Friday, September 30, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Fortunately, I have found a salad dressing line made with olive oil as the only oil. It is from Bragg's, the company that also creates raw apple cider vinegar. Their two varieties, Healthy Vinaigrette and Ginger & Sesame, contain whole, real ingredients that are also organic. It's $4.99 at Whole Foods.
It's also really easy to make your own salad dressing! I hope to share more salad dressing recipes in the future, and today I will show you how to make the Fresh Fig Vinaigrette, a recipe I created myself. Figs are currently in season and offer a great texture and mildly sweet taste - plus they're chock full of nutrients and are really pretty! Both black and green figs are available at farmers markets and even Trader Joe's right now. Both taste fine, but black figs offer a more interesting color for this dressing.
This dressing stays in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. My husband gobbles it up - always a plus!
Please note that quantities are approximate. You can use more or less, depending on your taste. I recommend using a mini food processor, but you can also use a blender or larger food processor.
Fresh Fig Vinaigrette
4-8 figs, washed with stems removed
2-4 T. extra virgin olive oil (first cold-pressed)
4 T. balsamic vinaigrette
Dash of stevia
1 tsp. garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper
Assemble your ingredients:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree.
Pour over a salad made with your favorite fruit (try pomegranate seeds, cut figs, or strawberries), fresh greens, crumbled goat cheese, and chopped walnuts.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Steve's Baked Polenta with Spinach and Chicken Apple Sausage, originally featured at Whole Foods, uses few ingredients and is a great alternative to lasagna. It's appropriate for people with gluten intolerance, as polenta is made with corn meal. Make sure to get organic polenta to avoid genetically modified corn. (Shopping tip: organic polenta can be found at Trader Joe's.)
Also, make sure to read the ingredient list when shopping for marinara sauce. Opt for organic marinara made without soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup. The Trader Joe's brand is made with soybean oil, so I used Whole Foods generic organic marinara sauce (made without any added sweeteners and with olive oil).
Give this recipe a chance - you will be happy to be eating its leftovers the next day for lunch!
Baked Polenta with Spinach and Chicken Apple Sausage
2 18 ounce tubes of pre-cooked polenta
1 medium sized yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pound baby spinach
2 pounds chicken sausage (use any flavor that you like, we used "apple")
3 cups marinara sauce
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 ℉, and grease a 9"x13" baking dish with butter.
Open cooked polenta, and working with your hands break it up and press it into an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish. Work it well with your fingers to eliminate any lumps and ensure a nice even texture. Season this layer with a little kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, and cook the onion about 3-4 minutes until just starting to take color. Add the spinach, and season with a little salt and pepper, cook until wilted and spread evenly over the polenta.
Remove sausage meat from casings. Add a little more oil to the pan, and over medium-high heat, cook the de-cased sausage meat until nicely browned on all sides, breaking the meat up into small pieces as you go. When just cooked through, add the marinara to the pan with the chicken and stir well to incorporate.
Spread the chicken mix over the spinach, top with the shredded mozzarella and bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is light brown and bubbly.
Serve immediately with a nice side salad, and some rustic bread. I made crusty, warm gluten-free bread in the bread maker and also served this with steamed zucchini and carrots topped with raw shaved parmesan; a pomegranate, raspberry, and mixed greens side salad with fig dressing which I will feature next week; and raw, healthy fudge for dessert.Enjoy!