Essential Traditions/Real Food Real Frugal

The archives for the old Essential Traditions blog and the old Real Food Real Frugal Blog

Avocado Olive Oil Vinaigrette

avodado olive oil vinaigrette

Gather your ingredients

As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I’ve been experimenting with essential oils for health and since most dōTERRA Essential Oils have be approved by the FDA for internal use, I’ve also been trying my hand at cooking with essential oils.  This is my very first recipe that I’ve created using dōTERRA Essential Oilss, but expect more in the future!  I decided to try something really simple and since I recently received several products from Mountain Rose Herb’s Epicurean Organics line to review, I decided to try my hand at a salad dressing.

The products from Mountain Rose Herb’s Epicurean Organics line that I used in this recipe are:

  • Avocado Oil – Avocado oil is a new oil for me to use.  I’ve never used it, but it sound like something we would like.  We eat a lot of Mexican food around here and my husband LOVES my homemade guacamole.  So, I thought I’d give it a try…and I sure glad that I did.  It tastes absolutely fantastic and I’ve found a new addition to my kitchen oil collection!
  • Olive Oil – The Epicurean Organics line’s olive oil is some of the best I’ve ever tried.  It has the most wonderful flavor.  We’ve eaten it in this salad dressing recipe, but it really doesn’t need any seasoning.  It’s really yummy just as it is to dip in homemade garlic bread.  Yum!
  • Smoked Black Pepper – This black pepper is smoked over wood smoke and it has the most amazing flavor!  My husband absolutely LOVES it sprinkled over steak from the grill.  But he REALLY loves it on steaks cooked on the George Foreman grill because the pepper gives the meat a nice wood smoked taste.  It also really smells wonderful!
  • Black Lava Salt  – My youngest son, Riley, thinks the black lava salt it “totally cool!” because of it’s black color.  The flavor is also really fantastic and it has the added advantage that it is infused with activated charcoal which assists the body in removing harmful impurities, and is exceptionally high in essential minerals to help maintain the body’s normal functions.

I also received Mountain Rose Herb’s Epicurean Organics line Mexican Seasoning, which I’ll be reviewing at a later date.

header-epicureanFirst let me say we are LOVING the Epicurean Organics line from Mountain Rose Herb.  All of the products were top of the line and absolutely fantastic tasting.  We’ve been using the smoked black pepper and black lava salt on everything and have been so pleased with the flavor.   I am really impressed with Mountain Rose Herb’s Epicurean Organics line and I can see me purchasing more products from them in the future.  The taste and quality of the items I’ve tried have been out of this world!

Okay…back to the recipe!  As I was saying, I decided to try my hand at something simple to begin with.  I had been dying to use some of the avocado oil in a recipe and thought now would be a perfect time.  First of all, I added equal amounts of the olive oil and avocado oil.  Then I added some of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.  I now had a really basic, unseasoned vinaigrette.

avodado olive oil vinaigrette

Next I added some raw local honey.  This is my go to sweetener for salad dressings.  What I generally do is add all the sweeteners and seasonings to taste.  I generally start off with the amount a recipe calls for and then adjust to fit my tastes.  Next I added the Black Lava Salt.  This is a large grain salt, so you will want to let the salad dressing “sit” overnight to help dissolve the salt into the dressing.  I would suggest you wait until the salt is dissolved before you try to adjust the salt level.  Otherwise you may end up with REALLY salty vinaigrette…like I did with my first batch!

avodado olive oil vinaigrette

Now you can add some of that wonderful smoked black pepper.  It gives the vinaigrette the most wonderful flavor!  Add some minced garlic, you can use fresh or the kind in oil.  I used the kind in oil because it is so much easier .

avodado olive oil vinaigrette

Now you can add some crushed red pepper flakes.  This give the vinaigrette a bit of punch.  Finally, add 2 drops of dōTERRA Oregano Essential Oils.  This adds such a fantastic Italian sort of taste to the vinaigrette, as well as some healthy benefits!  Oregano Essential Oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiseptic to the respiratory system, antiviral, and is an immune stimulant.  It helps to boost your immune and respiratory systems.  My son loves Oregano oil…he calls it pizza oil because it smells like pizza to him!

avodado olive oil vinaigrette

Now, all you have to do is shake it up to combine and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.  This will allow the flavors to blend.  Shake and taste the next morning, and adjust the seasonings if you wish.

