Do You Have 3 Minutes?

In three minutes you can make a healthy, tasty salad dressing. My favorite one lately has been Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.

Why make your own dressing? Great flavor is one reason. Another equally (or possibly more) important reason is to avoid the unhealthy ingredients that you just don’t need to be in your salad dressing.

Let’s check out the ingredients in a typical store bought honey mustard dressing.

Ken’s Steak House Honey Mustard Dressing:
Vegetable Oil (Soybean And/Or Canola), Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Dijon Mustard (Distilled Vinegar, And Water, Mustard Seed, Slat, White Wine, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Spiced), Honey, Invert Syrup, Egg Yolk, Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less of: Salt, Spiced, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Paprika, Calcium Disodium Edta to Protect Flavor, Yellow #5.

High fructose corn syrup is the third ingredient. And how many ingredients are there? Too many to count.

This dressing has just 4 ingredients. And you can whip it up in 3 minutes.

It uses olive oil, which you may have heard is a healthy fat. This is true. I use extra virgin olive oil in basically all of my dressings. I even use it to make homemade mayo.

And since this is a honey mustard dressing it is sweetened with honey (not high fructose corn syrup or sugar). In my opinion honey is the healthiest of the sweeteners. Honey contains many vitamins and minerals plus antioxidants. HFCS and sugar contain no vitamins or minerals. Your body actually has to use up precious vitamins and minerals to process the sugar.

So are you ready to ditch the store bought and make your own?

I like to make my dressing in a mason jar which typically have measurements right on the jar. This way I can pour my oil and vinegar straight in. Less dishes. But any small bowl, jar or container will work. This recipe makes just over a cup and can easily be doubled.

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey

Combine all ingredients and whisk together with a fork.


Not a fan of honey mustard? Try making this Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette. Or better yet, make them both!

Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
Optional: 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Simply combine all ingredients and whisk together with a fork.

For Your Picnic or BBQ: Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

For Your Picnic or BBQ: Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Summer is in full swing. And so are all the vibrant veggies of summer!

This simple pasta salad is a perfect to enjoy lots of fresh vegetables. Along with a variety of flavors, veggies are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Serve this dish at a barbeque or bring it to a potluck or picnic. Pack it for lunch or even just enjoy it for lunch or dinner at home.

 

Read More

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

The word healthy and cookie should not be the same phrase, right? Well in this case it is! Let me introduce you to a healthy and tasty cookie.

These cookies are make from whole foods and are full of protein. They are naturally gluten free.  They are free from refined sugar (except the chocolate chips, but a little indulgence is okay :))

And best of all, your kids (and you) can enjoy dessert without a sugar high and the crash that comes along with it. Just don’t tell your family that they are eating beans for dessert...

Here’s the recipe:

1  15 oz. can garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas); drained, rinsed and dry
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (no added sugar)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Puree chickpeas in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Scrape down the edges and pulse again a few times until completely smooth.
  3.  Add all the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips). Puree.
  4.  Pour the cookie dough into a bowl (it will be super sticky). Mix in the chocolate chips. Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and drop them onto the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet to cool. Once cool store in a tightly covered container. Enjoy!

 

These Fats Will Improve Your Health

These Fats Will Improve Your Health

Eating plenty of healthy, traditional fats was a huge factor in reclaiming my health and loosing those suborn extra pounds. That’s right, eating plenty of traditional fats helped me loose weight.

How could fat be what I needed to loose fat? For so long I believed that eating fat would prevent me from being thin and healthy. This was a deep rooted belief for me to overcome.

During my quest for health I came to realize that my body needed more fat. But not just any fat. My body needed what I like to call the good fat. And to my relief, this includes butter.

Read More

6 Reasons to Choose Grass-Fed Beef

6 Reasons to Choose Grass-Fed Beef

I like to stay positive when possible. But truth be told there is not much positive about cows being raised on grain in a factory farming scenario.

Image 100,000 cattle crammed together in a single, manure laden feedlot called a CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation). The majority of the cattle in the US spend the second half of their lives in a feedlot. When cattle are about six months old they are weaned from their mother and transitioned from a life on the pasture. They are moved to confinement and transported to a feedlot. At the feedlot the cattle are fed grain along with just about whatever can fatten them up quickly and at a low cost. A few things often included in their feed are newspaper, cement dust and by-products of slaughtered animals. Clearly, cattle not meant to eat newspaper or cement dust but cattle are also not meant to eat large quantities of grain. Cattle are designed to eat grass!

Virtually all the beef you find in a supermarket comes from animals raised in these harsh conditions. Yes, this operation provides beef at a reasonable price. But this price comes at a high cost to the cow, the consumer and the environment. So is it worth it? I’ll let you make your own decision. My vote is in and it’s a big fat no.

Let me introduce to you why grass fed is great.

Read More

Homemade Yogurt: No Special Equipment Needed!

Homemade Yogurt: No Special Equipment Needed!

I have a yogurt maker and it works well. But I can only make a pint of yogurt at a time. And my family eats a lot of yogurt. So I found a way to make yogurt without the yogurt maker. Now I prefer this method because I can make any quantity I desire. And if you don't already have a yogurt maker it's a no-brainer.

It’s simple. You don’t have to buy a yogurt maker. And you don’t have to buy a starter culture.

Homemade yogurt saves you money, tastes better and allows you to avoid preservatives and hidden sugars in store bought yogurts.

Read More