Garlic Miso Dressing

I am a big fan of homemade salad dressings… They are usually super easy to make, taste delicious, and are free of harsh, unwanted ingredients that most store-bought dressings contain (you know, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, unhealthy oils, and other ingredients that are hard to pronounce).

I use my zesty dressing almost always, but last week decided to make something a little different.IMG_5317

You will need:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons white miso paste

1 large clove garlic (or 2 small)

1 tablespoon raw honey

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This is the perfect dressing for almost any salad.  It has a light, sweet flavor with a little bit of bite, making it a real crowd pleaser.

Let me know what you think!

 

with love and well-dressed greens,

Amanda

Super Salad

At Crafted Wellness, we love our salads.  We swoon for big, delicious, green, hearty, organic salads. We find ourselves throwing together a simple salad like the one below on the regular. It’s great on-the-go, for lunch, or even for a quick and light dinner. We like to prepare a big batch of quinoa early in the week so that we can mix it into our dishes and have it at the ready.  The seeds and quinoa in this salad help you to stay full without weighing you down.  The raw greens provide you with energy. And the avocado provides you with healthy fats that will leave your skin and insides glowing. Its super because of the way it makes you feel after you eat it: energized and ready to take on the world! 😉

Super Salad
serves 1

A Super Salad Amanda made for us when we were prepping for our ‘Eating for Energy’ workshop

2-3 cups of greens
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup of seeds (raw sunflower or raw pumpkin seeds are great)
1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
raisins, handful
Simple Balsamic Dressing
salt and pepper to taste
* any other fresh vegetables you have (tomatoes, carrots, celery, etc)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

We hope this makes you feel as good as we do when we eat it!

with love and ‘super’ hero foods,

Jackie

Tomato and Corn Salad

I’ve been going nuts for tomatoes lately; the farmers market is bursting with juicy, delicious, beautiful tomatoes and I love it. Farm fresh (or garden fresh) tomatoes taste so much different from their grocery store counterpart; once you have the fresh one’s there really no turning back. The tomatoes that you get in the grocery store have most likely been refrigerated and traveled from afar, especially out of season. Once I learned that tomatoes are a food that should not be refrigerated I started to notice the difference; they lose flavor when they’re refrigerated so it’s best to keep them out. I made a big batch of this salad the other day and it kept well for a few days (I had to refrigerate it but since they hadn’t been refrigerated up to that point they still tasted delicious). Leaving the corn raw is another tip I’ve learned along the way, it adds a great sweet crunchy flavor.

Ingredients:

You can modify the amount according to your tastes, if you love garlic put it two cloves, if you love basil put in a while bunch, etc…

1 carton of cherry and/or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 piece of corn, shucked and kernels cut off the core
1/2 bunch of basil, roughly chopped
1 small sweet white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Apple cider vinegar, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.

I served this over quinoa, but it’s great on it’s own, on top of salad or mixed in with pasta! Get your fill before tomato season ends!

with love and tomatoes,

Jackie

A Simple Balsamic Dressing

It’s true, everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to salad dressing…  Some people prefer the creamy stuff, while others enjoy the lighter flavor of olive oil and sea salt.  Either way, a simple balsamic dressing is usually a real crowd pleaser, and making it yourself is a great way to cut back on so much of the sugar and chemical additives included in store-bought dressings.

My mom taught me this dressing a few years back, and it is one that I use time and time again.

Here is her recipe:

1/2 cup olive oil (cold pressed and unfiltered)

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon raw honey

1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard

sea salt and grounded black pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a mason jar or in a tupperwear with a lid you can trust, and shake, shake, shake!

If you prefer a more creamy balsamic dressing, you can put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend for 20 seconds.  This will make the olive oil more fluffy, making the consistency more creamy.  The dressing can be stored in a container, and will stay good for a couple of weeks.

Before dumping this goodness onto your greens, taste it.  Does it need a little more salt?  Maybe a little more honey?  Use your tastebuds to customize the dressing just for you.

If you want to make things a little more snazzy, this is a great base for adding more flavors…  Add a little red pepper flake for some kick.  Or some dried herbs for a different flavor.  Like garlic?  Toss a clove in with the other ingredients before blending to add that wonderful garlic flavor along with all of its medicinal benefits.  Play around, and let us know what you find.

Kale, Sprouts and Spirulina Salad

I usually add spirulina to smoothies, but after reading a recipe recently, I was inspired to add it to my salad last night. Although it sounded a bit strange, I figured it was worth a try and I ended up REALLY liking it! Spirulina actually has more protein than soy, more iron than beef, is a great source of Vitamin A and is loaded with protective phytochemicals.

