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

Creamy Parsley-Lemon Salad Dressing

21 01 2014

This creamy dressing is delicious and healthy, the key is to use Greek yogurt rather than mayo (typically found in creamy dressings). Packed with flavor, it’s a great dressing for just about any salad. Featured here has southwestern components, such as corn, red onion and tomatoes.

Creamy Parsley-Lemon Salad Dressing

Creamy Parsley-Lemon Salad Dressing

The following makes enough to dress 2 large salads, plus leftover dressing (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Big handful of parsley
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (use 3 if you like garlic and want an extra bite to the dressing)
  • Heaping 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor combine yogurt, lemon zest and juice, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. While the food processor is on, stream in the oil and vinegar. Taste, and adjust seasoning and oil to your liking.

To make the salad pictured above: place mixed greens in a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper, mix gently with some of the salad dressing. Divide among plates. In the same large bowl, combine toppings such as corn, red pepper, onion, tomatoes and cucumber; and mix in a little more of the dressing. Divide dressed, chopped veggies on top of the tossed greens. Serve the salad as is for a meatless option, or top with a baked crab cake (pictured above) or chicken. Drizzle protein with a little more sauce.

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

31 10 2013

I’ve recently read several articles that refer to Quinoa as the “super grain of the future”. Though not technically a grain as it’s in the spinach and beet families, it’s referred to a grain because it cooks and looks like one (although pictured here it looks like meat!). It’s packed with protein and essential amino acids; is a good source of fiber, rich in minerals and is gluten free…no wonder it’s called a super grain! Quinoa cooks fast too, so it’s ideal for busy weeknight dinners. I like to use it as a side dish, or in a salad like this tasty Mexican-inspired one. And knowing how healthy it is, I don’t feel bad tossing it in a creamy dressing, which in itself is made with low-fat ingredient choices of course 🙂

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

The following serves 2-3 with leftovers:

  • 1 cup of pre-rinsed Quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Cooked, leftover chicken – could be shredded, cubed or even rotisserie chicken (this is a good recipe to use up leftover chicken)
  • 2/3 cup fat-free or low fat sour cream
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo, pureed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • Juice from 1 lime, plus more for lettuce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Reduced-fat Mexican cheese, shredded

In a saucepan, combine black beans, corn and a drizzle of olive oil, cook on medium high until heated through. Add dry quinoa and chicken stock and cook according to quinoa package directions. Once cooked, fold in the onion and shredded chicken, let cool slightly.

While the quinoa cooks, make the salad dressing by combining the following in a bowl: sour cream, cilantro, pureed chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, juice of 1 lime and salt.

Next, combine the dressing with the cooked and semi-cooled quinoa mixture.

Chop romaine and mix with a little olive oil, lime juice and salt.

To serve, divide the dressed romaine among plates and top with the quinoa salad. Top with tomatoes and cheese if desired.