recipe for you! my favorite salad and dressing

NOTE: If you read this when I first posted it—I typed in the wrong dressing recipe, oops! Please see changes below.

We could use a breather from the heavy topic of toxic dental practices! Here’s my favorite salad recipe, always a hit whenever I make it for my family or others. A big helping is a meal in itself, with the pasta in it. I took the idea from a recipe that used to be on Macaroni Grill’s menu, now discontinued—though I’ve made it healthier, of course! These are Ch. 2 and 3 recipes in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. Enjoy!

Spinach-Orzo Ensalata

1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil in 3+ cups water, approx. 6-7 min., and rinse well to keep grains separate, then cool)

10+ cups spinach (about two 10-oz. bags), chopped

1 pkg. fresh basil, cut in ribbons

2 tomatoes, diced small

1 can black olives, sliced

2 oz. capers (half a 4 oz jar), drained

½ cup raw pine nuts (or toast them under the broiler—yum!)

Optional: shaved Parmesan to taste

Toss all ingredients except optional Parmesan. Add dressing to taste and toss. Top each plate with shaved Parmesan if desired. Serves 4 as a complete meal.

Tangy Dill Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. honey (raw)

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbsp. dried (or 1/4 cup fresh) dill weed

Blend all ingredients well in a high-powered blender.

do you have garden squash coming out your ears?

If so, me too! Finding a new squash recipe we really like is so fun. I wonder what the recipe below would be like with ZUCCHINI. If you try it before I do, let me know. I found this recipe on Hallelujah Acres yesterday, because one of their employees wrote me to say hi. They’d asked in their forum who their favorite blogger is and my blog had been popping up. That’s nice, thanks H-Acres readers.

Yellow Squash Raw Hummus

2 medium yellow squash (peeled, sliced in 1″ pieces)

1/2 cup pine nuts (soaked 6 hours and drained)

1/2 cup raw almond butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves (peeled)

juice of 1 Meyer lemon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp curry

1 tsp. Celtic or Himalayan salt (or to taste)

pinch of cayenne (or to taste)

pinch of paprika

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (minced)

1/4 cup kalamata olives (diced)

Place all ingredients (except parsley and olives) in food processor with an S blade and process until creamy. (If too thin, add more almond butter.) Spoon into bowl and stir in parsley and olives. Cover and store in fridge. It will keep refrigerated for several days.