9 Store-Bought Salad Dressings R.D.s Actually Use

Everyone knows that an amazing dressing is the secret to a great salad. While there are a ton of easy recipes you can follow to make your own at home, sometimes you just want a salad and you don’t want to work for it. For example, when you’re hangry and need food right away, store-bought salad dressing can sometimes seem like your only option.

Registered dietitians generally prefer homemade salad dressings to store-bought for some good reasons. Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., owner of BZ Nutrition, tells SELF that options with labels like “low-fat” or “fat-free” tend to contain lots of sodium and added sugars (both of these things are fine in moderation, but the USDA recommends keeping your daily sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams, and your daily added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of your overall diet). Nora Minno, R.D., C.D.N., also explains that, even if a dressing has a reasonable amount of added sugar or sodium per serving listed on the nutrition panel, you’re likely using far more than a single serving on each salad.

With all this in mind, even R.D.s can admit that store-bought salad dressings are often the more convenient option. As long as you’re paying attention to the label to make sure it contains nutritious ingredients—like olive oil, fruit or fruit juices, and spices—these pre-made dressings can be great, expert-approved options. SELF asked R.D.s to recommend their favorite store-bought salad dressings for when they’re in a pinch. From green goddess to balsamic to a lemon-turmeric vinaigrette, these are their nine favorite options to pick up from the supermarket.

Courtesy of Cindy’s Kitchen

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Cindy’s Kitchen Avocado Vinaigrette

Minno likes this dressing from Cindy’s Kitchen (which you can find at Whole Foods), because it’s low in sodium and has no added sugar (only 1 gram of naturally occurring sugar). “This dressing adds loads of avocado flavor to any salad with only 60 calories per 2 tablespoon serving” she says.

Courtesy of Bragg

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Bragg Organic Vinaigrette

In Minno’s opinion, “this salad dressing leads the pack for best store-bought dressings.” She likes it because it’s made of mostly olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and gets flavor from onion, garlic, and just a little bit of honey. It also happens to be really delicious!

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9 Delicious Mexican Recipes to Make Cinco de Mayo a Real Fiesta of Flavors

9 Delicious Mexican Recipes to Make Cinco de Mayo a Real Fiesta of Flavors
iStock/Knape
 

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is far more popular in the U.S. than it is in Mexico? This annual celebration commemorating the Mexican Army’s victory in the Battle of Puebla has become associated with Mexican-American culture Stateside – which is why it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s also the day that many people in the U.S. choose to enjoy a Mexican feast. These Mexican recipes run the gamut from the traditional to the innovative, but they all share one thing in common: they’re absolutely delicious.

Yummy Mexican Mains

Image care of Damn Delicious

1. Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

This casserole takes the finicky rolling out of traditional enchiladas, with a quinoa base flavored with enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, and black beans. Topped with shredded cheese, avocado, tomato, and cilantro, it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.

weeknight fish tacos
From Weeknight Gluten Free by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen 2013)

2. Weeknight Gluten-Free Fish Tacos

These delicious fish tacos are super easy to make. Just heap herb-crusted tuna in your favorite gluten-free corn tortillas. Top with a store-bought broccoli slaw and your tacos are ready to enjoy.

Perfectly Plant-Based

Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe
Image care of Karissa Bowers

3. Plant-Based Sweet Potato Nachos

Nachos aren’t always the healthiest choice, but these plant-based nachos fly in the face of the stereotype. Traditional tortilla chips are replaced with thinly sliced rounds of sweet potato. Top them with black beans, avocado, and non-GMO tofu sour cream, for a moreish, festive dish rich in colors and nutrients.

vegan mexican quinoa salad
Image care of the Minimalist Baker

4. Mexican Quinoa Salad

This hearty meal salad is loaded with superfoods and fresh Mexican flavors. A base of mixed greens, cooked quinoa, corn, black beans, and avocado is flavored with fresh cilantro, red onion, and a simple, flavorful orange-chile dressing that really packs a flavor punch.

vegan green chile burgers
Image care of Minimalist Baker

5. Mexican Green Chile Veggie Burger

These chickpea-based burgers are super moist and flavorful thanks to heaps of mild green chiles and a host of Mexican spices. The burger base uses crushed tortilla chips in place of breadcrumbs for flavor, crunch, and structure. Top the finished burgers with salsa and avocado for even more flavor and flair.

vegan butternut queso
Image care of The First Mess

6. Butternut Squash Queso

This plant-based queso is positively perfect for drizzling or dipping. A butternut squash and raw cashew base is seasoned with jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Its rich, cheesy flavor comes from an umami-rich combination of nutritional yeast, tamari, and light miso.

