If you’re a vegetable, there’s a good chance I will try to turn you into a noodle.
I’ve made it my mission, as you very well may have noticed, to extract every bit of value from my spiralizer that I possibly can. There have been a few failed attempts (white sweet potatoes were particularly stubborn), but for the most part I’ve been extremely pleased with my vegetable-to-noodle transformations. Here, here, don’t forget about here, and again here!
So I’m really not sure what took me so long to take zucchini’s twin cousin through a spin in the ol’ spiralizer . But it finally happened, and this cucumber noodle salad with wasabi cashews is what I have to show for it.
Pretty pleased with the outcome.
Another thing I’d been planning to do forever is to have a backsplash installed in my favorite room of the house. Sort of pathetic that this task took so long to make it to the top of my to do list, considering the only “to do” on my part was to arrange for another person to do it.
But regardless, there it sat for two whole years (since we moved into our house), waiting patiently as other jobs were created, completed, and crossed through with the vigor that only comes from a compulisive list maker.
When I finally could stand no longer the splattered oil and purple smoothie explosions that decorated the poor walls of my tiny kitchen, I went looking for someone to save them. Naturally, I posed the question to my collection of Facebook friends, because surely everyone I knew would be:
1) genuinely interested in the fact that I was looking to add a backsplash to my kitchen, and
2) thrilled to search high and low for a solution
That was sarcasm. But the truth is that I had quite a lot of responses that indicated my friend base is (overly?) confident in my DIY abilities.
After the many words of encouragement and some big help with procuring the necessary tool set, I convinced myself that my little kitchen would be dressed in tiles and the project could finally get scratched off my to do list, by my own to-doing.
I made plans to tackle the project on the weekend K was out of town visiting friends, and my innocent kitchen renovation quickly came to feel like a sinister heist, what with trying to keep it a secret and all. I’m a terrible liar (an indication of my angelically pure soul, obviously) and I was nervous as I made up lies around my whereabouts.
“What am I doing at the hardware store, you ask? Oh just browsing, looking for… light bulbs and paint and stuff…”
I actually lied a bit to my mother as well, and while I had no problem doing that repeatedly during the ages of 15-20, it proved to be difficult and guilt provoking now.
But necessary! I couldn’t afford telling her about my plan to self-execute and have her express doubt–that would throw off my confidence and the entire project’s momentum.
So I explained that I needed to borrow the extension cord to vacuum out my car.
Little did they know I was actually slaving away like a builder of the great pyramids, slicing through tile and praying I would still have all 10 fingers by the end of it.
This photo reveals that at least 6 of them made it through. Rest assured, the remaining 4 are just fine as well.
There were (admittedly) more than a few moments that I cursed those encouraging facebook friends and their confidence in my tiling capabilities.
But after a weekend filled with verbs that I never imagined myself to be an actor of (tiling, wet-sawing, grouting…) I was left with a sore back, half a box of subway tiles, and a beautiful backsplash–laid by my own two little hands.
When K returned, he was enthusiastically impressed with his sneaky and renovation-capable wife, and I’m now finding myself in the kitchen even more than usual, just to stand back and admire my handiwork.
But the most rewarding part of the whole project was how self-sufficient and capable it made me feel. If I can install a backsplash on my own without losing a hand in the process, I can pretty much take on the world.
So bring it, World. I’ll take your never-ending challenges, and whip up this cucumber noodle salad while I’m at it.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp wasabi powder
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 inches ginger root, grated
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbs honey
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp salt
- crushed red pepper to taste
- black sesame seeds to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread cashews onto a baking sheet and toss with melted coconut oil. Roast for 10-15 minutes, checking every few minutes to shake the pan and make sure nuts are not burning.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and wasabi powder. Toss to coat and reserve.
- While nuts are roasting, spiralize the cucumber and finely slice the cabbage. To a bowl, add minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, salt, and crushed red pepper. Add cucumber noodles, cabbage, and mint leaves and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour if possible, and serve cold with wasabi cashews.
When adding wasabi powder to cashews, I like to use a fine sieve to distribute evenly and avoid the powder clumping. Add more or less wasabi according to your taste The flavor of the salad is greatly enhanced by allowing it to marinate from one hour- overnight.
You can make this salad, too. Go on, show the World what you’re made of.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.