A blog of hopeful, inspired living: cooking & baking & growing & harvesting & preserving & gleaning & eating & sharing food... while bringing positive change to my kitchen and our food system.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Triple A Salad

Well, it's back to blogging! After many months of wedding planning, celebrating, and then honeymooning, Bill and I spent our first weekend back at home, reveling in the simple pleasure of being married, and relaxing, cleaning out the garage, doing three weeks worth of laundry, making short work of a dozen pounds of ripe plums, vacuuming and hosting friends. Another great opportunity to reflect back on Jack Kornfield's Buddhist book, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.

I really enjoyed planning our wedding weekend, and I absolutely LOVED every minute of the celebration. Now it's also strangely enjoyable to be doing household tasks. Even while dusting and lugging bags to the Goodwill, little wedding memories click through my mind and make me smile.

Here's a sneak peek:

I'll do a post with more photos and details soon, and (hopefully) have a recipe for our wedding cake -- a banana cake that is out of this world. But today's post is a recipe that came to me during a sweet bridal shower hosted by a most creative, generous and resilient friend. She hosted a beautiful brunch, and collected recipes on index cards from all my friends (I'll be posting more of those in the weeks to come -- there are some real winners... everything from savory Bulgarian pastries to Texas sheet cake to Grandma Paddy's ricotta pancakes).

This was the recipe she passed on to me, from Cynthia Lair, a professor at Bastyr University. I frequently make salads, but this is a favorite. The Triple A is named for the primary ingredients = Avocado, Almonds and Arame (a nutrient-rich seaweed, a relative of kelp. Make it with mixed greens, a nice butter lettuce, baby spinach or arugula (to make it a Quadruple A!). I usually like to dress my salad separately, as I'm picky about what constitutes just the right amount of dressing, but this salad is an exception -- I love this dressing and the amount always seems perfect. I didn't do much cooking over the past couple months, but I did make this salad quite a few times -- and that is saying a lot (it was this salad and take out for the last two month rush before the wedding)! On more than one occasion this salad served as a meal in itself.

Triple A Salad
Serves 4

1 hass avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
1/8 cup dry arame, soaked in 1 cup filtered water for 15 minutes, drained
4 cups salad greens or 1 head green leaf lettuce and 1 bunch spinach, or a mix of 4 cups of your favorite greens, washed and spun or pat dry. 
¼ cup raw almonds, roasted (directions below)

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, or another sweetener (if using another sweetener (honey is a good one), start with half the amount, then taste)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (or sesame seeds -- I had black sesame seeds, that's what you see in the photos)

1. Heat an oven (or toaster oven) to 350°F, and roast the almonds on a dry cookie sheet for 7 to 10 minutes or until aromatic. Keep them whole or coarsely chop them. 
2. Toss the arame with the salad greens.
2. Combine all the dressing ingredients, using a whisk to beat them. Add the dressing to the greens and arame. Toss to combine. 
3. Gently fold in the avocado. 
4. Garnish with the almonds.



  1. I Love this salad! Nice job. Let's have it again tonight! :)

  2. Hello!! Remember me? I just was thinking... I havent looked at your blog for awhile and I was hoping you had some wedding things up :) SO happy you do. You look wonderful!