Tomato and Cucumber Summer Salad: Simple Living

by simplylife on June 1, 2012

I try to live a simple life.

I am a firm believer that the simplest things are often the most meaningful and significant parts of our lives.

Plus, to be completely honest, I just get overwhelmed with too many options.

Living this out is not always easy to today’s society.  There are always ways to feel inadequate and out-of-date if we don’t “have it all.”

Yet, it’s the times that I’m on the open road with my husband, eating a pb&j sandwich and singing off-key to a song when I feel the most content.

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t have Facebook, we don’t own a T.V. and we don’t have smart phones.  While this may send many people in a frenzy and feel completely out-of-touch, for me, it’s simply another way to force myself to be more mindful of how I spend my time.  While I have a feeling these ways of being “unplugged” may not last forever, for right now I know it helps me to live simpler.  I already feel like there’s not enough time in the day, yet I can easily see myself getting sucked into mindlessly watching reruns and checking statuses with the precious time I do have.  For me, it’s easier to just not even have the option.

Another way where I find simplicity at its best is definitely with food.  This salad is comprised of just a few staple ingredients, most of which you can find at your local Farmer’s Market right around this time of year.   Keeping the ingredient list short and simple, allows each taste and texture to really shine through in every bite.


Tomato and Cucumber Summer Salad

by Simply Life

Adapted from Plenty 

Keywords: salad side entree appetizer vegetarian vegan tomato Greek


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, 1/2 inch slices and quartered
  • 3 tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbs. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 3/4 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dusting of garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush bread with about 1 tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 5 minutes per side, until toasted and crispy. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions.

3. In large bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber and all remaining ingredients. Stir everything together, serve and enjoy!

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~How do you try to live a simply?

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  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    Looks incredible! I admire your ability to slow down & unplug. I’m on vacation which has been great for that – but as you can see, I’m still eager to stay caught up on blogs etc!

    • Simply Life

      I’m the same way! (that’s why I have to force myself to NOT do certain things!) Even on vacation I LOVE to still read blogs and stay caught-up!

  • Gina (Candid RD)

    I love simple too. Simple everything, literally. ESPECIALLY recipes! so thanks for this one. It’s perfect for summer time.

  • Colleen

    I love this combo of ingredients! Such a perfect summer salad. And I can’t remember if I’ve shared this quote on your blog before (because it totally fits your blog), but one of my favorites is: “There’s nothing bigger than the little things.” Thanks for always reminding us of what’s important. 🙂

    • Simply Life

      You’re so sweet and I LOVE that quote!!!

  • Hillary

    No smartphone for me either! I’m afraid that, if I buy one, I’ll be addicted for life!

    • Simply Life

      Agreed! I know when the day comes, there will be no going back! 🙂


    Beautiful vibrant salad.

  • Yummychunklet

    I love tomatoes and cucumbers together. Yum!

  • Michelle (Better with Berries)

    This looks so refreshing on a hot summer day!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Your salad reminds me of the lovely panzanella (classic bread salad) that I have had in Tuscany. I can’t wait for tomatoes from my garden later this summer. Your photos are terrific.

  • DeliciousDish

    This simple salad sounds amazing to me. I wish I hadn’t packed Plenty away in storage… so many good recipes in there! Here’s to hoping we find a house soon so I can unpack it!

  • Singerinkitchen

    yum! Simple life starts by living one day at a time. I love just using what I have to prepare my meals. Nothing fancy but it always seems to taste fancy.

    • Simply Life


  • Decocinasytacones

    Don´t worry, you´re not missing anything from not having facebook..jajaja…..
    I love croutons, tomatoes, cucumber….so I could eat this just now.

  • Brittany

    I loveee that you don’t have FB, TV, or smart phones. I do have a TV, thought I rarely watch it..I deleted my FB back in January and I do have a smart phone, but it took me years to jump on that bandwagon. I would like to pull away from the world of technology and live more in the moment like this.

    This salad looks amazing. It is perfect for summer.

  • Marissa

    “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” – HDT I say, amen to that! 🙂 This salad looks so refreshing – I like your quinoa to veggie ratio.

  • Bee

    Totally perfect to bring to a cookout. I’d probably go sans bread, and I’m still not sold on quiona, but overall well done lady! I’m still trying to convince myself the texture of quiona should not bother me when it’s such a superfood, haha…

  • Natalie O

    Everything looks great to me, except the cucumbers! haha. I wish I could get into liking them more 🙂

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    What a lovely salad. It looks so bright and inviting to eat!

  • Colleen

    I’m always trying to make my food (and my life) more simple…but it doesn’t usually happen! I’m going to work really hard this summer though to make simple, fresh food like this.

  • Kari

    Such a wonderful stance, and such a true one – with age, I have come to value the simple things more and more, and they are so much more important to me than the ‘big’ or ‘status’ type factors. We do have a TV though 😛

    This salad also looks lovely and brings together so many beautiful ingredients.

  • Blackswan

    No TV?? I’m impressed, dear. I can’t imagine living without tv at all. U’re like a saint to me 🙂 I indulge too much. Sometimes, simple food like this colourful salad is just perfect.

    I know I haven’t been cooking much lately due to my strings of events & product reviews, but here’s something you may like @ Go Retro With CasaBento Pink Cocolon Bento Box Kit

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes

    Great salad! One of my greatest, simple pleasures is eating in season tomatoes. I eat them pretty much every day and usually don’t do anything “fancy” with them. Just enjoy them how they are.

    We didn’t have a TV for many years and are thinking about giving it up again. I don’t watch a lot of TV right now, but I know that the time I do spend watching TV I could do other things…

  • Karriann Graf

    That salad looks magnificent! Wonderful photos too 🙂

    “Happy Cooking”

  • Jolene (

    What a gorgeous salad! Lovely photos, lovely colours … everything about it is perfection.

    • Simply Life

      Thank You! 🙂

  • Mom

    Your salad is VIBRANT !!! I am in awe of how simply you live and need some of that in my own life, for sure. I am now on Facebook, have a phone to play games and can connect to the internet 24/7. My house is a mess, I’m living moment to moment, day by day, and being told by your sister that this is all I do. A respite from all of this is what I really need, but it’s my turn…haha!

    I’m sure this is a season as it is all new and I’m not working and I have the choice with no time schedule.

    I absolutely love your writing and you make soooo much sense!

  • Junia Kim

    wow, i totally commend you and your hubby for simple living! i’ve actually been taking time away from the internet too, just to focus on LIFE. hence i haven’t been able to blog as much nor read all of the posts in a timely manner, but i will catch up soon!

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