Fresh Tomato, Cucumber, Basil, & Orzo Salad

This salad couldn’t be simpler to make. Every time I make it, I am surprised at how much I love the flavor.

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First, slice up some tomatoes and cucumbers.

I used about 1 1/2 cups of each. I sliced, as well as cubed the cucumbers to have a variation in texture.

Toss in a couple tablespoons of fresh basil leaves.

Add in about 2 cups of cooked orzo.

Top with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

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That’s it! And it’s absolutely easy and fresh. I grew up eating cucumbers and love them fresh, but apparently not everyone does. Hopefully you do, and you maybe try this salad and tell me how good it was!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Watermelon, Feta, Mint, & Fennel Salad

Watermelon has been tasting so good lately with the arrival of warm weather.

A version of this salad is a regular feature in my kitchen whenever watermelon is available.

This time, I added some fennel due to my garden having an abundance of it at the moment.

To make:

Cut up half of a watermelon and place into container or bowl.

Slice up a fennel bulb into thin slices and place into container.

Add in 1/4 cup mint leaves and a few fronds of fennel.

Top with 1 – 2 Tablespoons of feta cheese or vegan substitute if desired.

Enjoy in the sunshine with your favorite tunes playing in the background! My top choice is almost always Arthur Russell. I’ll be enjoying this in my backyard during the daytime because as of this posting there is only one more day of school left!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Cabbage + Veggie Stir Fry

I’m not a huge stir-fry fan, but this recipe from PopSugar caught my eye. I gave it a try, with variations of course, and really loved it!

It’s vibrant, beautiful, tasty, and healthy. It’s a great way to use up any lingering vegetables in the house as well.

I used Quorn “chicken” cutlets as a substitute for tofu because I cannot find package-free tofu near me, and I’m also not the biggest fan of tofu anyway. It can be delicious, but it requires more energy from me than I am willing to give most weeknights, or heck, even weekends.

The vegetables consisted of 1/2 head of cabbage, 3 carrots, 1 bell pepper, and 1 bunch of broccoli rabe. Veggies should be sliced long and thin, especially the cabbage so that it resembles noodles.

For seasonings you’ll want:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 Tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos (commonly found in bulk sections)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon each of minced garlic + ginger

Mix all the liquids together and set aside.

**I was already roasting veggies for another dish and added the Quorn cutlets to the roasting pan until they were thoroughly heated, then cubed them before adding them to this dish.

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil of choice in large, heavy pan set to high heat.

Toss garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant, add in cutlets if using, then carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper.

Cook until veggies start to soften a bit, about 10 minutes, then add in cabbage, and continue to fry.

Add in the liquid seasonings and coat everything in the mixture, stirring constantly.

You’ll see your veggies start to shrink and brown a bit, taking on the flavorings of the sauces.

Add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and mix together.

Cook until veggies are softer, but still have a crispiness to them.

Add salt and pepper as needed and enjoy!

I let my dish continue to cook after this photo because the veggies were still quite raw at this point.

Peace and love,

Kristan