Tag Archives: quick

Dressings

Summer is coming and (apparently) Spring is here which for me means salad time!  I almost never buy a salad dressing, it is so healthy, fresh and easy to make your own, once you get the hang of it you’ll wonder why you ever bought a store dressing.  Some of these recipes are mine, some I have acquired along the way but all are well used and loved. I have been meaning to do this post for too long now so I’m going to just provide a list and will likely come back and update to add more later.  A post for Dips and Pesto are soon to follow.  Enjoy your greens!

Miso Honey Cilantro Dressing

4              tablespoons White Miso
2              tablespoons Honey
2              bunches fresh Cilantro
4              tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1/4         cup Sunflower Oil
4              tablespoons White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2              teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine, blend or process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

3/4         cup raw Cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 6 hours
1              cup fresh Organic Cilantro
1/2         cup Nut or Rice Milk
1/2         Avocado, peel  and pit removed
1/4         cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2         Jalapeno, stemmed and cut in half (if you do not like spicy you can remove the seeds and membrane)
3              tablespoons fresh Lime Juice (about 2 limes)
2              Garlic Cloves, skin removed

Combine, blender or food process  until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Makes Approximately 3 cups.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

1              Jalapeño Pepper, seeded (1/2 if you prefer less heat)
2              Garlic Cloves
3/4         teaspoon fresh Ginger, minced
1/3         cup fresh Lime Juice
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave Nectar
2              teaspoon White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt (or to taste)
1/2         cup packed fresh Cilantro
1/3         cup Extra Virgin Olive

Combine, blend/process. Best if refrigerated for a couple of hours prior to serving.

Makes approximately  1 cup.

Carrot Ginger Dressing/Dip

1              large Carrot, grated
2              tablespoons Mirin
1              tablespoon Agave Nectar
2              tablespoons Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
1              tablespoon wheat-free Tamari
1              tablespoon Mustard
1              tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1/2         cup White Vinegar
1              cup Sunflower Oil
1              Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1/2         Sweet Onion, grated
1/4         cup Honey or Agave Syrup
1              teaspoon Dry Mustard
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Just a couple pulses in a blender will do or just a good shake!

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Oil-Free Italian Vinaigrette (personal fav, use this on green salad all the time)

1/4         cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2              teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1-2          tablespoons Italian Seasoning
3/4         cup Water
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend/process.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

1              clove of Garlic
1              heaping teaspoon of Mustard
2              tablespoons Maple Syrup
1              tablespoon Lemon Juice
3              tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/2         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Combine, blend/process/emulsify.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Basic Balsamic Dressing

1              Garlic Clove, peeled
1              small Shallot, peeled
1              teaspoon Lemon Juice
2              tablespoons Agave Nectar
1/4         cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.

Combine, blend/process/emulsify.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Green Apple Salad Dressing (vinegar and citrus free)

1              Green Granny Smith Apple, cored
1/2        cup Water
1/3         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 to 4    Garlic cloves
2              inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled
Sea Salt, to taste

Combine in blender/processor and blend until very smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste and blend again.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Cucumber Vinaigrette

1              Long English Cucumber
1/4         cup Rice Vinegar
1              tablespoon Toasted Sesame oil

Combine, blend/process till smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Super Healthy Oil and Vinegar Free Dressing  (great of baby kale greens)

1              Lemon, juiced
1/4         cup Nutritional Yeast
3-4          tablespoons Dulse Flakes
1-2          teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos or Wheat Free Tamari
Handful fresh Basil or Dill
Cayenne Pepper to taste

Combine and shake.

Makes approximately ½ cup.

Creamy Avocado Dressing (also great as a dip for veggies)

1              Avocado, peeled, pitted
1              small Garlic Clove, minced
1/4         cup Water
1              tablespoon Fresh dill
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave
2              tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend or processes until creamy and smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Sweet Basil-Lime Dressing

1              clove Garlic
2              cup fresh Basil Leaves
1/4         cup Olive Oil
1/4         cup fresh Lime Juice
2              tablespoon Water
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend/process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Oil-free Basil Lover’s Dressing

3              tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1              tablespoon Organic Miso Paste
1-2          cups fresh Basil
1              Garlic Clove
1/2         cup Water
1/4         cup Lemon Juice
1/4         cup Nutritional Yeast
2              tablespoons Honey or Agave

Combine, blend or process.

