The Right Way to Store Cucumbers (So They Don’t Turn to Mush)

Cucumbers are easy to find year-round, but they’re really at their peak come summer (May through August). Once you get home from stocking up on them at the farm stand or even just the grocery store, it’s important to know how to store cucumbers. If you…

Cucumbers are easy to find year-round, but they’re really at their peak come summer (May through August). Once you get home from stocking up on them at the farm stand or even just the grocery store, it’s important to know how to store cucumbers. If you take care of these green gems properly, they should last up to a week. Ahead, we’re sharing our top tips for storing cucumbers the right way.

Shopping for Cucumbers

Before you grab any cukes off the shelves (we’re close enough that we can give them a nickname, right?), choose carefully. The best cucumbers will be pure green (not yellow) and have no soft spots. Any signs of wrinkles, shrinkage, or dimples signal that the cucumber is overripe. Overripe or rotten cucumbers will have a sour taste and funky smell, so, unlike overripe bananas or apples, which are great for baking, pass on past-peak cucumbers.

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Blueberry Corn Salad

The summer produce is so good right now, I can’t get enough. I have been making lots and lots of salads: cucumber salad, tomato salad, easy orzo salad, watermelon salad…just to name a few! At the market, I picked up blueberries and sweet co…

The summer produce is so good right now, I can’t get enough. I have been making lots and lots of salads: cucumber salad, tomato salad, easy orzo salad, watermelon salad…just to name a few! At the market, I picked up blueberries and sweet corn because they looked so good. I made one of my favorite…

The post Blueberry Corn Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Cucumber & Feta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

This simple and summery cucumber salad features a bold herb vinaigrette, briny feta cheese, spicy red onions, and pretty edible flowers to top it all off. In case you’re sick of pickles but your garden keeps churning out the cukes like there’s no tomorrow… this quick and easy lettuce-less salad is a great way to […]

The post Cucumber & Feta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

This simple and summery cucumber salad features a bold herb vinaigrette, briny feta cheese, spicy red onions, and pretty edible flowers to top it all off.

In case you’re sick of pickles but your garden keeps churning out the cukes like there’s no tomorrow… this quick and easy lettuce-less salad is a great way to use up at least a few of them.

Cucumber salad garnished with edible flowers, in bowl with purple linen and red onions in background.

I may or may not have harbored a slight fixation with edible flowers this past spring, which lead me to fill my patio container garden with edible blooms in addition to my typical herbs. I meandered up and down the aisles of the nursery, phone in hand, googling various flora and fauna to see if they were in fact edible. While they didn’t have the chamomile flowers I was so hoping to find, I did end up with marigolds, borage (which I’ve grown and used before), and these gorgeous purple and white dianthus.

Needless to say, I was looking for an excuse to use some of my home-grown flowers in a recipe before the blooms withered in the summer heat, and this recipe is the result. Does it matter where the inspiration came from if the outcome is this delicious? I say not.

While I love that the purple and white of the dianthus matches the colors of the salad, I think marigold petals, with their peppery bite, would work equally well in this dish, as would arugula or radish flowers, or even herb flowers like chives or oregano (while I typically try to keep my herbs from flowering, when they do bolt I always try to put the flowers to good use).

Overhead, bowl with wooden spoon and cucumber feta salad with edible flower garnish

Regardless of its origins, this recipe is perfect in its simplicity. While the recipe itself isn’t all that different from our always-popular tomato cucumber salad, we made the dressing a little bit different by adding an assortment of fresh herbs in addition to the olive oil and red wine vinegar.

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Summer Gazpacho

When the summer heat is at full blast and the last thing you want to do is cook, it’s time to make Gazpacho. It’s cold, refreshing, it only takes a few minutes to make, and you never have to turn on the stove. Plus, the leftovers are *chef’s kiss* delicious, so you can eat for […]

The post Summer Gazpacho appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When the summer heat is at full blast and the last thing you want to do is cook, it’s time to make Gazpacho. It’s cold, refreshing, it only takes a few minutes to make, and you never have to turn on the stove. Plus, the leftovers are *chef’s kiss* delicious, so you can eat for the next few days with no extra work! So hit up those summer farmers’ markets, grab some fresh produce, and let’s make some gazpacho!

