Thursday, May 9, 2013

April Showers, Bring May Flowers; Tulip Chicken Salad in a Lime Vinaigrette

I recently bought myself this amazing cookbook Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher of Mali B Sweets (you can order it from Amazon here). I was really inspired after reading her Prologue aptly titled, 'Why Eat Flowers?' to try and incorporate some of her ideas into my own cooking. 

-Some people may be VERY allergic to flowers, so make sure you have NO reaction (rash, itchiness, sneezing) to contact with them before ingesting. If you have any concerns whatsoever consult a physician before adding flowers into your diet. If you have ingested ANYTHING and your throat begins to itch, you develop a rash or you are having a hard time breathing consult a doctor IMMEDIATELY- 

 I have always struggled to cook small quantities of food, but I've been making a concerted effort to make smaller quantities of food, especially given my restrictions are not shared throughout the household. 

 The following recipe is appropriate for an individual serving. If you want to make this for more people simply multiply the recipe times the number of individuals you intend on feeding. 


1 cup of chopped/sliced red cabbage depending on how you like it
2/3 cup of cherry tomatoes cut into halves
1/2 cup shredded chicken breast
Petals from 1 large tulip (6 large petals) or 2 smaller ones (approximately 12 petals)  
1 tablespoon of shredded fresh basil
1-2 sprigs of lemon thyme

3 teaspoons of fresh lime juice, 
which is approximately equivalent to the juice of 2 fresh squeezed limes
1/4 tsp garlic powder 
1/4 tsp paprika 
1/4 tsp coriander 
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Our garden is currently teeming with late blooming tulips. I felt comfortable using the petals of these flowers  in the salad because I know they've not been treated with pesticides or fungicides that are toxic when ingested. Bacher cautions over and over again in her book to not use flowers that come from the grocery store or any other place, like a roadside, where they could have been treated with chemicals or absorbed pollutants. Know what you're eating. 

Tulips have a flavor that is similar to a cross between a sweet pea and a cucumber. That's the only way I can think to describe it. Apparently, each variety of tulip differs in flavor from the others and some of them can have more of a bite than others.

Wash your petals. 
Then, wash them again. 

The last thing you want is some creepy-crawly in your food. 

Stack your petals, gently roll them into a tube and slice horizontally across to get thin strips. 

Cut and or shred your red cabbage. Add to your tulip petals. 

Add your tomatoes to your mixing bowl along with the chicken, basil and thyme. 

Stir and set aside. 

In a small bowl mix together the dry ingredients for your vinaigrette. 
Add the lime juice, mixing thoroughly. 
Add the olive oil. 

Mix thoroughly into your salad and enjoy.

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