Friday, March 4, 2011



I never knew that making salad dressing was so simple until I saw someone whip up a vinaigrette in 3 minutes.  It was very impressive.  So I’d like to share with you all how easy it is to make the balsamic dressing for a beet salad I made last night. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons thinly sliced or minced shallots
1 Tablespoon honey
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

You can either throw all the ingredients into a blender, or you can whisk them together in a measuring cup or a glass bowl (metal bowls aren’t ideal since the metal whisk hitting the metal bowl can create a nasty metallic taste).  And that’s it!  You’ve just made a delicious salad dressing.

Now for the salad:
3 cups (roughly) baby spinach, or whatever greens you like
Balsamic Vinaigrette
6 orange wedges, skin off
1/4 avocado, sliced
dried currants or cranberries
sliced almonds, toasted
roasted beets, quartered, then cut into bite size pieces
goat cheese, crumbled

Roasting the beets will take about an hour.  You can place as many beets as you’d like in one batch, and one beet per person should suffice.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the dirt off the beets, then slice off the green stems completely, even taking off a bit of the top of the beet.  Also cut off the bottom of the beets (the tail like end) so they can sit flat on a cutting board.  Place the beets (whole with the skin on) onto a sheet of aluminum foil and season with a little salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Fold up the edges of the aluminum foil over the beets as if you’re enclosing the beets into a pocket.  Make sure the pocket is air tight, as this will keep the steam in and the beets moist when roasting.  Place on a baking pan or dish and into the oven they go.

After an hour, take the beets out of the oven and open the aluminum foil pocket carefully, as the hot steam will burn you!  Allow a cooling time of about 15 minutes so you can peel off the skin by hand.  The red beets stain, so you may want to use gloves or paper towels for this task.  After you’ve peeled and chopped them, mix a little of the balsamic vinaigrette onto the beets so you pre season them.  They are now ready to go!

Back to the salad.  Dress the greens with as much dressing as you like, then I suggest constructing your salad in the order written above, with goat cheese being the last ingredient that goes onto your plate.  This makes for a pretty salad which went well with my rotisserie chicken.

I’d also like to share that a rotisserie chicken at your neighborhood Pavilions or Ralphs is only $5.99!!!  At Bristol Farms and Whole Foods, that price jumps to $9.99.  Why must you, person in charge of pricing inventory at gourmet supermarkets, make your rotisserie chickens so much more expensive?

And let’s be honest, bottled salad dressings never taste as delicious as restaurant or freshly made dressings, so after I became confident in my dressing making abilities, I threw away all the Newman’s Own, Ken’s, Annie’s Naturals, and Kraft bottles in my fridge, and now I have so much more free space. If only I only knew how to make more room in my overstuffed closet! 



I’m off to pack for a weekend in Houston where I’ll be going to my first ever rodeo with a big group of friends.  YEEHAW!  I may even buy a pair of authentic cowboy boots.  And I may have to have some BBQ as well!  I’m excited because this will be a weekend of firsts and my friends are flying in from all over the US.  I’m expecting to overeat and may even go for a hangover.  The flight back to LA on Sunday should be a real doozie.



Reasons why this is my new favorite dessert/snack/breakfast
  1. It’s healthy
  2. It’s extremely easy to make
  3. It tastes really good

Usually, after I finish dinner I want something light and sweet to snack on. Kettle corn, a scoop of ice cream, a cookie…these are the usual suspects as I’m really not a huge dessert person. Yes, I know yogurt with fruit and honey isn’t exactly a groundbreaking combination, but it’s something I usually only eat for breakfast. So, when I switched it in for dessert and added pomegranate seeds to the mix…it totally changed the way I feel about it. I LOVE IT.


4 servings

2 cups of Greek Yogurt
3/4 cup of pomegranate seeds
1 Braeburn apple (chopped)
1 ripe mango (chopped)
4 teaspoons of honey

Place ½ cup of greek yogurt in four separate bowls. Top each with 3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds. Evenly divide the chopped mango and apple into the four bowls. Lightly drizzle a teaspoon of honey to top the fruit in each bowl. (add ½ teaspoon more if you like it extra sweet)

To really put it over the edge, place in the freezer for 5 minutes before serving! Enjoy!



My plans for the weekend involve a vegetable garden. Now is the time to plant, right? I’m going to test out my thumb and see how green it is. Will let you know on Monday…