Looking at salad dressing labels can be a scary thing sometimes! Although it tastes great, it most often is not great for your body too. This is why I was elated when I came across recipes for my three favorite dressings — homemade dairy free ranch, honey mustard and balsamic! These three recipes are extremely versatile, as they not only go with salads, but also can be paired with any kind of chicken dinner, especially homemade chicken tenders for the kids! Your mouth and body will thank you for taking the extra minute to make your own sauces for your meal.
You can find the recipes for the other two dressings on My Whole Food Life, and here is the recipe for the balsamic vinaigrette:
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced or pressed
1/4 scant tsp ground mustard
1 T lemon juice.
Whisk all the ingredients together. That’s it. I store my dressing in a small mason jar in the fridge. It should keep for a couple weeks. Since there are no additives in this, it will solidify in the fridge. Pull it out a few minutes before you use it again. Or just make it as you need it.
I absolutely love rich desserts! This one caught my eye because it is so simple and doesn’t use any refined sugar. I can whip this up in a few minutes and voila dessert is served! In my typical fashion I’ve made modifications….the original recipe called for heavy whipping cream but I don’t do much dairy so I swapped that out for coconut cream. This one is a winner!
Recipe modified from Fit, Fun & Delish (visit for the original recipe)
Strawberries & “Cream”
- 3 cups fresh strawberries (or any of your favorite berries really)
- 7.5 teaspoons natural sweetener such as Truvia or Stevia, divided. (you can also try using honey or agave nectar if you prefer)
- 1 cup coconut cream (I put 2 cans of full fat coconut milk in the fridge and just skim the cream off the top and save the liquid for smoothies)
- In a food processor, puree 2.5 cups strawberries and 4.5 teaspoons of Truvia or Stevia until smooth.
- Strain the puree through a fine colander and discard the seeds. Chill the puree until cold.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the coconut cream.
- Add the remaining 3 teaspoon of Truvia (or 2 Tbsp sugar) and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the puree into the coconut cream until mixed but streaks of white and puree are still visible.
- Transfer to serving cups and chill until ready to eat. Garnish with fresh strawberries before serving.
I’ll be honest, I consider myself to be pretty good on a grill, but I have had very mixed results when it comes to grilling corn. Grilled corn is a flavor I truly love, so I attempt it all of the time. However, that being said, I have only tried to develop my own technique. I think this summer I am going to start with a tried and true technique, and then adapt from there. This is a recipe that is adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless, which is an amazing Mexican cookbook everyone should own.
I found this adaptation on ScarpettaDolcetto, and here is how they do it:
- 6 ears of sweet corn, in husks
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 C sour cream with enough milk or cream to loosen
- 1/3 C crumbled Mexican cheese (queso fresco, anejo or cotijia)
- 1 Tbsp hot chile powder
- minced cilantro
- 1/2 lime
Soak the corn for an hour in a deep bowl of water or a clean sink, weighted down with a plate. Grill in the husks over medium-high heat, about 15-20 minutes, until blackened. When cool enough to handle, remove the silk and husks. (Or remove the silks and use the husks as a handle.)
10 minutes before serving, brush the corn with butter and grill until browned. Remove from heat. Serve with the fixings or prep for your guests: brush the corn with sour cream; sprinkle with chile powder, salt, cheese and cilantro. Squirt a bit of lime juice over all. Serve warm with the remaining fixings.
Last night I went to bed early, curled up with a good book and realized I wanted something to snack on. I don’t like to buy packaged microwave popcorn as it’s loaded with unhealthy stuff but I knew I had loose kernel popcorn hanging around. Feeling lazy and not wanting to do it on the stove top I did a quick search to find a recipe using just a bowl and plate (microwave safe of course). I’m delighted to say it turned out oh so yummy!
Microwave Popcorn Without the Bag! (recipe adapted from One Good Thing by Jillie)
- 1/4 cup popcorn
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil (can omit if you’d prefer….I just like the taste)
- Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt (or sea salt, I just like Himalayan salt)
- A bowl (microwave safe)
- A plate (microwave safe)
Instructions: Add the popcorn into the bowl (make sure the bowl is large enough to account for the popcorn popping and expanding). Mix with salt and oil. Place the plate on top so it seals the top. Place in microwave for about 2 min 45 seconds (this may differ depending on your microwave). Voila!
