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Yesterday I made this delicious Moroccan tomato salad inspired by a recipe in Paula Wolfert’s The Food of Morocco.  It’s a great late summer/ early autumn dish, with tomatoes and grilled peppers and onions in a lemony (in fact preserved-lemony) vinaigrette, spiced with paprika and cumin.


But we didn’t finish it in one meal.

And from the day before there was leftover short-grain brown rice, which heated then cooled is in fact even tastier AND a resistant starch — a kind of carb which feeds good bacteria (like those in fermented vegetables) and produces fatty acids that fight inflammation.  (I’m trying to eat lower-carb for weight loss but do get excited about family leftovers from everyone else: cold potatoes, pasta, rice etc. because knowing they’re left over in these cases actually means better.)

Leftover Tomato-Pepper Salad, meet Leftover Brown Rice.  Add a few olives (also a probiotic food lest we forget) and some chopped parsley to the party. And you’ve got a grain salad in which anything fermented (in this case the preserved lemons in the dressing) are good gut-fellows with the resistant starch of the cold rice.

This is the kind of resourceful, healthful, easy, no-recipe-required food preparation that interests me.  Just throwing things in different categories together… no need to add all of them…  Even relative proportions don’t matter.

  • any grains/ starch: rice, millet, quinoa, noodles, boiled potatoes, chopped cooked sweet potatoes… (or not.)
  • beans/ lentils… (or not)
  • leftover salad (make sure any leaves are fresh)… (or not)
  • leftover boiled/ steamed/ roasted veg… (or not)
  • fresh herbs… (or not)
  • toasted seeds/nuts… (or not)
  • fresh greens… (or not)
  • something fermented (pieces of sauerkraut, pickle, olive, kimchi) —  hmmmm, what if I don’t let you off with an “or not” on this one???
  • something protein if you want, vegan, vegetarian, carnivore…   (or not)
  • And they’re all unified by your dressing. But maybe even there’s already dressing on some of these elements…

The point is: play; flexibility; ease; nutrition; good eating.

Please see my other posts on this approach to preparing Minestrone Soup, Frittatas, and Pan Fried Vegetable Fritters.  It makes so much sense to train ourselves away from the specificities of recipes and think conceptually, and resourcefully, without sacrificing yumminess.  These salads are always so good!  Let’s get confident with this way of thinking.