Black bean and corn salad with zucchini, yellow pepper and onion
Black beans and corn figured heavily in our diets for a few days last month. With a rash of bad headaches, I didn’t reallly have the time or inclination to shop, so I relied on the pantry and the garden. For this main dish salad, saute zucchini, yellow pepper, and onions (or shallots or leeks if your poor head can’t tolerate onions). Then mix with fresh tomato, black beans and fresh corn (I find that my farmers market corn doesn’t need to be cooked). Drizzle with olive oil and mix in fresh chopped basil. I can’t describe how perfect these flavors all taste together. There’s something about the combination of cooked and raw, sweet and sharp … delish! The basil is the essential ingredient that takes it from good to amazing.
Peach and cucumber salad
Ever since my friend Erin told me about her peach and jalapeno salad, I have been adding peaches to so many dishes. Turns out, peaches go with everything. This is a very basic salad: peach, cucumber and basil over greens.
Chickpea, tomato and cucumber salad
Here’s another one straight from the garden and the pantry. Amazing? No. But solidly good, very healthy and super easy. Cucumber, tomato, parsley, chickpeas and queso fresco. Fresh cheese are allowable in a low-tyramine, migraine diet. I don’t know whether queso fresco from the grocery store technically qualifies as a fresh cheese, it is certainly not specifically mentioned in any of the lists of allowed foods. The cheese I used here is from Skagit Valley’s Samish Bay Cheese who make actually fresh cheeses (and aged ones, too, for those of you who can eat them).
Salad Nicoise is maybe my favorite summer salad. This version consists of tuna, tomatoes, boiled egg and yukon gold potatoes served over a bed of mizuna and arugula. I liked salad nicoise even more back when I could actually eat olives and before I shacked up with Z who is “not a big fan” of green beans. (Though since being subjected to my cuisine – I’m going to take credit here, whether or not it is due – he has come to like eggs that are not completely cooked, mustard, and recently the best one yet: Mayonnaise! So green beans may not be far behind.) The tuna is canned albacore from Fishing Vessle St. Jude, a local family-run business that practices sustainable fishing methods.
Corn and peach salad
Here’s another variation on peach salad. This one is peaches and corn with parsley and basil, served over arugula. It was accompanied by salmon, barbecued with Tom Douglas’ Salmon Rub, and cornmeal griddle cakes. This meal screams summer. I wish today’s weather did, I mean, come on Mother Nature, fall starts tomorrow.
Spinach salad with cornmeal crumbs and caprese
Caprese is another dish that has figured heavily for the last couple of months. We have tomatoes and basil in our vegetable garden, and fresh mozzarella is always in the fridge since it’s one of the few migraine-friendly cheeses. Plus caprese is so quick and easy. I end up eating a lot of it in the summer. It has turned into one of those foods, like salmon, that I would never get in a restaurant. It is a great snack and so many snack foods are off limits to us migraineurs. This salad consists of spinach leaves topped with fried cornmeal crumbs, tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella. I attempted to make polenta croutons from defrosted leftover polenta. It didn’t work, I got polenta crumble instead, which turned out to be really tasty. Think of it like bacon bits (your last taste of bacon will have to have been as far in the past as mine in order to even entertain the idea that cornmeal might in any way resemble licking-smacking, soul-satisfying bacon – wow that was a mouthful).
Tomato, cucumber and basil salad
Here’s another snack or side salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkled with basil, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Can’t get much easier than this.