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Make You Own Salad Dressings and be Healthier!

You buy your salad dressings in the health food store? No guarantee that the oil is good for you. Check the label because generally you will find organic canola oil and or soy oil listed. I don’t want to consume these if they are organic or not. So now I make my own and then I know what I’m getting. I use grape seed oil usually due to it’s milder taste but olive oil or avocado oil can also be used. Here’s an excerpt from my book about these oils so you understand my reasoning.

 

  • Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils all contain over 50% omega-6 and, except for soybean oil, only minimal amounts of omega-3. Safflower oil contains almost 80% omega-6. Researchers are just beginning to discover the dangers of excess omega-6 oils in the diet, whether rancid or not. Use of these oils should be strictly limited. They should never be consumed after they have been heated, as in cooking, frying or baking. High oleic safflower and sunflower oils, produced from hybrid plants, have a composition similar to olive oil, namely, high amounts of oleic acid and only small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and, thus, are more stable than traditional varieties. However, it is difficult to find truly cold-pressed versions of these oils.

 

  • ‘Big Bad’ Canola Oil contains 5% saturated fat, 57% oleic acid, 23% omega-6 and 10%-15% omega-3. The newest oil on the market, canola oil was developed from the rapeseed, a member of the mustard family. Rapeseed is unsuited to human consumption because it contains a very-long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which under some circumstances is associated with fibrotic heart lesions. Canola oil was bred to contain little if any erucic acid and has drawn the attention of nutritionists because of its high oleic acid content. But there are some indications that canola oil presents dangers of its own. It has high sulphur content and goes rancid easily. Baked goods made with canola oil develop mold very quickly. During the deodorizing process, the omega-3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed into trans fatty acids, similar to those in margarine and possibly more dangerous. A recent study indicates that “heart healthy” canola oil actually creates a deficiency of vitamin E, a vitamin required for a healthy cardiovascular system. Other studies indicate that even low-erucic-acid canola oil causes heart lesions, particularly when the diet is low in saturated fat. One last comment….Canola is more often that not GMO as is soy.

So here are a few recipes to get you going in the right direction and you can modify many recipes to make them healthier.

Ruby Red French Dressing

Throw everything into a blender. I have a high speed blender (Vitamix) so it gets very smooth so hopefully a regular blender will achieve that too.

1 cup grapeseed oil or olive

2/3 cup organic ketchup

1/3 cup raw agave (the original recipe asked for 1/2 cup white sugar) I find the agave works but if you are on a sugar restricted diet, you may want to try stevia or skip this recipe entirely.

1/2 cup white wine or coconut vinegar

2 TBSP roughly chopped red onion

1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp himalayan pink salt or good quality sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Ranch Dressing

mayo

Again…toss it all in the blender…

1 cup homemade or purchased mayonnaise (the best one is Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo)

1/2 cup plain kefir or buttermilk well shaken, more if dressing too thick

1 clove garlic

1 TBSP roughly shopped red onion

1 roughly chopped green onion or scallion (chives work here too)

1/2 tsp dry mustard

2 TBSP fresh dill

2 TBSP fresh parsely (flat leaf or Italian best)

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp or to taste himalayan pink salt or good quality sea salt

Blender Mayonnaise

1 large egg

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper

1 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil

In a blender or food processor, blend together the egg, lemon juice, mustard, fine sea salt, and freshly ground white or black pepper, blending until well combined. With the motor still running, add the oil in a very slow, thin, steady stream and blend until the dressing is thick and smooth. DO AHEAD: The mayonnaise can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 1 week.

