Cucumber Salad

low carb cucumber saladIn late spring every year, my wife and I plant a vegetable garden. It’s really two small plots in our tiny backyard. We start out in March planting leaf lettuce, carrots, and green beans then followed by tomatoes and cucumbers around the beginning of May (in recent years the growing season has been starting earlier and earlier). Without fail, cucumbers provide the biggest yield of all our crops, save for perhaps the carrots.

We typically have so many cucumbers that we have to give many away as there is only so many cucumbers that you can eat – gas producing side effects notwithstanding! As luck would have it, our favorite use for cucumbers, besides sliced on top of salads, is as a marinated salad all on their own. For about two months in mid-summer, we have an unending supply of cucumber salad.

This recipe is one handed down from my Mom and it always brings back fond memories of summers past that never seemed to end. It’s extremely easy to make and is also easy on the blood glucose and insulin levels. The secret to the salad is the combining of both bitter and sweet ingredients, but not to worry, the sweetening can be accomplished in one of two ways that are both natural and both low on the glycemic index.

The base for the marinade is a mixture of distilled white vinegar, water, and a sprinkle of sugar. The sugar is truly needed to take some of the bite off the white vinegar and this is what my Mom used. I’ve since adapted the recipe to use just a few drops of liquid stevia in order to provide the necessary sweetness, however, you could just as easily use half a teaspoon of table sugar and not have any worries about playing havoc with your glucose levels.

The real secret to properly preparing this salad is to let the it thoroughly chill in the refrigerator. This will get the salad refreshingly cold as well as allow the marinade to thoroughly infuse the cucumber and onions. Letting things sit in the fridge over night is even better!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber (smaller varieties with smaller seeds work best)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 vidallia onion coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or 3-4 drops liquid stevia

Directions:

  1. Slice cucumber into paper thin slices (we prefer to peel the cucumber, but you can leave the skin on if you prefer)
  2. Place slices into a medium sized glass or ceramic bowl
  3. Sprinkle salt over slices and toss
  4. Add vinegar and water to the bowl
  5. Add chopped onion
  6. Sprinkle dried oregano over the mixture and toss
  7. Cover the bowl with a pan lid or small plate and place into refrigerator
  8. Let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours until well-chilled and marinated
  9. Spoon in small salad bowls and serve as a refreshing starter to a summer meal!