Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette

I started off the new year eating squeaky clean paleo as I indulged way too much during the holidays. I think it’s necessary to hit the reset button every once in a while when I feel like I’m straying away from a clean diet. A couple of weeks ago, I spent several hours prepping homemade stocks, soups, cauliflower hummus and chopping vegetables and fruit to put in the freezer for easy access during the busy work week. I think spending a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday prepping for the upcoming week is a huge timesaver and helps me to stay on track.

One of my favorite side dishes is a simple green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Most store-bought vinaigrettes and salad dressings contain sugar and other unnecessary things, so I always prefer to make my own. Making homemade balsamic vinaigrette is so easy and uses ingredients you probably already have at home.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning (blend of oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, black pepper, tarragon, red bell pepper and chives)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar, seal tightly with a lid and shake until ingredients are well combined.
2. Serve over salad greens or other vegetables and store leftovers in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.


Paleo Avocado Cilantro Crema

Avocado cilantro crema
I LOVE avocados, especially guacamole and that “green sauce” they serve you at restaurants. There’s one particular Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston that serves the best “green sauce” and I swear I could eat a gallon of that stuff at one time. The problem with that sauce is that it probably contains sour cream and a whole bunch of other bad stuff, not to mention it’s served with addicting corn tortilla chips. I’ve managed to make a close dairy free version of this beloved sauce. It goes well as a dip, for plantain chips or veggies and is also amazing drizzled over grilled chicken, fajitas, casseroles and tons of other dishes. It’s super creamy with a little bit of a kick from the peppers.

1 ripe large Hass avocado
1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed
10 green chile piquín peppers (add more if you like it really spicy)
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (coconut milk could be substituted)
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a blender, add all the ingredients and purée until it reaches a nice, creamy consistency.
2. Pour in a bowl and serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to two days in the refrigerator.