Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Homemade Pulled Pork Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

I was craving a salad a couple of days ago, but I really wanted to eat something filling as well. I remembered I had some wonderful, homemade pulled pork in the freezer and got a great idea- a pulled pork salad! I started with a head of organic iceberg lettuce and half a tomato (chopped). Then, I simply added a large scoop of the thawed pulled pork on top and added a bit of shredded cheese. You could easily throw on some of your own favorite veggies, too!

I used to have this type of salad at a place called Shyler's Barbecue in Evansville, IN. I would order the salad and top it with a delightfully sweet poppy seed dressing- YUM. Since I didn't have any poppy seed dressing at home (or a recipe), I decided to top it off with a homemade honey-mustard dressing instead.

Honey-mustard is the easiest dressing to make! All you need is equal parts raw honey and spicy Dijon-style mustard- that's it! Although honey can be quite thick, when mixed with the mustard it becomes very viscous. I was able to drizzle it with ease from my cheap plastic squeeze bottle :)

Needless to say, my homemade, restaurant-style salad was delicious! Try making your own salads and dressings at home- you will taste the difference fresh, nutritious ingredients can make! For more ideas for dressings and sauces, click here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Homemade Kimchi (Korean Sauerkraut)

"Kimchi" has got to be the Korean word for "delicious"! If you like spicy things like I do, this will certainly be a treat. Kimchi is a great condiment for meat dishes or just eaten out of the jar. I certainly don't let it sit long in my fridge.

I used to buy kimchi at (of all places) Walmart! But, like many other good, nutritious foods, it has disappeared from the shelves and I am forced to make it at home. No matter, it is a challenge I am up to! With a power-punch of digestive helps like ginger, probiotics and cayenne pepper, I have to have my kimchi. :)

The recipe I have adapted is originally from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. It is a must-have cookbook for all those real foodies out there!

Here's what I put in my homemade "delicious":
1 head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
1 small onion, minced
1 c carrots, shredded
1 T freshly grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 t cayenne pepper powder
2 T Celtic sea salt

Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and pound with something heavy until juices are released. I used the end of a wooden dowel rod, but you could also use a meat hammer.
Move kimchi to a canning jar and press down until juices come to the top. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of head space in the jar, then cover tightly. Leave the jar out on the counter for 3 days, then move it to the fridge!

Enjoy! Your taste buds and your tummy will thank you :)

Homemade Continuous Brew Kombucha

I love my kombucha :). It is wonderful as a morning pick-me-up or sipped with a meal. I have always made my booch in small batches, usually 1/2 gallon canning jars, but recently a friend has re-introduced me to another method... continuous brewing!
I first read about this technique when I started making booch many years ago, but like many beginners I thought I had to purchase all the fancy equipment sold online. Needless to say, the expensive ceramic brewing crocks were a little out of my price range! My friend has proven to me that all that expensive stuff is really unnecessary, so I've decided to give it a go. Thanks, Deb!


This is a party drink container that I bought about a year ago. It was on sale at a local discount home goods store and I had to have it... since then, I have used it a total of 2 times. For lemonade. So, I was glad to get it out of storage to use as my continuous brew set-up! It is attractive, so I don't mind it decorating a dark corner of my kitchen. And, since it is larger than my previous brewing vessel, I can make large batches of yummy booch!


Here's the vessel I have been using for the past few brews. It holds one gallon of booch, but it's a pain in the rear at bottling time! I have to move my scoby to another container in order to bottle the liquid, then pour the booch (clumsily) into canning jars, then rinse the container and start a new batch from step one. With a continuous system, you can skip a few messy steps between brews!


I've bottled my booch from the previous batch with fewer spills than usual and have set them aside for a short second fermentation with strawberries as a flavoring. This second fermentation takes only about 2 days, then I move the jars to the fridge.

Here is my finished continuous brew set-up! I am really excited to see how the first bottling goes. I'm sure it will be less messy and time-consuming than the one I did earlier today! And, I have made use of a purchase that would otherwise be left under the counter gathering dust until the next birthday party. :)

For more information about brewing your own kombucha, visit these websites:

Kombucha Kamp

Happy Herbalist (continuous brew)

But, don't be fooled into buying expensive equipment! :)

Homemade French Dressing

When I lived in France while in college, I stayed with a family that had a great love of food. They not only made homemade sparkling apple cider but a variety of other things I had never even heard of before... One of my host father's special secrets was his salad dressing. It was nothing like I'd ever tasted before and made with real, fresh ingredients- not at all like "French dressing" at the grocery store. In fact, I never saw any "French dressing" in France! I think that is an American invention.

Here is what you'll need for my easy-peasy version of French vinaigrette:

1/4 c virgin olive oil (or other salad oil)
1/8 - 1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar- start with less and add more, if desired
splash red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
pinch sea salt
dash black pepper
drizzle heavy cream (optional)

Put all ingredients in a cheap plastic squeeze bottle and give it a good shake. I especially like this dressing on my daughter's Salade Nicoise. :) Use liberally over any greens!