Brianna’s Poppyseed Dressing

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Hi all! I know it’s been a while since I posted… again. So here’s a quick post about my new favorite salad dressing!

Whenever I visit my family in Maine, I have to make a visit to my favorite restaurant Huot’s. We have known the owner, Denise, and her family since I was young and Huot’s is a part of all my Maine memories. When I was younger, I would go for fried haddock sandwich with french fries but now that I’m more health-conscious I order the clamcake and a house salad with poppyseed dressing. Before Huot’s, I didn’t even know poppyseed dressing existed so I was surprised to I find it on Westside Markets shelves a few weeks ago.

The Brianna’s poppyseed dressing is now a staple in my refrigerator and I find myself using it on all kinds of salads and vegetables. It is great on a simple salad with some cut up fruit, such as strawberries or grapes, or even on top of avocado or peaches on its own. I find myself looking for reasons to use that and for $3.99 a bottle it’s a pretty hard deal to beat!

WW Points: 4 points for 2 tbsp (I only use 1 tbsp on my salads)

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Summer Salad Ideas

After a great week away at the beach for the 4th of July, I was happy to stumble upon this article from Buzzfeed about summer fruit salads. My favorite on this list is #6- grilling fruit, especially stone fruit, is the best thing about summer! The recipe in the Buzzfeed was taken from the Healthy Foodie and it looks absolutely delicious.

Something I did over the weekend to change things up a bit was the “grill” strawberries with balsamic and brown sugar. This was great to pick at and eat after our meal of burgers and sausage on the 4th but I think it would be even better over some vanilla ice cream. This is along the same idea as the compote I posted about a few days back but the grill imparts an intense flavor that cannot be matched in any other way.

Ingredients

12 strawberries

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 packet brown sugar in the raw

tin foil

Directions

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat

Cut the stems off of the strawberries and cut them in half length-wise

Make a small “bowl” out of tin foil and arrange the strawberries in a single layer

Sprinkle the strawberries with the brown sugar in the raw and drizzle them with the balsamic vinegar

Cook on the grill for about 15 minutes until the strawberries begin the break down but still hold their shape

WW Points: 1 point per serving 

(makes 2 servings)

 

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I love ranch dressing! One of my favorite snacks growing up was carrot sticks and ranch. And, everyone also knows that I love Ina Garten. So you can imagine how much I LOVE Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing? I have made this recipe twice before.  I always forget how easy it is so I’ll go months without making it! Nick and I bought some green tomatoes at a road side stand on Monday so I figured I would make this dressing to go along with some fried green tomatoes (I’ll post about them soon!) This is definitely not a low fat, WW recipe but you can alter it in a few ways to make it better. Give it a try with full fat first (it’s AMAZING and worth the splurge!) then alter as you see fit.

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Ingredients

3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon good olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (maybe a little less)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup good mayonnaise (I used reduced-fat)

1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total

1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken (I used light buttermilk)

Directions

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

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Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture.

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Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend until smooth.

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Transfer the dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

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…or eat some right away… just to make sure it tastes good 😉

This is a great time to use mason jars. This recipe makes 3 cups so it will fill about 1 1/2 mason jars. Definitely let it sit in the fridge for a bit (at least one hour) before using it- the flavors develop so nicely!

WW Points: 1 point for 2 tbsp 

(with reduced fat mayo and light buttermilk)

Grilled Caesar Salad

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One of my favorites things to make during grilling season is a grilled Caesar Salad. It is so simple to prepare yet grilling the romaine completely elevates this “recipe.” I honestly hesitate calling it a recipe! The first time I tried this was at my friend’s house in high school. Her mom used to cook for us all the time and this is one of the recipes I have taken on as my own!

Grilled Caesar Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce (try to get one that holds it shape- no leaves falling off)

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Caesar dressing (store bought or homemade)

Croutons (store bought or homemade)

Directions

Start your grill (propane, charcoal or grill pan) and bring to a moderate heat. You want to grill and heat the lettuce slowly but you want it warm enough to leave grill marks.

Cut the romaine lettuce in half lengthwise then cut each half in half again. Make sure you take care to keep all the leaves in tack!

Brush each 1/4 of romaine on all sides with 1-2 tsp of olive oil (just enough to lightly coat ) and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place on the grill turning every 2-4 minutes until the outside of the lettuce is warmed through and has grill marks.

Drizzle with dressing and top with croutons. Serve immediately.

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This is by far the worst “recipe” I have written on this blog but that is mainly because grilling lettuce is all about trial and error. I have made this salad a number of times and it turns out differently every time. Just wing it and I promise it will turn out well!

Salad in a Mason Jar

I love this idea so much, I had to share it. Honestly, I wish I was smart enough to think of this! My friend from college, Bryarly, has an adorable blog “Everything that Flickers” and she posted this a week ago. It is the perfect way to bring a healthy meal with you on the go!

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Mason Jar Salad

1 tbsp of your favorite salad dressing (I used Tessemae’s)

Lunch meat of your choice (I used turkey plus a little chicken salad)

Miscellaneous salad toppings (olives, tomatoes, cheese, etc)

Greens of your choice (arugula, spinach, etc)

Directions:

Start with putting the salad dressing in the bottom of the mason jar. Next put the lunch meat in on top of the salad dressing (this will help keep the salad dressing away from the lettuce and prevent it from getting soggy). Top the lunch meat with the misc. toppings and fill the rest of the mason jar with the greens.

WW Points: varies with toppings used

When you’re ready to eat it just dump it out on a plate and the dressing will be on top! Check out Bryarly’s post about Mason Jar Salads here!

 

Tessemae’s All Natural Salad Dressings

I’m not sure about everyone else but I have an odd aversion to making salads at home. They just never taste as good as one I can get at a bodega, deli or restaurant. There are two problems with those options: I have no idea where the lettuce, veggies and meat came from and a simple salad always ends up costing at least $8. I always try to get over this and buy salad fixings but they never taste right or I’ll have one salad and the rest of the food goes bad.

One solution was to start making my own salad dressings. Salad dressing is so easy to make but I always end up making some sort of vinaigrette with oil, balsamic and dijon mustard and then I can never decide what to put on the salad. The issue here is that it makes about a half cup of dressing which I store in left over mason jars but I always forget about it in the back of my fridge. The dressing will separate and then it is really annoying to clean out the mason jar. Basically, its a mess I like to avoid unless I am making a huge salad for a ton of friends.

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So when I stumbled upon this product at Whole Foods, I decided to give it a try. I am really picky when it comes to salad dressings because, if it is like most store-bought dressings, most of the ingredients are artificial and I can taste that. This dressing caught my eye because it was separated (fat solids were separated from the rest of the dressing) which means there is no artificial ingredient holding it all together (much like hydrogenated fat in peanut butter). I also noticed that the ingredient list was short and sweet: olive oil, organic lemons, organic garlic, mustard and sea salt. I also loved that it is advertised as a salad dressing, marinade and dip and it was only $5.49!

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I grabbed the Lemonette dressing and I have loved it! For some reason, I keep grabbing for it in my fridge (I have actually surprised myself that it hasn’t just sat in the back the way most of my homemade dressings do). First, I was using it more for a marinade for chicken or fish but then I threw it on a salad I made with marinated olives, feta and cherry tomatoes and it completely transformed the salad. Just make sure you take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you need to use it and shake it well once it’s room temp! I can’t wait to go back to Whole Foods and trying some of the other flavors!