I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year because I don’t believe in them. In my opinion, if someone wants to make a change in their life, they will without having to wait until the New Year to do it. And while I didn’t make any resolutions, I did start working out again in January and have the goal of losing 30 pounds over the next nine months. Yes, I’m putting it out to the world that I am 30 pounds overweight. I figured that you guys could help hold me accountable!
I put on all the weight over the last 2 and half years because of surgeries and health issues that are all behind me now. NOW it’s time to get back into shape so I can get out and do all the things I wanted to and have had to put on the back burner for a bit. I also had forgotten how much working out can reduce stress and makes me feel great. I come out of each yoga session feeling like I accomplished something and am on top of the world.
Another thing that I’m also working on with getting back healthy is reducing the amount that I eat and working to make better choices. I love food! It’s as simple as that and while I do mostly clean cooking and eating, I tend to overeat and still like some things that are bad for me (like the occasional fast food and desserts). One thing I do love is veggies. My hubby laughs at me because most of the time I will pick a salad over a steak and just be thrilled.
The thing that can make or break a salad is the salad dressing. I have stopped buying the ready-made ones and mostly use olive oil and balsamic, which is great but I do get bored with it and my weakness is a creamy dressing. Because of the amounts of fat in the creamy dressings and I get lazy (they are more time-consuming to make), I have made it a habit to stay with a vinaigrette instead. The trick is to making a yummy one with plenty of flavor and a slight creaminess to it so that I don’t miss the heavy ones.
Here is the recipe for my Zesty Vinaigrette that I have come up with. It’s easy to vary it up and feel free to change out the orange with other types of citrus and switch the fresh herbs to those you have on hand. I love this dressing! The mustard balances with plenty of sweet, spicy and wonderful yummy goodness that just melds with my salads and makes me forget that I’m not getting a creamy dressing. It’s also very easy to make, which is another huge plus because now I have no excuse not to keep a batch in the fridge for when I need it. Couple that with washing up all the veggies ahead of time and I am a salad eating machine.
3 Tbsp. Dijon or Stone Ground Mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Zest and juice from 1 large lemon, lime or orange (only use 1/2 of zest if using orange)
1 – 2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (roasted is even better)
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary or other herbs, finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients, except the honey together. Add one tablespoon of honey and test to see if you would like more, otherwise it could come out too sweet depending on the citrus you are using. Mix well and place in the fridge for flavors to meld at least a half an hour before serving. Drizzle of salad or use as a marinade for meats and fish.
Dressing will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Makes about 2/3 of a cup.
More vinaigrette ideas: