Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette

28 03 2016

I just started introducing pureed fruits to my son (he mostly eats veggies), and I thought my homemade apple puree/applesauce would have been gobbled up. It was, but only after I added it to a combo of yams and squash….leaving me with a good bit of apple puree leftover. Enter this deliciously tart and creamy vinaigrette, which I made for an elegant Easter salad this past weekend. It would be great on lots of things though, like chicken or a roasted cauliflower and pork pizza which I’ll be making for dinner this week.

Creamy Apple Shallot Vinaigrette

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and The Stem Blog: 

  • 1/2 cup applesauce or 2 Fuji apples, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil

Add everything but the oil to a Vitamix or high-powdered blender and blend until smooth. Stream in the oil, starting with 3/4 cup. Taste and adjust vinegar, seasoning and the oil based on your liking (I for instance, like my dressing with more vinegar/acid than most people so I tend to use less oil).

Store this dressing in a mason jar in the fridge, and quickly shake up before serving.

The salad I served this with was made up of spinach, roasted cauliflower, apple slices, goat cheese and homemade croutons. Delicious, and great for spring!

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Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

13 05 2014

I indulge in a lot of salad. So naturally, I’m always on the hunt for new and healthy dressings to try! This vinaigrette was inspired by Food Network Magazine, and packs a punch of flavor. You won’t miss any store-bought dressing with this recipe, that’s for sure!

Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

The following is enough for 2 salads (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Food Network Magazine):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add garlic. Cook on low a few minutes. Add the shallot and sun-dried tomatoes and cook a few more minutes, stirring often, until garlic browns.

Transfer cooked oil mixture to a small food processor, add vinegar and pulse until chunky. Continue to pulse and slowly stream in more olive oil until the vinaigrette reaches your desired consistency, between 2-4 more Tbsp worth of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve vinaigrette over salad. The salad pictured above includes:

  • Organic arugula
  • Sliced grilled chicken
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced baby yellow peppers
  • Halved grape tomatoes
  • Reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese
  • Walnuts




Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

25 02 2014

Have a craving for greasy bar food like buffalo chicken wings but trying to eat healthier? Try this quick and tasty buffalo salad! This meal, which offers a nice buffalo kick but isn’t drowning in sauce, is packed with protein and fiber, quite obviously healthier than a fried chicken wing. And the creamy blue cheese yogurt dressing is a perfect complement to the tang of the hot sauce, but lighter than anything you’ll be served up in a bar. Winner, winner…buffalo chicken dinner! 🙂

Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Girl Makes Food):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp diced green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil and season with salt to taste. Spread the cauliflower evenly in one layer on a lined (or sprayed with non-stick spray) baking sheet. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is brown and crisp on the edges.

Meanwhile, add a little olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute until cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Next add the drained chickpeas and a couple of dashes of Frank’s hot sauce. Continue to cook the chicken and chickpeas a few more minutes, until chickpeas toast slightly.

While the chicken and cauliflower are cooking, make the dressing. Add yogurt, blue cheese, vinegar, parsley, green onion and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. If the dressing seems too chunky and sticking to the sides of the food processor, add a little oil, a tsp or so while the machine is running to help it keep moving. Set aside until you’re ready to serve. This Girl’s tip: I don’t mind the light green tint of the dressing, which comes from the parsley and green onion. However if it bothers you, leave the parsley and green onions out while you process the other ingredients until smooth, then lightly toss in the herbs after.

Add the celery and hot sauce to the same large bowl you used earlier. Add the roasted cauliflower, cooked chicken and chickpeas and toss everything until well coated. Taste, and season with salt if needed (although you probably won’t need it).

Divide the chicken-cauliflower mixture among plates and top with the blue cheese dressing to taste.





Barley Salad with Creamy Artichoke Dressing

6 07 2013

Here’s another salad recipe great for summer parties! This is a much healthier option than classic potato or macaroni salads that traditionally have heavy mayo bases. Here you get a creamy salad without any guilt, thanks to the artichoke and cheese “dressing”. And because there’s no mayo or sour cream, this is another good go-to dish for parties that might be outside on a hot summer day.

Barley Salad with Creamy Artichoke Dressing

Barley Salad with Creamy Artichoke Dressing

The following serves 6-8 (compliments of Oprah and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cups dry pearl barley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp small capers, rinsed
Rinse and drain the barley. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add barley and cook 35-45 minutes. Drain the barley and rinse it under cold water.
While the barley is cooking make the dressing. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop them. In a food processor, combine half of the artichoke hearts (reserving the other half), the cheese, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the lemon zest and juice and process until a paste forms. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.In a serving bowl, combine the artichoke dressing and the cooked barley and turn to coat. Add the parsley, olives, and the reserved artichoke hearts and turn again. Sprinkle with the capers and serve. Can be served warm, at room temp or cold (good for making a day in advance).