As I sit here composing this, I look back on all that went on in our lives last year and for some odd, unexplainable reason, I feel that 2012 (a leap year) is going to be a good one. Not that 2011 was a poor one for us, but it certainly had its challenges. Perhaps, too, this is the year of the Water Dragon, the fifth sign in the Chinese horoscope which signifies luck. The Year of the Dragon begins on 23rd January 2012 and ends on 9th February 2013. Having lived in Asia for a number of years, my husband and I embrace the Chinese New Year and its celebrations. It’s a time to clear out the old and start anew…to balance yin and yang and the five elements in a person’s make-up. “May your happiness be without limit” (an auspicious greeting for the new year).
Let’s start the year off right with a healthy, vitamin-charged salad! Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, very good source of fiber, potassium, manganese and has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. Even though cucumbers don’t get as much press as other vegetables in terms of health benefits, they do provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.
adapted from Mowielicious
1 medium-size fennel, thinly sliced (use your mandoline)
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced (mandoline or potato peeler)
goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon dill
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, gently toss to combine fennel, cucumber and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze juice from lemon over the salad. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Simple, delicious and fresh! Use the fennel fronds in lieu of dill. Enjoy!