Mediterranean Greek Cucumber Salad

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This Garden Fresh Mediterranean Greek Cucumber Salad allows you to use up abundant fresh summer produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs quickly and easily in a delicious plant-based, naturally gluten-free salad that comes together in just minutes.

Garden Fresh Greek Cucumber Salad by Emily Kyle Nutrition

A Favorite Family Recipe

As a lifetime gardener, plant-based medicine advocate, and registered dietitian nutritionist, I firmly believe in the many nutritional, social and economic benefits of sourcing locally grow or homegrown produce.

From saving the environment from using unnecessary resources to improving your own bottom line by saving money to the numerous proven health benefits, there is no question that growing and purchasing local food is at the heart of a happy and healthy holistic lifestyle.

If you are like me and have a small or large backyard garden or simply access to a farmers market, you can make almost this entire recipe with fresh and local ingredients.

I promise you, you will taste the delicious difference and fall in love with the bright, refreshing flavors of summer produce in this simple Greek Cucumber Salad.

When produce is obtained locally, whether it is from your own backyard or your local farmers market, it is likely to have a higher nutritional value than conventionally grown produce because it is fresher and has been purchased closer to the time it was harvested.

Greek Cucumber Salad – A Family Favorite

For those of you who don’t know, my talented husband, Chef Phil, is the newest member of the Emily Kyle Nutrition team and the offical Head Chef of this blog.

He has truly been instrumental in helping me to develop my love for food and confidence in cooking over the last tan years and recently we co-authored our second cookbook together: The Hashimoto’s AIP Cookbook.

Over the years this has been the one staple recipe he creates time and time again over the summer, a simple garden-fresh Greek cucumber salad made with the cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh herbs grown in our garden.

Garden Fresh Greek Cucumber Salad by Emily Kyle Nutrition

The Health Benefits of Cucumber Salad

This Greek Cucumber Salad is bursting with both flavor and nutrition, making it a delicious addition to just about any diet.

Whether you are following a low-carb diet, a gluten-free diet, a dairy-free diet, or another medically necessary restriction diet, this salad is an excellent choice to be enjoyed as a staple or side salad.

The Health Benefits of Cucumbers

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Composition Databases, one whole cucumber with its peel, measuring approximately 8¼” long contains:

  • 45 calories
  • Nearly 11 grams of carbohydrates
  • Nearly 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • Only 0.33 grams of fat.
  • 1.5 grams of dietary fiber
  • 5 grams of naturally occurring, not added, sugar
  • 48 milligrams of calcium
  • 0.84 milligrams of iron
  • 39 milligrams of magnesium
  • 72 milligrams of phosphorus
  • 422 milligrams potassium
  • 6 milligrams of sodium
  • 8.4 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 21 milligrams of folate
  • 15µg vitamin A, RAE and 316 IU vitamin A, IU
  • 49µg of vitamin K
  • Negligible amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin D

Are Tomatoes Healthy?

Tomatoes are a very nutritious addition to many different diets including the Paleo diet, vegan diets, gluten-free diets, and more. They are plant-based, contain many important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and are rich the important phytonutrient lycopene.

More importantly, tomatoes are bursting with flavor, easy to grow at home in the garden, and easy to store as canned or frozen options for the winter.

Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family which is typically restricted during the elimination phase of the autoimmune paleo protocol.

This is because tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes and eggplants all contain similar food chemicals like solanine or lecithin which may exacerbate hidden food sensitivities in a small percentage of the population.

Garden Fresh Greek Cucumber Salad by Emily Kyle Nutrition

Nightshade Free Cucumber Salad Featured in My Cookbook

Of course, I do have clients who are following the autoimmune paleo protocol or have discovered a hidden sensitivity to solanine and need a tomato-free version of this reicpe.

That is why I included a tomato-free cucumber salad in my first cookbook, The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook. I replaced the tomatoes with delicious avocado for a nightshade-free salad that was still just as delicious as this one.

Fresh avocado and crunchy cucumber combine in an easy-to-make, plant-based summer salad. The hint of acidity, thanks to the vinegar, marries well with the sweet, creamy avocado. Both the cucumber and avocado contain two important ingredients necessary for good gut health: water and fiber.

Recipe featured on page 61 of The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook under Fresh Cucumber & Avocado Salad
Garden Fresh Greek Cucumber Salad by Emily Kyle Nutrition

Garden Fresh Greek Cucumber Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This Garden Fresh Greek Cucumber Salad allows you to use up abundant fresh summer produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs quickly and easily in a delicious plant-based, naturally gluten-free salad that comes together in just minutes.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced cucumbers (approximately​ 2 medium cucumbers)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced paper-thin​
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, loosely​ packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Combine the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine and let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. After resting, stir the mixture and add in the basil, parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir until well combined.
  3. Let the ingredients sit another 5 minutes to marinate. This will allow the flavors to come together.
  4. Stir just before serving & enjoy!

Notes

*The 10-minute resting process allows the natural juices to be drawn out of the cucumber and tomatoes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Sodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g

Nutrition facts calculated without feta cheese.

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