Fresh Food Is Best!
Light, fresh food in summer is appealing when hot sticky days seem to confuse our normal appetites. But what can be fast and easy to prepare without slaving over a hot stove or oven?
Fresh Homemade Salad Dressings
Homemade salad dressings are to salad what cinnamon & nutmeg are to pumpkin pie–everything! Bottled salad dressings have come far from sugary brands we slathered on chunks of iceberg when I was a kid. But store-bought brands can not compete with the fresh food, zesty taste of homemade dressings. Most bottled dressings use low quality oils and are high in salt with hidden sugars. If one of your goals is losing weight, forget it! You may say, “Homemade sounds great, but who has time? I barely have time to shred lettuce and toss in a few veggies.”
Good news! I make our family’s all-time favorite salad dressing in under 90 seconds! Use fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper (we also add Herbamare, a wonderful European spice). I prefer lemon juice over vinegar, for both taste and alkalinity. If you want to drop pounds, stick to a light, clean dressing like that. It is also fun to mix up with a variety of organic oils, such as avocado and walnut.
You might crave a salad dressing at times, which can turn raw, crunchy veggies into a complete meal. Because they contain some protein, salads or veggies with fresh food dressings will carry you through a busy day, a workout, or a long meeting. Below I share some taste-proven recipes that will make your mouth water, and your gut, happy. These recipes are tailored for one-two people, so be sure to double or triple if feeding a group.
Get wild and creative with spicy greens like arugula, soft greens such as butter lettuce, and combinations of greens, such as spinach, sunflower seed spouts, and romaine. Because of the abundance of greens, grated carrots & beets add color, contrast, and sweetness. Nori slices add a salty crunch. Steamed, broiled or sautéed veggie leftovers, are also a delicious addition–especially grilled onions and red pepper. We can all get into a rut with salad-making. Therefore, with the abundance of organic veggies available in summer, it is the best time to experiment with fresh food tastes and textures. Bon apetit!
Avocado Salsa Lime
- 2 avocados
- 1/4 cup lime juice (lemon works, too!)
- sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- minced garlic
- salt & pepper
- 1-2 chopped tomatoes
Blend all ingredients, except the tomatoes…stir those in before serving.
- Juice of one large lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup raw tahini
- 1 tsp agave
- 1 and ½ tsp Bragg’s amino seasoning
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp hempseed oil or olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
Combine lemon juice, garlic and water into a blender and puree for 15 – 30 seconds. Next, add all remaining ingredients and puree again until smooth. Enjoy!
Spicy Pumpkin Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (not roasted; 2 1/4 oz) or pine nuts (2 1/2 oz)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Blend till creamy and serve. Pumpkin seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals; with a sweet, nutty taste.
We are having a blast in the Happy-Gut Makeover making light, fresh food! Kudos to all the participants for their enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment. What a great group this is!
I am super-excited that my books are now available in audio form. Find them on ITunes and Amazon Audible. Due to a successful run of the audio version of my first book, Dare to Detoxify! my clients convinced me to record my new book, It Takes Guts To Be Happy! They love listening as well as reading. I hope you do, too!