Tag Archives: Cucumber

Refreshing Cucumber Salsa

2015-06-07 12.38.50

I received this recipe in my email this weekend and just had to try it out. It was originally from a Taste of Home reader from North Dakota (Crisp Cucumber Salsa) and the only thing I changed was the type of cucumber. I used the english/hothouse cucumber and didn’t peel it. The original recipe called for peeling the cucumber, which I would only do if I used a regular variety. The english style holds up better and stays firmer.

I made the recipe for a couple of friends and it was a huge success. So easy and healthy as well! The original recipe called for serving immediately but I think letting it chill for a bit would be better. I will definitely be making this quite a bit this summer!

A refreshing, light, crunchy salsa/relish. It would easily go on burgers, hot dogs, chicken or fish as well! I might even try using greek yogurt instead of the sour cream next time! If anyone tries it that way let me know!

Ingredients:

2 cups finely chopped, seeded cucumber (I used english cucumber)

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato (1 medium plum tomato)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 TBS minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup light sour cream

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

1-1/2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Baked tortilla chip scoops

Instructions:

1: In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, jalapeño pepper, cilantro and garlic.

2: in a small bowl add the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt.

3: Pour creamy mixture over the cucumber mixture and mix gently. Coating all ingredients.

4: It can be served immediately but is better chilled for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Stir before serving.

Calories: 16 per 1/4 cup (without chips)

Fat: 1g

Sodium: 44mg

Carbs: 2g

Protein: 1g

Tomato, Cucumber & White Bean Salad

Finding dishes that I can put together quickly is becoming more of a habit these days. Between work and chores around the house I am always looking for fast, healthy dishes. For the past holiday weekend I didn’t have a ‘salad’  to serve with our meal. I was tired of the same old lettuce salads. So I looked in my refrigerator. I found a cucumber that had about a third left on it. I also had a few Campari tomatoes that were very ripe and wouldn’t last much longer. So I chopped them up and mixed with some garlic. Then I thought it needed something else because it really wasn’t enough for 4-6 people who would be dining with us. So I threw in a can of white cannellini beans. Yum! I also added some white balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mixed it up. Delicious and it was a huge hit! Fast and good for us!

 

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 Campari tomatoes (or whatever you have on hand), cut into bite size pieces

1/3 cucumber, peeled and cut into pieces

1 clove garlic chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

white balsamic vinegar, about 1/8 cup

olive oil, about ¼ cup

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients together and chill to serving time!

Layered Greek Dip

This is such an easy and quick dip to throw together. There are only 5 ingredients! Nice! I love Greek food and we don’t get to go out for it too often. Probably because where I live in south Florida there are very few good Greek restaurants. We did find a great one in St. Augustine called Athena’s. But I’m not driving over 3 hours for Greek food! Anyway this is just a snack food anyway but it’s healthy too.

This is best in a round nine-inch pie plate but if you don’t have one, just use something else. A long oval dish is fine also. You want something that has sides so everything stays where it should.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

7 ounces prepared hummus (any brand you like)

4 ounces crumbled light Feta cheese (use regular if you are not watching calories)

½ cup chopped tomatoes

¼ cup chopped cucumbers (best to use the English ones and leave the skin on)

2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

oregano

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spread the hummus onto bottom of a 9″ pie plate or other serving dish.

2. Cover with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

3. Sprinkle with a little oregano if you wish.

4. Serve with baked pita chips!

Cucumber Margarita

The first time I saw this recipe was in a copy of Coastal Living. I came across it again and decided it definitely needed to be revisited. It sounded delicious the first time and even more now! Cucumber and margarita definitely sound odd. When I look for a new cocktail to try odd sometimes turns out to be incredible! It’s healthy, it has a vegetable in it! The recipe states 12 slices of cucumber. It doesn’t state if it should be peeled or not or how thick the slices should be. The photo does show the garnish of cucumber with skin and it does have green specs in it, so I would guess you don’t have to peel it, unless you want to. I would use the English style cucumbers as they have a less waxy film on them. If anyone tries one, let me know! Leave a comment! I love to hear what everyone has to say! Fall can start on Monday, enjoy a last bit of summer this weekend!

