in my cupboard: salad girl dressings

These Minnesota local dressings taste as fresh and delicious as they look.

I found them at the farmer’s market last year and now you can find them at co-ops, Whole Foods Market and stores like Kowalski’s.  Why I like them:
- they taste amazing!
- local and organic
- down to earth ingredients
- not your basic ranch
The Blueberry Basil so far is my all time favorite.  It is amazing in a salad with greens, blue cheese and almonds.
I also tried the Fig & Curry. It was a little sweet on a salad for me but I’m planning on using it in a different kind of salad – I’ll keep you posted on the results.

creamy-feta vinaigrette

I came across this salad dressing in the June edition of Food & Wine (no wonder I love this magazine…just so happens to be two of my favorite things :)

Anyway, I love most things that involve feta cheese and greek salads are one of my favorites so I figured I would like this dressing.
I modified it a bit from the recipe and here is what I ended up using:
1/2 cup feta cheese
2-3 Tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. water
salt & pepper
All blended together in the Magic Bullet
This dressing went a-top a mixture of arugula, radishes and cucumbers (from the farmer’s market finds) and was a big hit. The taster loved it and it was a great way to use some of the 10 lb block of feta from Costco.  Mom, please remind me of this next time I want to make this purchase again ;)
Served with some salmon and asparagus it was a perfect meal!

farmer’s market finds

The first trip to the farmer’s market of the season is one that makes me a little nervous – will they have any vegetables? (there were freezing temperatures a little over a month ago).  My first trip unfortunately was a cold and rainy day so I didn’t really spend too much time but I did manage to find a few veggies and enjoy some hot coffee ;)
I picked up some radishes, asparagus and arugula and turned them into an amazing Saturday night dinner.
The farmer’s market is one of my favorite parts of the summer and I’m looking forward to many more visits in the months to come!

in the news: the secret to staying young

With all the talk about antioxidants, what are they and what do they really do?
The cells in our body are constantly under attack from free radicals.  The free radicals are naturally produced as your body makes energy from food but can also come from environmental stresses – pollution, smoking, etc.
What is so bad about free radicals?  The damage that they cause is thought to increase LDL cholesterol, play a role in alzheimer’s disease and in aging in general.
This is where antioxidants come into the picture – they work to cancel out the free radicals.   Vitamin C, E and carotenoids are the main sources of antioxidants so adding them into your diet is a good idea.  They can help reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and can help to protect brain, vision and slow the aging process.
Antioxidants really are the fountain of youth.
photo by Nadia