Favor long, thin varieties with edible
skin; these include “burpless” Japanese,
Persian, or European cucumbers. The fatter ones we are used to seeing in salad bars
are called “marketers” and typically have
plump seeds and thick skins that may cause
trouble for digestion if they not peeled. All
ripe cucumbers should be bright in color,
not shriveled, puffy or yellowing, which
indicates they are overripe. Be sure to buy
unwaxed cucumbers so that you can eat
their healthy skin. You can easily find these
at your local farmers market and while perusing the stands, you may be fortunate
enough to discover the lemon cucumber, a
variety which is yellowish green in color
and no surprise – it is just about the size
and shape of a lemon.
Enjoy your cucumbers in this vegan, gluten-free pasta salad, a favorite with my clients because it’s so quick, easy, tasty, and
portable. It’s perfect for enjoying at your
favorite Summer concert, outdoor music fest, picnic, or barbecue. I use brown
rice pasta to make it gluten-free, but you
can choose your favorite flavor. To make
this dish a full meal, add to it as desired;
choices include barbecued tofu, blackened
tempeh, a cup full of edamame, or even a
good handful of finely chopped bok choy.
Stay cool as a cucumber this Summer at
all your outdoor events.
COOLING CUCUMBER SALAD
8 ounces organic brown rice
½ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
½ tsp sea salt (plus additional
for pasta water)
½ tsp cracked black pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
6 small or 4 large Japanese, Persian
or European cucumbers, sliced on
the diagonal into ¼-inch thickness
1 large organic carrot grated; or
peeled into ribbons and roughly
½ red onion, peeled and sliced into
Red Jen Ford is a certified holistic health coach, Yoga instructor and manager of the Westwood Farmers’ Market,
located in the Vets’ Garden Thursdays from Noon to 5 P.M.
Jen teaches her customers and busy clients the benefits
and simplicity of eating local, sustainably grown food.
Contact her on (917) 971-1941 or at Redjenford.com
Bring a big pot of water to boil,
season with salt, and then cook
pasta according to package directions
until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk
together vinegar, salt and pepper,
then whisk in the oil.
Toss the veggies into the bowl with
Drain the pasta and add to the bowl
with veggies and dressing.
Toss well and adjust seasoning as needed.
Nature’s bounty provides the
ideal foods right when we need
them. A perfect example is found
in the abundance of cool and
hydrating cucumbers that ripen
in the Summer months.