INGREDIENTS:

12  slices fresh cucumber

½ cup fresh lime juice

4  ounces  (½ cup) Cointreau

6  ounces  (¾ cup) tequila reposado

6  cups  ice

¼ cup  Grand Marnier

Lime slices

DIRECTIONS:

Combine cucumber and next 4 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

Pour into glasses. Top each serving with a tablespoon of Grand Marnier, and garnish with lime or cucumber.

Makes 4 servings

Tabouli with Quinoa

Usually I am not a big fan of mint. No mojitos for me.  And definitely none of that flourescent green mint jelly when I have lamb! That is wrong to my taste buds on so many levels. Luckily my husband is not a fan either. So many recipes have mint in them and most of the time, to me anyway, it’s too much. So when I tried Tabouli years ago I was surprised to find that there was mint in it! Imagine that! I liked it in spite of that! And now with my new favorite food, quinoa, I can have that delicious tabouli salad with a more healthy twist! It’s a refreshing and filling salad for lunch or a side dish or just for snacking in the afternoon. I will also add crumbled feta cheese to mine for a little extra zip. You can use goat cheese if you want too, anything you like really. Just don’t go crazy and kill all the good with too much cheese. Moderation! This recipe is also one time where you should have the fresh parsley rather than dried.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

¼ cup fresh parsley, without stems

2/3 cup green onions (scallions), cut into ¼” pieces

1½ cups peeled cucumbers, cut into ¼” pieces

1½ cups chopped tomatoes, cut into ¼” pieces

1 garlic clove, minced (no garlic powder on this)

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon dried mint (optional)

½ cup crumbled light or fat-free feta cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Put quinoa in a fine strainer and rinse under running water until water runs clear. Drain well. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Quinoa will be fluffy. Chill in the refrigerator or rinse cooked quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer under COLD running water. Drain well.

2. Toss remaining ingredients with quinoa and serve!

Makes 5 cups (1 cup per serving)

Creamy Cucumber Pasta Salad

Any excuse to make a pasta salad is good for me. This is a different take on the usual pasta salads because you don’t usually have cucumbers in a pasta salad. This also has peas and cubed ham. Sounds delicious just thinking about it! I always use the lighter versions of mayonnaise and sour cream but you don’t have to. It’s up to you. I will also use the whole wheat pasta in this recipe but if you really don’t like it just use regular pasta. Either way it’s a tasty side dish for a hot summer day! Or cold winter day! Pasta salads are always a good quick meal or side dish for any occasion.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup light mayonnaise

½ cup light sour cream

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, chopped in chunks

½ teaspoon dried dill weed, crushed

2 green onions (scallions), chopped

¼ cup chopped black olives

1 teaspoon white pepper

8 ounces fusilli pasta (spirals)

1 cup peas (canned is fine)

1 lb. smoked or plain ham, cubed


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor or blender, purée the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, honey, salt, cucumber, dill weed, green onions and pepper.

2. Cook pasta according to package, drain.

3. Toss warm pasta with the dressing ingredients. Stir in the peas and ham and olives. Chill until ready to serve.

You can even add some shredded cheddar or other cheese if you want.

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK MY WEBSITE: http://www.cucinadiandrea.com!!!

Greek Dipping Sauce

I just came up with this recipe while looking for something to do with the crème fraîche I had just made a few days before. (Thanks Wendy!) I was having fish for dinner that night and usually I make my own tartar sauce but I wanted something different this time. This is what I cam up with. We used it on top of our pan-fried tilapia. But it’s perfect with fresh veggies as a dip or a sauce for lamb or anything you want to put it on!

Greek Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup crème fraîche* (recipe below)

6 oz. container Greek non-fat plain yogurt

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped

1-2 cloves garlic (use 2 if you really like garlic)

1 teaspoon dried dill

juice of 1/2 lemon

DIRECTIONS:

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until all ingredients are mixed well.

