Oct 13, 2010

Homemade Cream of Chicken

This is a basic white sauce that is a perfect substitute for canned cream of chicken.
I like making it with fresh chicken juices from my crockpot whole chicken, in place of the butter (without seasonings, except the salt and pepper are needed) and using it as a gravy over potatoes and then the next day for creamed eggs on toast. We use it for Hawaiian haystacks and it passes with flying colors....no body misses the canned stuff.

3 T butter
1/2 c. flour
3 c chicken broth (substitute 2cups with milk for creamier)
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. black pepper
1/4 t. salt

1. In medium-sized saucepan melt butter, then add flour and seasonings.
2. Add the liquid and Continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. About ten minutes or more.

Basic Homemade Stuffing

9-10 bread end pieces (white or wheat)
3 tbsp. butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 med. onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 c. boiling water

Dice bread ends and measure about 4 1/2 cups. Melt butter in a 2 quart pot. Add celery, onion and garlic. Saute over low heat 5 minutes. Add parsley, herbs and pepper to sauteed vegetable mix and stir. Add boiling water. Stir; bring mix to a boil and take the pot off the range. Now lightly fork in the bread cubes. Cover the pot and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.

Oct 11, 2010

Top 10 Healthy Ways to Cook Fruits & Vegetables

Bake …
1. Sweet potato fries by cutting up into slices and seasoning with olive oil, cayenne pepper and a dash of salt.
2. Peaches for a sweet snack. Slice in half, drizzle on some honey and sprinkle with ginger and pecans.
3. Winter squash, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. A potato for lunch, top with broccoli and a sprinkle of cheese.
5. An apple for dessert. Fill the core with dried fruit and nuts.

Boil … (best if you retain the liquid, because many nutrients seep into it while cooking)
1. Diced or crushed tomatoes in a vegetable or chicken broth for the base of a homemade tomato soup! Add fresh herbs and spices to make your own unique recipe.
2. Apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Mash up and serve warm or chilled.
3. Turnips and potatoes. Mash them together and season with salt and pepper.
4. Kale, and add a handful of chopped currants, salt and pepper.
5. Butternut squash and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Steam …
1. Artichokes for a long time (about an hour) to get flavorful leaves perfect for dipping! Try them with a tasty almond pate.
2. Any of your favorite vegetables with citrus juice and zest added to the water to create bold, new flavors. Try lemon juice with spinach, orange with broccoli or grapefruit with carrots!
3. A medley of vegetables and season with some herbs. Serve over couscous.
4. Cabbage, and season with caraway seed, salt and pepper.
5. Green beans with chopped onion. Add a clove of garlic to cooking water.

Stir-Fry …
1. Pineapple and mango in a honey ginger sauce for a perfect topping to low or fat-free ice cream. 2. Zucchini, yellow squash, diced tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil and herbs. Add some diced jalapeno for an extra kick and serve over brown rice.
3. Broccoli in olive oil and chopped garlic. Add some capers for extra zip.
4. Frozen mixed veggies. Add a dash of low sodium soy sauce, or flavor with herbs.
5. Onions, peppers, zucchini, corn and jicama. Throw in some red or black beans. Season with your favorite salsa to give it a Southwestern flair. Serve over rice.

Saute …
1. Pear and apple slices (peeled) in a skillet with a little butter until tender. Add marmalade and orange slices, remove from heat and serve for a fruity dessert.
2. Cauliflower with nutmeg and oil after pre-steaming for tasty twist on an old veggie.
3. Spinach with garlic and olive oil.
4. Green and yellow summer squash with onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. For a different twist, add chopped tomato and basil.
5. A variety of different colored peppers with onion. Serve as a side dish.

Roast …
1. Red peppers in the oven at 450, turning every 15 minutes until done (blackened skins). Peel off the skin and slice them, then drizzle in oil and garlic and refrigerate. A Perfect addition to any salad, sandwich or antipasto dish!
2. Whole red potatoes in the oven after tossing them in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and rosemary until tender for a mouth-watering side to any meal!
3. Some winter vegetables cut in large pieces – parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, beets, sweet potato are some good choices. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite herbs, and roast at 425 for 30-40 minutes until tender and browned.
4. Brussels Sprouts drizzled lightly with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. Magnifique!
5. Thin slices of sweet potato to make chips.

