Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

On Monday of this week I had a routine procedure done to remove my upper wisdom teeth, since then I have been on a liquid diet of various basic soups and purees. Today however, I very happily graduated to a chunky soup with overcooked, whole chickpeas and mushy rice with black beans! My mouth and tummy rejoiced! It was the closest thing to solid food that I have had in almost a week and boy was it needed! I've been going to bed with a hungry tummy each night due to the discomfort in my jaw and the inability to down enough liquids that actually stick to my bones. My relatively "normal" meal immediately got me day dreaming about all of the delicious textures that we take for granted in the food that we eat each day.

I thought about all of my favorite dishes that are made up of beautiful texture, both surprising and obvious, and began riffling through my archive of food photos to torture myself a little bit more. It felt a bit serendipitous when I realized that I had never published the recipe for this insanely delicious potato salad that just so happens to be layered with all kinds of subtle texture. A definite spin off the traditional, backyard BBQ potato salad of yesteryear. Creamy avocado layered on top of perfectly cooked mini potatoes. The tiny beads of a gorgeous grainy mustard, the crisp slivers of green onion and the fresh arugula create the most delicious flavor and texture profile that a potato salad could ever be expected to have. This will be the very first meal I make for myself once I can actually chew my food again. For now, let me live vicariously through you - make this, devour it and enjoy every scrumptious bite! You are welcome!

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

8-10 mini potatoes (any variety will do, I like red skinned mini's)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbsp of olive oil

A pinch of pink Himalayan salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1 tsp of whole grain mustard

1 sprig of green onion (chopped)

1 avocado (scooped out with a spoon and broken up into bite sized pieces)

1 handful of fresh arugula

 

Prepping your ingredients is always an important step in saving time and ensuring that all of the steps line up well. Making the cooking of any meal less stressful, more enjoyable and more likely that you'll end up with a delicious finished product.

Wash and scrub the mini potatoes, leaving the skin on. Wash and chop the green onions. Prepare the avocado by slicing it lengthwise around the center and removing the pit. If your arugula isn't already washed, delicately wash and dry the leaves. Juice and zest your lemon. Set all of the main ingredients aside and have your salt, pepper, mustard and olive oil ready and waiting.

Begin by placing the washed mini potatoes in a medium pot with enough cold water that the potatoes are completely submerged. Turn the heat to high until the water is at a rolling boil and then reduce to a simmer. It is best not to cover with a lid, this changes the environment in the pot and can cause your potatoes to be too mushy. The potatoes will be done anywhere from 7-20 minutes depending on their size. Begin checking them around 7 minutes. They are done when they are tender. If a fork or skewer slides easily through the potato, they are ready. Remove them right away from the water and set aside so they do not continue to cook. Once they have cooled, cut them into halves or quarters, whatever you prefer. Let them cool before incorporating them with the other ingredients.

Next mix the dressing. Oil, lemon juice, zest, mustard, salt & pepper. Whisk all of these ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the potatoes.

Add the green onion, arugula and scoop chunks of avocado into the mixture. Combine gently. You can keep the avocado in bite sized pieces or mash it slightly, I prefer a bit of both.

This recipe will yield 2 servings.

Serve & Enjoy!

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad

Grainy Mustard, Arugula & Avocado Potato Salad


Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

Most summers here in Toronto are intensely hot, humid and sticky. We go weeks without rain. When it does, it's one torrential down pour to clean the city and quench the thirst of all of our greenery and then right back to the heat wave. I remember living downtown for many years with no air conditioning and having to sleep on my balcony in order to survive the heat waves, because indoors, even with windows open and fans on their highest setting, it was just too stagnant to fall asleep. Often you would hear complaints, just like you'd hear in the dead of winter about the cold and snow, people would moan about how hot it was. Splash pads would be over run with kids and adults alike, taking whatever opportunity they could get to cool themselves down. Patios would be bustling through all hours of the day and night, with happy people celebrating sunshine and summer time. This summer, although not the worst summer I have ever experienced, has not been quite as hot and sticky as I tend to like my summers feeling. We have had many chilly days that feel more like April then July, what seems like lots of rain and no evidence of it stopping as I look ahead at the forecast for the week to come. Our meals have reflected the cool days and nights, we have craved more of the warm and comforting foods of early spring and fall, soup has been a popular choice as of late.

One soup I crave all year round is Vietnamese Pho. This Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms and Vegetables is inspired by all of the delicious Pho I would devour when I lived downtown. We had a great Vietnamese restaurant just a stones throw from our house in the Junction. I survived off of their vegetarian Pho and fresh Cold Rolls for much of the time I lived there. I miss it so much! Now, this soup isn't Pho at all, but the savory, salty broth, the vermicelli noodles paired with the spicy sriracha hot sauce does give you the same kind of basic flavor and comfort that the traditional version boasts. Simple and delicious.

The greatest thing about this recipe, is how easy it is. You saute a few of your ingredients, pour in the broth, seasoning and vegetables and you are off to the races. Quick and easy, perfect for an impromptu meal that doesn't take a lot of time. From start to finish you can bang out a family sized serving of this in just 30 minutes flat.
 

Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

Asian Style Soup with  Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

Asian Style Soup with  Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

6 cups of organic (low sodium) vegetable broth

1/4 cup of (reduced sodium) tamari soy sauce

2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1/2 cup of chopped onion

1 sprig of fresh green onion

6 - 8 shitake mushrooms

1 pack of enoki mushrooms

3 cups of chopped bok choi

1 can/tin of baby corn

1/2 package of vermicelli noodles

1 package of organic soft or medium tofu

1 sheet of roasted nori

2 tbsp of olive oil

sriracha hot sauce

Begin by prepping all of the produce. Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and trim off the ends. The enoki mushrooms will usually come packaged still attached by their "root", cut the tiny mushrooms loose from that root. Wash the bok choi, and pat dry with a towel to remove any excess water. Chop both types of onion and garlic and set aside. Rinse and cube the tofu, set aside.

Soups on!

Soups on!

Next, you will need to add the olive oil to a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook until transparent. Add the shitake mushrooms, these will only take a couple of minutes per side to cook through, be sure to flip so that both sides saute nicely. Add the bok choi and corn, continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cubed tofu and allow to cook with all of the veggies for another minute. Next, add the vegetable broth, the tamari soy sauce and the enoki mushrooms. Bring it all to a boil, add the noodles and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to cook until the noodles are soft. Once cooked, serve into bowls, dress with strips of nori, chopped green onion and sriracha hot sauce (if you like some kick!).

Enjoy!

Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables

Asian Style Soup with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables