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Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Vegetarian Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears, Manchego Cheese and Toasted Almonds with a Buttermilk Vinaigrette

November 12, 2019

While dining at Sunday in Brooklyn a few weeks ago for a friend’s surprise 40th Birthday Party (well executed Rachel), I ate the most memorable kale salad which included crunchy sweet pears, a salty savory cheese and crunchy nuts tossed together in a buttermilk vinaigrette.

This crunchy salad was perfectly balanced in flavor with savory and sweet while the creamy buttermilk dressing paired so nicely with the chewy earthiness that we love about kale.

Today, I tried to create my version of this fall kale salad using freshly cut dinosaur kale, fresh dill, sautéed pears, manchego cheese, cucumbers, toasted almonds and diced egg. For the dressing, I cheated a little bit and combined store bought **Cindy’s Kitchen All Natural Buttermilk Ranch Dressing with their Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette, freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly cracked black pepper. The result was a delicious, filling and healthy vegetarian meal. Bon Appetit!

**Find Cindy’s Natural salad dressing in the cold produce section of the grocery story. It’s the only store bought dressing I would ever dare to buy as it’s made with limited preservatives, real ingredients, low sodium and sugar. Most importantly, they taste delicious and save a little time in the kitchen. A win-win.

Vegetarian Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears, Manchego Cheese and Toasted Almonds with a Buttermilk Vinaigrette

Pears, salty cheese, savory eggs and crunchy toasted almonds tossed in a citrusy buttermilk vinaigrette pair perfectly with earthy kale for an easy, healthy and vegetarian entree salad.

Course Entree
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 Bunches Lacinato Kale De-stemmed, chopped and triple washed
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Dill 1 inch stems
  • 2 Pears Chopped Large
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Cucumber Peeled and chopped
  • 3 Hard Boiled Eggs Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Manchego Cheese Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Cindy’s Kitchen Buttermilk Ranch
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon & Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1 Lemon Juiced
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Cracked Black Pepper


Ingredient Prep

  1. Gently put 3 eggs in a small saucepan over high heat.  Once the water begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat and cover with a tight fitting lid for at least 10 minutes.  I usually do this and then go about my business until I’m ready to use.  This method perfectly makes hard boiled eggs with no mess and no fuss.  

  2. Heat coconut oil in non-stick skillet over high heat.  Once the oil is very hot, add chopped pears and gently saute until you achieve a light brown sear.  This should only take about 3-5 minutes.  Do not walk away from the stove.  You want slightly softened pears with a touch of color and NOT mushy pears resembling jam.  Transfer cooked pears to a plate for cooling.  

  3. Wipe out saute pan using a paper towel and then return to medium high heat.  Add sliced almonds to the pan and turn constantly until they are lightly toasted.  This should only take 1-2 minutes.  Again, don’t walk away.  Once slightly brown, transfer almonds to a plate for cooling.    

Salad Dressing

  1. Whisk together ranch dressing, shallot vinaigrette, lemon juice and freshly cracked black pepper.  Set aside.  

Let’s prepare the salad!

  1. In a large mixing bowl, place 3/4 of the chopped kale, cucumber, dill and chopped egg.  Generously season with salt and pepper.  Gently toss with half of the prepared salad dressing mixture.  

  2. Add seared pears, manchego cheese, toasted almonds and the remaining salad dressing.  Season again with only the freshly cracked pepper as you should have enough sodium from the cheese and salad dressing.  Gently toss everything together.  

  3. Serve immediately as a post-workout meal, dinner salad or a brunch side dish.  

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. Hope you’re having an amazing Fall season filled with rich experiences, new beginnings and exciting adventures. Life is for the living.


Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Low Carb Bacon, Garlic Okra Recipe with Apple Cider Vinegar Finish

January 29, 2019

So Okra is one of those green “old school” vegetables that folks have a visceral reaction: either it’s “HATE IT” or “LOVE IT.” The ones that love it know that Okra is delicious whether fried to a crisp (everything is good fried by the way…even a flip flop), pickled in vinegar with herbs and spices, tossed in soups or stews like my famous Instant Pot Gumbo Recipe or sautéed with bacon fat like I did for today’s late lunch. I don’t mind the “sliminess” of Okra so I even enjoy it freshly picked out the garden and then boiled whole with onions, garlic, peppercorns and kosher salt. Once it’s nice and tender, just strain off the liquid and then enjoy the okra as a side dish with a nice vinegar pepper sauce. As the elder says, “that’s good eating right there.”

If you are part of the “I love Okra crew” like moi, then you will love this easy recipe that only has a few ingredients: Okra (obvi), Bacon, Fresh Garlic, Freshly Ground Pepper, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and Bragg’s 24 Herbs & Spices Seasoning.

If you’re trying to eat healthy and watch your sodium intake (you should be trying to eat healthy and watch your sodium intake by the way), then you need a jar or three of Bragg’s 24 Herbs and Spices Seasoning at your desk, in your home office, in you purse and certainly in your kitchen. As I wrote about HERE, this multi-purpose seasoning taste amazing on everything from meals to snacks. The herbs included in this jar of goodness is all the good stuff from rosemary, onion, garlic, lemon peel and orange peel to thyme, red bell pepper, carrot, tomato and olive oil. Trust Jackie on this one. This seasoning is a quick way to inject lots of flavor into foods without a bunch of added preservatives and junk.