This is now one of my favorite salad toppings.  Since we are eating grain free, I eat a LOT of salads and veggies and so I like to have several options when it comes to topping them for variety.


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Fermented Squash Salsa & Giveaway!

This weekend, we spent a lot of time cleaning up our garden beds so we can start getting them tilled. We are not only expanding our main garden, but also adding a smaller on in the back yard and hoping to start a medicinal herb garden. I just love eating our own vegetables…there really couldn’t be anything better and more satisfying than growing your own food. I know not everyone can do it as “big” as we can, but everyone can do some of it. I talk more about that in my article Creative Gardening. With the gardening heating up again, my mind also turns towards how to preserve all that veggie goodness. On of my favorite ways is to ferment them and squash is one of those veggies we end up overloaded with. At one time the year before last, we were pulling 40 pounds of squash out of our garden a day….can you say “OVER PLANTED SQUASH”!?!? Yup, over planted we did. But that was okay, because my family LOVES squash and it allowed me to be able to experiment with it. My fellas love fermented salsa, so my husband suggested we try a Fermented Squash Salsa, my youngest calls it Squasha…lol! We’re all still getting use to the lacto-fermented taste. I think it’s a bit of a required taste, but each new thing we try, we’re liking more and more. My husband raved over the first batch. In fact he took the whole jar to work with him and wouldn’t share with the rest of us! So Squash Salsa has become a family favorite and another great way to use up all that extra squash in your garden. In this recipe I used yellow summer squash, but you can use any squash you’d like, I’ve tried it with yellow summer squash, zucchini, patty pan, and even some winter squash like acorn.  Below you will find the recipe, but don’t forget to scroll down, there’s a giveaway below as well!!



Today, simply because I haven’t done on in a while and because I love y’all, I’M HAVING A GIVEAWAY!  So just what am I giving away you ask?  How about a copy of the book Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin and Milk Kefir grains from Cultures for Health!

To enter, simply use the form below! This giveaway ends on Saturday, February 9th and the winner will be announced on Sunday, February 10th!

Linking With:


Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

We eat tacos here in some form at least once a week (hey we’re from Texas Y’all!) so I had to try my hand at making my own taco seasoning mix.  My kids usually eat them on sprouted grain tortillas and my husband and I eat them as taco salad.  I finally got tired of buying the taco seasonings in those little packets or the jars with the mix already made up.  Too often those little packets and jar contain stuff I don’t want my family consuming (MSG!!!).  So I decided to make my own.  I try to make this mix with organics, which can be expensive if purchased all up front, especially when you are on a tight budget.  So I purchase a couple of the spices each week and watch for sales.  When I get all the spices purchased, I make up a batch.  Then I only replace the spices as I need to, when I’m getting low.  This recipe doesn’t use up complete jars.  When you’re done, you have enough taco seasoning for 6 meals (or 6 pounds of meat).   You only use about 8 teaspoons per pound of meat.  Making your own taco seasoning mix is easy, it saves you money, and it keeps unwanted and often hidden chemicals out of your family’s diet.  It’s a win-win!



Lime-Cumin Pickled Jalapeno Slices

Lime-Cumin Pickled Jalapeno Slices - RealFoodRealFrugal.comMy husband has a thing for pickled jalapeno slices.  He uses them on everything.  While Lime-Cumin Pickled Jalapeno Slices isn’t his favorite recipe, it comes in a close second.  These are really good and they have a nice southwestern flavor with the mixture of lime and cumin.  While these aren’t lacto-fermented/pickled they are still healthy and made from scratch!  They’re good enough to eat straight from the jar and are delicious on top of nachos and other Mexican foods.  I love canning/pickling with my water-bath canner.  I often can up a mixture of item through out the growing season.  We enjoy a wide variety of pickled vegetables and pickling is a great way to preserve the harvest for months to come.  Canning your own is also a lot less expensive than buying the fancy pickles from the store or specialty shop.  They also  make really great gifts for Christmas.

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Linking With: Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Homemaking Link-Up, Finer Things Friday