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Spring has sprung in South Texas! I have loved the warm weather the past few months. It has been nice to get outside and see the sunshine daily, although some days it feels a little more like summer. With all of this warmth, turning the oven on becomes less desirable. Entree salads are an easy throw together meal on warm days or evenings. I get a lot of questions about salad dressing and whether or not they can fit into a healthy diet. A little healthy fat can be beneficial paired with some fresh veggies and/or fruit. The bad news is that you have to really scan the ingredients of store-bought dressings to make sure you aren’t soaking your salad with trans fats, salt, or sugars. The good news is that making a simple dressing can be easy and you are free to mix in extra flavors as you like. Here are some simple guidelines to follow.
-For a large salad (about 4 cups of salad greens), start with a base of 2 tablespoons of olive oil to 2 teaspoons of vinegar (balsamic, red, or champagne) or citrus juice.
-Salt and pepper to taste
-For flavor, try adding in fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme, or parsley
-Dijon mustard is another good flavor addition, start with a half to one teaspoon
-½ clove of minced garlic or 1 tablespoon of minced onion
With the flavor additions, start small, because once spices are added in, you can’t undo overdoing it. You can always add more if the taste needs to be kicked up a notch. Whisk or shake the dressing lightly and serve within a day of preparing it. Homemade dressings don’t keep well because they don’t have all the preservatives the shelf-stable ones contain (which is a plus). Enjoy getting creative with something that won’t take up too much time but taste fresh and flavorful.
In Health, Angela
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