Makes over 1 cup.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1              cup Sunflower Oil
1/2         pint fresh Strawberries, halved
2              tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4         teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1              tablespoon fresh Tarragon (1/4 teaspoon dried)
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave

Combine, blend/process

Makes just over a cup.

Blueberry Dressing

1/2     cup fresh blueberries
1          tablespoon Apple Juice
2          tablespoon Red or White Wine Vinegar
2          tablespoons Goat Yogurt (or sub for water or additional apple juice)
1          teaspoon Shallots, coarsely chopped
1/8     teaspoon Sea Salt
1          tablespoon Honey, Agave or pinch Stevia
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Combine, blend/process until relatively smooth.  Dressing will thicken over time.

Makes approximately ¾ cup.

Sweet and Tangy Mango Salad Dressing

2              ripe Mangos (or about 2 cups if using frozen)
1/3          cup Water
1/2          Avocado, pitted and skinned
1              heaping tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard

Combine and blend/process

Makes approximately 2.5 cups.

Raspberry Salad Dressing

1/2         cup Sunflower Oil
1/4         cup frozen or fresh Raspberries
3              tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar (Red Wine Vinegar will work too)
2              tablespoons All-Fruit Raspberry Jam
1-2          tablespoon Honey or Agave (to taste)
1              tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
1              teaspoon Poppy Seeds
1              Shallot, chopped

Combine, blend/process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Healthy Herb Omega Flax Dressing

3/4       cup Flax Seed Oil
1/4       cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1             teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1             teaspoon Wheat-Free Tamari Sauce
3-5        cloves Garlic, crushed
6             drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
1             tablespoon Sweet Basil
1/2        teaspoon Tarragon
1/2         teaspoon Oregano
1/2         teaspoon Maple Syrup
1              tablespoon Capers

Combine, blend/process.

Makes just over 1 cup.

Gluten-Free Vegan Thumbprints

I’ve been working on a vegan, gluten-free version of the ever popular thumbprint cookie for a while now and I think I got it just right today.  I just love these not-so-sweet treats and have a lot of fun trying different fruit centres.  Great as a snack with a cup of tea!

I have also included a couple of recipes for the fruit centre which easy to make and  a little thicker than regular jam but you can always use a regular  jam too. Or, try making my all fruit jam recipe, it’s also pretty quick and easy and then you’ll have a jar in the fridge for toast!

Oven 350 degrees
Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Large bowl
2              cups gluten-free Oat Flour  (You can make this by grinding oats in your blender)
1/2         cup of gluten-free Rolled Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats)
3/4         cup of Sorghum Flour (Millet or Rice Flour will work too)
1/2         teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2         teaspoon Baking Soda
1              tablespoon ground Chia Seeds (also done in a blender)
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
Small bowl:
1/2         cup Agave or Maple Syrup
1/4         cup Sunflower Oil (or room temperature Extra Virgin Coconut Oil)
1/4         cup Nut Butter (I use Almond-Cashew)
1/4         cup of Unsweetened Applesauce (I use Eden Apple Butter)

In your large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

In your small bowl, mix all wet ingredients.  Then, combine all in large bowl and mix well.

Spoon heaping tablespoon of dough onto parchment lined baking sheet and make a thumb print well
and fill the hole with a teaspoon or so of your choice jam.  I like blackberry or fig (recipes below).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until just turning golden brown on edges.

Makes 2 dozen.

