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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dressing Up Those Greens

I first mentioned going Primal in my post about my new trainer. By the way, she's still getting my heart rate up there! Have you started a new workout routine yet?

Anyway, the whole movement intrigues me! If you're not sure what it is...basically it's eating and exercising in the same fashion as our early ancestors, cavemen types. Ever since hearing about it a few weeks ago I've been reading a ton online about it and have incorporated some of the ideas into my life. I play more...which is great and the kids love it. Although it is hard to stay hidden in hide-n-seek when Tyler is standing on your back. But we're laughing a lot and I think I'm more fun than I was a few weeks ago. I'm also working out in primal ways, running around outside, sprinting on occasion, lifting heavy things. I haven't embraced going barefoot yet, but give me time...

As far as the diet goes, it's similar to other low carb diets, but I find it easier to wrap my brain around and it's actually very similar to how I was eating when I was looking so fine a few years ago, between Jace and Gracie. I've needed to find a way to get there again...I like this avenue and have high hopes for my health. Already I'm back to eating my eggs in the morning. It's amazing how much longer I feel satisfied than when I have a bowl of cereal! I've stopped having a pop tart for snack and enjoy an apple or nuts. I'm not missing my carbs. I have more energy and don't feel exhausted at the end of the day. I've even stopped wanting something sweet after dinner. I hadn't even noticed that until yesterday when I was putting dishes away and noticed the little bowl of chocolates up in the cupboard, set aside for after dinner, untouched for several days. So, even though the numbers on the scale haven't gone down yet, they're not going up anymore. That's a good start.

And I tell you all this to say that I'm also eating more salads, which I'd fallen away from. I used to love a great salad for lunch. And I do again. Eating primal means none of the dressings off the store shelves, not even the ones that are lower fat or whatever they're called. I've always thought that it should be possible to eat healthy without buying a bunch of cool packaging and low fat everything. Living primal claims to do just that. So, if I'm not going to eat Catalina or Ranch on my salad, I'm left with oil based ones, which I don't know a lot about. So, I found this list of 10 homemade dressings and I thought I'd share them with you all.

1. Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Pour vinegar in a mason jar or other container with a tight lid. Add honey and chopped mint, cover with lid and shake. If still too bitter, add in a bit more honey or Splenda to even out the flavor.

2. Citrus Vinaigrette

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Again, in a large mason jar or container with a tight lid, combine the vinegar, orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and lemon juice. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Once mixed, add the walnuts and cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste

3. Dill Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey (or 1 packet of Splenda)
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, dill weed, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

4. Balsamic Vinaigrette

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all the ingredients. Shake until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Basil Vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (it’s very important here to use fresh – it’s not nearly as good with dried leaves!)
2 cloves garlic, minced

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, basil, and garlic. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Parsley Dressing

3 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp chopped parsley

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and onion powder. Once combined, add in the chopped parsley, mix thoroughly with a whisk and serve.

7. Lemon Caesar Dressing

1 tsp lemon peel (finely grated)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk all ingredients except oil and sour cream. Once combined, slowly add oil, whisking constantly until smooth (if you stop, the dressing could break). Once combined, whisk in sour cream until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. Asian Dressing

1/2 cup orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp Asian mustard (should be easily found in the ethnic food aisle of your local grocery store)1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp sesame oil

In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, sesame seeds, mustard, sugar, salt, and garlic. Once combined, slowly whisk in sesame oil.

9. Ginger-Asian Dressing

1 carrot, fresh, small, peeled and shredded
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp hot mustard
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

10. French Style Dressing

1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp white pepper, ground
1 tsp unsalted tomato paste
7 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
2 tsp water
1/2 tsp fresh chopped onion

In a large mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all ingredients, shake it up and serve.

All of these recipes are from Mark's Daily Apple which is by Mark Sisson. If you're interested in finding out more about living Primal, his blog is a good place to start. My favorite thing about it is that in the upper right hand corner you can search for something, anything that you want to know more about, and you'll be met with with a bunch of different posts that might answer your questions in several clear and helpful ways! Give it a look...

And try some of these dressings! I know I'm going to. We had the balsamic last night. Mmmm....

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