Grill …
1. Mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and tenderloin for the perfect summer kabobs.
2. Corn on the cob. Peel and coat in a mix of seasonings such as oregano, pepper, onion and chili powders and salt with a touch of butter to help it stick. Wrap in aluminum foil and grill until tender.
3. Pineapple, peaches or mango. Top with a dollop of low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet.
4. Asparagus and add to a salad of mixed greens, roasted peppers and toasted nuts.
5. Some eggplant, zucchini and portabella mushrooms to use in a wrap.

Stew …
1. Pears. Peel and core and stew gently in cinnamon, sugar and water until tender. Perfect for an after-dinner treat!
2. Cabbage with tomatoes and garlic to serve over rice for a unique side dish to any meal!
3. Classic stew vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, celery, onions in canned tomato sauce. Substitute canned beans like kidney beans or black beans for meat.
4. Frozen corn, onions, peppers, celery, and salsa. Serve over rice. Add some red or black beans and call it a meal!
5. Canned tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and chickpeas. Add oregano and top with sliced olives.

Blanch …
1. Almonds in water for 15 seconds and peel for a new twist on a healthy snack.
2. Basil and parsley leaves. Blend together with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a little lemon juice for a great pesto!
3. Broccoli and cauliflower to use on a vegetable platter for snacks and appetizers.
4. Broccoli rabe in salted water to reduce bitterness. Then cook like broccoli.
5. Carrots, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus and broccoli. Marinate in your favorite low-fat vinaigrette and serve cold. If desired, add other veggies like onions, mushrooms and peppers.

Microwave …
1. Any of your favorite chopped veggies in a bowl with an egg or two for a quick, nutritious breakfast.
2. Cranberries and orange zest with a little sugar and water to make a sweet cranberry relish.
3. Frozen or canned vegetables on those busy nights.
4. Spaghetti squash by cutting in half lengthwise and putting face down in a dish with water. Scoop out squash and serve like spaghetti with tomato sauce and/or Parmesan cheese.
5. A potato for lunch and top with low-fat cottage cheese and chives.

Ever Heard of an Intuitive Eater?

So when I was at BYU going to school, I remember an article being published about intuitive eaters. I rather enjoyed it and thought it very practical. The gist of what it said was that we have a hunger scale, say 0-10; 10 being so full you're going to die and 0 being so starving you're going to die. The author goes on to say that intuitive eaters eat when their hunger scale tips from 5 (satisfied) to 4 or 3 or so, and they just eat enough to satisfy--5 or 6. This means that they don't eat just for social or emotional reasons; rather, they listen to their bodies.

Isn't this how we were born? To listen to and be aware of our bodies' needs. Sometimes our bodies may want a little sugar, and that's ok. The author says it's important to not totally ignore those little guilty pleasures of sweets and such, but to moderate them and not to eat them just because you're bored, or it's laying around. I know a bite of something sweet after dinner is a frequent thing for Paul and I, so we just have a few bite-sized candy bars or individually wrapped things we can grab if needed. IF you didn't have anything around, you might be too hard on yourself and go crazy..eventually running to the store and buying a gallon of ice cream or something. :P

PArt of this intuitive eating, I've found, is paying attention to what your body really likes and making sure you have those healthy options on hand. I like to keep some trail mix and cranberries and almonds laying around for healthy snacks. I also keep plenty of fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruit around for my sweet tooth. Costco sells these 100% fruit bars with nothing added. They are at least 2 servings each and great to take hiking or for emergency kits.

Now dark choc. is great to have around. It's full of antioxidants, but be sure its got at least 68% cacao to benefit most from it. Cheap, low cacao% choc. isn't worth it. I also keep a jar of neutella choc. around to dip pretzels and things in for a little etc. sweet-toothing (Iknow that's milk choc., but we're allowed some lee-way, right).

