Monday, June 24, 2013


We like to have salmon once in a while. It's one of the simplest things I make, and it's good any time of year. Leftover salmon makes a great addition to salads for lunch.

I'm growing dill this summer, so I can't wait to use some fresh dill on our salmon (among other things)! Hopefully I'll have enough dill to dry it and have great-tasting dill all year.

1 lb salmon fillets
olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a pan and arrange salmon in it. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the fish, then sprinkle with seasonings. Bake 25 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. (Sometimes I throw a bunch of asparagus on the pan and cook that with the salmon.) Serves four.

What do you like to put on salmon?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Salad Dressings

Shane and I like to make colorful salads. You may not know this about Shane, but he gets really giddy about creating certain things in the kitchen. Certain things being fruits and vegetables. He loves to chop and put things together and say, "How about some red peppers in that?" and "Should I add in some kiwi?"

The kitchen used to be the worst place for us to be together. We both insisted on doing things our own way. But this seems to be changing as our roles in the kitchen are more clearly defined. And when it comes to salads, if we are both helping, Shane's role is "chopper" and my role is "dresser-upper." The man will happily chop my vegetables while I make dressing. Isn't this fantastic?! There has been some serious culinary harmony lately.

While it's true that I can't watch him chop anything (because of his refusal to hold the knife properly and the inevitable anxiety of that)... you just really have to look for the gifts, people. And a husband who chops is most certainly a rare and valuable gift!

Now that I have given you two great marriage tips (rock your role, and look for the gifts)... without further ado, here are four basic salad dressings I like to make.

Balsamic Italian Vinaigrette
1 c + 2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 c + 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
9 drops liquid stevia
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced

Celery Seed Dressing (from Anita Langholz)
3/4 c canola oil
1/4 c agave nectar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celery seed
3 tbsp chopped onion
1/4 c lemon juice
dash of paprika

Ranch Dressing
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sour cream, buttermilk, or plain yogurt
1/8 c water (optional, depending on your desired consistency)
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic salt
pepper to taste

Pesto Dressing
1/2 c pesto
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
1/4-1/2 c water, to desired consistency
salt and pepper to taste

I really like this Tupperware salad dressing container. The measurements up the side make adding ingredients a quick process, and to mix all I have to do is shake it up. It doesn't leak, either.

No more soy. No more high fructose corn syrup or sugar. No more preservatives. It's so easy to make your own dressing and it tastes SO much better. When I don't have enough time to make dressing (not that it takes a whole lot of time), I just drizzle on some olive oil and cider vinegar, sprinkle some salt and pepper, and the salad is good to go.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cheesy Rice and Beans

This is a one-pot meal (except for the optional dairy-free cheese sauce).

It's super easy, and it's a way to eat some beans. Beans are so great for protein, but I have never liked them very much. In this meal, though, the beans are nicely hidden behind all the other flavors and textures.

We love eating this healthy, delicious meal.

1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can black beans, not drained
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c brown Minute rice, uncooked
1/2 green pepper, chopped
cheese sauce OR shredded cheddar cheese

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic until tender. Add beans, tomatoes, oregano, and broth; bring to a boil. Stir in the rice. Cover; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the green pepper. If you are using the cheese sauce, you can mix it in at this point to the amount of your liking, or you can drizzle it over each serving. Let the rice and beans stand in the pot for five minutes before serving. If you are not using the cheese sauce, sprinkle each serving with shredded cheddar cheese. Or just go cheeseless. Serves four.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pumpkin Seed Vegetable Dip

My husband grew up eating lots of raw veggies, so has really developed a taste for raw and today can eat them plain. I have seen him grab lettuce leaves and just munch on them. Like a rabbit.

But I never developed that taste and therefore I need DIP. Really tasty dip. Like ranch or a good hummus. I can feel a difference when I get my raw veggies so to me it's worth making dips... and green smoothies, too.

I was attracted to this dip because it has no dairy in it, and because I had lots of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in my freezer. Pepitas are SO good roasted or toasted. You can really taste the "roast" in the pesto. YUM.


1/2 c pepitas, soaked
1/4 c water
3 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp arrowroot starch
1 tbsp agave
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp minced green onion
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill weed

Drain, rinse, and roast pepitas at 350 until just crisp.

Grind them in a high-speed blender until it becomes a flour. 
Add the water and process until it's completely blended. 
Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. 
Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thick.

Cool and refrigerate in a glass jar.

You could probably dip even your worst enemy veggie in this stuff and it would taste good. It was delish.