The Easiest Summer Side Salad

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

I’m posting a couple days earlier than usual to share this no-cook summer dish ahead of the upcoming Independence Day holiday — a recipe that is, and forever will be, a summertime staple on my family table. (Hi, Dad!)

Crisp cucumber and vidalia onion slices are a classic pair tossed in vinegar and dill, with just a bit of salt and sugar to balance. Flowering season of our garden chives winding down, I took the liberty of embellishing mine with crushed blossoms for color and flavor.

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Composed Thai Steak Salad

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Happy summer, Friends!

When things heat up, we’re suckers for garden-driven recipes. Bonus points for those that don’t require cooking.

This gorgeous little number is refreshingly vibrant, with flavor notes pulled from the Thai cuisine playbook: sour lime, spicy chillies and ginger, salty fish sauce, and a hint of sweet maple. I just love how light, lovely and low-key it is — literally whisk, slice, plate, and voila.

Beef summer salad

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Adopting a Mediterranean Eating Style + Sunny Yellow Chopped Salad

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

The traditional Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. Years of research confirm myriad benefits, particularly for our hearts, brains and span of life.

May is set aside to celebrate the Mediterranean diet, and I see no reason not to adopt these health-promoting — not to mention delicious, sustainable and affordable — eating habits for the remainder of the month and beyond!

What does this style of eating look like?

At its heart the traditional Mediterranean “diet” — as in eating pattern; not restrictive, calorie-counting regimen — is a healthy and balanced way to eat. It’s primarily plant-based, focusing on simplicity, freshness and, whenever possible, foods that are locally grown and produced.

+ Heavy emphasis is placed on a variety of fresh veg and fruits, whole grains, as well as healthy fats, such as those from olive oil, seeds and nuts, olives, and occasionally cheeses or yogurt. Lean proteins, predominantly beans, legumes, fish and shellfish, are also highlighted.

+ Red meat is treated more like a “garnish” than the main event, and sweets are saved for special occasions. Highly processed foods and beverages are taken sparingly, if at all.

+ Water is the main beverage. A glass of wine — if appropriate for age and stage — is common in moderation.

What are the benefits? 

In moving toward or fully adopting this style of eating your diet will receive significant bumps in healthy unsaturated and omega-3 fats, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. On the other end, the limitation of high fat meats, sweets and processed items results in far fewer refined starches and sugars, and unhealthy saturated and trans fats.

Eating seasonally and locally not only ensure that you save money, support farmers and promote community economic stability, and contribute to energy conservation and sustainability, but also that your products are the freshest, best-tasting and most nutritionally complete.

It may be that the myriad health benefits are not solely a result of diet. Of equal importance to the foods eaten is the ritual of the mealtime itself. Meals are a time to sit and slow down, savor the flavors, connect and share time with family and friends, rather than eating on the hoof, at a desk or alone at the counter. Simple cooking methods are typically employed, and the concepts of celebration and heritage are cherished. Moderate, regular physical activity is often a necessary part of daily life in these regions, but is routinely done for pleasure as well.

Taken altogether, it’s easy to see how the traditional Mediterranean eating pattern — lifestyle — has earned its acclaim as one of the healthiest in the world.

Yellow salad_HGN

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Chana Dal with Spinach, Cucumber and Pomegranate

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

The vast majority of Indian recipes involve lengthy lists of dried spices, fresh and dried herbs, and other flavor-building bases. These are intense and delicious. Then there are those others, relying on elegant simplicity that, despite employing only a few ingredients, are still complex and immensely satisfying.

Today’s is one of those more simplistic recipes, in time for lighter fare desired for warmer afternoons and evenings. The ingredients can be varied for enjoyment any day of the year, though, and you’ll see some of my recommendations below.

Moong dal

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