Apple Flapjacks

3 cups whole grain flour
1 cup white bean flour (grind beans in wheat grinder!)
1 T baking soda
1/2 cup powdered milk or whey
1/2 t sea salt
2 T honey
2 cups buttermilk (milk with a little lemon juice)
2 cups warm water
3 T oil
4 egg yolks
4 beaten egg whites
1 large grated apple

Combine ingredients in order. Use this recipe to make waffles, hot cakes or Ebelskivers. I make pancakes with it! Serves 4-6 people. For extra crunch add 1/4 cup chopped nuts or sunflower seeds to batter. I like to add flax seeds that I grind up in a coffee grinder and wheat germ to my recipes.

Submitted by Charise:
I serve these with unsalted butter and PURE maple syrup! My kids love them and the bean powder adds protein, iron, and other essential vitamins & minerals! (Once the beans are ground, store them in the fridge.)

German Apple Pancakes

4 eggs
2 T butter
3/4 c flour (5 grain)
2 T flax seeds, ground
2 medium apples or peaches
3/4 c milk
1/4 c sucanut (unrefined sugar)
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t cinnamon

Place glass casserole dish in oven, heated to 400 degrees. Beat eggs, flour, milk and salt together for 1 minute. Remove dish from oven. Place butter in dish and rotate dish until butter is melted and sides are coated. In casserole dish, arrange apple or peach slices; pour batter over them. Mix sugar/cinnamon; sprinkle over the batter. Bake until puffed and golden brown about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy for breakfast or dessert! We double the recipe for our family of 6 people...and it's the perfect amount.

Submitted by Charise

Orange-Yogurt Muffins

1 3/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 t. orange zest
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 8 oz. carton orange yogurt (see HINT: below)
1/3 c oil
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c sifted powdered sugar (opt)
1-2 t. orange juice (opt)

Grease or line muffin tin with paper cups. Combine flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and set aside. Meanwhile, combine egg, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture just till moistened (batter should be fairly lumpy). Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or till golden. Cool in muffin cups for 5 minutes and if desired, drizzle the orange juice/powdered sugar mixture over warm muffins.

Submitted by Charise
HINT: When I see I have 2 oranges in my fruit bowl, I like to grate the orange peels, slice both in half, juice them and use that juice AND some of the pulp to make my own orange yogurt. I like to use a THICK plain yogurt (Greek Gods Yogurt I can find at Smith's Grocery Store), the orange juice, pulp, and a little honey. I measure out 16 oz. of yogurt and double the whole recipe...this is a favorite in our home on the weekends!

Oct 8, 2010

What Most People Don't Know About Grains

“The well-meaning advice of many nutritionists, to consume whole grains as our ancestors did and not refined flours and polished rice, is misleading and often harmful in its consequences; for while our ancestors ate whole grains, they did not consume them as presented in our modern cookbooks in the form of quick-rise breads, granolas and other hastily prepared casseroles and concoctions. Our ancestors and virtually all pre-industrialized peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles.

All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound) in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in UNFERMENTED whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will VASTLY improve their nutritional benefits.

Scientists have learned that the proteins in grains, especially gluten, are very difficult to digest. A diet high in unfermented whole grains, particularly high-gluten grains like WHEAT, puts an enormous strain on the whole digestive mechanism. When this mechanism breaks down with age and overuse, the results take the form of allergies, celiac disease, mental illness, and chronic indigestion. Recent research also links gluten intolerance with multiple sclerosis. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”
Try this recipe for a healthy and delicious hot breakfast cereal!

Five Grain Cereal Mix
2 cups wheat or spelt
2 cups millet
2 cups short grain brown rice
2 cups barley or oat groats
2 cups lentils

Mix together and grind coarsely. Store in refrigerator.