Low Carb Bacon, Garlic Okra Recipe with Apple Cider Vinegar Finish

This quick recipe of frozen okra, bacon, garlic and spices is a perfect side dish or light entree.  Low-Carb, Paleo & Keto Friendly.  For vegans, substitute olive or coconut oil and smoked sea salt for the bacon.  

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes


  • 1 Pound (16 oz bag) Frozen Slice Okra
  • 3 Slices Thick Cut Bacon Julienned
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Tsp Bragg Sprinkle Herb & Spice Seasoning
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Heat a saute pan on medium-high heat.  Saute bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is just beginning to get crispy.  Add Okra and season with Herb & Spice Seasoning and Freshly Ground Pepper.  Stir occasionally.  Once the okra begins to soften and thaw (about 2 mins), reduce the heat to medium and then fold in garlic.  At this point, watch the pan closely so the garlic does not burn, stirring constantly.
  2. Once the okra is fork tender but still has crunch (about 1-2 mins more), turn the heat to high and add apple cider vinegar deglazing the pan.  Let the vinegar reduce until no liquid remains (about 1 mins) stirring constantly.  Once the liquid has fully evaporated, remove from heat.  Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste.  Serve and ENJOY!

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. Let us know in the comments below: How do you feel about Okra?


Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Lemon Butter Garlic Chicken Thighs with Zuchini Noodles

January 23, 2019

Last night’s healthy dinner of Lemon Butter Garlic Chicken Thighs with Zuchini Noodles caused quite a stir on Instagram @jackieunfiltered_ and Facebook. So much so that I decided to write this easy and flavorful recipe up and pop it here on the blog for all of you. You’re welcome!

In advance, excuse the quality of food photography here. The dish was so good that #Hubbs and I devoured the pan meaning no leftovers today for proper pics.

This low-carb/paleo/keto/healthy recipe is straightforward using common kitchen techniques, ordinary spices found in most kitchens and inexpensive and easy-to-find ingredients. The key to culinary success here is marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes, making sure your vegetables are chopped and ready before you begin (French culinary technique called mise en place) and watching your cooking times so nothing is over- or under-cooked.

I use healthy fats in this recipe, Ghee and Coconut oil, which both have a high burn rate. I also use a little butter for the vegetables as well. If butter offends your sensitive sensibilities then use olive oil or another oil such as avocado. However, I will caution you before you make the swap. Unless you have a heart condition or a doctor has advised you to watch your cholesterol and fat then you should be fine with the butter. I suggest you try the recipe as written as the butter adds a subtle richness to the Zuchini Noodles. This is one of the tips used by the French when cooking. Make the vegetables taste so darn decadent that you don’t even miss the starch. Whatever you decide, please, for the love of everything that is holy and right, don’t go stone cold crazy and use one of those ghastly butter substitutes like “I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter.” Um yes, we all can.

Lemon Butter Garlic Chicken Thighs with Zuchini Noodles

The lemon, butter, garlic and herbs marry with hearty chicken and savory herbs to create a delightfully healthy dish that is perfect anytime of year.  I will issue a fair warning that the tangy and herbaceous sauce would make even dirty cardboard taste good!!! You won’t even miss those pesky white carbohydrates that have zero nutritional value.  This isn’t some unapproachable culinary masterpiece. Just good food made from healthy and fresh ingredients.  If you are missing an ingredient, leave it out or swap it for another.  My only requirement is that you consider using butter and ghee as they provide the silky richness to the dish.  

Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes



  • 4 Smashed Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Tsp Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 4 Chicken Thighs


  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce Optional
  • 1 Jalapeño Deseeded & Finely Chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper Sliced into matchsticks
  • 8 Oz Baby Bella Musrooms Sliced
  • 3-5 Cups Spiralized Zuchini Noodles
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tsp butter & hot sauce to finish the vegetables after cooking


  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper



  1. Gently combine all marinade ingredients in a sealable container or zip lock bag (save the earth and use a glass container if you can).  Gently turn chicken in marinade several times.  Either marinate chicken on the countertop at room temperature  for 30 mins or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.  If marinating overnight, let chicken sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before cooking.


  1. Heat ghee and coconut oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy pan (preferable cast iron).

  2. Using tongs, remove chicken from marinade and place on a paper towel lined plate.  Gently use another paper towel to blot away any additional moisture from the chicken.  Removing the liquid will make sure the chicken achieves a flavorful crispy crust during cooking.  Season both sides of chicken with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  3. Using tongs, gently place chicken in the pan skin side down.  Place another pan or a grill press on top of the chicken to weight it down.  Set a timer and don’t touch that chicken for 7 minutes!!! Using tongs, gently turn chicken to the other side and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove to a plate and let chicken rest.


  2. Wipe out the pan used to cook the chicken.  Return pan to stove.  On low heat, melt 1 tbsp butter.

  3. Add garlic, lemon juice and hot sauce to the melted butter. Sauté, turning frequently, until garlic is fragrant.  About 1-2 minutes depending on the freshness of your garlic.  Add jalapeño and saute for another minutes.  