Fig Jam Recipe
1 cup Dried Black Mission Figs, stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup water
Honey or Agave to taste

Combine figs and water in a small bowl, cover and let stand for 30-60 minutes depending on how dry your figs are. Add a tablespoon or so of Honey or Agave and blend in a small blender till smooth.  Add more water or another fig till you get your desired consistency.  Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Quick Blackberry or Raspberry Jam Recipe
1½          cup of Berries
5-6          Pitted Dates
½             teaspoon Lemon Juice

Combine all and blend.  Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Sheep and Goat Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Wow it’s been so long!  I know too much time has past without any posts, I have a few good reasons or excuses but mostly just haven’t been creating anything new at all.  I have one quick little recipe to share that I came up with over the holidays that was a huge hit and then a promise to post again soon.  In fact, I have just been given a good amount of Saffron which is amazing because it’s expensive but also because I have never worked with it and have wanted to for a long while. Going to do some research and creating and get back to you very soon!

Sheep and Goat Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is my healthier, dairy-free version of traditional spinach and artichoke dip, I honestly put this one together while guests were arriving for our Christmas party and thankfully, it turned out awesome. Kinda a hit at the party! Only thing of mention as far as the recipe goes is the vegetable bouillon cube, I think it’s important to find a good healthy brand because most have a lot of junk in them.  I like GoBio, they are made with sea salt and are gluten free, GMO free, no MSG and yeast free.

Oven to broil
Glass baking dish

8          ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and drained
1/2     cube Vegetable Bouillon melted in a few tablespoons of warm water
1          can (4 ounce size) Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped up
1/2     cup grated Perricone Romano
2          ounces Goat Cheese
2          tablespoons Full Fat Goat Yogurt
2          tablespoons Vegan Mayonnaise
1/2     head Roasted Garlic*
Sea Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredients in glass baking bowl and bake in oven for 10 minutes until the top has turned lightly golden brown.

Serve with gluten-free chips or bread and veggies!

*Roasting garlic is incredibly easy, wrap a whole head in tin foil and place in 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Cedar-Plank Grilled Salmon Recipes

This weekend we had a couple friends over for dinner and BBQd our last, summer, cabin caught sockeye; one of our favourite ways to prepare salmon is in the BBQ on a cedar plank and it always impresses guests. We even cut our own planks from cedar around our cabin. However, you can buy a kit containing cedar planks from your grocery store or even by a board at hardward store. Just be sure that it is untreated, then, have it cut to size. The planks I use are typically 6 X 14 X 1/3 inches.

Below are a bunch of my favourite cedar plank recipes; this weekend we had maple bourbon with slices of lemon and orange and rosemary sprigs on top, served with roasted beets and crumbled goat cheese, baked herbed baby yukons, grilled asparagus and salad. Was very tasty and a fun evening with our guests!

Prepping a Cedar Plank:
Rinse plank. Fill the sink or a container large enough to fit the plank with water. Submerge for at least 20 minutes and as long as 4 hours.
Heat your BBQ to medium-high or about 425° F. At this temperature, the grilling planks should give off a medium- to-light smoke.
Arrange your salmon on the soaked plank and place it on the center of the grill. Within a few minutes, the plank will begin to smoke. Cooking time varies to your preference, we like our salmon pink in the middle so it really takes less than 5 minutes.
Note: After use, if your plank is not exceedingly charred or cracked you may simply brush clean with warm, soapy water, set up to dry and store for next time.

Maple Bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon or apple juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 salmon fillets
4 sprigs rosemary or thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix maple syrup and bourbon or apple juice together in a baking pan large enough to marinate the salmon fillets. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Brush one side of the soaked plank with olive oil and arrange Salmon fillets, skin side down and top with rosemary or thyme and black pepper. Drizzle the remaining maple bourbon mixture over salmon. Cook over a medium to high flame for approximately 10 minutes or until done.

Grainy Honey Mustard
2 tablespoons Grainy Mustard
2 tablespoons Honey (could also do with maple syrup)
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Lemon, Zested
Fresh ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Arrange Salmon on soaked planks and brush with mustard mixure. Grill.

Simple Dijon Maple
1/4 cup Dijon
1/4 cup Real Maple Syrup (darker the better)
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Mix all ingredients together. Arrange Salmon on soaked planks and brush with mustard mixure. Grill.

Lemon Dill
1/8 cup White Wine
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup fresh Dill, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients together and pour over salmon in a marinating pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Arrange salmon on soaked plank and grill.

