Cesear Salad Dressing

I love this time of year in Arizona. It makes me feel like I am living in paradise. My family in Canada are still dealing with snow and cold and here I am harvesting from my garden. I will savor it because during the summer it feels like hell and is just as hot. My garden is coming along really well. Last night I made a Thai noodle dish with chicken and broccoli. The broccoli was right from the garden. It was awesome. My lettuce is also doing really well. It is growing faster than I can eat it. So I have been eating a lot of salads lately. Even Sage is loving the lettuce. She routinely has a fistful of it and eats it just plain. Rori on the other hand… If it is green she won’t even try it. Anyway, here is the salad that I have been eating nearly daily. I never buy salad dressings anymore. They are gross. Nearly all of them. Ever look at the ingredients on those dressings? Ick! It is so easy to make your own. This is my favorite. It is a cesear dressing but I put it on regular leaf lettuce from my garden.

Cesear Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 minced garlic clove
3 anchovy fillets
1 T Dijon mustard
1 raw egg yolk (make sure it is fresh)
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth. Lightly dress salad and top with whatever you like. My personal favorites lately have been pine nuts and black olives!

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Lentil Cesear Salad with Pine Nuts

I whipped this up for lunch today and loved it. I am hoping this lunch negates my breakfast of peanut butter fudge which was so fantastic. That was a recipe where I can’t find the one that inspired the final product. I will keep searching because it too is a keeper. Anyway the salad was terrific too and ultra healthy.

Dressing

3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg yolk *make sure you have really fresh eggs*
salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything in a mini food processor and blend until creamy.

For the salad I combined one romaine heart, 1/4 cup pine nuts and half a cup (raw measure) of cooked brown lentils. I cooked them in salted water and I like them a little firm to the bite. I hate it when they get over cooked and started to fall apart and taste grainy. Spoon dressing over top, as much or as little as you like. Then toss it all together and voila lunch is served. Actually I added 5 or 6 anchovy fillets diced finely but I love them and no one else seems to so feel free to omit.

Devilled Eggs

Seriously, this doesn’t get old. I find myself going outside to the chicken coop to check for eggs several times a day. The weather is getting nicer here so the kids and I are out there frequently giving them treats and checking to see if they left any for us. It is totally cool. Even so I can’t bring myself to touch them, especially their feet. They really give me the willies. Ron gets the willies from the eggs themselves. He is a little weirded out when it comes to eating the eggs. He says he is more comfortable with the eggs from the store and that maybe he just doesn’t like to know where his food comes from – animal food that is. I said that if we were real farmers he would end up being a vegan. Anyway, today I wanted to use up some of our eggs. I should say that I am not an egg lover, as in to eat an egg all by itself, but I do a lot of baking that requires eggs. I am going to have to try to change that. We have 12 chickens (6 different breeds) and they lay every 24 – 36 hours. We have so many because we have never done this before and we never thought for a minute that all 12 would survive. But they did so when all of them are laying likely by the end of the month we will have more than we know what to do with. Back to the cooking. I made devilled eggs. One kind of egg I do like. I didn’t know that really fresh eggs are impossible to peel. Therefore I didn’t bother with a picture. They weren’t that pretty. But they sure were good. I didn’t measure as usual so I’ll just post what I put in there.

6 eggs, hard boiled, cut in half yolks removed
mayo
Dijon mustard
lemon juice
fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

The lemon juice really added a little zip. Very good. Now if anyone is actually reading this and has some other good uses for eggs please let me know.

Tomato Soup with Basil, Spinach, Beans and Rice

Gee, I am on a roll today (but no longer in a good mood – Rori just drew all over our leather couch with a pen and I can’t get it off even with the “lipstick and ink remover”). I made a tasty and healthy lunch. Again, if I could just get the kids to eat it I would be ecstatic. I used to love tomato soup, Campbells. But Campbells doesn’t make a single soup that is gluten free. So I have been making my own which it better tasting and better for us and has no non food ingredients. Today I did my usual creamy tomato basil and brown rice but decided to amp it up a little. I added the beans to create a complete protein with the brown rice. I also added some rough chopped fresh spinach. I am determined to use up this huge bag of spinach without wasting any of it. Additionally the iron in the spinach and the pumpkin seeds will be better absorbed due to the acid in the tomatoes. Hey, gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian!
Tomato Soup with Basil, Spinach, Beans and Rice
2 T olive oil
1 onion diced
3 large cloves garlic minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups soup stock
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 t dried basil, fresh would have been better
1 T honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1 cup cooked brown rice
pumpkin seeds to garnish
Heat oil in large pot. Saute onion and garlic with salt until soft. Add tomatoes, stock, beans, basil, honey and pepper. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. With an immersion blender blend until smooth. Add spinach and simmer for another couple of minutes. Add rice and stir until heated through. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds as a garnish. YUM!