Tag Archives: poppy seeds

Happy Birthday, America!

8 Jul

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I posted anything here. It’s been a whirlwind 7 days. Last Friday, we packed up and headed north to Devil’s Lake, where we spent a long 4th of July weekend with our wonderful friends, Kevin and Lisa, and their extended family. It was a beautiful weekend to be on the lake and their hospitality was amazing. We filled our days with swimming, fishing, jet skiing, boating, tubing and watching fireworks from the middle of the lake…along with great conversations, great food and lots of laughter.

On the first night, they grilled steaks from the sustainably-raised beef they recently purchased. (They grilled portobello mushrooms for me.) They also made this delicious grilled onion — a large sweet onion cut into wedges, but not all the way through to the bottom, then drizzled with olive oil and seasonings, wrapped in foil and slow roasted on the grill. It was fantastic.

Lisa also made a huge salad filled with lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, and fresh corn cut from the cob. It was topped with her homemade poppy seed dressing. I’m not sure if this is her own dressing recipe or one that’s been shared between families, but let me just say — this dressing is to die for! Yes, it’s that good. As a matter of fact, Brady announced quite happily that he had finally found a salad that he loved. What a great start to the weekend!

I took a few of my latest successful dishes to share throughout the weekend — the Creamy Southwestern Dip, the salad with the Apricot Vinaigrette, and the Eating Well White Bean Salad — plus a new recipe for a Black Cherry Fruit Dip, some patriotic strawberries that I dipped in white chocolate and blue sprinkles, and a variety of fresh fruit.

Not only was the food refreshing, so was the conversation. We talked more than once about eating healthy and I was pleasantly surprised to discover I’m not the only one who thinks many of America’s health problems relate to the way we eat. They were curious about my vegan lifestyle and were actually interested in hearing what I had learned about the food industry over the last 6 months of this journey. And I was interested to hear that their entire family chooses fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible, that they had purchased locally-raised beef, and that they were choosing organic products when available. Awesome!

To top it off, it was one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve had in a long time. The kids all got along well and I got to spend lots of time just relaxing by the lake or chatting or reading. I think it was just what my blood pressure needed — no stress.

Now back to that salad dressing…I mixed up a batch tonight for dinner. Though I didn’t have the vegetables that Lisa had, I did cut fresh lettuce from my garden to make a salad. I topped it with cucumbers, strawberries and toasted hazelnuts and the salad dressing was perfect with it. It’s sweet and tangy and clings well to the salad. Luckily, Lisa gave me the okay to share the recipe here. I hope you’ll give it a try with whatever salad ingredients you have on hand. And if you don’t have anything to make a salad with, just dunk a big slab of bread in it. Trust me, you will leave the table happy! 🙂

Lisa’s Poppy Seed Dressing
makes about 2 cups

1 cup oil (I used half olive oil, half canola oil)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt (I used half salt, half salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Put all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until sugar dissolves. Chill and serve over your choice of salad. Enjoy!