Lemon, Pepper and Red Onion
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 large Red Onion, sliced
1 large Lemon, sliced
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Black Peppercorns, crushed

Rub salmon filets with olive oil. Arrange on the plank. Top salmon with red onion, lemon slices, parsley and black peppercorns and Grill

Spice Sauce
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1/3 cup Tamari
2 tablespoons White Vinegar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 pinch Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring pineapple juice, tamari, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in brown sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Set the sauce aside.

Place soaked planks on the grill and wait for smoke.

Season the salmon with sea salt and pepper and place the fillets onto the smoking cedar planks, close the lid of the grill, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Spoon a small amount of the sauce over the salmon fillets, and continue cooking until the fish turns opaque in the center, about 5 minutes more. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Sausage and Goat Cheese Penne

Goat cheese and rice pasta make this one of my favorite not so guilty, guilty pleasures! Use whatever sausage you wish (even a vegan one if need be), although I suggest a good quality Italian sausage. I often add some baby spinach to my bowl just before serving, it softens up and blends right in giving the meal just a little bit of healthy green.

Large Pot
Large Saucepan
2 cups Penne Rice Pasta (enough for four)
5 links Italian Sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices)
1 medium Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
3 fresh Sage Leaves, torn
6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup crumbled Goat Cheese
1 small bunch fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt and Pepper

Cook Penne as per direction in sea salted water.

While pasta is cooking, sauté onions and sausage in the oil until the sausage almost cooked through.

Add the garlic, sage and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.

Add balsamic, and remove from heat to wait for pasta.

Add cooked, drained pasta to the sauce and return to medium-low heat for a minute or two.

Remove from heat, stir in crumbled goat cheese and parsley and serve!

Herbed Cauliflower Bake

Here is an easy healthy cauliflower bake that I made tonight. I find a lot of people just cover cauliflower with cheese which totally isn’t my style; I try to use fresh herbs whenever possible but you can also sub in dried. The herbs and sautéed veggies add awesome flavour without hiding the cauliflower and the bread crumbs yield a nice little crunch.  I served this with Green Beans with Thyme and Slivered Toasted Almonds alongside Goat Cheese and Arugula stuffed Chicken Breasts, and a Sweet Potato Biscuits.  I’ll post those recipes too, I just put them all in the oven at  the same time with a 5 minute delay on the beans!

Oven 350 degrees
Medium saucepan
Glass baking dish
1/2      large head Cauliflower Florets, lightly steamed to just tender
2          teaspoons Unsalted Goat Butter
1/4     cup Onions, chopped
1/2     cup Celery, chopped
1/4     cup Mushrooms, chopped
1/2     cup Vegetable Stock
1/2     teaspoon Sage, minced
1/2     teaspoon Marjoram, minced
1/2     teaspoon Thyme, minced
1/2     teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2     cup Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

Melt butter in a heavy nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onions, celery and mushrooms and sauté 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in herbs and stock and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in cauliflower and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake 15 minutes.

Note:  If you wish to use dried/ground herbs just reduce to 1/4 teaspoon measurements.

Minty Leek Pea Soup

I’ve seen a couple variations of this recipe, some serving it warm, some cold,  personally I’ve never  been a fan of cold soup but either way you like it this one is a nice light Spring and Summer soup.  The Mint is subtle but you can always add more if you enjoy it!  Is also nice served with a dollop of plain greek style yogurt.

My only suggestion is to not cheap out when buying your peas, a bag of organic frozen peas cost $2-$3  and is worth the added flavour and health benefits. Also, as I have mentioned before I always use low sodium stock, just add sea salt as needed to your bowl!

1              tablespoon Olive Oil
1/8         teaspoon Nutmeg
4              Leeks, white part only, chopped
1              pack (300-400g) Frozen Organic Peas
4              cups Vegetable Stock
4              tablespoons fresh Chopped Mint (Up to a cup if you want more minty flavour)
Sea Salt  and Pepper to taste

Sauté leeks in olive oil with a pinch of sea salt and nutmeg until soft but not brown.

Add peas and stock, bring to boil then reduce and simmer.  Simmer for 5-15 minutes depending on how thick you wish the soup to turn out.

Remove from heat, add chopped mint and blend smooth.