Simple Salad Dressing Tips

If you and I toured the grocery store together for a little education on label reading and what to avoid and what to include, one of our first stops would be the salad dressing aisles.

Why? Well, most salad dressings are LOADED with ingredients that will do much more damage to your health and well-being than good. ESPECIALLY those lovely labels that trick you with words like “light” and “reduced fat.”

Now, knowing that most veggies contain fat soluble vitamins, which means we NEED fat to absorb them, why in the world would we throw on a dressing that is reduced fat?

>>Pause here. If you are following ANY kind of eating plan that promotes light or reduced fat dressing, it’s time for a new plan!<<

Don’t get me started. One of reasons I hated salads for years is because they never filled me up for more than an hour (there are other reasons I go into here, but I won’t go there now).

When I load my salad up with the RIGHT kind of fat, I feel fuller longer. It’s better for my mental health and way tastier. Most bottled dressings contain canola oil, soybean oil, and/or a bunch of random artificial chemicals and sugar. For example, even the Newman’s Own Olive Oil Blend, which seems to be a pretty safe option, contains soybean and/or canola oil added to it!

My favorite brands for dressings with yummy brain fats are Primal Kitchen and Tessamae’s. I’ve heard Bragg vinaigrette is awesome, but I haven’t tried it yet.

It is much cheaper and nourishing to my body and brain to make my own dressing. I put the ingredients in a small mason jar, shake them up, and store it in the fridge. I don’t like soggy lettuce and a lot of dressing, so I may use less than some.

Keep your oil and vinegar to a 3:1 ratio, and get creative with spices! Here is my favorite combination.

Favorite Salad Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or apple cider, red wine, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, lemon juice, lime juice, get creative!

Combine in a mason jar and shake. Serve immediately or store in fridge for up to a week.

 

 

The BEST Egg Roll in a Bowl Recipe

Don’t let the name scare you away. I’ve never been a fan of egg rolls. But this dish – major fan. In fact, I’ve tried just about every variety out there on the interwebs, and this is my favorite. My kids love it. The adults love it. It’s a win.

(Just to be clear, my kids also like sushi and dislike pasta with red sauce. So take their feedback with a grain of pink Himalayan sea salt, okay?)

My FAVORITE things about this meal: it takes about 15 minutes to make (start to finish) clean up is simple, and it’s extremely filling and satisfying.

I don’t like to use pork too much because I don’t trust the sourcing/toxicity, so sometimes I’ll use grass fed beef and that’s good, too. The most flavorful meat to use in this is ground breakfast sausage. Again – toxin alert for you purists. But it’s soooooo delicious.

As far as cabbage goes, I prefer a head of green cabbage because it’s so cheap and cabbage is one of the “Clean 15,” so you don’t have to freak about buying unorganic. Pre-shredded bagged cabbage works too, but as long as you have a good knife, save your money!

I’ve used a blend of purple and green cabbage with shredded carrots, and that’s good too. You really can’t go wrong. You could add mushrooms or broccoli or any other vegetable you’re in the mood for.

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Basic Frittata for Not-So-Basic Mamas

I love a good one skillet meal. I love easy. I love minimal prep. This is why the frittata is becoming my BFF.

Here’s the thing about this frittata – I’ve done it a few times, with a variety of ingredients. And it always tastes yummy. So while I DO have an ingredient list and directions, know that it is completely malleable to fit your needs or desires.

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Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I spent about 36 years of my life hiding from beef, specifically steak. I am 37. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered how much I love grass fed beef and even some types of steak. My body feels SO GOOD on beef. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but for me, I’ve found brain food I was missing for a long time.

(Side note – benefits of grass fed beef include higher omega 3s for brain health and higher conjugated linoleic acid, which means reduced cancer risk, decreased “bad” cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and increase in muscle! It’s also high in B12, which is super important for those of us with the MTHFR mutation.)

These philly cheesesteak stuffed peppers are soooo easy to make and can be finished in under 30 minutes. They are keto-friendly for my keto-loving friends. If you don’t do cheese, no worries. They are delicious without, as my dairy-free 2 year old can tell you.

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Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Squash

I dared myself to make a dairy-free, grain-free chicken spaghetti recipe, and I totally nailed it!

This dish is creamy, flavorful, and comforting just like the chicken spaghetti I used to make that was filled with mounds of cheese and edible food-like substances.

Time out. In case you don’t make old-fashioned chicken spaghetti, I’m talking about cream of “fill-in-the-blank” soup. Those ingredients are not real food!!! The words “modified,” and “dehydrated mechanically separated” make me pause. Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate come with a host of unfavorable side effects, including migraine headaches. Then factor in genetically modified soy, chicken, and dairy…no thanks.

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So back to my creation. Instead of spaghetti, I use spaghetti squash. Instead of a canned, cream soup I use… CASHEW SAUCE. It is delicious. So delicious, my 2 year old dipped his Veggie Straws in it. Trust me. That is a very good sign for him.

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7 Minute Supermom Saute

I strive to eat veggies at every meal, but typically, time works against me. I’m not great at meal prepping, though I should be. Dinners are always planned out ahead of time with the husband before he goes grocery shopping, but lunch as a work at home mom is tricky. “Mindful eating” is not my friend during lunchtime chaos. I usually do whatever I can to get the kids fed and the littlest down for a nap. By the time I get to eat, I want to shovel something crunchy and processed in my mouth and be done with it.

Enter the 7 Minute Supermom Saute. It’s fast, filled with superfoods, and helps me to perform as a supermom. Food is mood. I need my adrenals to be fully functioning throughout the afternoon.

 

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Not Your Average Salad

Salads and I have a pretty shady history. In fact, salads give me a little PTSD. They make me think of diets and all the trauma associated with dieting. The idea that if I only eat “good” food, I’ll look better and be a new and improved version of me. Spoiler alert – I’m always the same me, and no amount of salads or promising diets will change that.

So salads and I needed healing time. We took a break from each other. I focused on food for brain health and began retraining my mind on how I think about food and what motivates me to eat healthy. After listening to a podcast about phytonutrients in different colored vegetables, I knew it was time to re-enter the world of salads. Continue reading “Not Your Average Salad”