Eva’s Salad Dressing -Vinaigrette

BEST HERB Vinaigrette SALAD DRESSING
Change your salad dressing from ordinary to extraordinary!  When we serve salad greens, everyone knows they will be getting my fresh ‘herb’ dressing with it.  Friends and family still rave about it to this day. “When are you going to add your salad dressing to your blog?” I hope you like it!
SECRET FORMULA:  The secret is twofold (1) The ‘FRESH’ herbs speak for themselves.  (2) You are looking for the right balance of oil and vinegar. Taste the dressing before serving.  I can not emphasize this enough.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 vinegar – (blueberry + balsamic vinegar)
  • 2/3 oil – avocado, olive or hazelnut
  • 1/4 tsp pepper*
  • 1/4 tsp salt*
  • FRESH Herbs: Italian parsley, thyme -lemon thyme, tarragon, basil

The amount of herbs varies -no exact measurement.  Over the years, I have found that  you never put in too much herbs.
*FRESH ground pepper corn (and salt) adds a specific aroma
Hint: If you don’t have everything ..improvise.  Also, use best ingredients because you are not using that much of it.

Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix avocado oil with pepper + salt
  • Add vinegar – blend/shake in a small jar.
  • ADD HERBS**

**BEFORE YOU ADD THE HERBS – TASTE the dressing using a piece of lettuce [ This is an important step]

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TASTE TEST: The best way to test this recipe is with a piece of lettuce. The taste should be dull. You are looking for the balance of oil and vinegar. The dressing should not be too vinegary.  You need to keep in mind that the taste should be dull. The herbs will add a tangy lift.  A mistake some people make is to have the vinegar overpowering.
Last step ..add the herbs. They provide an exquisite bright flavour to your dressing. I add lots of herbs.

FARM TO TABLE 
The new trend serving prepared meals  directly from the farm to the table has captured a lot of chefs/restaurants.  I support this wonderful trend in natural eating, as we dig into our herb ‘farm’ to prepare this salad dressing.

Fragrant Basil Growing In Your Garden

FRESH SALAD DRESSING
I have heard people say that once you have had fresh salad dressing, you never go back to store bought again. It is true for me. I always have oil and vinegar in the house. There is no excuse not to make a quick dressing or vinaigrette in 5 minutes.

ARE YOU ABLE TO TELL IF VINEGAR IS BAD?
Vinegar has an indefinite shelf life. It can still alter in appearance and strength after five to ten years. Balsamic vinegar has a tangy-sweet taste.  It  is aged in oak caskets and becomes darker and sweeter as it ages.  Hints of the oak casket linger in this vinegar. The best place to store vinegar is in a fairly cool, dark place. aside: My friend who has wine from Abe Lincoln’s private stock  said, ” You don’t want to drink it. It tastes like vinegar. “

Blueberry vinegar is good for your health. Blueberries improve eyesight and memory.  The list goes on. You can even buy blueberry vinegar capsules for health therapy ( sometimes called ‘Nordic Tonic‘). Remember the apple cider vinegar trend? Everyone was taking a shot of apple cider vinegar as a daily tonic.  Healthy trends are good trends.

WE SHOULD EAT LOTS OF SALADS  Let your salad dressing wake up your taste buds.  A five minute marvel. Voila!

Tasty Cucumber Salad

This Dill~Cucumber Salad recipe is so easy and simple to make with just a few ingredients.  It is very refreshing and delicious in summer and equally as good during the winter months.

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Chilly Dilly Cucumber

An excellent salad  to accompany those tasty Finnish meatballs, meatloaf, smoked salmon and as a side dish for any meal.  I brought the cucumber salad to my neighbour’s place.  We had this salad with smoked salmon, capers, lemon, cream cheese and rye crackers.  The cool cucumber salad cuts the richness of the smoked salmon in a most pleasant way.  Since we are all of different nationalities, we discussed and critiqued other country’s versions of  cucumber salad. The election was over after we counted the votes. My Dill~Cucumber Salad won!
Chilly Dilly cucumber will not be making any speeches. However, his winning secret is in the dill ~ a subtle, delicious flavour that really enhances the cucumber.

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INGREDIENTS
1 medium cucumber thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar substitute
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons  avocado or salad oil
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INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Mix the vinegar, water, sugar substitute, salt and oil together and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar substitute
2.  Add the dill and cucumber slices.
3.  Refrigerate for several hours to let the flavours meld.
IMG_1526didyouknow TOP SEVEN ALKALINE FOODS: The cucumber is one of the most alkaline foods  (#3) that you can eat.  Combined with the  effect of the apple cider vinegar, it will help to make you body alkaline or at least closer to a neutral pH when you are eating acidic proteins.  Both meat and even fish and chicken are acidic.  Your body wants to stay alkaline or at least closer to a neutral pH to stay healthy along with fighting off and prevent disease.  Eat your veggies!