Festive Beverages (Tequila, Please!)

Organic Strawberry Margarita with Lime

7. Strawberry Margarita

Is there anything that goes better with Mexican food than a margarita? This slightly sweeter version made with seasonal strawberries and a splash of pomegranate juice bring brighter colors to the table.

mango chile lime margaritas
Image care of Minimalist Baker

8. Mango Chile Lime Margarita

This margarita adds a hint of heat to your cocktail: a dash of hot sauce flavors the margarita itself, which is served with a chile-salt rim. Ultra-sweet, unctuous mango is the perfect base to counteract all that spice!

paloma cocktail
Image care of Drizzle and Dip

9. Paloma Cocktail

The margarita’s lesser-known cousin, the Paloma, pairs refreshing grapefruit with richer, aged reposado tequila. Club soda and just a touch of agave finish this cocktail off with style.

Related on Organic Authority
Tequila Showdown: Does Organic Make a Better Margarita?
4 Unique Mexican Food Recipes Perfect for Meatless Monday (Hold the Tacos and Burritos!)
Is Mexican Food the Next Health Food? Chef Mary Sue Milkin Says Yes


Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.



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9 Smoothies With 2 Servings of Veggies (That You Won’t Even Notice)

https://www.blissfulbasil.com

Frankly, I don’t immediately associate breakfast with vegetables. I’m more of an oatmeal or an egg-and-cheese sandwich kind of girl, and while both of those are good options, they’re not exactly brimming with greens (not my egg sandwiches, anyway). Usually the only way I can stomach veggies in the A.M. is if I don’t realize they’re there, which is why I love smoothies. Luckily, smoothies are quick to throw together and easy to drink on the go—on busy days, a smoothie is sometimes my saving grace. And, because there are so many possible smoothie ingredients, it’s possible to drink them often without getting totally bored.

Start by making these 9 recipes, which each have at least two servings of vegetables. The USDA recommends that women get five servings of vegetables per day, a serving being a cup of leafy greens or a half-cup of other vegetables. Start the morning with one of these smoothies, and you’re almost halfway there! They use things like zucchini, cauliflower, and spinach, all of which have mild, maskable flavors, so they don’t taste like you’re drinking a cup full of blended vegetables. And they also take advantage of things like beets and carrots, two veggies that have a natural sweetness that makes them great to pair with fruit, nut butters, and anything else you want to put in a smoothie.

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The 9 Best Wines at Aldi for Under $10

Along with some awesome snacks, Aldi has a lot going for it. The discount supermarket isn’t as notorious as some of the other grocery chains, but it offers products so excellent and affordable, it could easily go toe-to-toe with Trader Joe’s. If you aren’t already a fan, one quick trip to an Aldi near you is probably enough to get you hooked.

Of course, among the amazing offerings are some great budget wine options. Red, white, rosé, bubbly—Aldi has a full selection, and many of the bottles are under $10. SELF asked Lydia Richards, a certified sommelier at Colangelo & Partners, to give us the lowdown on which inexpensive bottles are the best on offer. Here are all her tips and tasting notes about nine under-$10 selections you’re guaranteed to love.

Courtesy of ALDI

1

Outlander Cabernet Sauvignon, $9

Richards says you can expect notes of dark cherry, vanilla, and caramel with this rich Cabernet. She suggests pairing it with even richer dishes, like stewed meats, pot pies, and creamy au gratin potatoes.

Buy it here: $9, aldi.com

Courtesy of ALDI

2

Giretto Pinot Grigio, $6

“This is a very crisp Pinot Grigio,” Richard explains. She says it’s very tart—perfect for any sour candy lovers—and you’ll be able to detect hints of peach puree and mint. For best results, she recommends pairing it with shellfish and roasted white meats.

Buy it here: $6, aldi.com

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Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole + Celebrating 9 years!! — Oh She Glows

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Oh She Glows just celebrated her 9th birthday! Can you believe it? (I know, I know, where is the cake? I didn’t plan this very well, did I? I promise you today’s recipe is a keeper even if it’s not covered in frosting. Do you think cheese-covered will do the trick?!)

