apple cider vinegar

Caprice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

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CYMERA_20140323_203817Happy Monday! This one is short and sweet, but super yummy. Let's talk about basil for a minute. Basil was a highly respected herb in many ancient civilizations because of its many medicinal properties. As a member of the mint family, basil has similar health benefits to that of peppermint and spearmint. It's a great digestive aid, provides support for the intestinal tract and kidneys, and helps increase blood circulation.  Basil leaves also contain orientin and vicenin, flavanoids that protect against free radical damage in cells.

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For the Salad:

  • 2 Cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, whole or diced
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup green onions

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For the Basil Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, and pour over salad. You'll definitely have enough for several salads.

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Other great additions to this salad are olives, sun dried tomatoes, or pine nuts. CYMERA_20140323_204931

Spinach Avocado Dressing (Paleo, Vegan)

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I was talking recently to a student of mine who just completed her first Whole30.  We'll call her H. One thing that changed her the most about this challenge was realizing how many foods she could cook and prep herself, rather than buying them at the store. It had never occurred to her that all the things she bought pre-packaged from the grocery store she could actually make herself from scratch. Seems obvious enough, but I recently had a similar "AH-HA" moment myself. I eat a lot of salads. Like a lot. They're easy, quick, and a great way to get in a bunch of veggies. I love raw veggies, but I have limits. A good sauce or dressing is a must if I'm going to eat salad, so needless to say, my fridge has to be stocked with them. I guess I just always thought that salad dressings were born and raised on the grocery shelves, but after talking with H that day, I had a major light bulb moment. I CAN MAKE MY OWN DRESSINGS!!! I know, probably sooooooo obvious to you guys, but this is big for me. This is especially awesome because even the healthier of store-bought dressings still have sneaky additives and ingredients that we can do without. I've been playing around with some different ones, and here is my fave so far.

Spinach Avocado Dressing

Makes about 1 Cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

You'll Need:

  • One large avocado
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach 
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper (optional, but so yummy)

I hope you can handle this because it's really complicated....toss all these yummies into a blender or food processor and turn it on. Done.

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You're basically blending up veggies to pour onto more veggies. 

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