Cooling cucumbers are featured in today’s Health-e-Recipe for Easy Spring Salad. Cukes are a botanical relative of squash. They originated in Asia — think Indian raita, the cool cucumber and yogurt side sauce for spicy dishes.
Easy to grow, cucumbers are in season May through August and should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag, refrigerated and used within 10 days. Cucumbers are very low in calories (one-half cup of slices contains 8 calories) and high in water content, so enjoy plenty of them sliced or cubed for salads and sandwiches or cut into sticks for dipping in salsa.
You can find spearmint and parsley in the fresh herbs section of the produce department. Whether the leaves or flat or curly, parsley is rich in phytochemicals such as coumarin, lutein (good for eye health) and quercetin. In our salad, these strongly flavored ingredients and the red onions are balanced by the cucumber and tomatoes.
For a variation on the oil and vinegar dressing, try adding a tablespoon of plain low-fat yogurt to get a creamy consistency without adding too many calories. You can find more delicious recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Click here to subscribe to weekly Health-e-Recipes.