Curried Cucumber Salad

Curried Cucumber Salad 2014We have had some absolutely stunning weather in Colorado these past few days. I know that we will have snow and cold again, and I even know that it won’t be long before that happens, but the gorgeous sunshine and warmer temperatures have me believing that summer is just around the corner.

Last summer had a few transformative moments for me, some things I did a little differently than I have in the past or than I normally would. Some special people moved further away, while other special friends found a spot in my heart. I spent many evenings walking in the sunshine, and many, many more days cooking vegetables that I had grown in my very first garden. Honestly, I love that memory – I even love that I spent most of those summer months with scratches on my arms and legs from wandering through my garden and weeding and harvesting. The thought of summer coming and my next garden has me thinking about what it might look like this year, how it might be different, what other transformations are on the horizon.

I guess that’s what spring is for, actually, isn’t it? New growth, small changes, an opportunity for renewal. Much like the new year has me exploring resolutions, I’ve noticed that this time of year has a similar feel to it, only it’s far gentler. There seems to be a subtle shift in the air that allows for the heart to open and be ready for the sunshine to come in. That thought makes me think that there is also a purpose in the inevitable last few cold weeks and even a few snow storms. I think that for me, at least, those colder days will provide an opportunity to sit quietly with a blanket and cup of tea or glass of wine and let the possibilities of spring settle in and take shape. I wish sometimes we all had simpler lives so that we could follow the natural rhythm of the seasons more closely.

On to this recipe – there actually is a reason that it came about! The thoughts of a summer garden reminded me of all the cucumbers that I had last year. They were so sweet and delicious and I ate them constantly. For a few weeks, there were so many that I was eating them three times a day. This salad became a favorite of mine because I happen to love Indian food and while it’s a lot simpler than the amazing dishes you can find in Indian cuisine, it does bring those warm flavors to the table incredibly fast. Sometimes that’s really all I’m looking for.

I hope you enjoy it!

Curried Cucumber Salad

3 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. Paleo mayonnaise

2 tsp. fresh lime juice, about 1/2 a lime

3/4 tsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

1 scallion, sliced

Directions

1) In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder and salt.

2) In a serving bowl, place the cucumber slices, parsley, and scallions. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy!

Serves 2-3

Cucumber-Avocado Salad

Cucumber Avocado SaladThis special salad is a nod to my wonderful neighbors who brought the original version to our house for dinner one evening. Three ingredients: Cucumber, avocado, and olive oil. That was it. After one taste of the crunchy, smooth, gorgeously green combination, I was hooked.

I have since added thinly sliced sweet onion and grassy parsley because I love how they layer into the salad and provide even greater color contrast. This salad is so pretty, it is perfect for company, but it is so simple that you can make it just for you any time you want. With very few ingredients, each one needs to be able to stand alone in freshness and taste. This is especially true for your olive oil. You want to use an extra virgin olive oil that has a flavor you love because it really comes through when paired with such simple, pure ingredients.

Once you taste this salad, it is sure to become a favorite. Go ahead and try it both ways – they are equally spectacular!

Cucumber-Avocado Salad

1 cucumber

1/4 of a sweet onion

1/4 c. parsley, about 1 Tbsp. chopped

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1 avocado

Direction

1) Peel the cucumber and cut it down the middle lengthwise. Remove the seeds using a small spoon. With a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the cucumber crosswise into very thin slices and place in a bowl.

2) Very thinly slice the onion and chop the parsley. Add to the bowl with the cucumber, drizzle the olive oil over the salad, add salt, and toss thoroughly.

3) Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the entire half at once. Place pit side down on a cutting board and slice through the middle (not lengthwise or crosswise – keep the knife parallel to the cutting board). Now cut the avocado into thirds lengthwise, and then crosswise into thin little pieces. Do the same with the second half. Add to the bowl and toss as gently as you can, trying not to mash up the avocado. Taste, add salt if necessary, and enjoy this delightfully simple combination.

Serves 2-3

Note: If you’re following a Paleo Auto-Immune Protocal, check out the PhoenixHelix recipe roundtable!