  4. Add sliced red peppers and season with with salt and pepper.  Sauté for 1 minute.  Turning occasionally. Add mushroom and season with salt and pepper.  Sauté for 1 minute.  Turning occasionally.  

  5. Using tongs, gently fold in Zuchini Noodles.  Be careful as the noodles are delicate.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for no more than 3 minutes, gently turning occasionally to soak the noodles in the pan sauce. You want the noodles under-cooked and not over-cooked.  Remove pan from heat and gently fold in additional butter, hot sauce and any chicken drippings from the plate holding the cooked chicken.  You can certainly omit this step but you will be sorry as this creates the silky finish that we all know and love.  

  6. Serve immediatly garnished with a lemon.  If somehow you have any leftovers (we did not) then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for lunch or dinner tomorrow.

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. I am still not shopping for the first 6 months of 2019. I will write a blog post and let you know how that’s going later this week. Until then, happy cooking and have a great week!

Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Spinach, Garlic & Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs Recipe with Paprika Black Pepper Italian Sausage

December 1, 2018

Eggs are one of those perfectly healthy foods that demonstrates whether you are a proficient cook or one that doesn’t know how to boil water.  They are deceptively simple to prepare with literally thousands of versions from poached to baked or fried.   I say deceptive because eggs are easy to screw up as well.  Nothing is worse than eggs that are overcooked, dry, brown, undercooked or even bland from lack of seasoning.

In fact, scrambled eggs in particular are so sensitive that I don’t like them prepared by anyone else other than myself in my pans and in my kitchen (#Hubbs has learned a little bit about scrambling eggs too).  I like them cooked in French butter, left a little moist and well seasoned with sea salt, pepper and either garlic or herbs.  Anyone lucky enough to get a bite of my scrambled eggs are forever changed and will never again want overcooked bland dry lumps of yellow gunk.  My secret ingredient is a touch of cream cheese and fresh garlic.  The diced spinach doesn’t significantly change the taste but adds a serving of leafy greens to breakfast or brunch.  That’s what Jackie calls a WIN-WIN.


Perfect eggs require the correct pan.  I like a shallow non-stick pan with a wide cooking surface.

Maldon Sea Salt adds the perfect salty crunch to compliment creamy eggs.


Spinach, Garlic & Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs Recipe

Diced heart healthy spinach and bold garlic are the perfect compliment to scrambled eggs.  A touch of cream cheese keeps the eggs moist.  

Course Brunch
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2


  • 5 Organic Eggs Lightly scramble
  • 1 Tbsp Cream Cheese
  • 2 Cups Spinach Diced
  • 1 Clove Garlic Diced
  • 1 Tbsp French Butter
  • Maldon Sea Salt & Pepper


  1. Heat a non-stick pan on low heat for 2 minutes and then melt butter.  

  2. Season scrambled eggs with salt & freshly cracked pepper and add to pan. Sprinkle the garlic and spinach over the top of the eggs.  Cook without touching the pan for about 5 minutes or until the bottom of the eggs set.  This is one of those moments where you MUST listen to me.  If you don’t, you will end up with half your eggs stuck to the bottom of the pan.  

  3. Once set, gently fold cooked bottom into eggs using a rubber spatula.  Add cream cheese to the pan.  Gently turn eggs every minute until the eggs are almost cooked.  Turn off heat and the let the eggs finish cooking in the warm pan.  

  4. Divide between two plates, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.  

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  Happy Saturday.  If you live in the North, stay warm.  If you are lucky to live in a beautiful locale like Port Antonio, Jamaica pictured below, I hope you are on a beach somewhere with family friends.  Wherever you are today, get in a sweaty sesh, work on your healthy goals and be joyful.


Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Pizza Recipe: Low Carb, Healthy & Easy to Make

November 28, 2018

I discovered low carb Whole Foods’ frozen prepared cauliflower crust one day while surfing online.  It provides the perfect gluten free low glycemic base when I am craving the crunchy and savory taste of pizza but am watching my waistline (pretty much sums up the story of my life all the time).  Last night after a late afternoon workout on the terrace, I ran to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner.  #Hubbs was out of town so my options were endless.  After 11 years, he usually doesn’t grimace at my healthy cooking but even he has limits for my crazy.  After walking through produce, glancing at what the butcher and fishmonger had to offer, I decided that I wanted something healthy-ish but hearty.  A spinach turkey pepperoni pizza would do the trick.   I quickly grabbed the few items I needed and headed home to throw my one-plate meal together.  The result was outstanding!  As I posted on instagram, I shocked myself with how tasty it was!

The following recipe is adaptable to your flavor preferences.  Substitute and add what you need.  My one suggestion is that you stay away from canned pizza sauce as it typically has added sugar, sodium and preservatives.  Instead, just use thinly sliced tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt, pepper and either no sodium Italian Seasoning and/or Pizza Seasoning.

Click the links below to order the seasonings that I use in my kitchen to add BIG flavor:  

Maldon Sea Salt

Pizza Seasoning

NOTE:  As I wrote about HERE, the no sodium Frontier seasonings are delicious and can be used on anything from protein to vegetables.  I especially love this Pizza Seasoning as it makes EVERYTHING tastes like pizza with just a couple shakes!

