspiration to labor in the kitchen as of late and it’s sad. Very, very, sad. I was uber excited since moving to my very own little studio in April, googling over the kitchen that I’d have ALL TO MYSELF, not sharing space in the fridge or the cabinet, not washing anyone else’s dishes, and not tolerating anyone else’s gastronomical mess. But since being here I’ve cooked only a handful of times and I will blatantly blame it on lack of time and inspirational recipes. I subscribe to a gazillion food blogs and haven’t found anything, subscribe to enough food magazines to shred and feed paper salad to the masses and haven’t found anything, and have a humble collection of cookbooks that haven’t been flipped through in months.
However the few times I do make food I’ve been going back to basics, not relying on recipes and making simple meals with brown rice, chicken, and any assortment of veggies. With summer comes the awesome visits to the farmers market where I buy a ton of shit and leave it to rot in the fridge. Well, I’m hoping that’s about to change. I do feel a surge of kitchen friendly excitement and I’m semi-determined to keep a steady flow of homecooking from here on out. With that is the introduction of one of my best salad concoctions yet.
A visit to the farmer’s market last week resulted in bringing home some golden beets, cucumbers, carrots, giant perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes and weird bitter squiggly lettuce that I probably won’t buy again. I always like to incorporate either nuts or cranberries/raisins into salads to prevent boredom and here I used pine nuts and almonds left over from a dinner meeting with Jen. My go-to dressing is inspired by vegan Chloe who uses coconut oil as a base for a perfect mildly sour and tart concoction. Sesame seeds reminds you it’s good to have the slight crunch in every bite, not to mention it totally gratifies my oral fixations (I constantly need to chew on stuff. Dangerous.) This salad would actually taste better without the greens, the colorful array of beets, tomato, carrot, and cucumber is enough to satisfy all sorts of senses. AND, it just so happens to be healthy.
I topped it off with a yogurt that Meg the beekeeper pointed out on our foray into The Garden, the ginger chunks fared oddly well with strawberry slices and agave nectar. Try this yogurt from Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. It’s smooth and not too thick and sweet enough to satisfy the, you got it, sweet tooth.
Beet Salad with a Bunch of Stuff
Enough for 2 small servings or 1 giant serving
Squiggly greens (resembles lettuce, I didn’t really like it and would opt to take it out if I were you), washed and chopped
3/4 of a cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 a small carrot, peeled and sliced
1 large steamed golden beet, quartered and thickly sliced
1 giant red funky shaped beautifully ripe heirloom tomato, chunked
Handful of pine nuts and almonds
A small chunked bits of fresh goat cheese (I forgot to add it to the salad but I’m sure it’d make a great addition)
1 part coconut oil
1/4 part nama shoyu
1/4 part mirin
1/8 part brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame seeds
– Combine, dress, consume.