Tag Archives: mayonnaise

Smoked Salmon Salad in Cucumber Cups

I’ve been thinking a lot about the #MeToo movement. I heard someone say they didn’t think this movement would have happened if Hillary Clinton had been elected president. This collective anger that women feel, in fact, is in direct relation to Donald Trump being elected, and the fact that he himself has been accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault by at least 16 women. Call it making lemonade out of extremely sour lemons, but it is our current reality. Women are frustrated and fed up with having to just accept that so many of us will experience sexual violence in our lifetimes. We never agreed to this when we were born with vaginas.

I am continuously inspired when I read another woman’s story, or talk to a friend about her experience navigating the world as a woman. We are in the midst of fourth-wave feminism. Some folks argue that every wave of feminism has had a backlash, and this wave will not be spared from experiencing the same thing. This may be, but I do think it is helpful to take the long view of history when thinking about larger social issues. Since the first-wave started back in the late 19th Century fighting for women’s right to vote, the quality of life for women as a whole has greatly improved. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the current wave of feminism is any less important; one of its main goals is to end sexual violence against women.

There was a recent episode of This American Life titled “Five Women” that was fascinating. I was completely rapt listening to this episode; it should be required listening for every human being on this planet. It was a different angle on the #MeToo movement. It’s not only the story of how five women were harassed and/or assaulted by the same man, but it also explores the women’s personal stories before their encounter with this man. The women talk about how they were raised, what they were told by adults about what being a woman means, how they individually played down/accentuated/ignored their sexuality based on the aforementioned. If you have time, give it a listen.

This week’s recipe is perfect for when you want a light brunch/lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up. I love smoked salmon, and the rich fattiness pairs beautifully with cucumber, which offsets the heaviness with crisp acidity. I ate these babies like potato chips.

Smoked Salmon Salad in Cucumber Cups
Adapted from myrecipes

Yield: 34 cups

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, divided
1 (12-ounce) package cold-smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
3 cucumbers
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1.Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in 2 teaspoons dill and chopped salmon.

2. Cut cucumbers into 3/4-inch-thick slices, and scoop out seeds with a small spoon or melon baller, leaving bottom intact to form a cup.*

3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon salmon mixture into each cucumber cup. Sprinkle cups evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon dill and pepper.

*Scooping out the seeds is completely optional. I left the seeds intact, and just piled the salad on top of the cucumber slices. 

Broccoli Coleslaw with Bacon and Raisins

DSC_6074The summer after my freshman year of college, a new friend came home with me for the weekend before flying home to Colorado.  I remember being very anxious about her staying with my mom and I.   At some point during my senior year of high school, my mom had to sell our house, and we subsequently moved into a small apartment above her hair salon.  As uncomfortable as I was about this, I was also a self-consumed teenager who probably spent more time thinking about superficial things.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but my small town didn’t vary a great deal economically:  most people were somewhere between lower middle class and upper middle class.

After I left for college, my family’s economic standing became more apparent to me.  I went to a private liberal arts college, and the majority of kids were from upper middle class and upper class homes.  Although this divide between the kids who came from money and those of us who were there largely due to financial aid was pretty obvious to me, I tried to not let that get in the way of who I became friends with.  The girls on my dorm floor were all great, and we all got along really well for the most part.  However, I was always very aware of the economic differences between us.  Something as simple as, “Who wants to go to McDonalds for dinner tonight?” would make me extremely uncomfortable; I barely had enough money to buy toiletries.  I rarely, if ever, talked about my economic background my first year of college.  I was too ashamed, and too young to know that it did not define me.
DSC_6061

The girl who came home with me that first weekend after our freshman year was a very sweet and sincere person.  She was actually the very first friend I made at college.  I remember walking across the parking lot with her to the freshman orientation and thinking that Colorado was a long ways from Minnesota.  We had gotten to know each other pretty well that first year, and we had had many quintessential college conversations discussing things like our families, our goals, and our fears.  But still, the thought of her seeing where I lived paralyzed me with fear.  I remember spending a lot of time that weekend watching TV with her, simply because I didn’t know what to say and felt like I needed to explain my situation to her, maybe even apologize for not having a more “comfortable” home.  When I look back now, I wish I could tell my 19-year-old self to be proud of where she is from, and that she has nothing to be ashamed of.

I have come to the conclusion that you can add bacon and raisins to any vegetable, and you will have a delicious, and still fairly healthy, meal.  This coleslaw is no exception.  Make it while it’s still warm enough for a cool salad.
DSC_6075Broccoli Coleslaw with Bacon and Raisins
Adapted from Food & Wine

Yield:  6 servings

6 slices of bacon (4 oz.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
Sea salt and pepper
1 large head of broccoli (1 1/4 lbs.), cut into bite-size florets and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Set a rack over a baking sheet.  Arrange the bacon slices on the rack in a single layer.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until browned and crisp.  Drain on paper towels, then coarsely chop.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the vinegar and sugar; season with salt and pepper.
3.  Add the broccoli, raisins, onion and bacon and toss to coat evenly.
4.  Transfer the coleslaw to a serving bowl.