This is the time of year that I start craving something fresh and fruity and crispy. Something like fennel slaw. The summer heat is fully upon us, and I want something to distract me from being hot. And eight months pregnant.
But who am I kidding? You can't distract me from the baby that's growing in my belly, nor the internal furnace of a tiny human that just stokes the flames of the sun.
Either way, refreshing foods are what my body and my baby are craving right now, and I'm happy to allow it.
Veggie-based, non-creamy slaws are a go-to favorite of mine. I love the sweet and vinegary taste that holds up to a mean barbecue or tasty Taco Tuesday. I love cabbage, but prefer to mix things up with shaved fennel whenever possible.
Fennel is one of the food world's unsung heroes. It is crunchy, a little sweet, fragrant, and has a distinct flavor that brings a little zing with it. Summer demands it, and my baby does, too.
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved thin
1 large Granny Smith green apple, cut into match sticks
1 cup shredded carrot
1 small orange
2 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
Combine veggies and cilantro in a large mixing bowl and stir. Squeeze orange, lime, and vinegar over the top, and toss. (Note: this does not mean you should throw your salad. It means mix it well so all of the flavors blend.) Add salt, pepper, cilantro, and optional ingredients and toss again. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and eat the same day.
Your summer vibes are here!