Balsamic Vinaigrette

Over the past few years, I have come to love homemade salad dressings. They are extremely easy to make, and I personally think they taste better than the most expensive bottle of salad dressing that you can buy off the shelf at the market. I also noticed that when eating salads with homemade dressings, it encouraged me to eat salads more often. I typically pour this dressing over romaine lettuce with black olives, garbanzo beans, and sun-dried tomatoes. It tastes great!


3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bottle for later use. Shake well before pouring.

Balsamic Vinaigrette


Basil Pesto

I love pesto! Particularly basil pesto. Finding a good store-brought pesto anywhere is almost impossible. I have tried. However, this recipe is my go-to when I want basil pesto.


Leaves from 1 large bunch basil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fresh lemon juice

Add basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic to a food processor; chop. Adding olive oil in a thin stream while pulsing ingredients in food processor. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, processing briefly to mix.

Pesto Tips and Recipes

Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo

There are two things that I love: sun-dried tomatoes and mayo. What’s great about sun-dried tomato mayo is that it adds something new to the table and it goes great on sandwiches.


1/2 cup light mayonnaise  
1/4 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pressed or minced garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place chopped sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and pour in boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes, then drain and pat tomatoes with paper towels.

Mix mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, cayenne pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes and put in the jar of a blender. Blend until almost smooth, stopping to scrap down sides of jar as necessary. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Sun-Dried Tomato And Roasted Garlic Mayo

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Pico de gallo is my favorite salsa. Once it’s made, it’s hard for me to stop eating and walk away. Don’t ask me how it got it’s name, which literally translates to “rooster’s beak,” but it’s amazing and really easy to make.


1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound fresh ripe tomato, any type, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2/3 cup white, chopped
Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste (I did 1 1/2 teaspoons)

Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pico de Gallo

Fat Free Heavy Cream Substitute

I found this recipe for a Low-Fat Heavy Cream substitute and with a simple change, I made a fat free version.


8 ounces non-fat cottage cheese
3 tablespoons non-fat powdered milk

Combine and stir until well-bended.

This turned out to be a great substitute for heavy cream. I used it in a recipe in that I would normally use heavy cream and I didn’t notice the difference.

You can use this fat free heavy cream substitute in the following:
Greek Pasta with Sausage and Cheese