Nutritional Yeast

Cauliflower Pizza Recipe: Low Carb, Healthy & Easy to Make

This recipe will hit the “pizza craving” spot when you want a slice of cheesy savory goodness but you are also watching your carbs, gluten and glycemic index.  Adapt the ingredients to fit you and your family’s tastes.  My only note is to avoid prepared pizza sauce and to include at least one vegetable such as spinach, kale, artichokes, peppers or even brocolli and cauliflower.  

Course Entree
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 Frozen Cauliflower Crust
  • 2 Vine Ripened Tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 Bag Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 2 Tbsp Marinated garlic, olives & mushrooms Diced
  • 1.5 Cups Fresh Mozzarella Shredded or Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Package Uncured Turkey Pepperoni
  • No Sodium Italian Seasoning (Or Pizza Seasoning)
  • Maldon Sea Salt & Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Nutritional Yeast or Grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Brush frozen cauliflower pizza crust with olive oil and generously season with sea salt, pepper & seasoning.

  3. Leaving a half-inch border, layer tomatoes on crust and season again with salt, pepper and seasonings.  Layer spinach and season again with salt, pepper and seasonings.
  4. Layer marinated vegetables and season with pepper and seasonings.
  5. Layer 1 cup mozzarella cheese and season with pepper and seasonings.
  6. Layer as much pepperoni that will fit. Finish with the remaining mozzarella and season again with pepper and seasoning.
  7. Carefully slide pie into the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown and the top layer of cheese has begun to brown which will take about  8 - 10 minutes depending on your oven.  Don’t walk away and check often after 7 minutes as this pie will go from done to burnt easiliy.
  8. Slice and enjoy!  If you like, sprinkle the pizza with a little nutritional yeast or grated parmesan cheese just before serving.  

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  Happy pizza eating my friends.


PS:  This would make a great activity for young people in your life to get them involved in cooking or would be fun for a girls’ night.  Just create a pizza bar with various toppings for people to choose and let them create individual masterpieces!

PPS:  If you purchase anything on this page through a link, I will receive a small commission. I would never suggestion something I don’t love so don’t be mad at Jackie cause she needs to make a living too!

Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Creole Soup with Chicken, Andouille, Shrimp & Okra over Cauliflower Rice (Instant Pot Recipe)

October 24, 2018

I created this recipe for Creole Soup with Chicken, Andouille, Shrimp & Okra for my Instant Pot because yesterday, midday afternoon, my tastebuds craved the comfort taste of creole cooking.   Also, the chilly Northeast Fall weather demanded a hot, steamy and spicy bowl of goodness.

Anybody who has ever slaved over a pot of traditional “Gumbo” knows that one does not just whip up a savory pot on a whim unless your family is okay eating dinner 8 hours later.  A true Cajun Gumbo recipe takes half a day to make and is full of fat and extra calories.  Right now, ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, as the daughter of a Creole woman, I already know that the recipe I am presenting to you below will definitely offend some, especially those with Loo-Z-Ana roots.  In fact, if I had not already tasted this bowl of goodness twice, I would actually offend my damn self.  Despite the utter outrage this will cause amongst friends, family and foes alike, here goes…

While we can agree that my “Creole Soup with Chicken, Andouille & Okra” is not what we would call the rich roux based “Gumbo” that many of us love, this recipe does make an excellent and healthy midweek dinner as the andouille sausage provides a touch of peppery spice while the chicken, shrimp and tender okra swirling in a rich tomato broth will remind our taste buds of southern delicacies.  The best part is that this bowl of goodness only took about an hour to cook from start to finish, including chopping veggies and actual cooking time. 

It’s also important to note that my “Creole Soup” is much healthier than a traditional “Gumbo.”  The “roux” here is made from 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour and a tablespoon of unsalted butter verses the 1 cup of oil and 1 cup of white flour in the traditional “Gumbo” recipe.  I also reduced the simple carbohydrates by substituting the traditional side of “white rice” with cauliflower rice sauteed with herbs and spices and finished with parsley.  While many tried and true Cajuns are going to be very pissed off about these substitutions, I gar-on-tee that your waistline, heart and doctor will thank me!  

If you are somehow the last person on the planet without an Instant Pot, here’s a link to my favorite one right HERE:

I never seem to have time to make homemade chicken stock anymore so in a pinch like last night, Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base does the trick quite nicely with an Instant Pot soup.  Click HERE to purchase:

Creole Soup with Chicken, Andouille, Shrimp & Okra over Cauliflower Rice Instant Pot Recipe

This Instant Pot Recipe for “Creole Soup” is my healthier riff on the rich roux based dish that creoles call “Gumbo.”  It’s an excellent midweek dinner with a total prep and cooking time of 1 hour.  The tender chicken pairs wonderfully with the spice in andouille sausage and the delicate flavor of okra and shrimp while the tomatoes and sautéed vegetable create a rich and savory broth that goes perfectly with cauliflower rice.  This recipe will not dissapoint even the most discerning Cajun.  Even if it does, your waistline will thank you!

