Salad Creations + Italian Roasted Garlic Cloves

I like big salads and I cannot lie.  Like, seriously.  The bigger the salad, the happier I am.

And I’m not talking boring old salads.  I like to dress those things up.  Salads are an excellent way to fill up with a ton of veggies and they are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I know, I’ve had one for each meal. Salad Creations + Italian Roasted Garlic Cloves | Life Healthfully Lived Continue reading

DIY Wednesday: Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Be prepared for all the lemon/poppyseed recipes this week.  More specifically, be ready for Meyer lemon and poppyseed recipes.  I found a whole bag of Meyer lemons at Aldi for $1.99 and since I had never tried them I picked them up and found a few delicious ways to use them.

Dressing was one of the first things I did with them, I also made muffins, marinades, smoothies, drizzled over fish and chicken for the husband, and even tried them in eggs. Yeah, that last one was not good.  But gotta experiment right? Lemon Poppyseed Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived

If you aren’t familiar with Meyer lemons, they’re kind of like if an orange and a lemon had a baby.  It’s a little sweet and a little sour and a lot yummy.  It works really well in a lot of recipes because it doesn’t have the puckering effect of lemon but doesn’t end up overly sweet.  Sadly, Meyer lemon season is short but that makes it even more special.  So if you have seen these lemons in your grocery store but have never known what to do with them, stick around and try my vinaigrette today and some muffins on Friday!

Lemon Poppyseed VinaigretteLemon Poppyseed Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (please use fresh juice, it tastes so much better)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (from those lemons you just squeezed)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced very small
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced very small (more if you REALLY like garlic)
  • 2 tsp poppyseeds
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more if needed)
  1. Place a fine mesh sieve or strainer over a large bowl or sturdy measuring cup.  Squeeze your lemon juice over this so you can catch seeds and any pulp.  Keep going until you have 1/3 cup.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients into a mason jar or other container with a secure lid.  Shake everything together and use over your next salad or as a marinade for fish, chicken, or pork.

Make sure you store this in the fridge and use it within the next few days.  Now, just so you know as this sits, the ingredients will separate into different layers.  That’s fine, all you have to do is shake it up right before you use it.  The olive oil also might solidify a bit in the fridge but that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad or anything, just let it sit out until it’s back to room temperature.Lemon Poppyseed Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived

Other than that, enjoy this refreshing and healthy vinaigrette!

How To Dress A Salad

oil and vinegar

No, I’m not talking about putting little shirts and pants on your lettuce leaves.  I’m not that weird.  Ok, yes I am but that is beside the point.  Salads are a great way to get in a ton of vegetables and there are endless varieties of salads.  Even with so many different combinations, people still find salads boring.  Their solution to fix boring salads is to top them off with dressings.  Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing and probably have consumed a mind boggling amount of ranch dressing.  Store bought dressings though are LOADED with chemicals and preservatives and a ton of other not good for you ingredients.  Go ahead and get that bottle of dressing out of the fridge and read the ingredient list.  I’m going to bet there are some things in there that you can’t pronounce.  That’s no good.  Fear not! You do not have to give your dressings, you just need to go about them in a different way.  Homemade dressing is super simple to make and so much better for you than store bought.  In fact, you probably have all the ingredients on hand to make your own simple dressing.  I’m going to show you how to make a simple dressing and give you a few variations so that you can make your own delicious salad dressing!

The basic components of a salad dressing are simple.  Oil and some kind of vinegar.  Your ratio of oil to vinegar can be made to your preference, but I tend to like a little bit more vinegar than oil in my dressing.  Now there are a variety of different oils that you can use to make your dressing beyond the obvious olive oil.  I also like avocado oil, flaxseed oil, and I have even tried walnut oil which was pretty tasty.  You want to stick with lighter tasting oils since you won’t be cooking the oil.  Oils like peanut, coconut, or palm oil will have a little bit stronger taste and could overpower the other flavors of the dressing.  Once you pick the type of oil you want to use you can pick a vinegar to go with it.  The three that I use the most are apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and white wine vinegar.  I’ve also made some dressings with rice vinegar.  There are many types of vinegars out there, so pick ones that you like the most.  Once you’ve chosen an oil and a vinegar, it’s time to add some seasonings.  The sky is the limit here so use your favorites or whatever you have on hand.

Ok, that is the bare bones of a homemade salad dressing.  Tasty for sure, but a little boring.  Good thing it is easy to come up with a variety of different dressings to top your salad.  The easiest way to make most of these dressings is to place all the ingredients in a jar and shake them up.  That way they are easy to store and you can add to them whenever you need to.  Some of the dressings I’m going to share need a blender or food processor, but I’ll make a note if they do.  Here are a few dressings that I have made myself:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil – 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar – 1 tsp oregano – 1 tsp basil – pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil – 1/3 cup rice vinegar – 2 tbsp lime juice – 1 tsp cilantro – 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed oil – 1/3 cup white wine vinegar – 2 tsp italian seasonings – pepper to taste

These are quick and easy to make and will keep in your fridge for a few weeks.  Now, perhaps you are more a fan of creamy dressings (ranch lovers unite!) and these oil and vinegar combos are not doing it for you.  Not to worry, there are plenty of options when it comes to homemade creamy dressings.  These dressings will need to be made in a blender or food processor to get the right consistency.

  • 1/2 avocado, diced – 1/4 cup tahini – 3-4 tbsp lime juice – 1 tsp cilantro – 1 tsp chili powder – salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup smooth almond butter – 1/4 cup soy sauce or liquid aminos – 2 cloves garlic, minced – 1 tsp chinese five spice
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream – 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter – 2 cloves garlic – 1-2 tsp smoked paprika – salt and pepper to taste

You can also do a very simple herb and oil dressing.  Using 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil of your choice, blend in a few handfuls of your favorite herbs, and a few tbsp of mustard (I like spicy brown) until you have a pourable consistency.

There are so many options when it comes to homemade salad dressings.  Get creative and try making some of your own concoctions.  Use pureed beans to get a creamy, hummus like dressing or go super simple with just a little oil and vinegar.  Find flavors that you enjoy and will have you devouring salads by the plateful!  Remember, healthy doesn’t have to be hard or complicated.  More often than not, it’s better to just keep it simple!