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A Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe For Keeps!
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They say it's hard to find good vinaigrette for keeps. At my office Christmas party a couple of weeks ago, I found the vinaigrette too oily thereby killing my appetite for the salad greens they were serving as appetizers. Then I heard about raspberry vinaigrettes and how it's one of the most popular salad dressings for weight loss because it's comparatively low in fat and calories. I've never tried one before since I was mostly familiar with balsamic or Italian vinaigrettes only. So out of curiosity, I decided to check the internet for recipes and try making one for myself.
Lo and behold, I recently came across this raspberry vinaigrette dressing recipe from Food.com (http://www.food.com/recipe/best-raspberry-salad-dressing-vinaigrette-215827) and this went perfectly with the salad I had prepared for dinner that day. I'm slowly compiling a list of simple healthy dinner recipes and this fit right into the bill. According to sources, classical French cuisine typically uses vinaigrette not only as a salad dressing but as a cold sauce for artichokes, asparagus and leeks. It can also be used to baste meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables before cooking as well as a marinade to tenderize and flavor ingredients. In my case, I keep my own stash of vinaigrette in case I'll have some out of the blue salad cravings during certain days. The recipe is so easy to follow. To start with, here are the ingredients:
1/2 cup canola oil
6 frozen raspberries, thawed
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (Star brand is best)
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam (or mixed berry jelly)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (country-style preferred)
1 teaspoon poppy seed
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1. Measure the dressing ingredients in a wide-mouth pint jar.
2. Process with an immersion blender, which will emulsify (incorporate and thicken) the dressing all at once.
This is what I love about vinaigrettes. Preparing it is a no-brainer as long as you have all the ingredients ready and there's an immersion blender or food processor on hand. I'm also thinking of using it as an easy pork marinade for barbecue Sundays with the family. A little culinary experiment wouldn't hurt, right? They say good vinaigrette makes dull lettuce spring to life, veggies go from bland to bold and meat finds a tangy marinade. It is, for me, a thing of beauty.
So back to my salad habit. It is said that eating a salad almost everyday is one healthy eating habit we can adopt --- and one of the simplest, experts say. A salad is a super-convenient way to work in servings of vegetable or fruit into your diet. They are cool, crunchy and fun to eat. As I researched more about its health benefits, I discovered the following facts:
1. Salads are rich in fiber, and eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.
2. Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables are at a lower risk of developing diseases like cancer. This is thanks to antioxidants that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules.
3. It cuts calorie consumption yet increases satisfaction making it ideal for people who are trying to lose weight.
4. Eating a little good fat with your vegetables appears to help your body absorb protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables. There was an Italian research on people aged 60 and older that suggested a diet that includes plenty of olive oil and raw vegetables is linked to reduced mortality.
The real challenge lies in sticking to this diet plan for the long term. I shouldn't be that hard since my new year's resolution is to start eating healthy from now on. No more sodas and junk food!
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