Tag Archives: feed the gut

Lettuce tastes better….

Lettuce tastes better …

if you have the right salad dressing.

I confess, I don’t crave salads much in the winter. I think this is how God wired us; lettuce isn’t harvested in the winter. It’s funny — as soon as the cold weather hits, I crave root vegetables, and that’s exactly what’s in season! (I do not find this to be just conditioning or coincidence.) However, last summer, I started using up all my “bad” salad dressings, which included the stuff I’m now cutting (sugar, soy, corn, etc.). I sacrificed and bought what I would consider “middle-of-the-road” dressings; I bought organic ones, with less sugar or less questionable ingredients. However, many of them STILL included at least one bad thing!

So now, it’s the dead of winter, and I had a craving for salads. I tried to just do oil, vinegar, salt and pepper… and the lettuce is blech.  I NEEDED dressing to stomach all these raw veggies!

Here’s the top things I found in traditional – and from the organic/”healthy” brands (and NOTE! all but the refined white sugar are most likely GMO’s! read more about that issue here, thanks to Thank Your Body!):

  1. Soybean Oil (read about it here)
  2. Corn Syrup (read about it here, and other grains)
  3. Refined Sugar (read about it here)
  4. Canola Oil (read about it here)

Consequently, I introduce to you: Greek Dressing and Blue Cheese Dressing!

Give it a good shake to remix!

Give it a good shake to remix!

blue dressing all over the blech lettuce!

blue dressing all over the blech lettuce!

GREEK DRESSING:

INGREDIENTS:

1c olive oil
1/2c vinegar
8 finely chopped kalamata olives
1/2c crumbled feta
dash of pepper
1 pressed/crush clove of garlic
1tbl of dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Pour all into a dressing dispenser (this is important because of step 3).
  3. Shake well each time before dispensing — these ingredients are real! Olive oil loves to separate from everything else. Keep refrigerated!

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:

INGREDIENTS:

6tbl of sour cream*
1/2c cultured buttermilk*
2tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp of salt (may want to add more according to your tastes)
1c crumbled blue cheese

(*I recommend buying cultured with active bacteria.  This is the good bacteria that helps build your gut!)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl (with exception to the blue cheese).  In a separate bowl, mix the dry.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet.
Once all the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, stir in the blue cheese.
Serve! (Store in the refrigerator!)
I would recommend re-stirring after it’s sat in the refrigerator for any length of time.

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A special shout-out and thanks to the fellow bloggers/contributors at “Weed ‘Em And Reap”, “Kitchen Stewardship” and “Truth About Abs” for doing so much research so I could link to you!

A roasted vegetable obsession

I wanted to share with you an easy way to eat root vegetables that’s crazy easy, good for your gut, and tasty.

Here’s the basic ingredients:
4 Medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin bite-size pieces (think mandoline!)
1/2 red onion, diced to your preference
3 tbl olive oil, divided
1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked off
2 garlic cloves, smashed or pressed
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Pour one of the tablespoons of oil on a rimmed cookie sheet.  I usually line my cookie sheet with aluminum foil for these reasons:  1) easy clean-up  2) better non-stick  and 3) my cookie sheet is so scorched/stained/gross I don’t like to look at it ;-)  Spread the oil around (just use your hands! It’ll be good moisturizing!).  Spread your carrots and onion in around in the oil; I usually put the thicker vegetables (carrots in this instance) on the bottom and onions on top. Drizzle the next two tablespoons of oil over the vegetables.  Top them off with your rosemary.

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Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes, then add your garlic.  (*HINT: Putting your garlic in later prevents them from burning.  Garlic burns crazy easy!)  Put back in the over for about 7 minutes, or until some of your onions start to crisp up and/or turn opaque.

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The best way to tell what works best for your oven is to just do a taste test and make sure the veggies are the right crispness/mushiness (is that a word?) to your preference.  Salt and pepper it after pulling out the oven to your liking.

Confession:  I eat this whole thing myself.  As in, this is my lunch.  Now look at this beauty:

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It is crazy easy to add other things to this.  I often will add potatoes to the mix.  I have tried parsnips, but you should know they do not cook as fast as carrots and may require longer cook-time before the garlic step.  Also, an easy change up is to use thyme instead of rosemary.  I’m sure you could use oregano in a similar fashion, although I’ve never tried it.

Now… you may have noticed a small blip up above about feeding the gut.  Onions and garlic are good for the healthy bacteria in your gut! They love this stuff and it helps them grow/stay healthy.  I try to eat one thing a day that supports healthy gut bacteria, and the one thing that puts more bacteria into (this is usually yogurt, but if you have unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products you can get it this way, too). Want to know more about feeding the gut?  Read this article from Weed ‘Em and Reap on food allergies and other problems with the gut.  There is an awesome list DaNelle has compiled on prebiotic and probiotic.

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