Makes about 2 cups

CREME FRAICHE RECIPE

This recipe is courtesy of my friend Wendy Larsen.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place ingredients into a clean sterilized jar with a tight lid. Shake to combine and let stand at room temperature until thick, 24-48 hours.

2. Once thickened shake gently and then chill until you are ready to use it. Keeps up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.


**As Wendy told me, yes it is strange to have this sit on counter for 24-48 hours but it works and you won’t get sick. Don’t worry! It’s very cool once it’s all thickened!

Party Snacks: Cucumber Crab Caps, Dilled Shrimp, Tortilla Roll-Ups, Pickle & Ham Roll-Ups

Finally getting around to doing my blog. Cleaned the house with the hubby which is always a fun thing to do! NOT! One day I will be able to hire Molly Maids again. But until then it’s just us.

Ok down to business. I am going to add 4 party snacks/appetizers today! I first made all of these appetizers for my sister Michele’s baby shower, for her 1st child! This would make it the shower for my god-daughter Heather, who is now 11! So yes, these have been around awhile. I was up till 3am the day before the shower preparing all the food with my friend Kerry! (Remember going to supermarket at 11am for mayonnaise Kerry?) If it wasn’t for Kerry I never would have gotten it all done, or slept for that matter!  All worked out and these snacks were a hit. There is one that I know most of you will wrinkle your nose at. But make it and tell me what you think. After the first time I’ve made it for people they say, ewww… But then at the next party if I don’t have it they ask for it.

CUCUMBER CRAB CAPS

INGREDIENTS:

4 ½ TBS mayonnaise

2 ½ TBS fresh lemon juice

5 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

salt to taste

1 cup shredded cooked crabmeat

¼ cup finely chopped celery

1 TBS chopped fresh chives

2 cucumbers (about 6 inches long)(You can use either regular or english style cucumbers)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  In a medium bowl, using a fork to blend, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and Tabasco sauce. Season to taste with salt. Stir in crabmeat, celery and chives. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

2. Under running water, thoroughly scrub the cucumbers. Using the tines of a fork, scratch lines on the cucumbers. Chill.

3. Using a sharp knife, slice the cucumbers into  1/3″ slices. You should get about 36 slices. Arrange the slices on a platter or serving tray and using a teaspoon, top each with the crabmeat mixture.

Makes 36 caps

DILLED SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

1/3 cup lemon juice

¼ cup sugar

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 TBS crushed dried dill

2 pounds medium-sized cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, onion and dill and mix well.

2. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Serve with toothpicks on the side.

Makes 8-10 servings.

TORTILLA ROLL-UPS

INGREDIENTS:

8 large flour tortillas

2 cups (16oz) hummus or boursin cheese (or any type herb soft cheese)

1 cup watercress leaves or radish sprouts

2 cups grated carrot

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly sliced yellow pepper

salt and pepper to taste

decorative toothpicks

DIRECTIONS:

1. Lay out tortillas. Spread hummus or cheese thinly over entire tortilla, right up to the edge.

2. Sprinkle other ingredients evenly over the tortillas. Roll up as tightly as possible, using a bit of hummus/cheese to seal edges, if necessary. Press gently to ‘glue’ it all together.

3. Use a serrated knife to cut off and discard uneven ends. Cut the rest into 1¾” pieces. Pierce each piece with a toothpick and arrange on tray and serve.

**You can also wrap the rolls in wax paper and chill about an hour before slicing. It should make slicing a little easier.

PICKLE & HAM ROLL-UPS

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 package (8oz) sliced deli ham (the pre-packaged kind is best, like Dak, Plumrose etc. since they are all the same size)

8 medium to large Claussen whole kosher dill pickles (trim edges)

Ham & Pickle Roll-ups

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spread 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese on each slice of ham. Place one pickle on the edge of each slice and roll up tight, pressing edges to seal.

2. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

3. Cut each roll-up into ½” slices. You should get at least 6 slices per roll-up. Arrange on a slant with toothpicks.

Watch them disappear!!


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