An Adaptable Side Dish
This tomato-cucumber salad is an adaptable side dish that can go with almost any meal and is made from healthy foods. It's one of my favorite dishes for many reasons, which you can read below if you like! The original recipe keeps for about three days in the refrigerator and actually tastes better as the ingredients have time to marinate.
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2 to 4 people
- 2 cups diced cucumbers
- 1 cup small tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 serving of pure stevia extract or sweetener of your choice
- 1 tablespoon garlic sea salt grinder or to taste
- Dice the cucumber into about 1/2-inch squares.
- Cut the tomatoes in half or thirds, depending on size of the tomato and what size you like.
- Chop onions.
- Mix the vegetables together.
- Add the vinegar, olive oil, stevia, and garlic.
- Put the cover on the container and shake until all the ingredients are mixed.
- Refrigerate until it's time to eat.
These Are the Fresh Ingredients I Like Best
- Fresh cucumbers: You'll want to have fresh cucumbers that are juicy and crisp, preferably organic or at least locally-grown. That way you can get all the nutritional benefits of the whole cucumber with no waxed peels to remove.
- Nice, ripe tomatoes: Get whatever variety that you like best. I prefer to use small tomatoes, such as cherry, cupid, grape, cherubs, or other favorites. They don't have to be red. You can add a variety of colors. I like to use whatever is in season so that I get the best flavors.
- Fragrant onions: Sweet onions are probably the best option, although certainly not your only one. I prefer a red onion, but that is totally just my preference. It is your salad; make it to your taste.
- Freshly-Minced garlic: If you have fresh garlic available, that's the best. I don't always have fresh garlic, so I keep a McCormick Garlic Sea Salt Grinder handy. I use it for just about every meal and really like it.
- Red wine vinegar and olive oil: These will round out the taste. You could use other vinegars and oils, but these are the ones I enjoy the most.
- Stevia: To cut the sharpness of the vinegar, I add a little pure stevia extract powder to the salad. You can do the same thing with a little refined sugar, but I just try to avoid that as much as possible. The stevia extract comes with a very small scoop that is equal to one serving. You can also get stevia in a form similar to regular sugar, such as the Truvia and Stevia in the Raw brands.
What Else Can You Add?
Now that you have the basic recipe, what else can you do with it to make another side dish? Here are some of the foods I have added to change the basic recipe to something new.
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Slivered almonds
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Chunks of cheddar cheese or other choices
- Diced red peppers
- Raisins or Craisins
- Apples, pineapple, pears, or other fruits
- Flax and/or chia seeds
- Spoon it over a bed of fresh lettuce or spinach
What Makes It So Good?
This dish is great because:
- Most everyone can enjoy it without worrying about calories or allergies.
- It is just very refreshing. This is especially true in the summer when I want something quick and easy to make that doesn't require a lot of heat to prepare it.
- It takes about five minutes to prepare, requires no cooking, is very tasty, and can be used as a side dish or even be used as an entire meal.
- It is easy to modify. You can add protein if you wish or make it vegan if that's your preference.
- It is a good choice for diabetics.
- It is actually good for any meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack).
- You can mix and match whatever ingredients you enjoy.
- The variety means that you can serve it several times a week with all different flavors.
- It can be a side dish or a main dish.
Adapt It to Your Tastes!
I'm sure there are a lot of other things you could use besides what I have listed. In the comments area below, tell me how you would adapt this to add variety.
Feel free to also make other comments if you wish.