Cool as a Cucumber

make ahead recipies part 1




make ahead recipies part 1



They are low in calories, they add a delicious crunch to a veggie platter and add refreshing taste to water.  You just can’t get much cooler than that.

Cucumbers serve up a good dose of fiber, minerals and vitamins and a whole lot of refreshment.  At 95 per cent water content, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Just thinking about cukes makes me feel cooler.

If your use of cucumers has been limited to tossing a few into a salad lately, here a few great recipes to get the cool cucumber back in your plate.

Cucumber, Couscous and Bean Salad

Preparation Time: Not Available
Cooking Time: Not Available
Cooking Time: 3 to 5 minutes
Standing Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6


  • ·        1 cup (250 mL) couscous
  • ·        1-1/4 cups (300 mL) vegetable or chicken broth
  • ·        1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ·        Half an Ontario Greenhouse Cucumber
  • ·        2 green onions, sliced
  • ·        1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
  • ·        2 tbsp (25 mL) each of lemon juice and olive oil
  • ·        1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ·        Salt and pepper to taste


In large skillet, stir 1 cup (250 mL) couscous over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes to lightly toast. Stir in 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) vegetable or chicken broth; bring to boil. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed, half Ontario Greenhouse Cucumber, diced, 2 green onions, sliced, and 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley. Add couscous. Combine 2 tbsp (25 mL) each lemon juice and olive oil and 1 small clove garlic, minced; pour over salad and toss gently.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.



Chicken and Tzatziki in Pita Pockets

This Greek sandwich actually makes a full meal. Tzatziki, a cool garlicky mixture of shredded Ontario Greenhouse Cucumbers and yogurt, is generously spooned into pita pockets stuffed with sautéed boneless chicken breasts, sliced tomatoes and lettuce. It’s a perfect fast and fresh dinner for families on the go.

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: 4, Makes About 1-1/3 cups (325 mL) of sauce.


  • ·        1 tbsp (15 mL) Vegetable oil
  • ·        8 Small boneless chicken breasts
  • ·        Salt and pepper
  • ·        Ontario Hydroponic Leaf Lettuce
  • ·        8 Thick slices Ontario Greenhouse Tomatoes
  • ·        1 Ontario Greenhouse Cucumbers, sliced
  • ·        4 Pita bread rounds, cut in half, warmed
  • ·        Easy Tzatziki Sauce (recipe follows)

Easy Tzatziki Sauce:

  • ·        1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
  • ·        Half Ontario Greenhouse Cucumbers, shredded and squeezed dry
  • ·        1 garlic clove, minced
  • ·        1/4 tsp (1 mL) granulated sugar
  • ·        Salt and pepper


In large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Sauté chicken breasts on both sides until lightly browned and no longer pink inside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Layer leaf lettuce, chicken breast, tomato slice and cucumber slices in each half pita. Top with Easy Tzatziki Sauce.

Easy Tzatziki Sauce: Combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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