Just over a decade ago, I used the California Roll as a means to dip my toes into the sushi waters before diving head first into the good stuff — like ikura and toro.
These days, I take a hard pass when it comes to this Americanized rendition of sushi — one that chefs from L.A. and Vancouver dispute over for credit. But there’s no denying that the flavor profile is enticing and refreshing, and it’s one that I like to appreciate in its own way.
Away from the sushi menu.
When you bring crisp spiralized cucumber to a bowl with chilled vermicelli noodles, creamy avocado, nori strips, and imitation crab, you end up with a refreshing noodle salad that is summer lunch perfection.
And let’s face it: if there’s ever a reason to use imitation crab, it’s in a California Roll-inspired dish. Most sushi joints use imitation crab in their California Rolls because it’s cost efficient. This is why the California Roll is a fraction of the price of a quality salmon, tuna, and scallop rolls. So, for the sake of being true to something that is untrue…
Ohhhh my word. Friends. Bid your usual cucumber and tomato salad adieu, because this bad boy is off the charts.
Think crisp and refreshing cucumbers tossed in a homemade balsamic dressing with soft mozzarella balls, juicy tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black olives, and toasted walnuts.
Did I mention the soft mozzarella balls?
This Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts has become a go-to at home throughout the summer months. Not only is it substantial, but it’s cooling, rejuvenating, and you don’t have to cook a damn thing. It’s also incredibly versatile; it makes for a fabulous light lunch, healthy snack, and dinner side.
Not big into olives? Read on for alterations.
I love hitting up the patio to grill. Nothing tastes more summertime than something that’s been given the char treatment — especially when it comes to your fave proteins and veggies. But here in North Carolina, some days are just too damn hot. Too hot to fire up the grill, too hot to heat up the oven, and almost too hot to eat… but we *have* to eat.
For this reason, I think it’s super important to have a few go-to recipes that will cool you down while also being substantial and nourishing for your bod.
This soba noodle salad does just that; this soba noodle salad is LIFE.
I’ve enjoyed tuna salad sandwiches my entire life. (Does that make me weird?) But growing up, it was the mayo that reeled me in. The creamier, the better. (Does that make me weirder?)
Disastrously, mayo has become a “sometimes” thing these days because in my 30s, my metabolic rate isn’t quite like it was in my teens; I can no longer eat 6 oz of cheese with crackers or run a train on a nacho platter at 11pm. (I mean, I want to, but you know… repercussions.)
But thanks to healthy gems like avocado and Greek yogurt, I’ve been able to recreate the creaminess I covet sans guilt. Plus, finding substitutions has also compelled me to play around with recipes. Little did I know, way back when, that a tuna sandwich could be much more than a jumble of mayo and scallions. There are umpteen ways to jazz up this good stuff, and this Greek spin is one of my faves.
This wholesome and refreshing dish is exactly what I needed after roadtrippin’ to the North a few weeks ago.
I have a love/hate relationship with traveling.
I discovered this in my early twenties when I landed a job in the music industry working as an editorial assistant for a publishing company that issued a handful of music magazines. Within the first year, I went from hardly escaping my small Canadian hometown to jetting through the US from NYC to San Fran. I felt so alive in these new places! Well, for the first day or two. But with transient travel comes cramming too many things into a small timeframe and that, my friends, siphons the life out of me.
With my husband and I living in NC and our families being dispersed between PA and Canada, this is a regular part of life now: overwhelming short-lived trips full of company, a lot of energy, and a mass amount of food. (Gotta mow down enough of those hometown faves while we’re there and while we can.)
To say that I needed this healthful protein-packed plate of goodness when I got home would be an understatement. I’ve eaten this three times in the last week and a half.