Of the things I am learning to do these days, embracing a simpler way of cooking is pretty high on the list. Also topping the list, is letting loose on the reins a little bit and keeping the house in order. Those things sound counterproductive I know, but there’s a lot that happens when you suddenly have a couple little kids requiring 90% of your attention.
Living in a hot mess of a house is hard for me, so I need to learn a better way to clean. Simultaneously letting go of the guilt over not spending every waking moment entertaining my children is hard for me. Embracing recipes that are quick and easy, but also delicious and fresh had been huge in helping me balance my time. There are less dishes, less clean up, less time in the kitchen. It makes things just easier.
Not that most of my recipes are ever overly complicated, but I tend to make several dishes for every single meal. It’s unnecessary but also a lot of fun and super satisfying. Multiple dishes are just kind of my style. Blame my Italian stepmother, who’s constantly afraid there isn’t enough food so she makes just one more dish. To be clear, there is always more than enough food.
To be honest, I miss my kitchen time, but I’m sure as we grow out of this age of nursing and needing constant care that it will come back to me. I’m happy to trade this time for a little extra with my babies, who are quickly become little boys and babies no more. When is a mother ever ready for her babies to grow up?
And so we make easy dishes like this zucchini and carrot salad. Both vegetables just require a quick slice on the mandolin before tossing with herbs and dressing. Don’t have one yet? You need it, I’m telling you it saves so much time and effort. I let my poor tired mandolin sit in the cabinet for years (mostly because we had a finger slicing incident early on and I was afraid of it), but in an effort to save even more time, I’ve learned to embrace it. Now I’m afraid I can’t live without it. I’m telling you right now to get one if you don’t have it (I have this one).
Once you get one use it to toss together this salad for a fresh side dish to nearly any summer meal. It’s a perfect last minute addition. Especially because you probably have all the ingredients around the house somewhere that time of year.
Carrot & Zucchini Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt to taste
- 1 small zucchini sliced thin
- 2-3 large carrots peeled and sliced thin
- 1-2 teaspoon fresh Dill
- In a large bowl combine the oil, vinegar, and honey. Whisk together until well blended. Add salt to taste.
- Add carrots, zucchini and dill and toss until well coated.
- Place in the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
- Serve cold.