Course Entree
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8


  • 2 Lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks Diced
  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Diced
  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 28 oz can Whole Peeled Tomatoes Crushed in blender or food processor
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Package Andouille Sausage Sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 Cups Frozen Wild Shrimp
  • 2 16 oz Packages Frozen Okra
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • Sea Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper & Olive Oil
  • Chopped Scallion for Garnish


  1. This recipe cooks fast so prep your vegetables as directed above before turning on your Instant Pot (IP).

  2. Heat IP on Sauté High.  Once hot, add 2 tablespoon of Olive Oil.  In batches, brown chicken on both sides and set aside on a plate.  Leave any dripping and bits of chicken stuck to the IP pot after browning.  Do not rinse or throw out...this is the FLAVOR!  

  3. Add peppers, onions, celery and andouille sausage to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes or until vegetables soften slightly.   Only lightly season  with salt and pepper as the sausage has plenty of salt and spice.  Once the vegetables begin to sweat, use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits of chicken from the bottom of the IP.   Add garlic during last minute of cooking vegetables and andouille.  Remove vegetable/andouille mixture with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Press cancel and let the IP cool down for about 5 minutes. 

  4. While the IP cools, slice the browned chicken into cubes reserving any juices released from the chicken as you slice.  

  5. Heat IP on Sauté Low to make the roux.  Melt butter and add whole wheat flour seasoning with salt and pepper.  Stir flour and butter constantly for about 5 minutes until the flour looks like dark peanut butter.  Here’s the thing about this step.  Don’t walk away.  Don’t stop stirring.   Don’t let this burn.  If this roux step burns, you must start over with new butter and flour.  Super important my friends.  A roux is like a significant other with wayward eyes meaning he or she must be attended to at all times.  

  6. Once the “roux” has darkened, quickly add a small amount (1/2 cup) of chicken stock and deglaze the IP using a wooden spoon scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the IP.   Be thorough here because if you leave any bits at the bottom, the dreaded BURN error will happen during the cooking process.  

  7. Once deglazed, add remaining chicken stock, vegetable/andouille mixture, chopped chicken, bay leaves, worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and water.  Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper but don’t be aggressive as the stock, sausage, chicken and vegetables will work its magic here.  Close IP and cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes.  Quick release.  

  8. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt, ground pepper and cayenne pepper if needed.  Add okra and shrimp to the pot and close the pot again letting the steam and heat of the pot gently cook the shrimp and okra for an additional 10 minutes.  Release any remaining pressure.  Adjust your seasoning and enjoy!
  9. Serve alone, over cauliflower rice if you are watching carbohydrate intake like our family or the traditional way with rice.  Brown rice would work nicely here too.  C’mon, I had to try.
  10. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.  As with Gumbo, this Creole Soup tastes even better the next day once the flavors have a chance to come together.
  11. KETO & PALEO NOTE:  For those on a strict Keto or Paleo diet, swap the olive oil for avocado oil and the whole wheat flour for coconut flour.  

Sauteed Cauliflower Rice

I use frozen cauliflower here because the result is a firm texture more consistent with regular rice meaning that it will stand up to stews, soups or any dish with a sauce.  

Course Side Dish
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 12oz Bag of Frozen Cauliflower Rice
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Power
  • Sea Salt, Black Pepper
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley or other fresh Herb


  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a saute pan.  Add cauliflower and seasoning.  Saute, turning occasionally, until the cauliflower is just heated through.    Remove from heat immediately and fold in fresh herbs.  Serve alone or as an accompaniment with any dish that you would normally serve with traditional rice.
  2. Do not overcook because that will result in mushy cauliflower. Not you or anyone else in your family will like that result. Trust me on this one!

Okie dokie, as I told the Facebook Instant Pot Community this morning, I’m ready with your comments and name calling.  Click HERE to read the viral Facebook chatter about this “Creole Soup” recipe.  It’s entertaining and perfectly demonstrates the reason why I love good food.  It creates dialogue.  So lay into me taking your best shot!  My parents are likely in heaven right now scowling at me as well wondering what the hell is an Instant Pot and why am I trying to pass off soup as Gumbo (I’m not by the way).  I’m strong enough to take your rage and anger.  Whatever you say is fine with me because this is a seriously good bowl of cold weather goodness!  ????‍??


Disclaimer:  If you purchase anything on this post, I will receive a small commission.  Please don’t be mad.  Jackie has to make a living too!

Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Sweet Italian Turkey & Squash Vegetable Soup Recipe made in Instant Pot

October 8, 2018

It’s officially Fall in New York City which means it’s time for soups, stews and hearty dishes made in my Instant Pot (“IP).


In our house, Fall also means anniversary celebrations.  We spent the past weekend down in Sea Island, Georgia celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary playing a couple rounds of golf, indulging in Southern cuisines and enjoying sleeping in till 10 am.

Over the course of our 3 days vacaying on this idyllic isle, I basically face dived into eating grits (one of my favorite comfort foods).  We had ‘em smothered with grilled fish and butter sauce, covered with bacon and cheese for breakfast and as a side with smoked ribs and collard greens.   All that means I woke up this morning in NYC determined to get my eating under control this week and put in a little extra time during my daily #sweatysesh.

After spending most of the yesterday travelling, I didn’t feel like running to the grocery store so I foraged in my freezer, fridge and pantry to see what kind of Fall soup I could throw together.  To my surprise, I actually found enough ingredients for a healthy and delicious savory soup and lucked upon a new recipe that will be a meal prep staple this season.

