Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day 9 Veg First; Tools of the Salad Making Trade

Winter time is probably not the best time to write about salads and raw vegetables!  Winter time is perfect for soups and stews.  Soups and stews require cooking, and cooking means heat!  When it's cold outside you definitely want something to warm you up.  But cooking also means food prep and waiting for that meal to actually cook!  Salads are fast and you don't have to wait.  Shred, slice, dice and julienne, dress and toss....done.  Once you get in the habit of making salads it becomes fast and easy.  I could not imagine my kitchen/cooking life without a shredder/slicer, also called a mandoline.

But the real reason I started eating salads was the amount of food, vegetables, that I could eat and stay well within a low calorie range.  It was the easiest decision in my life to make!  When I started my 100lb + weightloss I knew two things; I had to greatly lower my calories for fast results (and I wanted fast results!), and I still wanted to eat large servings and amounts of food.  Vegetables were my answer.  (Oh, and I started my weight loss diet in January, the middle of winter, with a salad for lunch every single day!)

I started scouring cookbooks for "main dish" salad recipes that had low, to no, complex carbs (grains, beans, pasta), and small amounts of simple carbs because I knew fruits, fresh or dried, and maybe a little bit of sweet in the dressing was tradeoff I felt I needed to make.  This is how I discovered "slaw's" and how I created my own lower calorie version of Curry Coleslaw (recipe in The Swing book and posted a ton on this and my former blog!).  I remember back when I only, barely, knew how to tear some iceberg lettuce, cut a couple of tomatoes and drown it all in thousand island dressing.  That was really the only salad I knew, seriously.  Now I live a salad wonderland!

I have so many salad recipes and ideas posted that linking them all up is not as easy as you doing a blog search for "salad".  So if you are interested please search this blog and my former blog "Living My Physical Potential", http://tracyrif.blogspot.com/  And I'd love to hear about your favorite recipe!  The guidelines are that it must be low in complex carbs and it must have a homemade dressing.  Maybe I'll do a contest after the first of the year!  I'll give away one of my favorite japanese Mandolines, or something similar!  (if I can find it!)

Tools of the Salad Making Trade

V-Slicer / Mandoline:  I own a Zyliss, but I think the company turned over to Swissmar http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner-V-1001-V-Slicer-Mandoline/dp/B0000632QE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_1  OXO also makes a good one.  And my last suggestion is if you have Asian or Japanese markets close to you, check out their stock.  They have inexpensive and good tools for vegetable slicing and shredding.

If you like using a Food Processor then great!  The shredding disk makes fast and easy salad prep, but a good one is usually expensive if you don't already own one

Large and/or multi size stainless steel salad bowls: I like the inexpensive professional kind that you find at restaurant supply or Asian markets, http://www.chefcentral.com/products/Stainless-Steel-Bowl%2C-5-Quart.html 

Vegetable Peeler:  Many times when I'm only making one salad serving I use a vegetable peeler to shred cabbage and carrots.  My favorite one; http://www.zappos.com/oxo-good-grips-swivel-peeler-black?ef_id=UVyUCQAAARZDMDWc:20131225022947:s

Carrot, Apple, Cinnamon Salad (picture above)

This salad was NOT a hit at my Christmas dinner!  But I decided to share it with you anyway because I like it!  Interestingly enough, the half of my family that did not like was the boys!  It seems as if the boys (including Mark) don't care for cinnamon (wth?)  I borrowed the idea from one of my newest closest friends, Liat, with whom we stayed with in Israel.  Her recipe was only shredded carrots, orange juice, cinnamon and a little bit of honey.  Her boys ate it just fine!  So I'm not sure where I went wrong, but it simply meant more left over for me!

equal amounts of:
carrot, shredded or grated
apple, julienned; a sweet variety and a tart variety if you like (I used Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)

2-4 tbl currants

juice and zest from one orange
juice from one lemon
1-2 tbl honey
1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

As I mentioned please do a blog search for more salad ideas and recipes.  Here is one about slicers I posted last year, http://tracysfoodandthought.blogspot.com/2012/03/saladtools-of-trade-and-salad-on-go.html, but I think it's time for a new slicer!  I found this one on amazon and after watching the video I think I've got to get it!

And it comes in colors!  http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner-Power-Mandoline-V-7000/dp/B003CN6Q1Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1387975296&sr=1-2&keywords=borner+power+slicer


Mark Reifkind said...

Hey! I liked the salad,( and the cinnamon)just fine :)

Gwen Krehbiel said...

I made some tonight and it's a great salad. Merry Christmas. ~Gwen

Tracy Reifkind said...


I need to make some myself! I think I'm going to turn this apple carrot salad into a version of it!

A tbl of mayo/yogurt, curry powder, maybe some shredded cabbage, maybe not!

Thank you for commenting! :)

Riya Singh said...

Yummy it seems very delicious!! thanks for sharing & looking forward for more
restaurant near venkateshwara

interview hr said...


There’s JUST ONE REASON you might fail on the Paleo Diet and it has everything to do with your ability to make delicious food, FAST.

But now, with this stunningly simple cookbook I’ll show you how to cook savory, mouth-watering meals in minutes for some of the busiest Paleo eaters in the world...

For more info please click on the following link: How To Cook Tasty Dishes

Talk soon.