Take a shot at a new salad recipe

Glasses take guesswork out of assembling salads

  • Photo

Yara Shoemaker worried her husband the first time she experimented with shot glass salads.

“My husband came home and he saw all those shot glasses on the counter,” Shoemaker says with a laugh during a recent phone interview. “He said, ‘Are you OK?’”

A former model, aesthetician and boutique owner, Shoemaker grew up in Syria eating fresh foods. Her earliest memories are of her mother cooking meals from scratch daily. She didn’t think much about her diet until she came to the United States seven years ago.

“I was amazed by the mega stores,” she says. “I was excited to try everything, but after a few times, I was kind of disappointed in the flavors.”

The new labels — low fat, organic, non-fat — also proved confusing to a woman used to visiting outdoor markets with her mother.

“I wanted to learn more,” Shoemaker says. “I wanted to make my kitchen as healthy and chemical-free as possible.”

She shares her knowledge on her website, Yara’s Way!, and her new book: “Health on Your Plate: Shop and Cook with Yara” by Yara Shoemaker (Yara’s Way LLC; March 15, 2013).

Part cookbook, part shopping guide and part natural beauty manual, Shoemaker’s book is a compilation of her research and experimentation over several years.

“I did not set out to write another cookbook,” she says. “My intention is to reveal the truth about our food, to look beyond packaging and marketing. We need to be responsible for our food, to have knowledge of what we eat.”

So where do shot glasses fit in all of this?

Shoemaker says she likes to experiment in the kitchen. She often doesn’t know what she’ll make for dinner until after visiting farmers markets near her Florida home to purchase fresh ingredients. Others, she says, have difficulty cooking without a recipe.

“We all love salads and we’re always trying to find new salad recipes,” Shoemaker says. “I’ll give recipes to friends and when I ask them what they thought, they’ll say ‘Oh, we didn’t have any pine nuts so we didn’t make it.’”

Wanting to change that mentality, to encourage inspiration in the kitchen, Shoemaker turned to the shot glasses gathering dust in her liquor cabinet.

“I decided to use them in a positive way,” she says.

The new measurement system begs for variety. A salad begins with a bed of greens, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, kale or arugula, with the shot glasses measuring each addition, from nuts and cheese to vegetables and dressing. A shot glass is an easy, consistent measurement that takes the guesswork away from people who rely on detailed instructions when cooking, while promoting creativity for those who want to try something new.

“It’s your kitchen, it’s your food. Do it the way you want,” Shoemaker says.



  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 1 shot glass edamame
  • 1 shot glass avocado
  • 1 shot glass cucumber
  • 1 shot glass chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 shot glass grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 shot glass toasted pine nuts
  • Yara’s Simple Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Chives for garnish

Cook, salt, drain, and cool the quinoa. Then add watercress, edamame, avocado, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, and pine nuts. Toss. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle chives on top.

Yara’s Simple Vinaigrette

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ˝ shot glass olive oil
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl and add salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while whisking to emulsify the dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste before pouring as much vinaigrette as desired over the salad.

Source: Yara’s Way! (www.yarasway.com)  

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