Redemption Salad

Let it be known: Vacation is glorious. But, after a few days of bouncing around hotel rooms and navigating unfamiliar territory, I think we inevitably start longing for bits of the normal lives we chose to leave behind. Things like faster wifi, familiar beds or, in our case, vegetables.

Don’t get me wrong. My fellow vacationers and I, we loved our time in Seattle. Even after eight exhausting days and half as many major car malfunctions in blistering heat and pay-by-the-hour parking lots, we were sad to go.  

seattle-v.2.jpgAnd I don’t mean to suggest that we didn’t like the food either. We’d all happily go for another impressively crisp-but-tender pizza at Via Tribunali, a warm potato-stuffed pastry at Piroshky Piroshky, or a caramel-crusted cake from Honoré. 

But, as the list suggests, our diet in Seattle consisted mostly of bread and fat (taken with dark-roasted uppers and locally-brewed downers). By day four, our bodies wanted home cooking, but our energy levels were demanding takeout. 

And so, we picked up a motley crew of veggies, chopped them up, added a can of beans, and called it dinner. Actually, we called it Redemption Salad, knowing full well that the influx of veggies and protein was unlikely to absolve us from all the butter and beer. 

three.jpgBut the mix of textures and flavours offered up by the few ingredients – creamy, crunchy, bitey, sweet and salty – turned out to be so satisfying that we made it another two times in Seattle, and again this weekend, back in Edmonton. 

And, as the temperature here rises and our desire to turn on a stove correspondingly falls, the salad promises to stay on the menu, with the occasional substitution just to keep it interesting. 

So while it didn’t fully redeem us, it did and will continue to keep us happy and, maybe, slightly healthier than we’d otherwise be. Not bad for a bowl of raw veggies, I’d say.  

Redemption Salad

Makes ~6.25 cups

Notes: If the idea of raw zucchini doesn’t appeal, feel free to use cucumber instead. For tastiest results, use your best olive oil and salt. 

Update 05/22/2014: Had this again last night, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar – worth trying out!

4 stalks of celery
1 small zucchini
1 large yellow pepper 
1-2 tomatoes
1-2 avocadoes
1 15-oz can of white beans (kidney, cannellini, navy, etc.), drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
flaky salt (or any other kind of salt)
To serve: garlic-rubbed toast (optional)


1. Prep your veggies: Wash and dry the celery, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. Cut your avocado(s) in half and remove the pits. Now dice all of the vegetables into 2cm cubes (no one’s measuring, so don’t worry about being precise). You should have about 1.25 cups of each type of vegetable. Add more veggies (or snack on extras) as needed. 

2. Drop your diced veggies, along with the beans, garlic, olive oil, and 1/8 tsp salt into a big bowl. Toss until the veggies are coated in the oil and salt. Taste, and add more oil and salt as you see fit. 

3. Let the salad sit for a couple of minutes to allow the garlic to impart its flavour on the veggies. Now serve up! Note that garlic is particularly pugnent when raw, so eat the slivers at your discretion (I leave mine in the bowl). 


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