There are times when I make something incredibly random that I hope and pray turns out well... and it does! And then I pat myself on the back and celebrate my good cooking instincts (pipe down, peanut gallery. I do so have cooking instincts!) This was one of those times. I made a "summer salad" of cucumber, heirloom tomato, and mango, seasoned with salt & pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. I keep trying to improve my drizzling technique, but man! is it hard to avoid tipping the bottle just a smidge too far and ending up with a lot more "healthy fats" on your salad than originally designed.
Anyway, the sweetness of the mango mixed with the rich heirloom tomato flavor, and kept fresh by the crunchy cucumber (yes, ok, I'm getting a little too into describing these ingredients, but this was a really good salad), really made it so that no further dressing was needed. Plus, look at how pretty!I apologize that the pictures are of my glass tupperware the next morning, but I thought you might prefer some beautiful natural morning light, in less than proper casing, over the yellow kitchen lightbulb from the night-of. The second component to this "recipe" (hey, I'm on a budget AND a life schedule) is definitely not Paleo, but I made this dish several weeks ago so I'm giving myself a bye on this. This is a dinner dish that Lily and I put together during one of the first weeks I moved in, and I copied her arrangement and made it at least once a week for the next three months. Easy, vegetarian, and full of couscous - that was the life! Now, I'm not supposed to have couscous (grains) or garbanzo beans (legumes) but I feel good on the Paleo plan, so I think it's worth it. Sometimes you just have to accept that what makes you feel good one minute (couscous! grains! carbs! gluten!) doesn't make you feel good the next. Be cautious! Live for tomorrow! That's a saying right? Or, wait. Cook the couscous and set it aside. If you'd like, you can dig it out of the little pot you'll inevitably squeeze it into (what a compact little grain) and put it in a larger bowl, allowing it to fluff up a little better. No one likes sticky couscous.
Next, wash and slice your kale into 2"x2" squares (this is an approximation, but really, just make sure the pieces are salad bite-sized.) Steam the kale in a colander over a pot of water, or if you prefer, stir-fry it in a little olive oil, until it has cooked down and is clearly more wilted.
Pour a can (depending on how big your batch is going to be) of garbanzo beans into a large pot on the stove. Heat on low, just so the beans are warmed through. Turn the heat off, but combine the couscous, kale, and beans in the pot on the stove and stir. Add sea salt flakes and pepper, and maybe a splash (ok a big splash) of lemon juice. Eat with some toasted pita bread too if you'd like? Et voila! Easy peasy dinner...squeezie. Alright I'll work on that one. Along with all the other things I say. I use a lot of olive oil in my recipes but I'm going to try to start cooking with coconut oil... I wonder how that could, or would, change the flavors? Make it more sweet, and salty after adding seasalt to the couscous? Like a giant dinner-version of kettle korn! Sweet and salty! Someone try this and get back to me.Just because I'm doing Paleo doesn't mean you can't all benefit from my gluten-filled, over-photographing ways, so don't fear. It will be a little while before the recipes that include carbs and legumes run out. Or, maybe I'll just post a lot about salmon. That is also very possible.
These would be good dishes to bring to a picnic or a barbecue at the park- easy to make in advance, easy to store and pack, and they add a little twist to the normal "tabouli salad" (ok, I guess that one already has a twist) or fruit salad of yore. You know, that yore, with the boring food. You'll never have that problem again.
What do you think, are these recipes you'd try? Am I alone here?