BONUS: This is a very tasty cucumber salad recipe!  Until you make this cucumber recipe perhaps for the first time, you will know what you have been missing!  My taste testers (friends) tell me all the time.  You will make this salad again and again!
HEALTHY OIL
This salad contains 2 tablespoons of healthy oil, which is my variation to the traditional Finnish cucumber salad. Not only does it prevents the cucumber slices from sticking together it is so good and healthy for you. If you recall the  true story about Lorenzo’s oil. (actually containing two specific long chain fatty acids, isolated from rapeseed oil and olive oil)  will know the miracle of oils.  We don’t know everything about food/medicine. Some people have a shot of oil in the morning to start their day!

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CUCUMBER TIPS and benefits!

The EGG Factor -Mayonnaise

Who wrote the book, Great Eggspectations? Charles Chickens!

Summertime craves mayonnaise in cold potato salad, creamy coleslaw and more.  They all start from the simple egg.  The most healthy and versatile food. Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make and better than store bought ( no preservatives ). The flavour is just outstanding!  Mayonnaise is  a “mother”  or  base for Rémoulade, Tartar sauce, Green Goddess Salad Dressing,  Aioli and others.  Historically, it was a tradition in France that  the man of the house made mayonnaise by hand with a whisk, every Sunday.
When I first made this at my neighbour’s place for a dish that she was serving to her guests I showed her how to make it as I was doing it. She thanked me but commented that she really wasn’t interested.  She doesn’t use mayonnaise and she would never make it. That was a year ago.  She now makes it regularly and uses it as a sauce base for  salmon and other dishes. Still raves and shares her recipe with others….spreading the news!

The beauty of home made mayonnaise is not only about the incredible flavour, it is also because of the lack of preservatives and the health benefits.

Natural mayonnaise ingredients and the sauce itself.

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MY MAYONNAISE Recipe
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2cups of avocado oil (or light olive oil)
1 egg
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS
1.  Start with all your ingredients at room temperature.  ( eggs need about 30 minutes to come to room temperature ).
2.  Combine the egg with mustard and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or  blender/
3. Slowly add the oil in a very thin stream –with the processor running.  Keep beating or whisking at a high rate.
TIP: Processor: Pour  oil into the pusher tube, streaming  through the small hole until completely combined.  If your pusher tube does not have a hole, just drill a very small hole in the tube.

Homemade mayonnaise is so easy and so, so good. Daniel Neman shows how to make it in Prep School.

 

This automatically produces a thin stream of oil to pour out.  You don’t have to stand there dripping the oil by hand.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients near the end and blend together.
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FIXING RUINED MAYO:  Your mayo may separate during or after it had been refrigerated. Refrigerated separation is a quick fix.  Add a tsp of water and whisk it back into a creamy texture.  If your mayo separates during the making process then add a tablespoon of warm water to a warmed bowl and pour the broken mayo slowing into the bowl as you whisk or use a blender.  James Peterson recommends adding another egg yolk.

Broken Mayo: Looks Like Pancake Batter

Julia Child suggests a teaspoon of prepared mustard. Why did the mayo separate? This may occur when you add in the oil too quickly or the initial ingredients were too cold. It is not because you added too much oil.  Heston Blumenthal  tested this theory.  However, it only works well with a cement mixer.  Heston’s mayo recipe is half way through this video—> Heston’s eggs and mayonnaise recipe.  If your mayo is too thick add a splash of water or  lemon juice  and whisk it into a fluffy texture.

Total time under 5 minutes, makes 1 1/2 cups.
Refrigerate for 4-7 days. It won’t last that long!

HAT2FOOD TIP: Blanch your egg in the shell in hot water for 10 seconds. Then, quickly place the egg in icy cold water bath.  Blanching destroys some surface bacteria (in theory).  If you add blanched basil leaves, (add with the egg), when making your mayo – they stay green in the mix. Otherwise the basil will quickly turn black.

Mayonnaise:  Green Basal, Garlic And hot mustard powder & white pepper

IMMERSION BLENDER: If you use an immersion blender, start by keeping the blade at the very bottom of the exact fitting container – Use a mason jar or a glass measuring cup. Start with slow pulses. For best results, make sure you start by dripping in the oil very slowly. The first 30 seconds is critical. If you use this method with a mason jar, all you need to do is add the lid and pop your mayo in the fridge.

WHISK METHOD: The challenger’s mayo – the best workout for your upper arms. Substitute 2 egg yolks for one egg if using the manual method.  Also use only one cup of oil.

Eggs are a Nutrient Powerhouse
Intolerances aside, eggs are a great food.
Yes, the fat is all in the yolk; and all the nutrients.
One egg provides:
• 245 IUs of vitamin A
• 37 IUs of vitamin D
• 19 mg potassium
• 25 mcg folate
• 22 mg calcium

The Perfect Egg

didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW:   The Choline in eggs helps make phosphatidylcholine to benefit your liver, nervous system, and brain.  According to Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

Solution: Buy The Best Eggs, Cook Them Right and Eat Infrequently