Five Grain Porridge
1 cup Five Grain Cereal Mix
1 cup warm filtered water plus 2 T buttermilk
½ tsp. salt
1 cup filtered water
1-2 egg yolks

Combine Five Grain Cereal Mix with warm water mixture, cover and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours. Bring an additional 1 cup of water to a boil with sea salt. Add soaked cereal, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and stir in the egg yolks. Serve with butter or cream and a natural sweetner such as sucanut, date sugar, pure maple syrup, or raw honey.

Taken from the book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
By trying this method of eating your WHOLE grains, you will be much healthier and your children will grown up thanking you! For more ideas about healthy cooking, check out this book by Sally Fallon…it’s VERY informative!
*posted by Charise

Oct 6, 2010

Chili-Chicken Casserole

3 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup (see homemade recipe)
1 can chili
8-10 corn tortillas, cut up
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded

sour cream

Mix all together, place in oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and top is slightly crunchy. Serve topped with shredded lettuce, olives, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.

*you can use chili beans, or kidney beans with cumin and chilipowder seasoning.

Convenient Food.
Submitted by Charise.

Pasta Lugano

4 c. noodles, cooked (bowtie or penne)
1 c. Italian sausage, cooked
1 c. ham, diced (opt.)
1 c. mozzarella, cubed
2 peppers, chopped (colorful are best)
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
1-2 Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
2-3 T Balsamic vinegar

Mix all together well and let sit for at least 20 minutes (to blend flavors)

Chinese Chicken Salad

2 c. chicken, cooked and cubed
1 chinese cabbage, chopped
2 c. green onions, chopped
2 pkg. TopRamen, broken up (without seasoning added)
1/2 c. sunflower seeds or almonds
1/2 c. canola oil
1 t. soy sauce
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. vinegar

1. Make the sauce and set aside.
2. Mix all the other ingredients in a salad bowl; pour dressing on top
3. Refridgerate or at least wait 20 minutes before serving.

-Chalotte Nebeker

Paul's Spicy Curry

1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
2 t. dry coconut (unsweetened)
1/4 t. mustartd powder (opt.)
1 t. ground sesame seeds
3/4 t. ginger powder
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/2 t. powder)
1 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1 lb lamb or pork, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. veg oil
2 1/1 c. water
1-2 T cornstarch (opt.)

1. Mix all seasonings together with the garlic and coat the cubed meat.
2. sautee onion in oil; add coated meat and cook 5 mins
3. Add water; simmer 45 minutes (stir occassionally). Add cornstarch near the end to thicken (by mixing it with a little water first, and then pouring into the curry.

*eat with rice or lentils or garbanzo beans and ryoti or naan bread (or tortillas if that's all you have)

Salmon Croquets

1 salmon fillet (or canned salmon)
1 c. rice, cooked
2 eggs
1/2 t. ground red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
saltines, crushed
butter for sauteeing

1. Mix everything together, with just enough saltines to help things stick together, but still stay a little moist.
2. Put butter in the pan on med heat and place flattened spoonfuls of mix into pan and cook about 3 minutes on each side.

*you can do bite-sized croquets or full-size patties. I add some spinach cut in little pieces and some ground flax seed, but you can try may other variations. These taste good with yummy cheesy mash potatoes (from the Tolleys)

Cilantro-Lime Rice

3 c. rice
3 T chicken buillon
2 T lime juice
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
1 t. salt

mix all and cook as you would normally cook rice.

*Idea: eat with yummy salsa baked chicken

Indian-Style Pilaf

1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. celery, chopped
1 T butter
2/3 c. rice
1 1/3 c. water
1 t. chicken buillon
1/2 t. curry powder
1/4 t. salt and pepper
1/8 t. allspice (opt)
1/2 c. raisins (opt)
1/2 c. peanuts or cashews, chopped (opt)

1. Sautee onion and celery in butter until tender
2. Stir in rice to brown it (if desired), or just add the water and seasonings at same time. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer covered 15-20 minutes.
3. Add remaining optional ingredients as desired.