Italian Turkey Sausage links were in the freezer so I defrosted them in the microwave on defrost setting for 4.30 minutes.  I chopped yellow squash left over from a September CSA box, sliced and sauteed mushrooms that were just about to spoil and roasted heirloom tomatoes that were pushed to the back of the second shelf.   I also found pears in my fruit bowl that were perfectly ripe, acorn squash, onions, and garlic in the pantry.  It took about 30 mins to chop and prep the vegetables using some easy roasting and sautéing techniques.  Once everything was ready to go (mise en place), it took another 10 minutes to saute everything in the IP.  15 minutes later after cooking everything on high pressure, #Hubbs and I enjoyed a delicious homemade soup that’s low in calories and fat and high in fiber, lean protein, nutrients and antioxidants.  I could not think of a better way to spend a Fall Monday in NYC.   Happy Anniversary to us!

I went LIVE on Facebook today as I threw this soup together.  To view the video and see just how easy it is to get a healthy and homemade dish on the table using an Instant Pot, click HERE!  I was travelling most of the day yesterday so don’t judge my disheveled look!

If you don’t yet own an Instant Pot, the hottest appliance of 2018, then now is the time to buy one as I think it’s the easist way to whip together a stew or pot of soup.  Click HERE to purchase and learn more.

Sweet Italian Turkey & Squash Vegetable Soup Recipe made in Instant Pot

Sweet Italian turkey sausage cooks with onions, celery, garlic, peppers, sauteed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, squash, pears, spices and chicken stock resulting in a savory and slightly sweet soup that is finished with chopped spinach and cauliflower for an extra does of nutrients and antioxidants.  If you’re feeling extra fancy, serve all this goodness in a roasted acorn squash bowl.  

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 Package Italian Turkey Sausage Links Removed from casing & chopped
  • 1 Red Onion Chopped
  • 4 Stalks Celery Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Diced
  • 2 Yellow Peppers Chopped
  • 1 Package Mushrooms Sliced
  • 1 Lb Heirloom Tomatoes Sliced
  • 3 Yellow or Green Squash Chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1.5 Cups Pears Chopped
  • 2 Quarts Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach Chopped
  • Bag Frozen Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Cinnamon & Nutmeg


  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees and prep ingredients to reduce cooking time and ensure recipe success.  Once you start cooking, everything happens VERY fast!
  2. Heat saute pan over medium heat.  Saute mushrooms dry (no oil or seasonings).  Once the mushrooms begin to release moisture, add 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until mushroom begin to carmelize brown and set aside.  Once cool enough to handle, roughly chop cooked mushrooms.  

  3. Place tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with avocado oil (or other high smoke oil...not olive oil) and season with salt & pepper.  Roast for 12 minutes or until tomatoes are blistered and have released their natural juices.  Do not let the tomatoes brown!  Remove from oven, let cool slightly and purée in a vitamix or high powered blender.
  4. Set Instant Pot to saute.  Once heated, brown turkey sausage with salt, pepper, basil, coriander and red pepper flakes (5 mins).  Add onions to turkey and season with a pinch of salt and pepper (2 mins).  Add celery and peppers with a pinch of salt and pepper and saute another minute.  Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add chopped squash and pears with another pinch of salt  and pepper.  Saute for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms, puréed tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with freshly ground pepper.  You don’t need additional sodium here as the chicken stock has enough unless you used unsalted stock.   Cook for 5 minutes and then press Cancel and secure lid on IP.  Set IP to cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes.  Quick release steam.  

  5. While the IP works its magic, slice Acorn Squash in half.  Cut bottom of each half so the squash lays flat like a bowl.  Scoop out seed and discard (or save for a healthy roasted snack).  Place prepped squash on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush inside of squash with avocado oil (or other high smoke oil...not olive oil) and season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Roast for 20 -25 minutes or until squash softens and edges carmelize.
  6. Once the steam is released from the IP, press cancel and then gently fold in riced cauliflower and chopped spinach.   Serve immediately, freeeze for a future meal or cool and store in the refrigerator for this week’s dinner and lunch.
  7. A cool way to serve this soup is ladled on top of the roasted acorn squash.  Think of the acorn squash as healthy “bread bowl.” This is of course optional but it will sure make you look extra fancy and who does not like a little extra sparkle and shine here and there.  Also, it’s a great way to sneak in additional vegetables and a touch of natural sweetness.

Recipe Notes

To save time, here are few recipe shortcuts:

  1. Use low sodium chicken stock or my favorite, “Better than Boullion,” which creates a flavorful rich stock using just hot water.  
  2. Substitute organic fire roasted tomatoes.
  3. Substitue brocolli, eggplant or any other vegetables for the chopped squash. Use your creativity and take advantage of whatever is in your fridge.
  4. If you don’t own an Instant Pot then this dish will work fine cooked on the stove in soup pot or Dutch oven.  Follow the cooking instructions sautéing  turkey and vegetables on medium heat.  Add liquids and bring to a boil on high heat.  Reduce, cover and cook on low heat for 3o minutes.  Stir occasionally to reduce sticking. 

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  #Hubbs and I appreciate all your “Anni Love” on Instagram and Facebook.

This post does contain affiliate links.  If you purchase the items linked here, we will receive a small commission.  Don’t hate okay. Jackie needs to make a living.   Know that I would never link to a product I don’t 100% endorse.  