Note:

White pepper is the classic pepper used for mayonnaise, because it visually blends into the pale color. If you prefer the flavor of freshly ground black pepper and don’t mind the dark flecks, feel free to use it.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Put everything into the blender except the cheese. When all smooth add cheese and pulse to get desired texture. Some people like it chunkier so you can control that by adding at the end.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup (3 oz) crumbled blue cheese of choice (stilton, roquefort, danish)
1/2 cup organic light cream or watered down whip cream
2 TBSP sour cream
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 or to taste himalayan pink salt or good quality sea salt

Do you like Caesar Dressing but don’t like keeping it too long due to egg content? Try this…

Eggless Caesar Dressing

1/4 cup eggless mayonnaise (this takes the place of the eggs) 

3 anchovy filets or a squeeze (1 tsp) anchovy paste

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 TBPS lemon juice

2 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste –start with 1/2 tsp

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

With a mortar and pestle, bash the anchovies, garlic and pepper.  Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the parmesan and taste for seasoning.

Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until emulsified.

Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to one week. Toss liberally with romaine lettuce, croutons and additional Parmesan for an authentic eggless Caesar salad.

cider dressing

 

 

 

 

 

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The Perfect Salad (mine at least)

Print

This is one serving but you can make this for the family too…just increase
ingredients accordingly. For me it gets me to want to eat a lot of salad so that’s a
good thing and it’s a great one for lunch or dinner.

2 cups Mixed organic greens (I like some arugula and baby spinach as well)
Pickled Pear or Granny Smith Apples (recipe to follow)—just a few pieces
6 Cherry tomatoes cut in ½ (try to get different colored ones like orange, green,
red and yellow)
1/4 c Chopped Red Onion, green onion (scallion) is ok too.
1/3 c Fresh or frozen green peas (just blanch them briefly in boiling water)
Crumbled Cheese (about ¼ c) best choices are either creamy goats, some kind
of blue, feta or boccocini but use what you like. I love Gorgonzola or an herb
goats. Feta is nice too and adding some Calamata olives if using feta is great.
¼ c Toasted Spiced Pecans or walnuts (recipe to follow)

Serve with a Cider Vinegar Dressing (recipe to follow).

The nice thing about this salad is that is seems really special but you can have
the pecans, pears/apples and dressing made up ahead and stored so that when
in a hurry, that’s all done and it’s just a little bit of prep.

Pecans: Melt 3 TBSP unsalted butter in a saucepan. Add a splash of
Worcestershire sauce and a splash of Tabasco…more if you really like it hot.
Also add, ½ tsp salt and pepper and ½ tsp granulated garlic. Melt the butter and
stir. Remove from heat and add 1 c pecans (walnuts are ok too). Stir to coat and
pour all into a pie tin.
Place in the oven on 350 F until fragrant. About 5 to 10 mins.
Watch them carefully as they can burn easily. Remove from oven and cool. Store
in fridge.

Dressing:

cider dressing

I just put all into my Vitamix (high speed blender) and blend.

1/3 cup raw unfiltered organic cider vinegar. I use Braggs.
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup raw honey or agave can work too
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo)
1 tsp salt and pepper

Spiced Pears or Apples: This is for one small jar using one pear or apple so
adjust accordingly.

Make the brine:
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. vinegar (I use raw coconut vinegar but cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
are ok too.)
¼ tsp salt
1 large pear, cut up into thin slices. I didn’t peel.
1 cinnamon stick

Mix water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Put sliced pear into a small
mason jar with the cinnamon stick. Pour hot brine over them and let them sit for a
couple of hours before using. Store in the fridge.

To serve salad…Place all ingredients in your serving bowl and toss with dressing.
Make this into a real meal with some left over roast chicken or other left over
meat or fish of your choice.

mayo

 

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Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Spinach, Goat Cheese with Warm Bacon Dressing PRINT

4 servings

8 ounces bacon, diced (look for nitrate free)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch salt

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil

8 cups fresh spinach, tough stems removed, washed and spun dry (about 12 ounces)

1 large orange or grapefruit, segmented

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (Your favourite blue cheese would be good here too.)

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and pour off all but 1/4 cup of grease from the pan.

To the fat in the pan, add the onions and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the mustard and vinegar and cook, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the honey and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and whisk in the oil. Return the bacon to the pan and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the spinach with the warm dressing. Divide the salad among 4 salad plates, arrange the orange segments around the edges, crumble the goat cheese over the top and serve.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Salads

 

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