Simple & Healthy Ingredients Make For Delicious Mediterranean Style Salad Dressing

So, welcome 2015! 

Like many people who make new year resolutions, eating healthier options of the things I like always tops my list.  I’m always optimistic coming out of the gate but somewhere along the line I start lose my momentum, fall off the wagon, and resort to my old (not so wise) eating habits.  I vow every year that “this year is going to be different”.   And in the end, I’ve only fooled myself into believing that I could forgo delicious sweets, homemade bread, second helpings of my favorite dish of macaroni and cheese, and of course the great wines found here in the Finger Lakes Region and abroad. 

But… In a good faith effort to try try again, I’m sharing a recipe I found at The Pioneer Woman’s blog for a healthy and delicious homemade salad dressing she has named Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing.  I made a couple adaptations to the original recipe.

I decided that Aunt Trish’s dressing has a Mediterranean taste to it – which I love.  It tastes so fresh and healthy, and the fact that there are no preservatives makes it all the better.  I do have to warn you that this recipe makes a considerably small batch.  My suggestion is to double or triple the recipe because I’m sure it will keep well in the fridge for a week or two – if it lasts that long!  At some point you may want to remove the garlic if you don’t want garlic overkill.

Mediterranean Style Salad Dressing ( This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

3/4 c. olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

4 tbsp. of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt & pepper

Dash of paprika

1/2 tsp. honey

2 whole cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half)

Put all ingredients together in a jar or dressing shaker and shake until mixed.  Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

 

Have you made any new year resolutions?  If so, what are they?  Do you think you’ll stick to them?

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Stuffed Peppers – Winging it

The other night I decided to make stuffed peppers for supper (never made them before).  I had bought a variety of colored peppers a few days before and noticed a couple were starting to soften  – since baking them was going to soften them anyway, I decided that was a good way to use them up.  I didn’t pull out a cookbook, or look on-line for a recipe when I decided to make them, instead I just decided to wing it.  Typically, I’m not real comfortable winging it.  I prefer to have something to refer to, but what did I have to lose?  A few already softening peppers…

To start, I put some olive oil in a frying pan.  Then I crushed some garlic, diced yellow pepper, and  added rice to the oil. When the rice turned light brown I added some diced canned tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. 

After adding the tomatoes I threw some grated parmesan cheese on top.

Once the mixture was ready I  hollowed out red, orange and yellow peppers and filled them with the mixture.  These colored peppers are a little less pungent than green peppers, and are slightly sweeter.   I added about 2 tablespoons of water (had I been thinking when I drained the tomatoes I could have saved the juice, and added that instead of water) to each pepper.  I arranged them in a greased baking dish and added a little water in the bottom of the dish as well.  I baked them at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. 

As I was making the peppers I thought of all the different fillings you could use to stuff peppers.  Bread stuffing, sausage, ground beef, beans, corn,  a variety of  spices, different cheeses, the possibilities – endless. 

We ate them as a side with our baked chicken and bread stuffing.  They were a good addition to our meal.  How do you make your favorite stuffed peppers?  Willing to share your recipe?