Everyday Vinaigrette

Everyday Vinaigrette

If you’re still buying salad dressing at the store, it’s time to make your move! Having a good, basic vinaigrette in the fridge that you made with your own two hands is liberating…and delicious. This one uses ingredients you probably already have on hand and a simple mason jar. Once you master the technique, you can riff off of this, using different acids (lime or lemon juice for example, or balsamic vinegar) different oils (canola oil, safflower oil, walnut oil) and different flavor boosters (garlic, shallots, thyme, parsley, cilantro, ginger, etc).

We’ll build out your collection of dressings over time, but try this one to get the ball rolling. Trust me, your salad will thank you!

PS – This will keep for a week or more in the fridge, and by then you’ll be ready to whip up a new batch anyhow!


Everyday Vinaigrette

Serves 8


3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake till emulsified. Or, place all ingredients in a glass bowl and combine with a whisk till combined.

Turkey “Sausage & Peppers” Burger

turkey burgers with peppers

Sausage and Peppers is one of those quintessential summer sandwiches. The aroma is so distinctive – if you’ve ever had one, you know exactly what I mean. Nonetheless, I gave up pork sausage years ago because the fat content is so high that it’s almost impossible to justify eating it.

This makeover of the classic is a great example of how to work the nostalgic flavors into your summer plans without wavering in your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. This calls for buns and cheese, but you could omit either if you prefer.

Turkey “Sausage & Peppers” Burger

serves 4


1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (use red or yellow if you’d prefer but the flavor will be sweeter)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 ounces ground turkey (I like 93% lean)
2 links Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 slices provolone cheese
4 small whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted


1.  Place a grill basket on one side of grill.  Preheat to medium-high.

2.  Toss onion, bell pepper, oil, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil, and pepper in large bowl.  Transfer to the preheated grill basket and  cook until the vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes..

3.  In a separate bowl, combine ground turkey, sausage, breadcrumbs, fennel seeds, garlic powder and the remaining oregano and basil.  Shape into four “burgers”.

4. Oil the grill, place the burgers directly on the rack, and cook for 4 minutes.  Turn them once, top with the grilled vegetables and cheese; continue grilling until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is melted, 4 to 6 minutes more.  Serve on buns.



Healthy Travel Snack – No-Bake Energy Bites


This morning on Fox19 Cincinnati, I shared some ideas for healthy travel snacks to keep you on track, and out of the convenience store candy aisle! Here’s the video…then keep reading for the tips and recipe!

Click here for the Fox19 video clip

Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

In general, when we’re heading off on a road trip, I like to pack a small cooler with:

  • Fruits & Vegetables (whole or cut fruit, cut up veggies in small containers with a separate container of hummus or dip)
  • Proteins (rolled up turkey or ham, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks)
  • High quality carbs (high fiber low sugar choices like Triscuits, Flax Crackers, or a cereal like Kashi Heart to Heart

Even with great choices like those in tow, my kids are often still looking for something sweet and chewy…and I’ll admit we often pack “energy bars” to satisfy the craving. Clif Z Bars are my kids’ favorite and they’re not a bad choice.

But, with just a few minutes in the kitchen, you can make these homemade energy bites – they’re all natural and absolutely delicious. The kids will love getting their hands into the process and then they can pop the perfect size bite when hunger strikes!

Enjoy, travel safely, and stay healthy this summer!

No-Bake Energy Bites

Makes 20+ bites


  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed (you’ll find this in the organic section with the alternate flours)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  1. In a bowl, stir together oatmeal, coconut flakes, flax seed, mini chocolate chips and raisins.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla till smooth.
  3. Pour peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or your hands until thoroughly blended. it will look like granola at this stage.
  4. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Once chilled, roll mixture into balls and store in an airtight container. These will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.