Italian Dressing Mix – Plus!

I’ve been experimenting with this mix over time, and frankly am pretty pleased with this version.  It’s a way to make Italian dressing – but you can do a lot more with it (thus the Plus).  Best of all, you can mix it with spices and ingredients you probably have lying around the house.

First you need these ingredients.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried, ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tsp salt

Take all the ingredients and mix them together in a jar or other container (preferably the one you’ll keep it in).  If you have a mortar and pestle it’s even better as you can crush things together, but I just mix them together and crush them a bit with the back of a spoon.  I probably need a mortar and pestle to be a cool cook.

To make dressing, just blend 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil (or another oil), 1 teaspoon of White Wine or Rice Wine Vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon of the mix.  It’s best when you put it in a container, shake it, and let it sit in a refrigerator for awhile so the flavors blend.  Shake again before you serve.

This is a bit high in fat (olive oil, after all), but delicious.  It also goes far – it’s usually enough for a good 2 or so cups of vegetables.  I particularly like it on baby spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli – and diced tomatoes on spinach.

If you want more, merely scale it up.  You can try other vinegars, but I like these ones.

However there’s more you can do . . .

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Potato and Garlic Soup

A little variant of a recipe I got out of a Mediterranean cookbook.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 large potato, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 14 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained (about 1 1/2 cups tomatoes)
  • 1 tap dried basil
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

1) Put onions, garlic, potatoes, paprika and oil into pot.  Sautee until the onions begin to soften.  Don’t overheat.
3) Add tomatoes, basil, vegetable stock.   Simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are very soft.
4) With a spatula or large spoon, break potatoes up, thickening the broth.
5) Serve with salt and paper.

The result?

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