4 ingredient Dijon vinaigrette recipe for salads (or marinades)

Dijon VinaigretteHave you ever read the side of a salad dressing bottle? Be in a patient mood when you do. Hard-to-pronounce words followed by a list of chemicals. My mantra is that, if I can’t pronounce it, I shouldn’t be eating it. Ingredients often look scary to me… preservatives like potassium sorbate, red or yellow coloring, thickeners like xanthan gum and moderately evil flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate. Not to forget sugar. Plenty of sugar in them, there bottles.

When I “went healthy” many years ago, I dropped the bottled stuff and started making my own. Very surprisingly easy to do, once you get the hang of it and learn what tastes good to you. And the biggest accomplishment is knowing how to dress a salad without measuring. Bonus!

This four-ingredient Dijon vinaigrette recipe is one I created and have enjoyed at least a hundred times. It’s my tried-and-true, go-to salad dressing. Make a double or a triple batch to keep on hand in the fridge… it lasts about a week if it’s sealed in a container. It’s also quite tasty as a marinade for grilled chicken. Pour it on about 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to cook for best results. Read more »

Shandy beer cocktail: Refreshing summertime drink

Summer is here, allowing all of us who live in a four season climate to enjoy the things that only summer can bring. For me – bring on the shandy (or radler if you prefer) perhaps the greatest beer cocktail. Like so many drinks the origins of the shandy beer cocktail are fuzzy and hotly debated. Some have suggested that the drink’s origins are found with Henry VIII who enjoyed the beverage in times of marital discord. It’s hard to imagine this, since a few shandies could never leave one in the mood to separate your spouse’s head from her body. However, he may have had issues well beyond the mood lifting properties of the shandy.

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7 healthy additions to a real food diet (paleo style)

Blackened salmon

With the medical professionals screaming at us to eat healthier and better and the food marketers saying their fake food fits into this category, it’s difficult to know where to turn. But I turn to real food — food that comes from the ground or from a tree and has never seen a factory or processing plant. I don’t have to worry about eating too much of it or if it’s going to give me hives or any… ahem… digestive issues. If you’re hoping to make the switch or just trying to expand your healthy food horizons, here are seven, deliciously real foods that you should and can enjoy with relentless abandon.

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Update on curing allergies with food: 60 days post cleanse

Enjoying shellfish again

Since January, things have changed a bit in our house. At least, the food has. We ate pretty healthy before, although my definition of “healthy” is drastically different than it was a couple of years ago. Back in the day, I espoused and lived the “low fat” mantra, counting calories and working out like a fiend. Then I started reading. A lot. Now, fat is my friend, I never count calories and work out maybe three times a week. I do try to stay active but I haven’t seen a gym in a couple of years. My blood work has improved, my weight has maintained a constant level and I feel great. And the food allergies I had before my cleanse have, all for intents and purposes, vanished.

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French Malbec and wines of Cahors: The original

Vineyards in Cahors, France

It was called “Black Wine” for years – the Malbec wine from Cahors in France’s Southwest region. The British were the main consumers of this rich, unctuous and tannic drink until the root louse phylloxera decimated the vineyards in the late 1800’s. 100 years later, after replanting with terroir in mind, the Cahors wine producers awakened to a different Malbec world far from their shores, in Argentina. They realized they were late to an already raging party. Undaunted by the competition, Cahors wine producers now feel it’s the Golden Age of Cahors and better late than never to reclaim Malbec’s French birthright.

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Recipe: Savory gluten-free garlic and herb muffins (paleo friendly)

During my food allergy curing, gut healing exercise, I hankered for baked goods. There’s nothing quite like sinking your chompers into soft, savory goodness and I missed that satisfying sensation. I also sought an alternative gluten-free, nutrient-dense breakfast option. Enter the coconut flour muffin. Combining insight from a few paleo recipe websites, I created a fluffy muffin that fit my tastes.

Read more: Recipe: Savory gluten-free garlic and herb muffins (paleo friendly)

Wine review: Montes Alpha 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Montes Alpha 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Chile has been a happening place for several years now. With a Mediterranean climate much like northern California, the grapes bask in sunshine and enjoy rain during the winter mostly. Even the landscape, with mountain valleys and slopes, resembles California. And, like California, the resultant wines are consistently high quality. But there’s one big difference: Price. Wines from Chile astound with a price to quality ratio that most wine regions would love. I dare say few wine regions can top the number of excellent wines under $20 that Chile does.

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Wine cork versus screwcap: The debate rages on (infographic)

cork_versus_screwcap

I wrote about corks versus screwcap for wine closures back in 2010, and the argument continues five years later. Strangely enough since screwcaps have proven their worth over and over again. But…ah… the romance of cork still wins over the hearts of wine lovers. This infographic, shared by Tim at WineTurtle.com, reveals the depth of the remaining confusion.

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Slow cooker recipe: Lamb or beef stew (paleo and AIP diet friendly)

Lamb Stew

Stew meat is one of the most affordable cuts of meat out there. Cooked quickly, it can be a tough, chewy mess but combine it with veggies, broth/stock, herbs then slow cook it for hours, and you’ll have magical deliciousness. Add in the ease of a slow cooker or Crockpot, and you have super simple, quick deliciousness. Even better.

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Cure food allergies by eating great food (part 4)

Kale Sprouts

“There are good days and bad days…” Dear Food Diary, Day 64 today. Looking back, it’s been easier than I thought. You kind of get used to not eating out, cooking a lot, prepping for the week ahead, and introducing novel items into the daily diet. Kale sprouts? Nope, didn’t know about those before (great sautéed with bacon). Pre-packaged sausages hide all sorts of things you shouldn’t eat (and, after research, don’t really want to). Make your own sausage! Kombucha, a fermented tea, is freakin’ amazingly tasty. Sans caffeine, I’m not tired, cranky or bitchy. I weigh less now than I have in probably 20 years – my skinny jeans aren’t called “skinny” anymore. But, although there’s plenty of fun associated with these insights, none of these reasons are why I started on this journey

Read more: Cure food allergies by eating great food (part 4)