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quiet food: marinated daikon in lemon-parsley dressing.

Posted Feb 22 2011 12:00pm

I spent quite a bit of time on my own this weekend. On Friday, I purposefully made zero plans for the evening, choosing instead to decompress from week three of work madness alone in my apartment. It was an uncharacteristic move, but it actually made for a perfect evening.

Typically, when I need moments to myself, I find myself in the kitchen. Chopping, sauteing, tasting, garnishing. Creating something. Taking care of my health.

So it was an odd turn of events when I left my office last Friday, basked in the unseasonably warm weather, and realized that the last thing I wanted to do was cook. I also didn’t want to pull leftovers out of my freezer. I was hungry, tired, and a little cranky, and I wanted a vegetable-heavy meal to appear before me.

And that’s how I found myself spending $20 to get takeout from Whole Foods.

Sigh.

This weekend, I made up for that pricey takeout decision in spades. The following dishes have come out of my kitchen in the past three days:

  • Turkish baked eggs with garlic yogurt [which was a total fail a la spaghetti carbonara ]
  • root vegetable hash [sort of a take on this one ]
  • whole wheat pumpkin molasses breakfast bread [recipe to come]
  • toasted buckwheat with lemon zest
  • brussels sprouts salad with hazelnuts and parmesan [adapted from here ]
  • marinated daikon with lemon-parsley dressing [recipe below]
  • creamy avocado pasta [this was awesome]
  • roasted acorn squash and sunchokes

At the beginning of this kitchen storm, I had a cooking partner , and I interrupted it twice more for low-key, one-on-one visits with a couple friends.  But otherwise it was just me, accompanied only by plants, pots, and oven timers. I ran my dishwasher three times, Lysoled my counter at least six, and am currently utilizing more than half of the tupperware I own. When I woke up this morning, knowing the fruits of my labor awaited me in the fridge, I thought, “Bring on another work-heavy week.”

As I navigate my first experience with a truly crazy office environment, having enjoyed some solitary time and crafted some home-cooked food has helped to recharge me. I needed the time alone. I needed to pass the weekend quietly.

One of my solo activities was a visit to the farmers market, where I was overjoyed to spot greenhouse-grown fresh parsley. Amongst the dirt-crusted potatoes and parsnips spilling out of buckets at every stand, that bit of green looked especially gorgeous. I had to purchase it.

On Sunday night, I slathered toast in generous scoops of pumpkin hummus, and I used that fresh parsley to create a refreshing vegetable side. It was the perfect quiet meal to complement the weekend’s quiet time.

♦♦♦

marinated daikon with lemon-parsley dressing

  • ~ 6 cups ribboned daikon*
  • 1 c packed fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 2 T nutritional yeast**
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 t sea salt

*After scrubbing it, run a vegetable peeler lengthwise down the daikon to create thin “ribbons.”

**If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you could substitute organic parmesan cheese. However, I highly recommend purchasing some “nooch,” as it is one of my favorite salad dressing ingredients.

Blend all ingredients except daikon in blender. Toss 1/3 c dressing with daikon, being sure to coat all strands. Refrigerate minimum one hour or overnight.

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