Sunday, November 14, 2010

 

Valia's Organic Recipe Collection

Salads are the classic meal choice for dieters all over the world.  It is more than a bit ironic that salads are frequently the source of fats, and fats do not necessarily have to manifest as fat!  Fats have become one of the most severely misunderstood components of the modern diet.  Animal fats have been ruled deadly.  Cholesterol has been charged and convicted of being the modern day killer of our era.  Supermarkets have been overtaken by products proclaiming that they are low fat or fat-free.  The time has come to dispel the myths.

 I strongly recommend reading The Skinny on Fats by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon.  Animal fats have been wrongly vilified, and yet vegetable oils such as corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, etc. have been directly connected to the explosion of cancer and cardiovascular disease in epidemic proportions.  Consequently, the only bottled oil I buy and consume is pure extra virgin olive oil.  Tropical oils like coconut oil and unrefined palm oil are not counted among the bottled here because they are not liquid while cold and they are not dangerous when used for cooking.  It is the listed oils that are genetically modified, refined, and processed, and are highest in Omega 6 which is dangerously out of proportion in the American diet, and becomes the dreaded trans-fat when heated.  I would not advocate substituting bottled vegetable oil in the place of traditional fats in any of my recipes, or in any of your food, including salad dressing.  Don't fry in it, bake with it,  cook with it.  Opt for animal fats ,  coconut  oil, or organic palm oil for those needs.

 Do not be fooled, particularly, by canola oil that is never organic despite being found in the organic section of your supermarket shelves.  It is extracted from genetically modified rapeseed, and insects do not even eat rapeseed!  Rapeseed oil has been classically used as an industrial lubricant, and to put the gloss on magazine pages. 

 Soybean oil is also revealing itself as problematic.  With rapeseed, soya, and corn topping the GMO agricultural charts, genetic modification is not the only problem.  Soy itself in an unfermented state, as it is found in soybean oil and infant formula, is revealing itself as destructive to the proper healthy function of the thyroid gland, and healthy reproductive development in children, prompting Israel to push for the eradication of soy formula. 

 Extra virgin olive oil is terrific, so long as it is pure and unadulterated.  In the US, that is not always the case, but you don't need a chemist or a laboratory to arrive at the truth about the bottle you have bought.  You only need your refrigerator.  Place the bottle of olive oil in the refrigerator overnight or during the day while you are at work, and then have a look at it.  If it has remained liquid-if it has not grown solid and pale in the bottle-then you have been tricked into buying something that is NOT 100% pure extra virgin olive oil!  If, however, you achieved success and own the real thing, leaving it at room temperature will return it to its liquid state.

 Now on to creating sensational salads.  It begins with the elimination of bottled salad dressings that have frightening ingredients lists.  Making your own is so easy, and so good for you!  Give it a try and see what you think.  Here's to your good health and happy cooking experiences!

                                                                                                 Salad Dressings

Raspberry Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 shallot, quartered
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a clean jam jar with a lid.

Creamy Italian Dressing:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade, and quartered
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a clean jam jar with a lid.

Italian Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and quartered
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (from 3 or 4 small sprigs or 1 or 2 large sprigs)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from 3 or 4 small sprigs or 1 or 2 large sprigs)
1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves (from 3 or 4 small sprigs or 1 or 2 large sprigs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a clean jam jar with a lid.


French dressing

Peel and finely chop 1/4 of a clove of garlic. Put the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Yogurt dressing

Put 1/3 cup of natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Lemon dressing

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon.

Balsamic dressing

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

 

 





               


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