What do you consider cooking? Does cooking have to mean turning on a heat source? Or can it simply be getting hands-on with food by chopping, mixing, and serving? When I talk to patients, friends, and family about getting in the kitchen, people often shly admit to me that they don't know how to cook. When I ask them how they define "cooking" they start talking about their appliances- the stovetop and oven mostly. While I think those are invaluable kitchen fixtures that help prepare meals, they are not the end-all-be-all to cooking!
Cooking can be as simple as picking up a knife, whatever kind you have in your kitchen, and guiding it through some fruits and veggies. Cooking can also be opening up a can of beans. It can also mean mixing ingredients in a jar and shaking them to make a dressing. None of these steps required a heat source, yet I consider them all methods of cooking!
That's what I wanted to showcase with this refreshing Plum Cucumber Salad. It's a raw recipe that's perfect for summer and anyone trying to add more plants into their diet.
If you've never mixed fruits and vegetables together in a salad you're missing out and I welcome you to try this recipe! The sweet, soft plums perfectly compliment the crunchy cucumber. To round it out, add in your favorite legume- I used canned chickpeas, but you could certainly do white beans or even edamame. And for the finishing touch, a nutty but sweet dressing that honestly goes well on any summer salad.
I hope you all enjoy and find more opportunities to "cook" salads like this one. And don't forget to tag @eat.well.together on social media when you make this salad for a chance to be featured and help spread the message of easy cooking!
Plum Cucumber Salad- serves 4 as a side salad
2 medium sized kirby cucumbers
1 pint small red and yellow plums, about 10-12 plums
1 can rinsed low sodium chickpeas, or 2 cups cooked from dried
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
To prepare cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, then cut those halves in half so that you have 4 long spears. Cut those spears into small-medium sized pieces (see photo for reference if needed, but really whatever size you like to munch on is good!).
Slice plums in half, remove pit, and cut into quarters. To a large mixing bowl, combine cut plums, cucumbers, and chickpeas.
In a glass jar (with a lid, such as a Mason or Weck jar), combine the tahini, honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Shake vigorously until combined, then drizzle over salad. Serve as a side at your next picnic, or make into a more complete light lunch by serving over spinach leaves and adding a whole grain, such as wheatberries or bulgur.