Before I begin, I just want to say that I am officially obsessed with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. I think you all should listen to the song while you read this post. It’s on the soundtrack for The Fault in Our Stars, and though I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I love the video because it’s shot in Amsterdam. Most of tthe video is even shot on the Prinsengracht, the canal of the houseboat I stayed on last summer! Amsterdam is one of my favourite places in the world, and the video makes me miss it so much.
This week has been amazing: blue skies, sunshine, and one of my best friends is engaged! When she asked to Skype earlier this week, I had a feeling that she had something special to tell me. Maybe it’s because we’re telepathic like that. The news put the biggest smile on my face, and I know for a fact that if she had told me in person, we would have jumped up and down together squealing like little girls. And we did, but on Skype. I know that most engaged couples around my age (early twenties) are on the receiving end of questioning looks from others, and I, for one, can’t imagine myself getting married so young. But everyone is different. Some of us don’t know what we want or who we want to be with for the rest of our lives, but those who do should not be judged for their decisions- especially if it’s what makes them happy. I have, in the past, been guilty of questioning the decision of those who decide to marry young. Seeing my friend so happy, however, made me realize that those judgements are silly. I have never questioned her decisions, and I am not about to question her decision now. No one knows the inside of a relationship better than the people in them, and I am confident that her and her fiancé will have a lifetime of happiness (+ some really cute kids) ahead of them. I am so excited and happy for her that I’m already planning what to buy as a wedding present (kitchen equipment, obviously) and hoping that I get to go wedding dress shopping with her! Congratulations, gorgeous. You deserve all the happiness in the world!
Onto today’s recipe… Summer is in full swing, and it is barbecue season. Barbecue season also means coleslaw season, which is unfortunate for me, because I have never really liked coleslaw. I find nothing appealing about eating soggy cabbage that is swimming in mayonnaise, but maybe it’s because I’ve never had really good coleslaw. The coleslaw I remember from my childhood came in little tubs alongside the KFC takeout my mom would take home. Yep, that’s right. There was a time when my mom would occasionally bring home a KFC family bucket, and I loved it. I’m happy to say that I have since moved on from that phase in my life. This summer slaw is by no means an attempt to recreate classic coleslaw. There’s no creamy dressing used, and the flavours are very different. If I’m being perfectly honest, I really just wanted to make something colourful for dinner. Red cabbage, maroon carrots, pan-grilled red pearl onions, shiitake mushrooms, and mung bean sprouts dressed in a soy tahini dressing make for a vibrant slaw that is crisp and savoury, and perfect for summer nights. I chose to dress the slaw in a soy tahini dressing, but lemon and extra virgin olive oil would be delicious, too.
Vibrant Summer Slaw
*yields four servings
4-5 cups red cabbage
3 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 regular orange carrots, thinly sliced
5 small maroon carrots, thinly sliced
10 red pearl onions
1 cup mung bean sprouts
sesame oil/cooking oil of choice
tamari soy sauce
1. Using a sharp knife, shred the red cabbage. Place the red cabbage in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Peel the red pearl onions and cut them in half.
3. Heat the sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the red pearl onions face down, and cook until they are tender and the bottoms are browned. Once finished, add the red onions to the red cabbage.
4. Add the onions to the red cabbage. Set aside.
6. Add a tablespoon of sesame oil and a teaspoon of tamari to the frying pan. Sautée the mushrooms until they are soft.
7. Once the mushrooms are done, pour the mushrooms, sliced carrots, and mung bean sprouts into the mixing bowl with the red cabbage and grilled onions.
8. Prepare the dressing.
Soy Tahini Dressing
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
juice of half a lemon
sea salt, to taste
1. In a bowl, whisk the ingredients together.
2. Season with salt, to taste.
3. Pour the dressing into the mixing bowl and toss to mix well.
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,