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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 04 2015

Creamy Cucumber Noodle Salad with Cherry Tomatoes (Plus Bonus Shopping Guide!)

By Guest
10 Comments

Creamy_Cucumber_Noodle_Salad_0This is a guest post from Diana Rodgers, the author of Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go, and The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Delicious, Gluten-Free, Farm-to-Table Recipes, and a Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food. Below is a recipe from her book using Primal Kitchen™ Mayo. In her book, you’ll also learn how to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and the herbs needed for this recipe yourself! If you don’t have a green thumb and prefer to buy your produce at a farmer’s market, check out Diana’s tips following the recipe about how you can save money and still eat great on a Primal Blueprint diet. You can learn more about Diana at www.sustainabledish.com.

Creamy Cucumber Noodle Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Serves: 4

Long strings of cucumbers mixed with a creamy herb dressing and cherry tomatoes are so much fun served as a side with fish or grilled meat in the summer. My favorite cherry tomatoes are the variety Sun Gold, which we grow every year at the farm. They are less acidic than red tomatoes and have the most beautiful yellow/orange color, which has been my favorite hue since I was a little kid. If you’ve never used a spiral vegetable slicer before, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make noodles out of all kinds of vegetables. Just please watch out for the very sharp blades.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Primal Kitchen Mayo
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup minced fresh dill
  • ¼ cup minced fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • Mix the mayo, lemon juice, dill, and mint together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a spiral vegetable slicer, spin the cucumbers into noodles.
  • Place the cucumbers and red onion in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
  • Top with the sliced cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve at once—this dish does not like to wait.

NOTE: This salad is also great with zucchini instead of cucumber.

Creamy_Cucumber_Noodle_Salad_2

How to Save Money and Still Eat Well

Have a plan

Menu planning is a lost art. If you figure out ahead of time what you’ll be eating when, it’s much easier to economize and save money on your grocery bill.

Cook and buy in bulk

It’s just as easy to roast multiple chickens as one, and with the oven already on, it’s simple to toss in a bunch of sweet potatoes. Is there a sale on your favorite olive oil? Stock up and save! Look for sales on meat at the market and add it to your stash. Not only is buying a whole or half of an animal more economical, it also lets you use more varied cuts than if you just purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts or specialty steaks—so it’s a great way to explore the different cuts of meat.

Make your own bone broth

It’s the ultimate way to recycle a roast chicken or leg of lamb.

Grow your own food

While having your own chickens might cost more, the quality of the eggs far surpasses what you’ll get at the grocery store, and a veggie patch is a great way to save money. Live in a city? Maybe you can have container vegetables on the rooftop or fire escape, or you could tend a plot at a community garden.

Preserve the harvest

Freeze greens, can tomatoes, and make some sauerkraut. Not only will you save money, you’ll get to enjoy garden-grown produce in the middle of winter.

Dine in

Once you gain some confidence in the kitchen and get used to eating fantastic home-cooked food, you’ll think twice before spending your money on junky takeout or a mediocre steak at the local pub. Stay in and spend half of what you would have at the restaurant on your own home cooking. Don’t have much time? Scrambled eggs take less than five minutes. That’s faster and cheaper than ordering a pizza!

Buy local and in season

Local, seasonal produce is fresher than what you get at a supermarket and will last longer in your fridge. Instead of going to a farmers market and only picking out the most beautiful tomatoes, consider focusing your shopping trip on what is at its peak. Is it June? Strawberries and greens are what’s on the menu in New England. Is it January? Get some local cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and onions for a warm and satisfying stew. It’s much more sustainable and economical to build your weekly menu around what’s local and in season, and not whatever fancy recipe you crave at the moment.

Seek out less-expensive ingredients

Ground meat, organ meats, trash fish—fish that aren’t generally eaten in a particular region, such as carp in America—and unsexy vegetables like cabbage are better bets if you’re on a budget. At the farmers market, ask if they have “seconds”—vegetables that are blemished and not pretty enough for display. You could be canning extra tomatoes with a barrelful of tomato seconds at half price.

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10 thoughts on “Creamy Cucumber Noodle Salad with Cherry Tomatoes (Plus Bonus Shopping Guide!)”

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  1. Looks yummy, will have to try it! One tip I’ve found with cucumber or zucchini strings, is if I sprinkle them with a little salt then wrap them in a clean towel or paper towels and stick in the fridge for a few hours, it eliminates excess juice and makes them more ‘noodle-y’ tasting.

  2. This dish looks inviting, especially for a hot summer day. That said, I’ve never understood the need to disguise vegetables as something else. Seems to me it’s selling them short not to appreciate them for what they are. I’m sure this would taste just as good if the cukes are merely sliced rather than spiral cut…but then, I’ve never been a big fan of noodles.

    However you decide to cut them, season the cukes with salt first. Let them set for 15 minutes and then drain the excess water before combining with the other ingredients. (You don’t need to add more salt.) Otherwise the dressing might turn watery and dilute the flavor.

    1. I agree. In fact I’ll just take a whole cucumber in one hand and tomatoes in the other and chow down.

    2. I wouldn’t really call it disguising the vegetables (unless you are intentionally doing it to get someone to eat something they normally wouldn’t). I love cooking and cooking is a creative outlet for me. Experimenting with visual appeal and texture is something I get a lot of joy out of. Would I eat the cucumber as is? Sure, but the idea of doing something different with it is exciting to me. It has nothing to do with not being able to appreciate a food in its basic form. 🙂

      1. Exactly. It’s not about fake pasta. I have fallen in love all over again with certain veggies just due to my spiral cutter. The look and feel of a new texture will make your brain happy when you eat a familiar taste.

    3. Its a shape / texture thing for me. I don’t miss pasta itself much, but I missed the dishes they showed up in like stir-frys and such. I spiralize zuchinni frequently now to cook dishes I like. Its not disguising the veggie, just putting it in a different form to fit a dish better.
      I like munching on cucumbers, whether sprinking with salt and pepper or dipping. I’ll have to try this dish that elevates it to a true side dish.

  3. I don’t have a spiral slicer. I use the matchstick attachment on the mandoline. The matchsticks hold more dressing than round slices. I agree with salting the cukes. It helps to firm them up and preserve the crunch. If you run out of Primal Mayo, substitute a whole mashed avocado but eat it right away before it oxidizes.

  4. I can’t wait to try this. Looks so good! I certainly don’t need to disguise either cucumber or zucchini but I so want a spiralizer. We love to grow country gold tomatoes. They’re our favorite to grow. We also love lemon cucumbers which are really crispy and crunchy. I can’t wait

  5. Perfect timing! We have a bunch of cucumbers coming in and a few are too large to want to pickle. Now I have something interesting to do with them!