Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cucumber Salad with a Korean Twist & Food Journaling

Our cucumber plants are still going strong, and we have been enjoying lots of cucumber slices with hummus or just a little salt.

I very much enjoy Korean cucumber side dishes (Korean side dishes = banchan). I like them fresh as well as pickled/slightly fermented and decided to make a quick, fresh Korean-inspired cucumber salad. It’s very tasty and gets even better with age.

Cucumber Salad with a Korean Twist

  • 2 - 3 cucumbers
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (I buy a brand that does not have added sugar; many rice vinegars have added sugar)
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce (I used Tamari)
  • 1/2-2 teaspoon(s) gochujang (Korean red pepper paste; 2 teaspoons will add quite a kick; also, gochujang does contain some sugar, so if you want little/no added sugar in the dish reduce the amount or leave it out and use some ground red pepper instead)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Cut the cucumbers in half, thinly slice them, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, Tamari, and gochuchang.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and let them marinate for at least an hour, longer is even better.
  4. Enjoy!

Andy and I ate the cucumber salad with some smoked salmon mixed in, and it was delicious. The spicy salad dressing went really well with the salmon.

Back to Food Journaling

During the summer, I took a little break from food journaling, and I have realized that it is time to get back to it. While I enjoy lots of apps and online tools, when it comes to my food journal, I prefer an old-fashioned pen and a paper journal. I don’t use it to calculate calories or other stats but like to see overall trends in what and how much I eat. Just writing down everything I eat in a day as well as my daily steps and other workouts makes me more aware. It’s often very helpful to look back over the past few weeks and detect trends and then adjust things when necessary.

Questions: Do you like cucumbers? What’s your favorite way to eat them? Do you food journal? If so, what’s your favorite way to keep track of what you eat?

Be well,


  1. The cucumber salad looks great Andrea, I love the Korean version...very refreshing as well...I like cucumber in salad and pickled...
    Thanks for the recipe...enjoy the rest of your week :D

    1. Thanks, Juliana! Enjoy the rest of the week, too!

  2. Growing up that's all I ate were cucumbers and carrots, because they were raw. I didn't realize until well into my 30s that the reason I didn't like cooked vegetables was because my Mom overcooked them. I finally tried asparagus at a steak house and was blown away by the tender, yet crunchy taste - who knew?!

    I am going to make this for my lunches next week - you know I love the spicy shit! Happy Weekend!

    1. Yes, slightly crunchy asparagus is delicious!

      Hope you had a great weekend, Biz!

  3. I love cucumber salads and this one looks and sounds fantastic.

  4. That looks so delish & refreshing Andrea!!!!!

  5. I like pen and paper food journaling too. Even when I spend just a few moments per day, it works so well. Husband just got back from the huge Korean grocery store in Chicago with new batches of kimchee.

    1. Yes, I think keeping a journal helps me to be a lot more mindful... I don't remember if you like kimchee, but we are out and have to get some more! I love it!

  6. It looks like you had a tasty meal and a fun day.