Bestest Italian Dressing Mix. . .great on everything

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • pinch of salt to taste

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

To prepare dressing, whisk together 1/4 white vinegar, 2/3 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons of the dry mix.

Mayo be Gone

We love light and clean, but I also crave wicked classics that call for mayonnaise, such as homemade chicken salad.  Light or fat-free versions of mayo not only taste disgusting, but are also often loaded with chemicals.  Some call for substituting low-fat sour cream, which has produced mixed results.  What’s a foodie to do?

Enter non-fat greek-style yogurt.  My savior.  Clean, natural, and tastes like sour cream with a bit of a kick.  And no fat!  Makes much heart-healthier items such as ranch dressing, beef stroganoff (YES!), dips, chicken and potato salads. . . the list goes on.

We have both Fage and Chobani brands.  Learn more here: US News & World Report

Simple Asian Salad

For the dressing:

  • Light soy sauce
  • Minced Garlic
  • Red Wine
  • Olive Oil

For the salad:

  • Your favorite lettuce
  • Shredded carrots with minced ginger  or chopped red bell pepper that has marinated for 10 minutes in garlic chili paste
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Slivered almonds
  • Chopped scallions
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Favorite meat or fish

Herb and Endive Salad with Lime Sauce

Discover a new light salad that leaves a very fresh taste on the palette.

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup packed small basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed 1-inch chive pieces
  • 1/2 cup small mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves
  • 2 Belgian endives, separated into leaves or halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • Chive or sage blossoms, for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the lime juice and zest; season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix the herbs with the endives. Add the dressing, toss and garnish with the chive blossoms; serve.

Courtesy Food & Wine Magazine.

A Lighter Take on Caesar Dressing

  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 oz parmesan cheese
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • Salt & Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley

Blend the ingredients in a food processor until the dressing reaches a desired consistency.  Blend in more olive oil if you want a creamier and more traditional dressing.

Food of the Month – Belgian Endive

endive-ju7z

Each month I make the commitment to vary my diet and experience new, or, more likely, forgotten foods that are tasty andoffer added health benefits.  This month I have decided to focus on the Belgian Endive.  Endives are high in dietary fiber and vitamins A, C.  Endives are gradually gaining popularity in the US now, and are usually easy to find at the grocery.

Here are some facts from Charles Stuart Platkin of DietDetective.com, including pairings, selective and storage tips:

Belgian Endive

Appearance: Long, textured, broad, thick leaves. Lighter green at the core end, darker and somewhat leafy at the tips.

Taste: Slightly bitter, with a crisp and sturdy in texture. “It can be blanched to make the taste more delicate. Use endive with other, sweeter ingredients, like citrus and apples, to counteract its natural bitterness,” Mullins says.

Health Perks: Good source of vitamin A. Also has potassium, calcium, iron and zinc.

Nutrition Stats: (1 cup, chopped) 8 calories, 0.1g fat, 1.67g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 0.62g protein, 1,084 IU vitamin A, 3.2mg vitamin C, 26mg calcium.

Use: “Belgian Endive is perfect for a salad that lacks texture. It is excellent for warm salads because its sturdy leaves won’t easily wilt,” says Mullins.

Purchasing: Available year-round. “Always purchase the palest color endive you can find because the paler the color the less bitter the flavor,” says Mullins.

Also make sure the heads are crisp and firm.

Storage: “Endive grows best in darkness and should be kept away from light even in the refrigerator. Store in a brown paper bag in the veggie bin. If your head of endive looks weak, strengthen it by placing the head in water,” Mullins says. Make sure to rinse in cold water prior to use.