Sweet and Sour Vegetable Salad and Chocolate Marbles


 As I work on my diet, I find that vegetables can be yummy if fixed the right way. Here is an example that’s perfect for hot weather.


Dale’s World:

Now is the time to take advantage of all the fresh produce you are seeing in the grocery stores and farmers’ markets. In fact asparagus will peak its quality within the next few weeks, so prepare this recipe soon.


Sweet and Sour Vegetable Salad

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Salad

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Salad

You will need:

1 Bunch of Fresh Asparagus                        ½ cup of White Wine Vinegar

½ of a red Bell Pepper                                   ¼ cup of Sugar

4 Green Onions                                              1 tsp. Salt

4 Lettuce Leaves                                            1 tsp. whole Mustard Seed

1 tsp Tarragon                                                ¼ cup of Canola Oil

½ tsp of Black Pepper


  1. Trim and wash the asparagus, then cut it into two inch pieces.
  2. Julienne the red bell pepper.
  3. Cut the green onions into one-inch pieces.
  4. Wash and trim the lettuce leaves.


  1. Put the asparagus in a microwave safe dish, with ¼ cup of water and cover it with plastic wrap.
  2. Microwave at high power for about four minutes. Because all microwave appliances vary, cook the asparagus until tender, but still crisp.
  3. After cooking, immediately plunge (shock) the asparagus into cold water. Let them remain in the water while you prepare the dressing.


  1. Combine the 1 teaspoon of tarragon, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ cup of white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar), ¼ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of mustard seed, 1/4 cup of canola oil, green onions and red bell pepper in a mixing bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The taste should be reminiscent of Bread and Butter pickles.
  2. Add the asparagus and mix.
  3. Cover the bowl, and let it marinate for at least two hours or even over night. Stir it occasionally when you pass the refrigerator.


  1. Before serving, wash the lettuce and place a leaf on each salad plate.
  2. Place a handful of the asparagus on each lettuce-lined plate.
  3. Serve this on a warm summer evening.
Summer salad

Summer salad

Food for Thought:

I am always challenged when I hear someone advocating a praise-filled life. For I find that if I only look, there is something sweet in almost every sour I see. A person creates a gourmet dinner for six and feels exhausted from all the work, but he also feels fulfilled because his guests loved every morsel. A cook accidentally buys white candy coating instead of chocolate for dipping her strawberries, but she discovers the white coating looks beautiful against the red and green.

It’s easy to get into the habit of spotting the negative first, the sour instead of the sweet. But think how the child feels when she hurries home with a straight A report card, and all her mother says is,” What’s this A minus? Surely you can do better than that.” Or consider the idea person who rushes excitedly into her husband’s office with a new idea, only to have him say, “That’s not going to work.”

There are plenty of Eeoyre’s in the world, plenty of people who see the glass half-empty instead of half-full.  Consider the old gray donkey in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

“’And how are you?” said Winnie-the-Pooh.

“Eeyore shook his head from side to side. “Not very how,” he said, “I don’t seem to have felt at all how for a long time.’

“ ‘Dear, dear,” said Pooh, . . .Let’s have a look at you’. . . Why, what’s happened to your tail?’  . . .You must have left it somewhere. . .’

“ ‘Somebody must have taken it,’ said Eeyore. ‘How Like Them’. . .

“S ‘I, Winnie-the Pooh, will find your tail for you.

“ ‘Thank you, Pooh’ answered Eeyore. ‘You’re a real friend,’ said he. ‘Not like some,’ he said.” (A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh, Dell Publishing Co. 1976,  p. 44-45).

No one wants to be an Eeyore where it’s gloom and doom all the time. But Being a Pollyanna is no way to live either. The answer is balance

As a writer I’ve learned one has to write the truth of the bad as well as the good, because that’s where the reader lives. Make no bones about it. Life IS difficult.

If we want to comfort someone who is suffering, “Pie in the Sky” won’t work. Those who have suffered loss  need their friends to try to understand the depth of their pain. I have a friend who lost her home in the Black Forest fire this year, and I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to lose all the material goods I have in the world. I need to keep meditating on it if I’m ever going to be able to comfort her at all.

Concerning how we see ourselves, a quote in my new journal points out that the Fourteenth Dali Lama said, “From the depths of your own heart, admire your own virtuous actions and those of others. Take joy in the good things you have done in this lifetime.” A caveat is needed here, a balance. A good self-image is important, but we can go so far into admiring ourselves that we fall prey to Pride, the deadliest of the seven deadly sins.

In our recipe for Vegetable Salad today we’ve used sweet and sour together. Both are needed to make the dish tasty. Perhaps we need to embrace both the sweet and the sour of life, praying that Jesus will give us the right balance at the right time. Both are needed to build a meaningful life.


And Chocolate Marbles for a tiny treat:

You will need:

1/2 cup Giardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

A few Apricots and Pecans


1. Chop 1/4 cup pecans and some dried apricots into small pieces.

2. Place chocolate chips in a bowl, and melt the chocolate in a microwave oven.

3. Mix the apricots and pecans in the lukewarm chocolate.

4. Shape into little chocolate balls.

This entry was posted in Devotionals, First Steps in Gourmet Cooking, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sweet and Sour Vegetable Salad and Chocolate Marbles

  1. Diane Hazel says:

    I am making asparagus tonight so will give it a try! Thanks.

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