Many moons ago, in October 2008, Eric looked at me and said, “Ange, you need a hobby!” I was hunched in front of my computer poring over research. We’d just returned from our honeymoon, and I was already stressed out over all the catch-up work that was waiting for me at home.

At the time, I was a master’s student wrapping up my thesis, and also working full-time as a researcher. To say I was feeling burned out is an understatement. I definitely hadn’t been making time for fun. When Eric asked me what hobbies I had, I honestly couldn’t think of anything outside my daily gym sessions. “I’m not sure if working out counts….” he’d say. My only downtime was a weekly night out at a local bar—hardly restorative, though it did feel that way briefly! So I took Eric’s advice (a rare occurrence, he says), and that same week hit publish on my very first Oh She Glows blog post!

This blog became a place for me to have fun, explore, write my heart out, try new things, and just get out of “research mode” for a bit. Still, I expected that I would blog for a couple weeks and grow tired of it, but I tapped into something that had been hiding deep below the surface for many, many years…my creativity! OH, HELLO. I couldn’t recall the last time I had really allowed my creative self to flourish. Once I’d awoken the creative beast inside, there was no stopping me. (Eric, did you have any idea what you’d be getting yourself into?!)

Soon it became clear that this unsuspecting hobby had grown into a full-fledged passion. I found the courage to write about my journey with disordered eating and how I was working on a positive relationship with food. By practicing every day, I taught myself how to cook and photograph my food (so I could inspire you to make it too!), and eventually became confident enough to experiment with my own recipes. Nine years later, one of my favourite things to do is cook and try new things in the kitchen. I always joke that I rarely follow my own recipes because I have too much fun playing around with them, and so they’ll often turn out differently each time. To me, that’s when it gets really fun! That said, there are some recipes I like to follow to a T…like my favourite cookies. I take my treats very seriously. Bahaha.

So, thanks Eric, for seeing all those years ago that I needed to give myself some time for creativity. I can’t imagine my life without this space, and all of you. The connections and friendships I’ve made through Oh She Glows have been the happiest surprise of all.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Taste Canada’s annual Awards Gala, where I was honoured to receive two gold awards for food writing (one for Health and Special Diets Cookbook of the year for my latest cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, and a second recognizing Oh She Glows as best Health and Special Diets Food Blog 2017). Thinking back over the past 9 years, it all feels surreal. I had so many inspiring conversations and left that evening even more grateful for this community and what I do.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Here’s to discovering new hobbies, chasing dreams, and, hopefully, another 9 years!!

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Yield
8 servings
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch All-Purpose Cheese Sauce
  • 14 ounces (400 g) fusilli or rotini pasta (about 4 1/2 cups dry pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce/255 g) package sliced cremini mushrooms*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano**
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil**
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme**
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chunky marinara sauce***
  • One (14-ounce/398 mL) can lentils, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) runny tahini
  • 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 to 2 cups (40 to 80 g) stemmed and finely chopped kale (optional)
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • Cashew-Garlic Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Oil a very large casserole dish (approx. 10″ x 14″) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prepare the cheese sauce. While the potatoes and carrots simmer for the cheese sauce, start on steps 3 and 4.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Be sure not to overcook it. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or pot (about 5 quarts), add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir and add a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent.
  5. Stir in the mushrooms, oregano, basil, and thyme, and cook for another 7 to 9 minutes over medium-high heat until the water cooks off.
  6. Add the marinara sauce, drained lentils, and tahini. Stir until combined. Now add the cooked pasta and continue stirring until it’s coated in the lentil-veggie mixture.
  7. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir in the kale, if desired. Turn off the heat.
  8. Spoon all of the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over top and spread it out with the back of a spoon until it covers the entire surface. Garnish with paprika (it adds a beautiful pop of red), more herbs, and black pepper, if desired.
  10. Bake the casserole uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. (If you’re baking the casserole straight from the fridge, bake it for 25 to 30 minutes as it’ll take longer to heat up). Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of Cashew-Garlic Parmesan on top of each portion. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The leftovers are just as delicious chilled!

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You can also find this casserole recipe (including the cheese sauce and vegan parmesan) in The Oh She Glows Recipe App (iOS and Android). Happy cooking!

Let’s get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+



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