*eat with a yummy piece of chicken (I'll bet a cranberry marinade would taste good)

A Basic Granola

12 c. oats
1 c. sweetener (dry or liquid, but mix with like textures. I love honey. Agave, maple and organic whole cane sugar work...but can add a little extra sweetener if it is not liquid)
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. oil or butter (I do a stick butter and a few Tablespoons coconut oil...only 3/4 c total)
1 c. water
1 t. vanilla

*see more options down below

1. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl (if using coconut oil, you'll need to melt it first; if using honey, only use 1 cup and it's best if melted first).
3. Combine both wet and dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly with hands, allowing some small clumps when squeezing ingredients.
4. Spread on 2 baking sheets and cook at 250 for 45-50 minutes; stir, then bake 45-50 more minutes.
5. Let it cool down once removed, before storing (the moisture makes it lose crunch if you store it too early). Stores well for a few months.

*I've also baked this at 350 for 30 mins, stirring 15 mins. into it. And I've also let it sit overnight before baking and then put it in the oven on the lowest setting until it smelled done (tossing it every 30 mins or so).

Additional Options
*Halloween: some cranberries and the green pumpkin seeds with pumpkin pie spice
*try using cashews, almonds and/or shredded coconut
*add chocolate chips or yogurt covered raisins at the end  (so they don't melt)
*Parfait: good with yogurt and some berries or sliced peaches
*keep some in a little baggie to snack on (add papaya or pineapple chunks)
*use as a topping for apple crisp or sweet potato casserole
*add in 1/4 cup popped amaranth for a toasty flavor
*boost the omega-3 content by adding 1/2 c. ground flax seed and/or hemp hearts

Enchilada Sauce

2 T vegetable oil
2 T flour
2 T chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1 can tmato sauce (8oz)
2 c. water
1/4 t. garlic
1 t. salt

Cook first three ingredients for 1-2 mins, then add the remaining and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 mins.

Oct 5, 2010

Teff Porridge

1 c whole grain Teff
1 T. butter
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (opt.)
3/4 c pitted dates (halved) or raisins (opt.)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3-4 T. honey
1/2 c pecans (opt.)
milk or cream for serving (opt.)

Set a heavy 2 quart saucepan over med. heat. Add the Teff and toast, stirring frequently until the grains emit a mild toasty aroma and begin to pop (3-6 minutes). Turn off heat and stand back to avoid sputtering. Add 3 cups boiling water, the butter and cloves. Stir well. Turn the head to medium, cover, and cook at a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent the grains from sticking to the bottom. Stir in dates, salt, and honey to taste. Cover and continue cooking until the grains are tender and one color throughout (no whiteish dot in the center), about 5-10 minutes longer. Stir in more boiling water if the mixture becomes very thick before the grains are thoroughly cooked. When the porridge is done, turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans. Ladle into bowls and put in cream if desired. Enjoy this unique yet delicious hot cereal!

*Bob's Red Mill recipe

What is Teff - the grain?

The world's SMALLEST grain!

Teff (white-ivory or red varieties) is a cereal grain native to Northeastern Africa and Southwestern Arabia. Although it has been used in Ethiopia in particular for centuries, teff was not widely known in other parts of the world until the late twentieth century, when farmers in the Central United States and Australia began to experiment with the grain. A growing demand for teff has made it more readily available, especially in urban areas. Typically, health food stores and large grocers stock teff, either in the form of flour or in a whole grain form. The grains of teff are in fact so small that enough seeds to sow an entire field can easily be held in the hand or in a small bag, making teff an extremely portable crop. Teff has been eaten by humans and animals for thousands of years, with botanists suspecting that teff may have been domesticated as early as 4,000 BCE. In Ethiopia, teff is a vital part of most people's diets. In Ethiopia, teff is fermented and used to make injera, a traditional sourdough-type flatbread.
The grain has a very mild, nutty flavor, and it also packs a serious nutritional punch. Teff, white teff in particular, has an excellent balance of amino acids, and it is also high in protein, calcium, and iron. A cup of cooked teff contains 387 mg of calcium which is 40% of the U.S. recommended daily allowance (USRDA).

