There’s no better way to beat the heat than with lots of cold food. Our food preferences tend to shift as the weather warms up regardless, but with this last heat wave, the desire for colder foods has only increased (the thought of having the oven on more than necessary is very daunting!)
This need for colder foods has had my salad making at an all time high. Lunches daily have mostly consisted of different varieties of chopped veggies, greens and protein. I’ve been trying to keep creative and not resort to the same salad daily, while always remembering to include the 4 pillars to a perfect healthy salad- greens, fiber, healthy fat and protein.
Yesterday, I whipped up a quick Nicoise salad. This already happens to be one of my favourite kinds of salads, I just tend not to make it all that often. I got a little extra creative and decided that use Rawesome’s Original “cheese” spread to make a delicious, dairy free, creamy dressing. I usually steer clear of creamier dressings because of the dairy, but this is a perfect alternative if you want that rich decadent feeling, but in a healthier, dairy free kind of way.
Salad Ingredients (serves 2-4 people)
- 8 mini potatoes
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 english cucumber, sliced
- 1 can of artichoke hearts
- 4-5 hearts of palm, sliced
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- 5 radishes, quartered
- 1 can of chickpeas or white cannellini beans, rinsed well
- 1 handful (roughly 1 cup) green beans
- Black or mixed olives
- 1 tbsp capers
- 4 tbsp Rawesome Original “cheese” spread
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 of a lemon’s juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a medium pot 1/4 of the way with cold water, add in your eggs. The eggs should be just covered by the water (add more if needed). Cover the pot and turn on to medium heat.
- Bring the water to a low boil and then bring down your heat. Cook the eggs 12-13 minutes.
- Once the eggs are done, remove from the boiling water into an ice bath. This makes peeling the eggs much easier later on.
- In another pot, bring some salted water to a boil. Add your green beans and cook 5-6 minutes, until soft but crisp. Take out of the pot and put in an ice bath to stop the cooking (this is called blanching your greens!)
- Using the same pot, boil some more salted water. Add your mini potatoes and cook for 18 minutes until soft. Remove the potatoes and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- While everything is cooking, place the remainder of your veggies in a salad bowl, or arrange on a large platter.
- Remove the potatoes from their ice bath, slice in halves or quarters and add to your platter or bowl.
- Add your green beans to the mix
- Remove the eggs from their ice bath and peel off the shells. Cut each egg in half or quarters and add to the platter or bowl.
- Sprinkle the capers on top of the salad.
- In a small bowl, combine your dressing ingredients (except the water) and whisk together. Add in a tsp of water and whisk again. Continue to add water (slowly!) until the dressing thins out enough. Add more salt and pepper at this point if needed
- Serve and enjoy!
Optional- A nicoise salad is traditionally served with tuna, but I didn’t have any so I left it out. You can also use roasted salmon or chicken if you want to add some more protein to the dish.