A very long time ago, I worked in a kitchen for a short period of time. The restaurant was a steak house and I worked on the salad station. It was a time in my life when I was debating quitting university to go to culinary school so I thought it was a good idea to get some experience in the kitchen before I made such a life-changing decision. For a lot of reasons, I didn’t end up going to culinary school but the one dish I think of when I think of that time was their caesar salad. I remember, on my last day, the chef I was working with gave me a little container of the caesar dressing because he knew I loved it so much. Since then, I have never really made my own caesar salad dressing. This is because every time I looked up a recipe they called for anchovies, which I have never been able to find at the store. A couple of weeks ago, I got a massive craving for caesar salad and decided that instead of tracking down anchovies, I would just try to make a dressing without it. On top of that, I knew I wanted it to be a kale caesar salad. I finally got my hands on some black/dinosaur kale again (which is my favourite in salads) and since caesar salad dressing is quite heavy, I didn’t want any delicate greens that would get weighed down.
My market stall neighbours sell healthy snacks. I always think it is funny standing there as they describe their flourless, sugarless treats and I look down at my bagels, filled with (glorious) gluten, white flour and sugar. I am, however, always surprised when we share a customer, but I guess in the end, you can’t argue with tastiness whether it’s a healthy snack or more of a treat. A whole section of their snacks is various flavours of roasted chickpeas. Until they came around, I totally forgot about these little guys, which are in many ways the perfect savoury snack. I used to love making them and sprinkling them over homemade hummus. They are simple, easy to make, customizable, pretty filling, healthy and crunchy. So, last week, I made a batch of slightly spicy, salty chickpeas and threw them in a salad, which turned a simple bowl of tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber into a light, summer meal.
I really love working out of coffee shops because I am always so much more productive. I love the hum of some noise going on as I work, all of the other people working hard on their laptops, and the delicious drinks that are at my fingertips. I don’t love coffee shop food though, so I normally go to the coffee shop, drink a lot of tea lattes and last as long as possible before I can’t take it anymore and have to go home for something to eat. Earlier this week, I lasted until about 1:30 and then raced home for a nice meal. I didn’t have anything pre-prepared so I thought of couscous right away. Couscous is awesome because it is ready in under 10 minutes: just what I needed! I gathered everything green in my kitchen and ended up with this delicious, light green couscous salad, which I took a couple of minutes to snap some pictures of, because I knew I wanted to share it here.
A few weeks ago at the farmer’s market, I had a bunch of bagels leftover. The lady next to me was selling cucumbers and we bartered our wares. I ended up with a lot of cucumbers. Four huge english cucumbers to be exact. On top of that, my boyfriend was out of town for a few days, so I was left to consume them on my own. While I could have easily juiced them, I got hooked on making cucumber salad. I would make a big bowl of salad, thinking that I would have leftovers hanging out in the fridge (it is definitely the type of salad that improves as it sits). But, instead, I would end up eating a whole english cucumber in one sitting. I couldn’t stop. It was delicious.