How to cook with Teff Flour: The properties are somewhat different than wheat flour (no gluten) so start off start off by substituting about 25% of the wheat flour in a recipe with teff flour.

How to use Teff Grain:
Uncooked teff grains can be used in cooking and baking in place of other types of small grains, nuts or seeds. Because of its small size, make sure to use a smaller amount of teff when substituting. For example, use 1/2 cup of teff grain for 1 cup of sesame seeds.
Teff can also be used as a thickener in soups, gravies and stews. Teff is often cooked as a porridge and when cooked, its stickiness allows it to easily be formed into cakes (polenta-like).

Teff has twice as much iron as both wheat and barley...WOW!!!

An inferior variety, red teff, has less nutritional value, although it is easier to cultivate. Along with other alternative grains like quinoa and millet, teff has become well known in the health foods community because of its great nutritional value.

So, next time you head to the health food store, be sure to pick some up and try it. Here's a GREAT recipe to try for a healthy and complete breakfast! Now a favorite in our home!

TEFF Porridge (Bob's Red Mill recipe)
1 c whole grain Teff
1 T. butter
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 c pitted dates (halved) or raisins
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3-4 T. honey
1/2 c pecans
milk or cream for serving (optional)

Set a heavy 2 quart saucepan over med. heat. Add the Teff and toast, stirring frequently until the grains emit a mild toasty aroma and begin to pop (3-6 minutes). Turn off heat and stand back to avoid sputtering. Add 3 cups boiling water, the butter and cloves. Stir well. Turn the head to medium, cover, and cook at a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent the grains from sticking to the bottom. Stir in dates, salt, and honey to taste. Cover and continue cooking until the grains are tender and one color throughout (no whiteish dot in the center), about 5-10 minutes longer. Stir in more boiling water if the mixture becomes very thick before the grains are thoroughly cooked. When the porridge is done, turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans. Ladle into bowls and put in cream if desired. Enjoy this unique yet delicious hot cereal!

Salad Dressings 101

3 things that make up a basic Salad dressing:

Fat: Oil, cream, cheese, egg, etc. *ratio of 3:1 or sometimes 2:1 with the acid
Many vitamins in salad greens are fat-soluable, so they need the fat to absorb the nutrients

Acid: vinegar or citrus fruit

Seasoning/flavor: salt, sugar, garlic, etc.
To take the bite off the acid add sugar (or jam, honey, maple syrup, fruit juice or concentrate, etc.)

I'll include a few salad dressing recipes so you can make the traditional ones at home, instead of buying (Italian, Ranch, etc.). Don't be afraid to explore your options though.

These recipes will cover more 4 cups or more of salad - enough to serve a family or small dinner party.

Lemon Vinaigrette: Juice one lemon into container, straining the seeds. Add about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Shake well to combine. This is good on salads, but equally good on steamed vegetables for side dishes.

Avocado Vinaigrette: Place into container - avocado (whole small one or half of a large one), 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon water (or 2 if not opting for wine), 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. If you are planning to mix by shaking, use a fork first to mash the avocado, then cover and shake. Otherwise, use a hand blender or food processor to blend until smooth.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette: Add to container - 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Shake well to combine. Garnish your salad with pomegranate seeds to enhance the flavor of the dressing.

Caesar Salad Dressing: Add to food processor, blender or container wide enough for your hand blender - 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 garlic clove (crushed), 1 sardine (optional), 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste and the juice of 1 lemon. Process until smooth and creamy. Cesare salad is traditionally served with romaine lettuce, croutons, shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper. Juice one lemon into container, straining the seeds. Add about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Shake well to combine. This is good on salads, but equally good on steamed vegetables for side dishes.

Check out this post of the top 7 salad dressings to make and ideas of what to put int he salad: click here

Which Veggies with Which Herbs?

Ever wonder what seasonings to put on which vegetables? Here's a chart of seasonings/flavors that taste good, and steaming times too (so you don't overcook your veggies)...