Entrees, Food, Jackie's Healthy Habits, Uncategorized

Salt-Free Seasonings add Big Flavor to foods you are cooking in your Kitchen

April 2, 2018

Because I closely watch excess sodium in my diet, I use a variety of salt-free seasoning blends and herbs in my kitchen such as Bragg Sprinkle Herb and Spice Seasoning, Pizza Seasoning, Mexican Fiesta Seasoning, Tandoori Masala Seasoning and Italian Seasoning.  Research shows that 9 out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium making us more at risk for high-blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, cancers, kidney disease and even headaches. Also, excess sodium just makes us feel lumpy, bloated and lethargic.  I don’t care how many crunches, sprints and squats we have done in the past 6 months to get ready for summer or that warm weather getaway, too much salt will make muscles and abdominals say bye-bye real quick. #RealTalk  That’s what they mean when we hear “Abs are made in the kitchen.”

I manage my family’s sodium intake when cooking at home by using a variety of big flavor sodium-free seasonings, lots of fresh herbs, citrus, fresh garlic and always a couple pinches of mildly flavored Maldon Sea Salt. I like Maldon because the large flaky crystals crumble easily meaning you can either sprinkle over foods using your thumb and fingers or gently rub into proteins and vegetables. Chefs all over the world love Maldon sea salt because, unlike iodized table salt, it doesn’t add a bitter flavor to foods.

Another benefit to using seasoning such as “Pizza” or “Mexican Fiesta” is tricking your family (and your tastebuds) to eat more vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.  When using these seasoning blends, the smell and taste will conjure up the comfort flavors of a hot, cheesy pizza or even a loaded enchilada.  Meanwhile, the waistline and heart will thank us because we get all this flavor without the artery clogging sodium, preservatives and saturated fats.  Half-court shot for the win!

For example, here is my recipe for “Pizza Style” Cauliflower which is just a whole cauliflower sprinkled with pizza seasoning, maldon sea salt, butter and chicken stock and then cooked for just 4 minutes in the Instant Pot.

“Pizza Style” Cauliflower Instant Pot Recipe



1 Whole Cauliflower
1 1/2 cups water, chicken, vegetable or beef stock
No sodium Pizza Seasoning (at least 2 tsp)
1 tsp Maldon Sea Salt
1 tbsp no salt butter cut into cubes or 1 tbsp Olive oil
Freshly ground pepper


Insert steam rack into the Instant Pot.  Remove leaves from washed cauliflower and trim the core so the cauliflower will sit flat on the steam rack.  Pour the liquid of your choice over the cauliflower.  Sprinkle generously with pizza seasoning, salt and freshly ground pepper.  Arrange butter evenly on top of cauliflower or drizzle with olive oil.  Lock the lid.  Cook on high-pressure for 4 minutes.  Use the “Quick Release” method to vent the steam.  Open lid.  Using oven mitts, gently remove the steamer rack using the handles on the sides.

Enjoy as a vegetarian entree or a side dish.  Just as you would do with a regular pizza, sprinkle this “pizza style” cauliflower with fresh lemon, parmesan, pepperoncini or red-pepper flakes for even extra zing!


Note:  Add an additional minute of cooking time if you prefer softer cauliflower and/or want to turn this into a mash.

***Click HERE to learn more about and purchase an Instant Pot.  I call this electric pressure cooker my “magic machine” because I can get a nutritious and delicious dinner on the table from start to finish faster than you can call and have take-out delivered.  #DontBelieveMeJustWatch

Below are a list of my favorite seasonings that you can order directly from Amazon Prime (click picture or highlighted link to purchase):

Bragg Sprinkle Herb and Spice Seasoning

  • I use Bragg Organic Sprinkle, an original blend of 24 organic herbs and spices, on everything from eggs to popcorn and of course vegetables and proteins. It contains no additives, no preservatives, no fillers and most importantly, no salt.

Frontier Pizza Seasoning

  • Give any dish from sweet potatoes to cauliflower that mmmm pizza taste with a few sprinkles of this perfect blend of onion, bell pepper, fennel, oregano, garlic, basil, chilies, parsley, thyme, marjoram and celery flakes.

Frontier Mexican Fiesta Seasoning

  • Take any protein or vegetable for a trip south of the border with a teaspoon of this Mexican blend of chilli pepper, onion, tomato, paprika, cumin, garlic, cilantro, oregano and red pepper .

Tandoori Masala Seasonings

  • Transport your tastebuds to northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan with this mix of spices originally created for dishes cooked in a tandoor or a traditional clay oven: paprika,  cumin,  coriander,  garlic,  ginger and cardamom.

Italian Seasoning

  • Use this blend of herbs whenever you want to jaunt to the Mediterranean.  Sprinkle on chicken or fish with a little sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice.  Saute, roast in the oven or throw it in your Instant Pot for a few minutes.  Use on eggs, vegetables, popcorn, rice.  Anything!  Every healthy kitchen needs a jar (or 3) of Italian Seasoning.

Maldon Sea Salt

  • My flaky salt of choice which naturally enhances the flavor of food.  Ideal for cooking or seasoning dishes for a clean, fresh taste without the bitterness. Simply crush a couple pinches over foods or use your hands to massage into proteins and vegetables

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. Once you start reducing the sodium that you use at home, you will begin to notice the “salty” food in restaurants and fast food. Train you and your family’s taste buds to crave healthier food.


