Tag Archives: cucumber

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

16 Aug

I recently got a watermelon in my FarmBox, and since it usually takes a while to eat it, I decided to juice it instead.  We’ve also been juicing cucumbers, and I thought that those tastes might be pretty good together.  So, I did some searching just to make sure, and came across a recipe from Martha Stewart’s website for Watermelon-Cucumber Coolers.  I just made it minus the vodka, although with the day I was having, I could have used the vodka, I think!  My older daughter didn’t think it was sweet enough, so some extra honey would work, although my husband, younger daughter, and I, all thought it was perfect the way it was.

Watermelon-Cucumber CoolerWatermelon-Cucumber Cooler

What you need:

1 small watermelon, or about 5 cups of cubes of watermelon
1 cucumber
Juice of 2 limes, about 1/4 cup
2-4 tablespoons honey, depending on how sweet you want it
2/3 cup vodka, optional

How to make it:

Run watermelon and cucumber through your juicer.  If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender to blend each until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove pulp.

Combine lime juice and honey.  Add to the watermelon and cucumber juice.  Add vodka, if desired.  Serve in glasses over ice.


Lentil Salad

24 May

I had tried a lentil salad from a local vendor, and decided I wanted to try and make my own.  I usually use lentils in soups, so I was excited to try a salad.  Like pasta salad, Lentil Salad could be done a ton of different ways.  I’m already thinking about what combinations to try next, like maybe tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.  Plus, lentils are very good for you too.  Always great when something tastes good and is good for you!

Lentil Salad


Lentil Salad

What you need:

1 cup lentils (I used Palouse Brand Spanish Pardina Lentils)
1/2 cup seeded and chopped  mini sweet peppers or bell pepper
1/2 cup cucumber, cut in small chunks
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 bunch green onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

How to make it:

Rinse lentils and drain.  Place lentils in a medium sauce pan with 3 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender.  Drain.  Run cold water over lentils and drain.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Place cooled lentils in a large bowl.  Add peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.   Mix together.

Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, Italian blend seasoning, salt, and pepper to make the vinaigrette.

Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and vegetables.  Mix in well to fully coat.  Cover and refrigerate before serving.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

30 Apr

Recently, I’ve been able to get fresh dill in my Sunizona Family FarmBox.  Cucumbers have also been available through them, and on sale at the grocery store.  My husband and kids love pickles, and while I had made sweet Refrigerator Pickles before, my older daughter has decided she isn’t real fond of sweet pickles.  So, I decided to try dill pickles.  I am not a pickle fan at all, but I do really like these!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

What you need:

2 pounds cucumbers, washed and cut in slices or quarters
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 cup chopped fresh dill
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

How to make it:

Make the brine by dissolving the sugar and salt in hot water.  Mix in white vinegar.

Divide the cucumbers, mustard seeds, fresh dill, and garlic between 2 quart size jars.  Shake or stir slightly to get the mixture evenly through the jars.

Pour brine into both jars, making sure the cucumbers are fully submerged.  Tightly cover with lids and place in refrigerator.  Allow to sit for 48 hours, and keep stored in the refrigerator.

Gyros Meatloaf with Tzatziki

15 Feb

Unfortunately, the Greek restaurant we had here in town closed down, and even though there are a few places that serve gyros still, I decided to keep working on my own version at home.  I have made Gyros Burgers before, but wanted to try it as more of a meatloaf than burgers so it could be sliced and put in pita pockets.  Now, the downside to meatloaf is that it takes a while to cook without getting too dry.  So, now, when I have time I can do meatloaf, if I’m pressed for time, I can do burgers.  I also made tzatziki for the first time tonight to go with this.  It was perfect!  My husband is usually not a fan when we get gyros when eating out.  He says it’s too messy, but this was thicker, more dip-like, so it wasn’t dripping all over when eating it.  Tonight, I served it with Sweet Potato Chips, which were a nice compliment to the gyros.

Gyros Meatloaf with Tzatziki and Sweet Potato Chips

Gyros Meatloaf with Tzatziki

What you need:

Gyros Meatloaf:
1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground lamb or 2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried savory
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash of ground cumin

Tzatziki (original recipe with more step by step pictures at Daily Cynema:
24 oz container plain Greek yogurt
1 seedless cucumber, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste

How to make it:

Put the onion in a food processor for a few seconds.  Remove into paper towels and squeeze out excess liquid.  Place onions in a mixing bowl, and stir in remaining meatloaf ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 F

Put the meat mixture back into the food processor and process for about a minute or until mixture becomes like a fine paste.  Press meat mixture into a 9 x 5 loaf pan, making sure there are no air pockets.  Place loaf pan in a larger roasting pan, and pour boiling water into the roasting pan until there is enough to reach the middle of the side of the loaf pan, creating a water bath for baking.

Water Bath for Gyros Meatloaf

Carefully place in oven and bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 F.  Pour out any excess fat, and slice thinly to serve.

Finished Gyros Meatloaf

While meatloaf is baking, grate the peeled cucumber and squeeze out the excess liquid.  Put in a mixing bowl and stir in remaining tzatziki  ingredients.  Put in a container and keep refrigerated until ready to use (I just returned it to the container the Greek yogurt came in).  Serve with the gyros meatloaf in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, if desired.


Refrigerator Pickles

28 Feb


I am not a fan of pickles or really, anything pickled.  But, my husband and kids LOVE pickles, so I decided to try an experiment with the cucumbers we received from Bountiful Baskets this past weekend.  I actually like these, although I think it’s because they still taste more like cucumbers than pickles.  My husband and kids really like them too.


Refrigerator Pickles

What you need:

6 cups sliced cucumbers (I used my mandolin slicer to get them thin and evenly cut)
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons celery seed (I didn’t have celery seeds, so I used 2 teaspoons celery salt and reduced to 1 teaspoon salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on the level of sweetness you want)

How to make it:

Mix together cucumbers, onion, salt, celery seed, and mustard seed in a bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour.

Boil vinegar and remove from heat.  Stir in sugar to dissolve it.  Allow to fully cool.

Pour vinegar mixture over the cucumber mix, and stir gently.  Cover bowl tightly and put in the refrigerator.  Allow to sit in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  Will last covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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