Cool as a Cucumber Salad and Colorful Beet Salad

Here are two easy recipes that can be considered cooking by the strings of your apron recipes because you can use any number of spices and dressing with them. Also, there are no specific amounts; just eyeballing them instead.

Cool as a Cucumber Salad

Quick look at nutritional profile of cukes: Cucumbers are good sources of phytonutrients (plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties) such flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits, according to World’s Healthiest Foods. Source:


Cucumber Salad

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, one bowl for mixing and one for serving
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan, Gluten-Free, No Sugar


1-2 organic cucumber(s), washed and peeled if skin is tough
sliced (red) onion – 2-4 slices
(plum) vinegar or lemon juice (one lemon)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
(black) sesame seeds


1. Slice washed (and peeled or unpeeled) cucumber(s) thinly and place in a mixing bowl.
2. Add sliced onion.
3. Add about 1/3 cup vinegar or juice of one lemon
4. Add salt & pepper, if using.
5. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour. Serve chilled.

Variation: Add 2 small pieces of fresh ginger and/or one small minced clove of garlic



Colorful Beet Salad

Utensils: 2-quart saucepan for cooking beets, bowl, cutting board and knife, serving platter|
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: About 45 minutes for beets; can be cooked ahead of time.
Categories: Vegan, Gluten-Free, No Sugar Added


1. One large red beet and one large yellow beet (organic)
2. Two slices of large onion
3. Juice of one lemon or Hold Your Horses Dressing+
4. Sea Salt (optional)
5. Sesame seeds
6. Green or Black olives


1. Scrub beets and place in enough water to cook until they can be pierced with a fork.
2. Remove from water and allow to cool in a bowl. When cool, you can remove the skins with a knife or sometimes by sliding the skin off with your fingers.
3. Slice thinly and place on a large platter. Add slices of onion and sprinkle with salt, if using. Add juice of one lemon, sprinkling it over the platter.
4. Add sesame seeds and olives *and serve chilled.

Note: I love Castlevetrano olives because they are green AND ripe.


+ Hold-Your-Horses-Dressing from a previous posting:

  • Everything can be done in the blender or food processor and requires no cooking, so I am skipping my Utensils, Prep Time, Cooking Time, and Categories. It is vegan with no added salt or sugar unless you choose to use them. It is also gluten-free, but not soy free.Ingredientsone container tofu (1/4 container in the refrigerated section)*
    one garlic clove, minced or small piece of minced shallot
    grated fresh horseradish to taste, about one tablespoon (no sugar added, if from a jar)
    deli mustard to taste, about 1 tsp. (optional)
    one small pickle (I use Bubbie’s natural pickles with no vinegar)
    sesame seeds for garnish
    water or veg. stock (Can also use the pickle juice for part of the liquid for a zestier dressing)


    1. Cut tofu up into smaller pieces. Mince garlic or shallot. Grate horseradish, if fresh. Cut up pickle. Add mustard, if using. Place in blender.
    2. Start with about 1/4 cup water or stock and buzz until smooth. Add more liquid as needed.  (For a dip, use more tofu to thicken.)
    3. For dressing, place in a small pitcher for pouring.  For dip, place in a small serving bowl and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Refrigerate after use.* Regular tofu comes refrigerated in tubs as either firm or extra firm. Silken tofu comes in a box on the shelf and need not be refrigerated until after it is opened. Silken tofu is much softer and smoother and easier to blend, so would probably
      work best for the dressing, but either kind works. Because of these differences in texture, the liquid should be added a little at a time to obtain the consistency you wish.




Up Beet! Appetizer or Side Dish

My daughter and daughter-in-law gave me a comfortable and attractive kitchen mat with fruits and veggies all over it. The picture of beets had Up Beet! next to it. The other foods also had pithy plays on words which I will share as I post more recipes on the foods.

This recipe is one from my “Cooking by the Strings of Your Apron” recipes, because there are no absolute amounts and it can even be made as separate items on a plate, as in photo below, instead of composed, as in the photo above.

The nutritional lowdown on Up Beets!— In Foods that Heal by Dr. Bernard Jensen, beets have marvelous therapeutic value. Here is the info, quoted on page 115:

Beets are wonderful for adding needed minerals. They can be used to eliminate pocket acid material in the bowels and for ailments in the gall bladder and liver. Their vitamin A content is quite high, so they are not only good for the eliminative system, but also benefit the digestive and lymphatic systems.


Utensils: Cutting board and knife, small plastic tub (or Ateco cutter)*, small bowls, small plate for serving.
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes for beets unless you buy pre-cooked beets. They can be cooked the day before. Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Categories: Vegan, Sugar-Free & Gluten-Free


2-3 small, red organic beets
2-3 small, yellow organic beets
one small avocado
1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper and herbs to taste


  1. If using pre-cooked beets, skip this step. If not, cook beets in two pots so red beet water does not discolor the yellow beets.  Cover with more than enough water, since the water evaporates. (I have often burned beets!) Cook until tender, about 30-45 min. depending on the size of your beets.
  2. Remove cooked beets and place in two separate bowls to cool.
  3. While beets are cooling, peel and mash the avocado, adding a little salt & pepper or cayenne pepper if you wish. Squeeze on some lemon to deter oxidation.
  4. Peel cooled beets, keeping red beets separate from yellow beets, and dice, adding herbs to taste. (I used za-atar.)
  5. Arrange a small plate with lettuce. Place the plastic deli tub with the bottom cut out or use the Ateco cutter on top of the lettuce. Place yellow beets first, then add mashed avocado, then add yellow beets on top. Carefully remove the cutter or plastic tub so that the beets are stacked. Garnish with sprouts.
    You can serve the dish at room temperature or place in ‘fridge until ready to serve.

    As an appetizer, it should serve two or three people, but if served instead of salad, I think it serves only one or maybe two people. At the restaurant where my daughter-in-law ordered it, she ate it as her entree.

    If using the plastic tub or stainless steel cutter is too much of a hassle, feel free to just place the beets and avocado over the lettuce and top with sprouts. This is a dish that can’t be “beet!” Either way of serving it is fine.

    * I took a plastic deli tub (small) and cut out the bottom, using the smaller, bottom side on the lettuce so the larger (top) side gave more room to spoon in the beets and avocado. Below is a photo of an Ateco cutter.

    Ateco cutter:


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