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How Cucumbers Fit Into Your Holiday Menu

By +Janice D'Agostino on Nov 16, 2012 10:00 AM in Recipes

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food - Hippocrates

Traditions and holidays are bound together by memories and food. In response, centerpiece meats, casseroles, and heavy side dishes will grace the dining table. Tradition may dictate their presence on the table, but it does not need to control all that you put on your plate. Instead, keep your focus on what you can add, such as simple fruits and veggies in the form of appetizers and side dishes. With their dash of holiday green, cucumbers are a perfect low calorie fit for holiday meals.

Delicious cucumbers are terrific in salads, are at home in elegant soups, and serve as tasty crunchy bits in a yogurt garnish. As someone that battles arthritis, my eye was particularly taken by the words “anti-inflammatory benefits" in this article. In the weeks ahead, I plan to test this claim. With any luck one variety of the amazing cucumber will equal pineapple in its ability to make my joints stop hurting!

The simplest way to serve cucumbers is out of hand for appetizers - either plain or served with a tasty low calorie dip. One of my favorite side salads features layered cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions all generously sprinkled with bits of fresh picked and torn basil. Drizzle it with a bit of the best balsamic vinegar you can find and let your guests add a touch of extra virgin olive oil when they serve their portion.

Tired from a summer of eating cucumbers? Maybe you just need a new recipe!

Michael’s Cucumber Yogurt is delicious served as a dollop on your plate to eat with the holiday meat, or served as a spread on your left over turkey sandwich.

Fill up a little before dinner with this terrific cucumbers appetizer from The Refined Chef - Watermelon Cucumber Shrimp Cocktail

Meganr’s Cucumber Salad is a perfectly simple to make, low calories, low fat, and absolutely beautiful side dish.  

I could eat Shirazi Salad every day and never get tired of it. Traditionally it is served with grilled lamb, a falafel wrap, or gyros, but don't let tradition stop you from adding to any meal.

The Savvy Vegetarian's Vegan Mango Quinoa (and Cucumber) Salad is perfectly festive as your Vegan main dish salad.

Pickles make great snacks prior to a high calorie meal. My friend Rabbit asked me to find a recipe for Polish Brined Dill Pickles.

Curried Cucumber Buttermilk Soup by Vegetarian Times will bring just a touch of the exotic to the soup course of your Thanksgiving meal.

Drink your cucumbers at dinner in this very healthy mixture of Lemon Cucumber Seltzer

When the next day calls for lighter eating, cool cucumbers add crunch to this healthier Cucumber Watercress Sandwich (Vegan option provided). Either way you make it, it will fit into your log better than the traditional version made with butter.

Cucumbers easily transform into a sauce for any upscale meal! Similar to tzatziki, Cucumber and Radish Raita by Herbivoracious is pure cool deliciousness. Enjoy it with your favorite veggies as an appetizer or topping.

Like a little something different for the star of your holiday table? Cucumber pairs perfectly with a spicy meat and vegetable salad such as Suchit’s Thai Yum Nua

Your thoughts…

Do you eat cucumbers as often as you can? Do you remove the seeds? Do you eat the peel? Do you only eat cucumbers in salads or with dips? Do you eat certain foods to help with your arthritis? Do you load up on low cal veggies and fruits at holiday meals? Do you have a go-to cucumber recipe? Share it with everyone here! If you would like your recipe to be considered for CC Palate, please send it to me via pmThis article may be reprinted (including bio) with prior permission from the author.


Wilted cucumber, as a light alternative on the side of any meal... Heated gently in a saucepan, with skin and seeds removed and a very small knob of butter, this one is sure to surprise!

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