Hot Bacon Dressing

Hot Bacon Dressing
by: Sandy

3 tbsp bacon fat, reserved from cooking bacon
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onions
1 pastured egg
1 cup filtered water
2 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp arrowroot
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup cooked & crumbled bacon (approx 6 strips)


In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add bacon fat and heat until glistening.

Add chopped onions.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; onions will be softened and slightly browned.  While onions are browning, locate a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

To the jar, add egg, water, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, arrowroot, sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Put on the lid and shake vigorously, until well-combined.  Once onions are cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add cooked bacon to the pan.

While whisking, pour the egg mixture into the hot pan.  Continue to whisk constantly until the dressing thickens.  Serve warm.

This recipe was a part of The Healthy Home Economist’s Manic Monday Carnival.

Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette

Yield: 1 scant cup

2 tbsp pitted & minced kalamata olives
1 tbsp minced red onion
1 tbsp stone-ground mustard
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp raw honey
1 clove garlic, crushed *
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, combine olive, red onion, mustard, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic, parsley, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk, stream in extra virgin olive oil. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

* To crush garlic with a knife: Mince the garlic on a cutting board. Once minced, sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt overtop. Chop some more. Then using the flat side of a knife, carefully press down firmly on the garlic and drag the knife forward until the knife is no longer on top of the garlic. Lift the knife. Re-pile the garlic and start again until it forms a paste.

Salmon Salad Nicoise

Serves 4

On a large serving platter, arrange the following items …

Salmon – Buy 1 lb of salmon with the skin. Bring it home, rinse and run clean hands along the salmon looking for spikey bones. Remove the bones using tweezers (I keep some permanently in the kitchen.) Preheat the oven to 500˚. Locate a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.  Place the salmon on it. Make the marinade below. Pour very generously over the salmon, rubbing it in slightly. Coat it as thickly as possible. Once the oven is ready, pop the salmon in for 13-15 minutes or until just flakey. Allow to cool. Remove the skin, and break into big chunks to set on the platter.

Salmon Marinade Recipe

2 tbsp whole grain mustard
3 tbsp melted ghee*
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients and spread over the salmon.

* Ghee is clarified butter (which means the milk solids in the butter have been boiled off) often used in Indian cuisine that can be found at a Whole Foods or most health food stores. Without the milk solids, it has a higher cooking temperature than butter, and it won’t burn at the high temperature of this recipe.

Tangy Apricot Dressing
3 tbsp apricot jam *
2 tbsp lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly stream in the olive oil with a whisk until combined. Serve this alongside the platter for people to help themselves. I like to serve it in a little creamer pitcher, for a cute presentation.

* Look for one that is 100% fruit to avoid added sugar.

Hard Boiled Eggs
Place 4 eggs in a pot with water to generously cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and set aside for 13 minutes using a timer. At 13 minutes, pour off the hot water and replace with cold water. Once eggs are slightly cool, peel under cool running water (makes them easier to peel). Slice in half and place on platter.

Thinly Shaved Red Onions
If you have a Japanese Mandolin, you will get really thin slices like the picture above. They are only about $15, and they are a great tool to have. If you don’t have one, just slice as thin as possible. Either way – stay focused while slicing!

A Dozen Small Red Potatoes & 1/2 lb Green Beans
Boil scrubbed potatoes in very salty water until al dente. Add green beans. Cook an additional 4 minutes or until green beans are al dente. Drain. Rinse in very cold water until both potatoes & beans are cool. Toss potatoes in EVOO & S/P when done. Serve green beans as is. Add both items to the platter.

1 Pint Grape Tomatoes
Rinse, drain well and add to the platter. Easy enough!

Caper Berries & Small Capers
Sprinkle around the finished platter. If caper berries can’t be found, olives may be substituted.

Mixed Greens
Rinse, if necessary. Dry well, and place in a big wooden bowl served along-side the platter.

Bread & Butter
John and I use Manna Bread, a sprouted bread that can be found at most whole foods and other health food stores, or we like Authentic Sourdough Bread. Whichever, just slice it nicely, place neatly on a plate with a small bowl of cubed butter and serve with the platter.

Sorta Raw Kale Salad

I enjoy toasting the macadamia nuts for flavor, which prevents this salad from officially being “raw.”  But, it’s close, and regardless, it’s refreshing and energizing.

1 bunch kale, rinsed, chopped & thoroughly dried
1/4 cup chiffonade basil *
1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 – 1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt, to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, toss kale, basil and macadamia nuts to combine.  In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Pour over kale and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

* Chiffonade is simply thinly sliced ribbons of kale.  To achieve this, line up several leaves of basil into a small stack.  Tightly roll the basil length-wise to form a long cigarette shape and slice, forming long ribbons.

