My husband and I switched our insurance around last year (wow, are you amazed that you're still reading and I started like that? I am.) and both had to do blood work as part of the underwriting process. He got the resulting report in the mail and did extra research on his results, which is totally in line with his personality and complete crazy talk to me. I subsequently received my report, skimmed it, saw that all of my numbers were good and some were spectacular, and tossed it aside.

It definitely took until my adulthood for me to really see and feel and believe the connection between how we eat and how we feel. Growing up, I was one of those naturally skinny little boogers who could eat pretty much anything and not gain or lose much. So food didn't mean a whole lot to me. Then I had a baby (or three), and had to lose real weight for the first time. As a result, I'm now more active and we eat better than I ever have.

Don't get me wrong, I still love nachos and I've never met a pepperoni pizza I didn't want to make out with, but still. According to our blood work and overall health, we're doing alright.

We used to have a decorative bowl with decorative balls in it as the laid-back centerpiece to our table. Last year, I swapped it out for a pretty white dish and each week I fill it with fruit. It's one of those things I did to remind myself to grab a whole food snack instead of going straight for the goldfish/veggie straws/cereal. It's helpful for me in the mornings, too, as I pack lunches for school. I stumble around trying to think with my foggy head (it's the first thing I do) and then I'm like, "OH! Pears. I forgot. Bananas. Yes. Good. Done. Coffee. All the coffee." (For me.)

Anyway, I read Shauna Niequist's book Bread and Wine recently, which I totally recommend. She talked about being a vinaigrette person more than a sweets person and I totally agree. Shauna suggests making a vinaigrette each week, leaving it out on the counter, and using it for salads, as a dip for bread when you have people over, and even drizzling it in risotto (her suggestion) or harvest grains blend (my suggestion).

So I tried it. And we love it, and we use it all the time, and we make it weekly, and I think we even eat more salad.


Here it is.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or whatever you have/like/use)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (we use the jarred stuff! cheaters!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • some salt and pepper

I'm guessing some people have techniques about what to do first, but I just go down the list, putting everything in a jelly jar, screw the lid on tightly and

shake, shake shake it

shake, shake shake it

shake it like a Polaroid picture.

For a BALSAMIC Vinaigrette, I pour a few tablespoons of the already mixed vinaigrette into a bowl, add a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar, and mix with a fork or whisk. Taste and see if you want more balsamic vinegar in there. Usually a little goes a long way.

I started making this based on the Greek Salad with Broccoli recipe from CookieandKate.com, and realized MONTHS later that she says to refrigerate it. I'm guessing that's because the mustard is originally refrigerated? We leave ours on the counter at room temp for a week at a time and haven't had any problems. Do as you please.


This recipe originally appeared on Kristi's blog, And Babies Don't Keep. Check her recipes page for more favorites.

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