Creamy herb dressing
Creamy herb dressing is a staple in our house. I started out making it as a classic ranch with fresh dill and parsley, but over time have made many variations with different herbs from my garden. My favorite way to eat it is as a dip for fresh celery. Celery has such a fantastic texture and flavor that combines perfectly with this dressing. I love how when I crunch down on the celery the cells burst open and release their watery juices. It reminds me of the way it feels to jump into a pool on a hot summer day. The dressing is also delicious on a salad or heaped onto a fish fillet or chicken thigh and baked.
Fennel and orange salad
This is hands down the best fennel dish I’ve made. The salad is bright, crunchy, and sweet. The fennel adds just enough licorice flavor without being overpowering. I started with a recipe from my favorite cooking blog, Smitten Kitchen, and substituted a few ingredients. I’ve posted a few recipes from Smitten Kitchen before: Garlic & Butter Roasted Mushrooms, Deb’s Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix, and Strawberry Summer Cake. I can always trust Deb for a fantastic recipe. I think we are foodie kindred spirits. I served the salad with cod roasted in lots of lemon juice. It was a light, refreshing, and fulfilling meal.
Easy seeded vinaigrette
Salad dressing is so easy to make, I stopped buying it at the store long ago. This recipe is one of my favorites. It is tangy, bright, and has a nice crunch from the poppy and sesame seeds. I adore the delicate flavor, texture, and appearance of poppy seeds. The dressing is good on any salad and can also be used as a marinade. This week, I served it on a salad of strawberries, cucumber, red onion, and mint.
Kick up your salad a notch
Growing up, my parents served a garden salad with every dinner. It usually had lettuce, carrots, and miscellaneous other veggies. It was fine. Even good. But I got bored. I rebelled against the salad for many years after leaving home, focusing on other types of vegetable preparations. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with salad all over again. It started with a beautiful head of green leaf lettuce I bought at my local farm club. It tasted so fresh, crispy, and bright. Combined with fermented carrots and my homemade mix-and-match dressing, it was truly delicious. We planted a lot of greens in our garden this year, as well as in the Aerogarden. Now we have enough to harvest fresh garden salads a few times a week.
I came up with a list of ideas for making a scrumptious salad on the fly. Start with a head of fresh lettuce, spinach, or one of those super convenient salad mix bags. Then add in one or more from the list, and walla! Better than most salads you get in a restaurant.
This orange and avocado salad is fantastic. The flavors combine in a special way. The bite of the jalapeño and shallot bounces perfectly off the sweetness of the orange and richness of the avocado. I need more of this in my life. I already have plans to buy the ingredients so I can make it again, very soon. This recipe is Whole 30, paleo, and low carb friendly. But you don’t have to be on a diet to appreciate it. It’s super yummy.
We got the fantastic Aerogarden last year as a gift. It’s a hydroponic garden with a digital display that tells you when to add fertilizer and water. The lights are programmed to go on and off on a daily cycle. It’s about as easy as gardening can be. Ours was meant for herbs, and came with a bunch of little pre-seeded pods that we inserted. We’ve been growing the same set of herbs for about 9 months now. We started with two kinds of basil, mint, parsley, chives, and cilantro. The chives never sprouted and the cilantro finished a few months ago. The basil, mint, and parsley are still going strong. We can hardly keep up! We’re always looking for ways to use the abundance of herbs.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.