Curly Cucumber Salad with Seaweed and Ginger Tahini Dressing (Vegan) + Mothers’ Day Discount!
Warning: if you’re emotionally sensitive (like me), you might want to grab the tissue box.
Mothers Day. The quintessential holiday where mothers and daughters connect. Flowers, wine, family gatherings. It all sounds so wonderful, doesn’t it?
When I was eighteen, my mother was diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer. She was first diagnosed when I was four years old, and fell victim to statuses of both “cancer patient” and “cancer survivor.” (More about that here.) Today, I’m talking to the women who, like me, don’t have a mother anymore. To the women who have been affected by disease. To the women whose mothers are no longer in the picture, whether caused by disease, family turmoil, or other disruptive parting. To the women who celebrate mothers day in an alternative way, just like I do.
This October 2015 will mark the nine year anniversary since her passing. This post is not intended to bring pity or shame to myself. I am not wallowing in agony, at all. Instead, I am using this day to reflect on the wonderful women that I have been touched by in the past nine years. The women who have influenced me, guided me, and supported me. To the women who have played a special role in my life, as a result of my mothers’ passing, to what I call “mothers to others.”
My mother won’t be at my wedding next year. My mother didn’t see me graduate university. My mother didn’t see me at my own high school graduation. My mother hasn’t seen me grown into the woman I am proud to have become in almost the past decade, and she certainly will never meet the love of my life. And, of course, my mother and I will not be celebrating mothers day today, nor will she be around for future milestones like my first child.
It would be really, really nice to share the stereotypical milestones with the woman who delivered me, nurtured me, and sacrificed everything for our family. I would love to have traditional family gatherings again, and have the sense of identity that comes from being “a part” of your own family.
But there’s no one right away to go about things in life, and even though I am crying as I write this, and I will never forget the pain of loosing my own mother, I consider myself blessed. I truly believe that when one door closes, another one opens, and that my mother’s passing freed me from the chains of childhood, released me from interdependence, and opened me up to the world. In other words, I grew up and grew into the person I am today because she passed away. I don’t consciously think of my identity in relation to my mother’s identity, but it is; almost every characteristic that I pride myself in was developed in response to my mothers’ death.
But this isn’t about me – this is about you as a woman reading this. I want to pay homage to you, and to the women who are mothers to others. It seems there is a revolving door of women, mothers to others, who pass into my life and back out; women who are around when I need them, but back out again when its time to learn learn to fly. Mothers to others extend incredible compassion, support, and friendship to other women. Whether you offer a smile or a five minute conversation, your gestures of love are received on a deeper level than you would expect.
I am a motherless daughter, and came to accept this reality and new identity years ago. As a result, I experience and receive love from women in a more meaningful way. I develop a very special connection with women who are mothers to others. While I do miss my mother, I consider myself so blessed for the relationships with women that have blossomed and otherwise wouldn’t have. Thank you to the mothers to others out there reading this, I thank you, and I wish every mother a Happy Mother’s Day.
Mothers Day Offer…
In honor of Mother’s Day, Salus Home Solutions has offered Twirly Bites readers 50% off their handheld spiral slicers, making it an amazing deal for just $7.73 after discount! These spiral slicers can create veggie noodles out of zucchini, carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. I love having both a countertop spiralizer and a hand-held spiralizer – I do use both! Just think of the options with a small spiralizer – you can bring that zucchini to work and spiralize it fresh for lunch or on summer picnics! It’s also a lot less clean up. What I love about the Salus Home Solutions spiralizer is that it is manufactured with a superior quality plastic and stainless-steel Japanese blades compared to many other spiralizers on the market. It comes packaged with a cleaning brush and a recipe e-book with over 20 recipes and a link to additional recipes at www.salushomesolutions.com.
Salus Home Solutions is a small, family run business focused on healthy lifestyle enrichment. They pride themselves on the quality of their products and incomparable customer service. Their vegetable spiral slicer is the flagship product in their expanding product line. . If you want to learn even more about them, check out their personal development and coaching Salus Personal Solutions!
Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a Salus Solutions Vegetable Slicer and use the coupon code TWIRLZ50 before Wednesday May 13!
Curly Cucumber Seaweed Salad
Spiralized curly cucumber and seaweed go together like peas and carrots. If you saw Wednesday’s collard green wraps, you’ve probably noticed I’m on a bit of an Asian tear. I hope you have more toasted sesame oil kickin’ around, because it just makes this seaweed salad.
This is the best cucumber dish I’ve ever tasted – and it is so satisfying! The dressing is a thick, creamy, ginger tahini dressing that will make this salad stick to your bones. Lighten it up by reducing the tahini and substituting it for water – but trust me, if you stick to the original recipe, you won’t be disappointed.
Salad dressings are always a hot topic – do you toss the salad in the dressing or put it on each serving individually? I tried both in my recipe testing and definitely recommend using the tahini dressing on top of individual servings. Even though the cucumber is lightly sauteed, they still have a high water content which tends to dilute the dressing if tossed.
There is definitely a no-cook option to this cucumber salad, but I much prefer to quickly saute the carrots and cucumber. Spiralized cucumber is delicious raw, but sauteing it reduces some of the water content and enhances deeper flavors of the cucumber.
Great for a lightweight but sustainable lunch, the curly cucumber salad is awesome as either a side or as an entree salad – whatever floats your boat! And… it’s eeeeeasy to make.
- 4 cups spiralized carrots, angel hair blade, skin on (or 3 medium carrots)
- 5-6 cups spiralized cucumber, 6mm blade, skin on (or 2 very large long cucumbers)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (or regular sesame oil)
- 2 cups dried seaweed, soaked and drained
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (for garnish)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 inch cube ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons water (or to taste)
- Place seaweed in a bowl or measuring cup of water and allow to soak for 20 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil.
- Place spiralized carrot in skillet. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add cucumber to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
- Stir and toss consistently. Carrots will break up a bit, this is normal.
- After approximately 4 minutes, cucumbers should have softened but still be firm. Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Return skillet to stove and bring to medium heat again. Add 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil and add seaweed (make sure it is well drained). Saute for 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Remove seaweed from stove and stir into carrot-cucumber mix.
- Place all ingredients for the dressing in a high speed blender (I used a Nutribullet).
- Blend until creamy. Add water to achieve desired consistency (add more than recipe calls for to thin dressing out).
- Dish into portion sizes. Drizzle dressing over top salad and garnish with sesame seeds, salt, and pepper (to taste).
- If you don't have a 4-blade spiralizer, can also spiralize carrots with 3mm blade.
- Delicious served with a side of diced avocado or toasted almonds!