Just be careful when you take the plate off of the bowl once it’s done popping as it’s hot and the steam could burn!
Ahh the BLT, one of humankind’s greatest inventions! This is a (almost) guilt free way to take the BLT to the appetizer plate. I would love to have these anytime, but would be particularly pleased if these were served at father’s day this year! I found the photo below that sparked my interest in making something like this from Greatist.com. They also have a nice list of other guilt free snacks for dudes.
These could be very simple to make, and you could do these in a lot of different ways. Here is the way I would make them.
- Cut off the tops and bottoms of the cherry tomatoes so they can stand up, and so you can fill them
- Using a pairing knife, hollow out one side of the inside of the tomato from the top.
- Ad a small amount of mayonnaise mixed with salt and pepper
- Put in a piece of very crispy bacon, and a leaf or two of arugula
- Place on a thinly sliced mini baguette, and hold it in place with a toothpick.
Photo by Perry Santanachote
Lunch is a tough one for me. I never know what to make. I like salads and sometimes a light sandwich but those two options get old fast. The most important thing for me as I work from home and have a 13 month old running around, is something healthy but quick! This recipe totally fits the bill. It doesn’t hurt that I absolutely LOVE avocados
Corn & Tomato Stuffed Avocado (recipe & instructions found on Pip & Ebby)
Ingredients: (feel free to get creative with whatever you like though!)
- Salt & Pepper
- Lime (juice)
I think this may be the single most exciting recipe I have ever seen! I am so excited to make this that I can hardly contain myself. It is so hot right now, and the thought of slicing into an ice cold watermelon like this just makes my mouth water! Watermelon and whipped cream happens to also be one of my wife’s favorite treats! Ad some blueberries on there, and she will be in absolute heaven!Thank you so ISaveA2z.com for sharing such a brilliant idea!
All you have to do is cut off the ends of the watermelon, and then:
Slather on the whipped cream, top with whatever fruit or berries and nuts you like, and viola!
I made my first batch of homemade jam a few years ago when living in Seattle. The berries in the northwest are so delicious and plentiful. It was such a rewarding process, from going to the you-pick farm to enjoying the jam on just about everything I could think of. As you know I’m not a fan of using refined sugar in my cooking and baking and so I loved this recipe for Strawberry Jam With Honey. The best part is that you don’t have to follow traditional canning methods, this recipe is a bit easier. The jam stays good for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator so you can make a small batch. Give this a whirl, you won’t be sorry!
What you’ll need: (for full recipe & instructions please visit New South Food Company)
- Lemon Juice
- Canning Jars
For the past several weeks I’ve been on a very low sugar diet. Why? Well it’s just not good for you in so many ways! It’s been difficult for me however I’ve noticed some positive side effects already. For one, my skin is clear. Yup, no breakouts. Even though I’m in my early 30′s it’s unusual that I don’t have at least a pimple or two on my face. And the second most noticeable benefit is my energy level. I don’t seem to be crashing in the afternoon as I did when I was on my typical daily sugar consumption. So although I’m watching it, it still doesn’t mean I don’t crave something sweet. Which is what brings me to this post. A dessert like this Raw Kiwi Banana Tart is perfect. No added refined sugar, which is perfect!
For full recipe & instructions please visit The Kitchen Paper
- Raw nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or almonds)
- Salt Bananas
- Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
Now if this salad doesn’t say summer, I’m not sure what does! I love finding new ways to enjoy healthy greens as I often get stuck in a rut of creating the same ol’ salad. I love that this one incorporates berries, they’re such nutrition powerhouses! I imagine you could substitute blackberries for whatever berry suites you. Oh, and if making your own salad dressing seems difficult, this recipe will prove just how simple it really is!
What you’ll need (please visit The Doctor’s Daughter for full recipe & instructions)
- Arugula (or whatever greens you’d like)
- Blackberries (or whatever berry you’d like)
- Olive oil
- Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- Salt & Pepper