** Begin with 1/4 cup, and add to taste, based on the size of the kale bunch used.

Tracy’s Chickpea Salad

Yield: 5 cups

If you don’t have time to use dried beans, substitute 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, and skip to the second paragraph of the instructions, but only use 1/2 tsp of sea salt, the other 1 tbsp was used for cooking the beans. Serve alone as a side or over a green salad for a full lunch.

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained & rinsed
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced green beans
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Add soaked chickpeas to a medium pot with 9 cups of water & 1 tbsp sea salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for approx 1 hour or until chickpeas are tender, but not mushy. If the water runs low while simmering, add a few cups more. Once chickpeas are done, strain in a colander and rinse with cool water until they have reached room temperature. Drain well.

In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas with the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.

The Amazing Walnut Oil Salad Dressing

Any walnut oil will work, but click on La Nogalera below to read about the farmer behind this delightful brand.

1 tbsp diced shallot
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp raw honey
8 tbsp La Nogalera Unrefined Walnut Oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk well.

Red Rice Salad with Cumin Dressing

Yields 5 Cups : Serves 4 – 6

Several varieties of red heirloom rice are available in large grocery stores today, but if you can’t get your hands on it, substitute short or long grain brown rice. My favorite variety of red rice thus far is called Bhutanese Red Rice by Lotus Foods. The color and texture are lovely.

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp raw honey*
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Salad Ingredients:
3 cups cooked red rice**
1/2 cup coarsely chopped soaked walnuts
1/4 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried blueberries***
2 stalks celery, diced (approx 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions****
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Whisk and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Toss gently with a spatula. Drizzle dressing over the salad. Re-toss gently with the same spatula.

Preferably chill for at least 1 hour and serve.

* Regular store-bought honey has been pasteurized, which means it has been heated and strained to obtain a clear product that is easier to pour. Unfortunately, many of nature’s beneficial enzymes get lost in the process. Raw honey still contains all of those valuable enzymes. If raw honey can’t be found, regular honey may be substituted in equal measurements.

** Cook rice according to package directions, except, bring water to a boil first before adding the rice, then proceed to cover and simmer for the instructed time. Boiling water prior to adding grain helps to prevent mushy rice, which is not the desired texture for a salad. One cup of dry rice will produce three cups of cooked rice.

*** If dried blueberries can’t be found, substitute currants, raisins or dried cranberries in equal measurements.

**** Slice into thin rounds using both the white and green parts of the onion.

Green Bean Salad with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4
Yield – 6 cups

10 cups filtered water
2 tbsp + 1 tsp sea salt
4 cups green beans, trimmed & cut into 1″ pieces (approx 1 lb)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp crushed garlic *
3 tbsp minced red onion
1 tsp minced Fresno pepper **
1 tbsp chopped mixed fresh oregano, basil & parsley ***
2 cups halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled pastured bacon (approx 4 thick-cut or 6 regular slices)

In a large pot over high heat, combine water and 2 tbsp sea salt. Bring to a boil and add green beans. Return to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes. While beans are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice water. After 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to scoop the beans out of the boiling water and into the ice water. Allow beans to chill for 2 minutes, strain and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey, olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Whisk well to combine. Add garlic, red onion, Fresno pepper and herbs to the olive oil mixture. Whisk well to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine green beans and cherry tomatoes. Pour dressing over vegetables and using a large spoon, gently toss to coat well. Right before service, sprinkle bacon on top of green bean mixture and using a large spoon, gently toss to coat. (See Note.)

* Crushing garlic is quick with a kitchen tool called a garlic press. Or to crush with your knife: Mince the garlic. Once minced, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt overtop. Chop some more. Then using the flat side of your knife, carefully press down firmly on the garlic and drag the knife towards you until the knife is no longer on top of the garlic. Lift the knife. Re-pile the garlic and start again, until it forms a paste. If you don’t have fresh garlic, two dashes of garlic powder will achieve similar results.

** If fresh Fresno peppers are unavailable, Dried Red Pepper Flakes in equal measure may be subsituted.

*** Essentially, a mix of 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil and 1 tsp parsley is desired, but I prefer to pluck a bit of each herb from my herb garden and simply chop them all together. I then measure 1 tbsp from the mixture.

Note – If making this dish several hours ahead of time, do not refrigerate the beans & tomatoes or the bacon, which will make them all go limp. Instead refrigerate the dressing and combine right before service.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: 3/4 cup

7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 pitted medjool date
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until emulsified and serve!