ChefRDN's food in writing
Moving and traveling often leaves me craving healthy, lighter fare. It's easy to make excuses to go out for food and avoid having to prepare something at home when all your favorite gadgets and cooking gear is stowed away. Exerting energy all day from these activities is tiring. Going out for food becomes the norm in this case, which is both entertaining and adventuresome, but it's not how I prefer to eat on a daily basis. One can imagine how crazed I was becoming from
a) lack of access to my own kitchen equipment/space
b) eating an atypical diet
c) having little artistic expression through food
Immediately following my Big Move Day, I headed to the St. Paul Farmer's market. My hands were eager to pick up my knife and create something beautiful and refreshing.. .. .. reviving even.
My eyes went wide as I approached the market square. I took a deep breathe, smiled largely and started walking the perimeter. Typically, I like to scope out the produce and see what's available. If I only have $20, then I want to choose wisely, so I must see ALL my options before I start purchasing. Heirloom tomatoes were essential, so I set aside enough monies and went from there. Soon my funds were dry and my hands full.
kohlrabi, mint, basil, leeks, red Russian kale, lacinato (dino) kale, green beans, mixed salade greens, heirloom tomatoes
-yes, all of this for $20!
What a deal!
A previous market trip left me with lemon cukes, white beets, Hungarian hot wax peppers and an 8 ball zucchini to incorporate into my salade. Therefore, I made sure to include these ingredients along with a few of my new foods.
revivify me salade
1 cup firm tofu, diced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup white beet julienned*
1/8 cup red onion, small dice
1/2 Hungarian hot wax, thinly sliced (option to omit or substitute)
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 cup cooked rice
4 cups lettuce
1/2 cup zucchini*, cubed
1/2 cup green beans, sliced
10 slices cucumber*
maldon or sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
*Many substitutions can be made in this recipe, so free to use whatever you have on-hand.
-The white beets are exceptionally sweet and cuts through the Hungarian hot wax pepper quite nicely, but the red would really make this dish pop!
-I used 8 ball zucchini, but any variety will work.
-Lemon cucumbers can be difficult to find, unless it's summer in MN and you're at a outdoor market. Choose any variety if they aren't available; otherwise, do opt for the lemon for something fun and different.
1) In a saute pan, add the oil, and when hot, add the tofu. Brown each side for 1-2 min, add half the rice wine vinegar, cover with lid and set aside away from heat.
2) Mix the beets, onion, peppers, remaining rice wine vinegar, and lime juice (add the zest if you want more pizazz) in a bowl and set aside.
3) On two plates, arrange the salad beginning with the rice, then lettuce, zucchini, green beans, fanned cucumber, beet/pepper mix, and finally tofu. Add salt and pepper to taste.