Serving Size: 1

bunch of lacinato kale
mixed sprouts (I used The Sproutman brand, yoga salad variety – most health food stores carry this or something similar)
1 carrot
raw sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon
chopped raw walnuts, 1 tablespoon
sea salt, cayenne pepper, celery seeds, dulse flakes, nutritional yeast to taste (I used a sprinkle of each)
spirulina powder, just under a tablespoon
apple cider vinegar, to taste
juice of ½ a lemon
extra virgin olive oil, to taste

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Wash the kale leaves and tear them off of the stem. Rip the kale into small pieces using your hands (you can chop it with a knife if you’d like but I think using my hands is easier!).
Take a handful of mixed sprouts and toss it in with the kale. Add the walnuts.
Peel the carrot and once you’ve peeled the outside, continue peeling the carrot so that you end up with thin carrot ribbons. Add this to the salad. Once you get near the core of the carrot you won’t be able to peel anymore. I usually eat the rest of the carrot while I’m fixing the the salad. 🙂
Add the lemon juice. Add the apple cider vinegar and olive oil, to taste. Add the salt, cayenne, celery seeds, dulse flakes and nutritional yeast. Massage the kale with your hands to help soften it up. Your hands will definitely get a bit messy but using your hands really softens the kale and makes it easier to digest. Add the spirulina powder AFTER you’ve massaged the kale – it’s quite a deep green color and will be too messy. Mix the spirulina in with the rest of the salad.  Top it off with the sunflower seeds. Enjoy!

Fermenting is Fun.

Sauerkraut

Packing the cabbage; pre-smashing.

Have you ever considered making your own sauerkraut?  Well, I highly encourage it after trying it out for myself.  Its like creating a small science experiment in the comfort of your own home, but instead of the final product being a rupturing volcano or a moldy petri dish, you get a beautiful jar of fermented cabbage filled with flavor and probiotics.  Hmmm…. ok, so I’ll admit that it may not sound that appetizing, but fermentation is a wonderful way to bring a whole slew of health benefits into your life, most importantly, probiotics.

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your body.  Without them, we could not survive, so it is important that you learn to love this bacteria as well as replenish it daily.  Probiotics are extremely important for keeping our gut healthy, and for making sure that digestion is functioning at its optimal level (meaning that all of the nutrients and vitamins that you are ingesting are getting absorbed into your blood instead of passed along and out with the rest of the waste).  Our immune system is directly affected by the health of our gut and will function accordingly.  Think of it this way…  Our gastrointestinal system houses about 70% of our immune system, so this healthy bacteria (aka flora) that naturally exists in our intestinal tracts is extremely important in maintaining and repairing the immune system.

So, without getting too scientific, our intestinal flora needs to be loved and tended to, and what better way to do that then to make sure that you are including some healthy bacteria in your daily diet.  Sauerkraut is and easy and tasty way to get some of these necessary flora into our bodies.  So here is what you will need:

1 quart glass mason jar with a lid

2 teaspoons sea salt

A head of cabbage (or maybe just a half)

Cold water

A tool (similar to a muddle) to smash the cabbage into the jar

Shave the cabbage very fine (it takes about 2 lbs of cabbage to fill a mason jar). Begin to fill the mason jar with the finely shredded cabbage while continuously packing it down as tight as possible using your muddling tool.  When you have reached the half way line on the jar, add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Then, continue to fill the jar while smashing down the cabbage.  Keep doing this until the jar is filled to the shoulder, and then add your other teaspoon of sea salt.  After that, fill the jar with cold water so it is basically overflowing.

*note: don’t hold back on the packing and smashing… the more juices that are released during this process, the better the fermentation process is, so smash away (and get some angst out if need be).

Now, heres the fun part that teleported me back to science class…  Place the cover on very loosely and let the jar, cabbage and water stand on your counter for 9 days.  Yup, 9 whole days of watching the beauty of fermentation in your own home.  *Important:  add more cold water as needed, making sure that the jar is always filled to the top.

After 9 days, the sauerkraut is ready, so you can tighten the lid and place it in the fridge.  This jar of sauerkraut will last you months!  If that sounds scary to you, get this… the taste of the sauerkraut will actually improve as time goes on.  I am still working on a jar that I made back in February, and it is delightful as ever!  So don’t be scared to let that baby sit and soak for a while before enjoying all that it has to offer.

If plain sauerkraut sounds boring to you, feel free to spice it up with some garlic, onions, peppers (hot or sweet), or whatever other flavor you would like your sauerkraut to take on. 

If sauerkraut just isn’t for you, there are a number of other ways to keep your intestinal flora happy and healthy.  You can try other vegetables that have been fermented, tempeh, miso, and for the dairy consumers, organic yogurt and kefir (just watch for added sugars and other unwanted ingredients in these products).  Also, a probiotic supplement is a great idea for those not getting enough probiotics in their diet, and for people who experience upset stomachs, irritable bowel syndrome, or a weak immune system.  And it is esepecially important to take a probiotic supplement after using antibiotics!  These meds knock all of the bacteria out of your body, good and bad, so it is extremely important to get the good guys back in there.

So start loving and taking care of your bacteria!  Your body will thank you!

with love and healthy flora,

Amanda