If you were to ask me which character from The Office I am most like, I’d probably say Angela (hard worker, cat-lady), whereas my co-workers would say I’m more of a Kelly (bubbly, social, and sometimes a space cadet). Unfortunately, being bubbly on the surface doesn’t necessarily mean feeling amazing on the inside, and as every single commercial playing in 2019 will tell you, “wellness starts from within”.
Recently - after feeling bloat-y and “grossy”, I alongside my cheerleader of a health coach, took on the challenge of eating plant-forward, or as some call it, flexitarian. This means plant-based meals with a side of meat, not meat-based meals with a side of (fried) plants. Growing up the child of a Midwestern woman and a Caribbean man in the American South, meat was basically served on a spit on the dining room table and served with buttered and battered carbs. It was awesome (to me). At nearly 25 years old, I am starting to undo that, but I’d be lying if I said I’d ever go fully plant-based. Ain’t happenin’, there are too many carne asada tacos at steak 😂
Notwithstanding the above, I have fallen in love with plant-based, specifically “raw” dishes. It’s fun to see how I can mold and bend and stretch flavors without using any heat. As a person who eats most of her vegetables fried or sauteed in too much Kerrygold butter, I am loving the challenge that comes with turning raw produce into a filling, complex meal. I’ve been working on this carpaccio for weeks, before it was carpaccio and it was just me trying to use up a bunch of Persian cucumbers before they went bad. Now it’s something I’m proud of and I’d love to see more of on restaurant menus. Fresh, seasonal, simple, and unique. I hope you enjoy it too.
2 small Persian cucumbers
2 red radish
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sweet rice vinegar (mirin)
splash of water
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp pink peppercorns
2 tbsp sliced chives
1 oz feta cheese
Wash and, if desired, peel the cucumbers and radishes.
If you have a mandolin, put the cucumbers and radishes through it. Otherwise, carefully and thinly slice them.
Layer the cucumbers and radishes on plate or in a shallow bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, mirin, and splash of water.
Crumble the feta cheese over the cucumbers and radishes, then add the chives, and sprinkle with salt and peppercorns.
Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve immediately!