Thursday, April 26, 2012

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta, Mint and Cucumber

Sometimes an idea is soooo good, it stops the presses.

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad - a light, refreshing
accompaniment to any protein!
Imagine my surprise, tooling along on Day 10 of a 2Week Atkins Re-Induction adventure. Happy, care free. Not a thought in my head. Except supper, or dinner by any other name. And I started hankerin’.

That’s right.

I hanker – especially around the 3 o’clock p.m. Witching Hour. Don’t hate.

I started hankerin’ after a photo I saw on Pinterest for this gorgeous zucchini ribbon salad. Now let’s understand this. I don’t eat raw zucchini. In fact, I have only eaten zucchini, raw, on one occasion in my life. I was 10 years old and Mama decided to “try it out.” She decided to throw a test balloon into the family atmosphere and see how it flew.

We loved it! Everyone, including the family dog, “Cat,” loved it! Understand, back in the 70s when Ranch was new, its popularity blazed like a comet! Why, in Texas,
Ranch Dip dang near became its own food group. Raw zucchini with Ranch Dip. Mmmmm. Superlatives ensued.

Then I gacked. And gacked. Tragically, my raw zucchini eating days were finished. And at such a young and tender age, too. *hic* *sob*

Feta, mint, sweet peppers and hot chiles make the lemony
combo sing!
Fast-forward to yesterday. You can probably appreciate my dismay over this hankerin’ for zucchini ribbon salads! Where was it comin’ from? Sure, this guy’s photo was a beauty! It makes you want to climb inside, steal it, and stand with your hands on your hips daring anyone to seize it.

But, I blame it on the mint, really. Pretty much ANYTHING with mint gets my blood pumpin.’ Add feta, sweet peppers and hot chiles, AND lemony-garlicy dressing - and I’ve just won the lottery. The taste lottery! I’m pretty sure I could combine Lutefisk (no offense Norway) with mint, feta and lemony-garlicy goodness and feel successful, righteous and morally superior.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad and a Juicy Loosey!
Induction doesn't get much better than this!
But wait a dern minute! The recipe shown on this Pinterest-dude's site did not PUT mint in his salad! In fact, other than the zucchini, feta and a vinaigrette dressing, my salad turned out very different. The original recipe features grilled zucchini and I chose to go raw. What. What?

Well, see, I’m a tweaker. I'm from a long line of fluffy chixs. And recipe tweakers. And for some reason, when I channeled that ribbon salad yesterday, the voices in my head started chanting, “Mint, Mint, Mint, (Feta), Mint, Mint, Mint, (Cucumber).”

You get the idea. I swear, I don’t know where this stuff comes from! It's a true story!

Midnight Snack-worthy!
Anyway, the freshness and delicacy of this salad will test your metal. You will sneak back into your kitchen, and in the quiet solitude of midnight, sneak a dressing-enrobed ribbon of lusciousness into your pie hole. It’s that good.

Who knew raw zucchini tasted like a tiny piece of heaven?

It's slurpalicious!

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta, Mint and CucumberServes - 4
Prep Time – 15 Minutes
Cook Time – 0 Minutes, It’s Raw and Unfettered!
Difficulty – Must be able to use a veggie peeler…

Zucchini Ribbon Salad adds a confetti
of color and flavor to any plate!
1 small Zucchini, organic
1 small Yellow Squash, organic
1 small Cucumber
2 c. Baby Spinach, organic
1/4c Red Onion
3 Mini Sweet Peppers
1 Serrano Chile
1 large Lemon, zested
1/3c Feta
1/3c Mint
1 recipe Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

Wash and dry veggies. With a veggie peeler, a Y-Peeler or mandolin work best, peel the first strip off squash and discard for the soup pile. Start saving squash ribbons on the second slice.

Thinly slice squash into ribbons.

Stop the ribbons when you get into the seed core of the squash. Rotate squash 90° and begin peeling ribbons again, discard that first mostly-skin layer. Each ribbon is one thin, smooth pass down the squash. Repeat on all sides. Discard the seed core to the soup pile, as well

Repeat the squash ribbon method using the cucumber. Discard the seed core to the soup pile or reserve it for another salad where you won’t notice the seeds as much!

Thinly sliver red onion into longitudinal strips.

Thinly slice sweet peppers and serrano chile across the grain to make paper-thin rings.

Zest lemon and reserve whole lemon for the dressing recipe to follow.

Crumble feta.

Remove mint leaves from stalks. Don’t chop it yet. You will coarsely chop mint at the last minute prior to serving this delectable salad. Mint can quickly turn brown on cut edges, so it’s always a last minute addition.

Toss all the ribbons and slivers with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette and sprinkle with fresh mint.

Get ready for the party. You’ve just started it. You shouldn’t have. But you did.

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette is the secret weapon!
Serves - 5 (2Tbsp/serving)
Prep Time - 5 Minutes
Cook Time - 0
Difficulty - No Power Tools Involved

1 large clove Garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard, Coarse Grain
1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
1 large Lemon, juiced
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Filtered Water
1 pinch Sea Salt
2 pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Press garlic or finely mince with knife.

Juice and seed lemon.

Combine ingredients in an air tight glass jar.

Shake to combine.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

This dressing will keep one week in the ice box.

But it won’t last that long.

SusieT’s Notes –
See, I’m still just plumb gobsmacked that I’m lovin’ on this salad. So much so, that we ate the leftovers this moring with poached eggs – as the copious photos do attest. Salad and poached eggs for breakfast. I know!?!

Me too!

Leftover Zucchini Ribbon Salad adds a pickly pop
to poached eggs!
When you eat this freshly made, it eats as a fresh and refreshing salad. Light. Delicate. A perfect spring/summer controlled carb (and paleo) side. It’s Induction Friendly, Diabetic Friendly, an Anti-Cancer Rockstar. And it tastes like a slice of heaven, if heaven were in Texas – which we all know it is…

Now zip, zip, fast forward to this morning. Eat this salad as a leftover salad and toss in a handful of fresh, baby spinach and the Zucchini Ribbon Salad eats like a quick pickle!

A great start to a great day!
And I think we all know how much I love any veggie made into lemon pickles (that’s my term for a non-cook, marination involving the acid from lemon or even lime and salt in some fashion – salt, salty cheese, capers, olives, anything briny!).

The oozy, unctuous, creamy, loveliness of the egg yolks in conjunction with the lemon pickle salad, fresh mint and feta was a delicious combination and great taste treat for Day 11 as an Inductioneer!

(Note - I will be posting about yesterday, Day 10 of the 2Week Induction Challenge later today! So stick around and check back, soon.)

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  1. I love making squash ribbons, such a great alternative to a bowl of pasta. I love the salty feta addition!

  2. Thank you, you dang cute fluffy chix. You have solved my Asian Theme Thanksgiving lunch salad dilemma. I'm making this! I could read your recipes all day, but I'd better get back to work! HUGS from Christy in Fort Worth.

    1. Glad to help! :D So how did you make this Asian? I'm getting Greek outta this? :D


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