Tag Archives: yogurt

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. 

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

DSC_6087I ran a 10K a few weekends ago.  It was the first one I’ve run in 2 1/2 years.  A friend of mine gave me her spot in the race, so I took it as an opportunity to try and push myself.  My workout routine became very slack over the summer months– that and perhaps too many sweets­­– which resulted in my pants being tighter than they should be.   So it felt good to have a goal to work towards.  I did a lot of running intervals on the treadmill at 6 a.m., and subsequently, remembered what it was like to feel euphoric after a good workout.   Things went along pretty smoothly over the course of my 4 weeks of training, even though I knew I might be pushing myself more, and faster, than I should be.   However, on my last long run before the race, I hit a wall.  I don’t know what happened, but I had to stop and walk several times.  My legs felt like lead.  It was a horrible run, and I felt really shitty about it.  In retrospect, I might have been focusing too much on my speed.  Afterword, I tried to reassure myself that a less-than-stellar run was o.k.  Despite my anxiety about the upcoming race, I told myself to focus on going slow and running the entire 10K, and not worry about my finishing time.
DSC_6078I woke up at 5:30 a.m. that Sunday morning and headed into Manhattan.  I tried to shake off any lingering doubts about my recent running performance.  I repeated a mantra:  Slow and steady; just finish.  It was a beautiful morning.  The sun was just coming up, and there was a cool breeze coming off the Hudson River.  I ran what I thought was a super-slow pace.  Many, many people passed me.   I just put my head down and kept running.   I felt really good for the entire race.  I figured if I had enough energy towards the end, I would pick up my pace a bit and try to finish strong.   Indeed, I did.  I ran an 11-minute mile, which is a personal best for me.   I was incredibly proud of myself, and my feeling of euphoria lasted the rest of the day.  I remember thinking that I wanted to hold on to this feeling for as long as possible.  If only we could retrieve feelings the way we can pull up a song to elicit a memory.  I hope to remember that feeling when I’m having a crummy day.  As a reward for the 10K, I treated myself to my favorite pancakes in the city at Johnny’s Luncheonette.
DSC_6081Speaking of pancakes (I didn’t even plan that transition!), these zucchini bread pancakes need to go on your Make Immediately recipe list.  Light and healthy, they also scream, “Fall is finally here!”  And the maple yogurt is the perfect topping on these, as straight up maple syrup would be too sweet for these beauties, in my opinion.  Instead, the tang of the yogurt provides a nice complement to the sweet spices.
DSC_6089Zucchini Bread Pancakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield:  10 to 12 pancakes

2 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk or 2 tablespoons each of milk and plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini)
1 cup all-purpose flour (half can seamlessly be swapped with a whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
Butter or oil, for coating skillet

1. In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini shreds.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.
3. Preheat oven to 200°F and place a baking sheet on a middle rack.
4. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles.
5. Scoop scant 1/4-cup dollops of batter in pan so the puddles do not touch. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath.
6. Transfer pancakes to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.