It’s been quite some time since I shared a recipe, but it’s not because I’m not cooking. I haven’t shared any recipes because I haven’t been doing my own spin on meals I prepare lately. This salad is the exception — I didn’t follow a recipe for this, I created it myself!
This Mediterranean salad is inspired by a salad my parents and I enjoyed at an Afghan restaurant we discovered last weekend. The waiter gave us each a big plate full of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers swimming in a pool of light, acidic, and tangy dressing. I’ve had a strong craving for Mediterranean food lately, so I thought it’d be fun to make it at home! Below is the recipe.
My Version of a Mediterranean-Inspired Salad (modify as desired!)
- 2 large cucumbers
- 4 small/medium-sized tomatoes
- A lot of fresh parsley
- Many mint leaves
- Several sprigs of fresh dill
- One lemon
- Apple cider vinegar (optional)
- Two garlic cloves
- Garlic powder (optional)
- 1/2 red onion
- Feta cheese
- Peel and julienne large cucumbers (the mandolin my dad got me for Christmas worked wonders for this) and put in a large bowl
- Dice the tomatoes and toss in the bowl. Try to keep the guts of the tomato intact so it can add to the dressing.
- Chop up more fresh parsley than you think you need, and add it
- Chop a ton of fresh mint
- I plucked the dill right off of the stem and threw them into the bowl…I don’t know if there’s an “official” way to prepare fresh dill.
- Squeeze one lemon over the mixture
- Option to add some apple cider vinegar as well. I would’ve added another lemon but I didn’t have any, so I used the vinegar to provide more acidity
- Mince the garlic and add
- If raw garlic is irritating to your digestive system, I recommend using garlic powder instead. I used both garlic powder and raw garlic
- Chop the red onion and add
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- The night before you serve, or even right before you eat it, add as much feta as you would like. I added it as late as possible because I think it would dissolve into the dressing otherwise.
That’s it! It’s quite simple but so satisfying.
One more note- it’s best to prepare this at least the night before so everything can soak overnight.
If you make this at home, let me know what your take on the recipe is.
While I usually eat pretty well, I’ve refined my diet more to benefit my skin, ovulation cycle, and my body! The meals I’ve been eating have been filling and delicious, so I wanted to share them. I only included breakfast and lunch because my lunch is usually leftovers from dinner.
This isn’t just any toast- it’s toast with goat cheese! I don’t regularly eat goat cheese but since I’ve eliminated dairy from my diet to benefit my skit and ovulation, I’ve chosen not to consume cheese from cows. Thus, goat cheese has come into my life and it’s quite good! I purchased a small, spreadable one from the grocery store and it helps keep me satisfied until I finally eat lunch at noon. Goat cheese and toast was a recommended breakfast in the book I’ve been reading, Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden, because goat cheese has some protein and the toast provides carbs. I eat some berries (and take some to go!) to make things a little more tasty.
By the way: If you don’t already, you should follow me on Goodreads and I’ll follow you back!
I also make some chai in the morning in lieu of coffee so I avoid the caffeine-jitters. The chai I make is from an Indian store and my girlfriend taught me how to make it. It is my absolute favorite morning beverage, aside from coffee, because it is spicy and flavorful. Lately I’ve been adding almond milk to it and a teaspoon of honey. Sometimes I add a teaspoon this rose syrup too, also from an Indian store. It has a flowery taste and it’s quite delicious! I find it important to note that any form of corn syrup is not an ingredient in this syrup, instead, the main ingredient is sugar.
Lunch at Noon:
Most of this stuff were leftovers from the dinner my mom had made the night before. Not all of my food is visible but inside this container is salmon, cod, fried eggplant, potatoes, arugala salad, green peppers, and tomatoes. It all can be eaten cold, which makes things more convenient.
To ensure I get sufficient carbs in my diet, I also bring rice that I make.
This is the rice that I prepared the night before to bring for lunch. It is a recipe my girlfriend taught me and it is my favorite food. It’s soooo good because it’s so flavorful and satisfying! I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients to make it correctly so I had to improvise a bit, but it is still delicious and easy to make.
For this version of my girlfriend’s recipe, I sauteed some chopped yellow onions and cumin powder in a pan of hot olive oil. Then I added the soaked and rinsed Basmati rice and water. After that, you just let the rice boil and the water evaporate!
These meals are satisfying and delicious, which has been great since I’ve been expending a lot of physical energy during my training.
What do y’all eat when you are working out or you spend a whole day adventuring/traveling?
I recently made a salad inspired by a recipe from the Yoga Journal, and it was great! I have mixed feelings about salad because at least when I make it for myself, I don’t feel like I have the greatest skill at combining ingredients that go well together. Therefore, salad recipes, albeit simple, are helpful to me. As per usual with the recipes I prepare, I didn’t have every ingredient required, so I had to improvise. The results were still great though!
I didn’t measure anything for this recipe so I just threw a couple of handfuls of arugula in a bowl and I added a quarter of an avocado, because I had eaten most of it the previous day. Then I added chopped walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, the rest of the parmesan that I had, and a chopped tomato. Lastly, I squeezed half a lemon, drizzled olive oil, added a bunch of black pepper, and a pinch or two of Kosher salt.
That was it! It was super simple and it had flavors that I usually don’t add to my salad unless I’m at a salad bar or if the salad is made for me.
Some of my go-to salad ingredients are canned beets, canned mandarin slices, craisins, and red peppers. Clearly, I like sweet salads.
What are your favorite ingredients for a salad?
This slideshow feature must be relatively new, I’m pretty excited to use it for my food blog!
Anyway…this will be the last food blog of the summer. I hope to continue cooking when the semester starts, but it may be even less frequent than how often I’m cooking now (I haven’t cooked in about three weeks. Part of that is due to the fact that I traveled for two weeks but…I’ve been home for awhile and I haven’t made anything yet).
I actually didn’t make this; my mom made it for the Fourth of July and I thought it was too aesthetically pleasing (and delicious!) not to share! I believe my mom found the recipe on Facebook and all it is is watermelon cut into the shape of stars with mozzarella cheese, and arugula sandwiched in between two watermelon slices. Then balsamic glaze is drizzled on top to add some acidity. She used a cookie cutter for this, although I’m sure you can do it by hand too. This dish seemed pretty weird at first, but it’s refreshing and tasty. Plus it’s super easy and a cool twist on the mozzarella, basil, tomato, and balsamic vinegar with olive oil appetizer.
This is the first self-care post!
If you’ve read any of the three posts I’ve written since I returned from my hiatus, you would understand that I’ve been overwhelmed by heavy emotions and that I’ve been taking measures to improve my mood and well-being. I’m currently on summer break and although I’m working two part-time jobs, they are jobs I can do from home and I have flexible hours so I have been able to ensure that I’m making self-care my priority!
Methods that I’ve taken to improve my well-being include working out, writing, and cooking.
I won’t be delving too much into my workout because I’m still trying to consistently go to the gym. For two weeks I went twice a week and last week I went three times, so now I’m trying to go three times this week too. I go for about 20-30 minutes…I want to eventually increase the sessions. Otherwise, there’s nothing noteworthy about my workout (yet).
I’m not going to explore the writing method because I share all my publishable writing on here; therefore, I will solely be exploring cooking in these posts! If I start getting into another type of self-care habit, I will definitely share it with y’all but in the meantime…I’ll only be talking about food.