Every year my grandmother and I have a contest to see who gets the first ripe tomato out of their garden. For the first time ever, I won. Granted, it was a cherry tomato and granted, she moved into a condo and didn't grow any tomatoes this year but still, I will take my victories where I can get them!
Golden Globe Cherry Tomatoes
With the vegetable bounty starting to roll in, its time to start thinking summer salads. Honestly, I probably should have been thinking salad months ago but living in the Northeast, good local vegetables just don't exist until summer and then; look out! It's like you can practically taste the rays of sunshine biting into a vine-ripe, heirloom tomato. The lettuce is crisper, the cucumbers juicier and the peppers are peppier...it all just tastes so much better.
My Vegetable Garden
I grew up in the South where salads were only edible if they were covered in cheddar cheese and ranch dressing and when I mean covered I mean COVERED. You could barely see any green left in the bowl by the time I was finished dressing it. But hey, I was eating a salad and for that my mother was grateful.
Considering that good ole fashioned ranch has the nutritional value of a Big Mac, it can quickly turn a nutritious meal into another fat trap laden with calories, preservatives and salt. Vinegarette and oil dressings are just not the same. To this day, the stubborn child in me still wants ranch or blue cheese dressing, no matter how bad they are for me, though my conscious usually stops me.
That is, until I found the best, guilt-free, no stress blue cheese and ranch salad dressings that taste so much like the store bought goo my 12 year old self can't even tell the difference. I did a lot of testing and mixed and matched a couple of different recipes until they were perfect. That's right, I said PERFECT. I know what you are thinking, what does a company that manufactures antibacterial wipes, health care disinfectant and hand sanitizer know about cooking and eating healthy? The truth is, a lot. We always try to be healthy here at Zogics (having thousands of gyms and fitness centers across the country is great motivation) and often share what we grow and cook with each other. Considering that I am going to be forcing everyone here to take cucumbers home in a couple of weeks, I figure that these recipes might come in handy. Seriously...why do I always plant so many cucumbers?