Originally posted 5-3-2010, updated 7-3-2021.

side view of three bowls of summer gazpacho topped with avocado

What is Gazpacho?

Gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based soup made with puréed vegetables and other ingredients like bread, herbs, or even fruit. It kind of reminds me of salsa, but with a different flavor profile (so if you’ve ever been tempted to eat salsa straight, gazpacho might be for you). This recipe originated in the Iberian peninsula, namely Portugal and Spain, and has since spread around the world. And like many recipes that have been around for hundreds of years, there are many interpretations of this classic summer soup. 

My interpretation of gazpacho is definitely a little non-traditional. For one, I used canned crushed tomatoes and vegetable juice (like V8) in place of fresh tomatoes. Yes, this will make some people clutch their pearls, but I like the full-bodied flavor that the crushed tomatoes bring to the party. Second, I don’t use bread in my gazpacho, which is a common ingredient in traditional gazpacho recipes. Blending a soft bread into the soup gives it an almost creamy flavor and is another way of adding body, so the soup isn’t too watery.

How Do You Serve Gazpacho?

CHILLED. While this soup is pretty tasty even at room temperature, it’s ultra-refreshing when chilled and can really take the edge off that intense summer heat. I like to serve it with some crusty bread on the side for dipping, because every meal is better with a little crusty bread on the side, IMHO. It would also be great with some garlic bread, a grilled cheese sandwich, or even some cold pasta salad on the side. And if you want to add a little protein, a few cooled cooked shrimp would be marvelous in this soup!

What Else Can I Add?

Gazpacho is wonderful because it’s very flexible, and that’s another reason there are so many interpretations of this delicious soup. Here are some other ingredients you can toss in, if you have them on hand:

  • Fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chives)
  • Soft bread (as mentioned above, this makes the soup almost creamy and gives it body)
  • Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar in place of the lemon juice
  • Red bell pepper
  • Jalapeño
  • Avocado (try blending it into the soup for a creamy texture, instead of using it as a topping)
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatillos

In addition to adding ingredients into your gazpacho, you can have a lot of fun with the toppings. Here are some ideas for topping your gazpacho:

  • Steamed shrimp (cooled)
  • Croutons 
  • A drizzle of pesto
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • A drizzle of chile oil
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • A spoonful of corn salsa
  • Fresh chopped herbs
  • Flakey sea salt
  • A pinch of crumbled feta

Overhead view of three bowls of summer gazpacho

Overhead view of three bowls of summer gazpacho

Summer Gazpacho

This cold, refreshing Summer Gazpacho is the easiest no-cook recipe for when the weather is hot and summer produce is at its best!
Total Cost $3.83 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 184kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.69
  • 1 cup vegetable juice (like V8) $0.35
  • 1/2 sweet onion (about 1 cup chopped) $0.40
  • 1/2 cucumber (about 2 cups chopped) $0.50
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley $0.35
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 tsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 1 avocado $0.99

Instructions

  • Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable juice to a food processor or blender.
  • Peel the cucumber, if desired. Cut the onion and cucumber into chunks. Wash the parsley and cilantro well. Mince the garlic. Add the cucumber, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to the food processor or blender.
  • Purée the ingredients, or leave them slightly chunky, if preferred. Taste the gazpacho and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon to your liking. Chill the soup for 30 minutes before serving. Give it one last taste after chilling, in case the flavors need to be adjusted.
  • Dice the avocado just befor serving and add a few chunks on top of each bowl. Add extra pepper and olive oil to each bowl, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 839mg | Fiber: 7g

three bowls of gazpacho from the side, a spoon in one

How to Make Easy Summer Gazpacho – Step by Step Photos

Crushed tomatoes and vegetable juice in food processor

Add one 15oz. can crushed tomatoes and 1 cup vegetable juice (like V8 juice) to a food processor or blender.

onion, cucumber, and herbs added to food processor

Cut ½ sweet onion (about 1 cup) and 1/2 cucumber (about 2 cups) into chunks. You can peel the cucumber or leave it unpeeled. Peeling the cucumber will allow your gazpacho to have a more vibrant red color. Wash the parsley and cilantro well. Mince the garlic. Add the onion, cucumber, ½ cup fresh parsley, ½ cup fresh cilantro, one garlic clove (minced), 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 2 tsp lemon juice to the food processor or blender. 

