Orange Poppy Seed Dressing for Spring Salads

Here is a simple Orange Poppy Seed Dressing that we have made and love!
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb honey (optional to taste)
2 Tb white wine vinegar
1 tsp poppy seeds

Mix first four ingredients with a whisk. Whisk in poppyseeds.
Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

You can experiment with other citrus such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine. You can adjust the sweetness with honey.

Remember that olive oil in the refrigerator will solidify so you will need to take out the dressing a little earlier to bring it back to room temperature.

Thoughts on Organic Foods

There is a new study that concludes organic foods could help ward off cancer. The JAMA Internal Medicine study stated that those who eat organic foods lowered the risk of developing cancer.

In France, a team of scientists looked at what over 68,000 adults ate for over four years. They then divided them into four categories, dependent on what they ate like organic produce, meat and fish, supplements, etc. The group that ate mostly organic foods were 25% less likely to develop cancer. Specifically non-Hodgkins lymphoma and post-menopausal breast cancer.

The reasons for not consuming organic foods was addressed from the group that didn’t eat organic. Some were price, limited availability, or lack of interest in it. One surprising statement was that more than 90% of us in the United States have detectable pesticides in our urine and blood.

What might be left unclear is how much pesticide exposure one may have outside of food consumption. What about those who may have had pesticide treatments on their lawns or gardens? If you eat out a lot, you may be getting more exposure to conventional foods in that way.

Some Protein Basics

There are two kinds of basic protein: complete and incomplete.

Complete or whole protein have all nine essential amino acids. Some examples of foods with this type of protein are red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, soybeans, hempseed, and quinoa. These foods vary in the amount of protein but are all sources of complete protein.

Incomplete proteins can be combined to form complete proteins. Some incomplete proteins are nuts, seeds, legumes, pasta, and lentils. Some combinations can be nuts or seeds along with whole grain bread (like peanut butter on whole wheat). Whole grains with beans (like beans and rice or refried beans and whole wheat tortillas). Beans with nuts or seeds (like a salad with chickpeas and sunflower seeds).

You should aim to get about 50-60 grams protein per day.

Tips For Reading Food Labels

“Natural flavors” is a term many of us food label readers have probably seen hundreds of times but what are they really? It most commonly found on the labels of our most processed foods.

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

In other words, a chemical normally flavor found in any of the products can be extracted and enhanced and added to in a lab. These natural flavors may contain up to 50 or 100 added ingredients. If you have an allergic reaction to something and cannot figure out what it is, add “natural flavor” to your list of foods to avoid. It is prevalent in so many processed foods. Try to make your own foods from scratch – that way you know what is in them.

Everything Bagel Roasted Asparagus

Everything Bagel Roasted Asparagus


1 trimmed bunch of thin asparagus spears

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp everthing bagel spice mix

1 garlic clove minced

Extra salt to taste

Extra black pepper to taste

Squeeze of lemon (optional)

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.