The three most dreaded words in my vocabulary “Bathing Suit Season”. It’s not that I have an issue wearing one, I hate shopping for them. Come on, Girls out there… Please tell me you have my back. It could nearly be classified as torture. I have to psych myself up for the task, give myself a little pep talk and promise myself a reward if I get it accomplished in record time.
When life gives you lemons, make a vinaigrette ~ Me.
The point is, we are eating ALOT of salads these days. We always eat salad, but lately we are eating enough greens for a small village. We have a few favorites, like this Butternut Arugula Salad, but I like to change it up fairly often. One of the best ways to do that is with the dressing. Last year, we were at a family reunion and I was lucky enough to score 2 lbs of raw honey from a cousin who has bees. That honey is incredible and makes the best vinaigrettes! Making your own vinaigrette at home takes about 5 minutes and one of the advantages in doing it yourself is total control over the ingredients. You know exactly what is in there. No red dye #5, no high-fructose corn syrup, no need for a PhD to decipher ingredients! Just squeeze a few lemons, add in a little honey, blitz it & stir in whole grain mustard. Easy Peasy, Lemony Squeezy.
This vinaigrette is good for more than just salad, I use it in a summer pasta salad (post coming soon) and it’s a great marinade for chicken! This recipe makes about 3 cups of dressing and it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 – 7 days. Five minutes of work for a vinaigrette you can use all week! That’s a pretty good deal.
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette with Whole Grain Mustard
A light homemade salad dressing with honey, lemon and mustard
Now that Spring is in full swing and the Farmer’s Markets are replete with the good stuff, it’s time to start putting those veggies back into the rotation.
Some people tend to look at salads as the obligatory precursor to the main event. Granted, if someone serves you a bowl of pre-cut lettuce and gloppy dressing, it is barely even that… however, with a little creativity and a blender you can make something that is beautiful, delicious, good for you and even those that tend to resist eating “rabbit food” may even get on board.
Doing quick dressings in jam jars is a wonderful time saver, but this time we are breaking out the blender and making a proper emulsion. It doesn’t take much more time than shaking a jar, but the end result is something you can not get out of a bottle.
The best part of this whole endeavor is there is really only one rule: the oil to acid ratio (3:1).
That’s it. Everything else is up for grabs.
Baby greens with dried Apricot, Cranberries, Pistachios & sliced Strawberries
Spring Mix Lettuce, Arugula, Grapes, Raspberries, Mango & Cashews
A very good childhood friend of mine sent me some salted caramels over the holidays and I have been rationing them out on a daily basis. Needless to say, when I see commercials for all of the various weight-loss companies it makes me cringe a bit knowing I’m a few bites away from needing an intervention.
Therefore, I’ve taken it upon myself to get back into the swing of things. Like everyone else, I get a bit out of control during the holidays and then, when all of the over-eating makes me feel like Jabba the Hutt, the pendulum swings back the other way and I get myself back in line.
As you well know from previous posts, I have no shortage of mason jars in various shapes & sizes cluttering my cabinets and there is a reason for this, besides canning. They are useful for many different things, quick salad dressing being one of them.
It honestly couldn’t be easier… pour everything in & shake it up. The best part of making your own salad dressing aside from it being much less expensive, is that you know exactly what’s in it. There are no dyes, no high-fructose corn syrup, no ingredients that require a Ph.D. in Chemistry to pronounce.
Most of us are trying to eat healthier these days & lose a few pounds before we have to put on the dreaded bathing suit. I am among the masses doing the very same… I’ve been eating so much lettuce I’m afraid my front teeth are about to elongate into Bugs Bunny teeth.
The problem with salads, although to be quite honest I do like them, is the dressing. You think you are making a good choice by eating a salad for dinner and then you pour on a claggy dressing that has a ton of fat in it so you opt for the (sometimes chemical-laden) fat free variety, which in my book isn’t always the lesser of two evils.
Making salad dressing at home takes 5 minutes at most and is so much heathier and tastier that it really is worth the very minimal effort.
Tonight’s dinner was a Greek salad and chicken, so I made a Yogurt Dill dressing to tie the flavors together.
(A helpful hint to catch the lemon pits is to put a small strainer on top of the blender)