Finished gazpacho in the food processor

Purée the ingredients, or leave them slightly chunky, if you prefer. Taste the gazpacho and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon to your liking. Chill the soup for about 30 minutes before serving. It’s not a bad idea to give it one final taste after refrigeration, as the flavors will begin to melt and shift as the soup refrigerates.

Four bowls of gazpacho topped with avocado and cilantro

Dice the avocado and add chunks to each bowl. I also like to drizzle just a bit more olive oil and sprinkle a little extra pepper over each bowl, but that’s optional. The avocado really takes it to the next level, though, so I wouldn’t skip that!

a spoonful of summer gazpacho being lifted from the bowl

Enjoy that cool, refreshing tomato-cucumber flavor!

The post Summer Gazpacho appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Greek Quinoa Salad

I am always looking for ways to mix up my salad routine and this Greek Quinoa Salad is a GOOD one. It has all of the same flavors as a traditional Greek Salad, but the quinoa makes it super hearty. It is great served along side our Greek Chicken Kabobs…

I am always looking for ways to mix up my salad routine and this Greek Quinoa Salad is a GOOD one. It has all of the same flavors as a traditional Greek Salad, but the quinoa makes it super hearty. It is great served along side our Greek Chicken Kabobs, Greek Turkey Meatballs, grilled vegetables,…

The post Greek Quinoa Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.

The post Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been totally obsessed with the salty-sweet-spicy flavor combo lately. Ever since I fell victim to a Facebook ad selling some chili-coated sour patch kids (yes, they were awesome). So I was totally delighted when I decided to throw together the gochujang in the back of my fridge with some pineapple from my freezer, and a fresh cucumber, and it tasted exactly like the chili gummies! But like, with actual fruit and vegetables instead of candy. Haha! Needless to say, this Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is a HIT.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a centuries-old Korean chili paste made with chili peppers, rice, soybeans, and salt (check this article for a really extensive history and detail of this awesome sauce). It has a salty-spicy-umami flavor that kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. The flavor profile is so unique and so delicious, and I couldn’t be happier about the fact that it’s really trending in the U.S. right now because that means it’s fairly easy to find in major grocery stores. My local Kroger store has about five or six different brands on the shelf!

P.S. Gochujang stays good in the fridge for a really long time, so don’t worry about needing to use up the whole container right away. Here are some other recipes I’ve made using gochujang, if you need some inspiration.

Fresh or Frozen Pineapple?

I used frozen pineapple this time around because I had it on hand, but fresh would work just as well. Canned pineapple (in juice, NOT syrup) might work in a pinch, but it tends to be a lot sweeter and not quite as bright in flavor as fresh or frozen, so it’s definitely not my first choice for this recipe.

Substitutions

This particular flavor combination has a lot of flexibility, so I think there is a lot of room for substitution. Here are some ideas:

  • Pineapple: You can use mango, cantaloupe, or even watermelon in place of the pineapple.
  • Cilantro: If you can’t do cilantro, you can either leave it out or try adding some green onion for a little fresh kick.
  • Gochujang: If you can’t find gochujang, Tajín seasoning actually makes a really good substitute. It has a really similar salty-spicy flavor profile. It is a powder instead of a paste, but will mix into the dressing all the same. Use about 1 tsp Tajín and add more to your liking.

What to Serve with Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This tasty salad would make a great side dish to something like Coconut Chicken Strips, Baked Ginger Salmon, Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls, or Easy Orange Chicken.

