Summer Sides

A quartet of chilled Mexican salads

Last night’s dinner was my version of Mexican tapas. I made four side dishes and put them together as one satisfying meal that was all veggie and bursting with flavor. On the plate: a corn and black been mix, carrot slaw, kale salad and of course, guacamole. The only thing that required heating was the corn. It was fresh off the Jersey cob. I’m excited that two of my favorite ingredients (corn and tomatoes) have started popping up at the markets.


Saturday’s find in South Jersey; a great addition to the guac

Salad #1

I made the carrot slaw first so that it could marinate while I prepared the other dishes. It came from an old cookbook of mine called The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook. It’s really quick and easy and makes a great side dish for us mayonnaise-haters that don’t like regular coleslaw.


Mexican-Style Carrot Slaw With Currants  (Makes 4-6 servings)


  • 3 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup currants or raisins


In a large bowl, whisk together everything except the carrots and raisins. Add the last two ingredients once the dressing is mixed. Toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Fresh squeezed

Golden delicious

Salad #2

A while back I wished for Gwyneth Patrow’s new cookbook and recently I got it. I made her balsamic and lime vinaigrette to toss with shredded kale, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro and basil.

The ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. light agave nectar or honey
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Salad #3


The corn and black bean mix was a homemade concoction: beans, corn, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and regular pepper.  I used dried black beans that had simmered in the crockpot, but a rinsed can works easily as well. (The crockpot is an awesome tool and I would like to try more veg recipes in it. For the beans I threw in one 16-ounce bag and 8 cups of water. They cooked on low for 8 hours. That’s it. Now there’s plenty of leftover beans to make stuff with.)

Side Dish #4

I love guacamole and make it all the time, especially when friends are over. It’s always a big hit, and no matter how much I make there’s never any leftover. Click here for a basic guacamole recipe. I use jalapeno peppers instead of serrano. I never measure anything. I just keep adding stuff and tasting. One great trick (I can’t remember where I got it) is to dice the onion and place it in a bowl. Squeeze the lime over the onion and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you chop the other ingredients. It takes the bite out of the raw onion. Works like a charm!


The superstar of the night: bowl-licking good

 Adios and buenos dias!




Filed under Dining in

3 responses to “Summer Sides

  1. Pingback: Leftovers for Lunch | veggievinyasa

  2. Pingback: Campground Yoga | veggievinyasa

  3. Pingback: World Vegetarian Day | veggievinyasa

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