Side view of spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl
Overhead view of Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad in a bowl

Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.
Total Cost $4.41 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Calories 75kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber (3 cups chopped) $1.25
  • 1/2 lb. frozen pineapple chunks (2 cups) $2.46
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 1.5 tsp gochujang $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.37
  • 1 Tbsp sugar $0.01

Instructions

  • Thaw the pineapple chunks and chop the cucumber into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple chunks. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking together the gochujang, rice vinegar, and sugar until dissolved.
  • Combine the cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and dressing in a bowl. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Stir the salad just before eating to redistribute the dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cucumber, pineapple and cilantro in a bowl

Thaw ½ lb. (about 2 cups) pineapple chunks. Chop one cucumber (about 3 cups) into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple. Roughly chop about ½ cup cilantro. Place the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in a bowl.

Gochujang dressing in a bowl

In a bowl, stir together 1.5 tsp gochujang, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 Tbsp sugar until everything is dissolved.

Dressing being poured over cucumbers and pineapple

Pour that “awesome sauce” over the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in the bowl, then give it a good stir.

Finished spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl

You can either eat your salad immediately or let it marinate for a while. The salad will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days, but the fruit and vegetables will get softer the longer they marinate. Make sure to give it a good stir each time just before serving to redistribute the dressing!

front view of a bowl full of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

The post Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Pasta Salad

During the hot summer months, we like to eat salads for lunch and dinner. Sometimes Josh gets tired of green salads, so I mix things up with pasta salads. Cold pasta salads are a summer lifesaver! This easy pasta salad is one of our favorites. I actual…

During the hot summer months, we like to eat salads for lunch and dinner. Sometimes Josh gets tired of green salads, so I mix things up with pasta salads. Cold pasta salads are a summer lifesaver! This easy pasta salad is one of our favorites. I actually grew up on this pasta salad. This was…

The post Easy Pasta Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu

All the flavor and texture of sushi without the hassle of making the rolls. These vegan sushi bowls are perfect for a build-your-own weeknight bowl or to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. Just 10 ingredients required, naturally plant-based and …

Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu

All the flavor and texture of sushi without the hassle of making the rolls. These vegan sushi bowls are perfect for a build-your-own weeknight bowl or to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. Just 10 ingredients required, naturally plant-based and gluten-free, and SO satisfying. Let us show you how it’s done!

Recipe Inspiration

These vegan sushi bowls are inspired by the flavors of sushi, but with a plant-based spin made into bowl form.

Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu from Minimalist Baker →

Creamy Vegan Cucumber Salad (German-Inspired)

The summertime brings an abundance of cucumbers, and this creamy cucumber and onion salad is the perfect way to put them to use! The concept came to be when we hosted a German food night with friends and needed a side salad but wanted to keep it dairy-…

Creamy Vegan Cucumber Salad (German-Inspired)

The summertime brings an abundance of cucumbers, and this creamy cucumber and onion salad is the perfect way to put them to use! The concept came to be when we hosted a German food night with friends and needed a side salad but wanted to keep it dairy-free. It’s quick and easy to throw together and perfect for warm weather gatherings. Let us show you how it’s done!

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad

The dressing for this creamy cucumber salad relies on a base of thick, tangy coconut yogurt to keep it dairy-free.

Creamy Vegan Cucumber Salad (German-Inspired) from Minimalist Baker →

Sergeant Pepper Spicy Cocktail

If you like spicy cocktails, this sergeant pepper cocktail is for you! It’s made with jalapeño infused tequila, cucumber juice and agave. It has the perfect balance of spicy and refreshing and is great for all occasions. We made this cocktail for…

If you like spicy cocktails, this sergeant pepper cocktail is for you! It’s made with jalapeño infused tequila, cucumber juice and agave. It has the perfect balance of spicy and refreshing and is great for all occasions. We made this cocktail for New Years Eve because we wanted something spicy and refreshing to ring in […]

The post Sergeant Pepper Spicy Cocktail appeared first on Sugar and Charm.