PS: We do receive a small commission if you purchase products suggested here. Can I live?

Desserts, Entrees, Food, Smoothies, Uncategorized

Vanilla Cinnamon Nut Yoghurt Bowl Recipe

March 28, 2018

Vanilla, cinnamon and Greek yoghurt topped with fruit and nut toppings is one of my go-to breakfast, pre- or post- workout meals, lunch or even a lazy dinner. Basically, it works anytime of day where you need something healthy and easy. While simple looking, this bowl is the perfect and delicious mix of lean protein, probiotics, vitamins, antioxidants, natural anti-inflammatories and healthy fats.


I always have these healthy staples in the house: Greek Yoghurt, a pantry stocked with a variety of raw nuts, a piece of fruit, vanilla extract, cinnamon & honey. This means, if all else fails, I can whip up at least one healthy meal.


1 cup whole fat Greek Yoghurt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 pinches cinnamon

1/2 cup sliced strawberries or other fruit

1 tbsp toasted raw nuts (roast raw nut in a dry pan over medium heat for extra flavor or skip this step if short on time)

Flax seeds



Whip yoghurt with cinnamon and vanilla extract. Top with 1/2 cup sliced fruit, flaxseed and roasted walnuts. Drizzle with honey.



As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. You might ask yourself why did Jackie take the time to post such a simple recipe?  I started this blog to share real information that will help real women in their real lives. I have no interest in using hard to find ingredients to create recipes that no one will ever use. This isn’t about food or fashion art. You will NEVER see me doing a headstand on a rock in the middle of nowhere. This website is and will always be about a regular woman trying to eat healthy, look stylish and be in the best shape possible.  That is my definition of self-care. #CarryOn



Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Grilled Lemon Sole, Vegan Walnut Arugula Basil Pesto & Green Salad Tossed with a Green Onion Ginger Vinaigrette

March 11, 2018

Saturday night’s dinner is fresh, light & colorful: Grilled Lemon Sole with homemade Vegan Walnut Arugula Basil Pesto alongside sautéed Truffle Mushrooms and a Kale & Red Leaf Salad tossed in a Green Onion Ginger Vinaigrette. It’s what I believe an Italian family would eat mid-summer while dining al fresco as lemons and lavender scent the air through gentle breezes.  I know it’s late winter here in NYC so just go with me and use your imagination.  I think food has the ability to transport us to faraway places.  I can see it.  Can’t you? ??‍♀️ ….?….??


(in order of preparation to save you time in the kitchen):


? Green Onion Ginger Vinaigrette ?

3 chopped white root green onions

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp whole grain mustard

2 tsp ground ginger

6 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Combine everything except olive oil.  Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking to create a thick aioli.  Set aside.  Dress salad immediately before serving (hate soggy lettuce).

? Vegan Walnut Arugula Basil Pesto ?

1 cup fresh Basil leaves

1 cup fresh Arugula

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup toasted raw walnuts (toast in a dry pan until lightly brown)

Salt & Pepper

2 tbsp water

Place all ingredients into Vitamix or other blender.  Set to Power 3 and pulse a few times to mix together and then continue blending until you have a chunky paste.  Do not overblend.  You want a thick pesto with texture.


? Truffle Mushrooms ?

2 cups mushrooms sliced

Truffle Salt

Truffle Oil

Ground pepper

Heat a sauté pan on medium heat.  No oil!  Add mushrooms to the dry pan and gently turn until the mushrooms begin to release moisture.  Season with truffle salt and pour a scant teaspoon of truffle oil into the pan turning the mushrooms until wilted.

(Cooking Note: If you don’t have truffle salt/oil laying around your kitchen then salt, pepper and olive oil will produce delicious mushrooms as well.)

If you really want some truffle salt and truffle oil, click HERE.  Before you ask, you really do want some truffle goodness in your kitchen as just a pinch or drizzle adds serious flavor to everything from eggs to veggies, fish and meat.

? Grilled Lemon Sole ?

2 lemon sole fillets

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

Sea Salt & Pepper


Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a grill pan on medium high heat with grapeseed oil.  Season fish on both sides with salt & pepper.  Gently place the fish in the hot pan. Let cook for 2 mins and then immediately place in the oven (don’t flip fish) for another 3 minutes.  Gently place fillets on plates to rest.  Finish with lemon juice and top with pesto.

(Cooking Note: DON’T use olive oil here as it will burn in a 400 degree oven and produce bad tasting fish.)


As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered.  This dinner is easy peasy lemon squeezy to prepare so go forth, cook and enjoy our “Italian-esq” meal as much as we did.  Spring soon come.  Please.


Entrees, Food, Uncategorized

Savory Chicken Kale & Spinach Lentil Soup Instant Pot Recipe

March 10, 2018

Friday night’s dinner is my savory Chicken Kale & Spinach Lentil Stew cooked in the Instant Pot (the “IP”).  #Hubbs says it’s a winner winner chicken dinner. It’s chock full of veggies, leafy greens, intense flavor & lean protein. It’s a super easy soup to make particularly if you use the IP, an electric mult-cooker (click HERE to learn more about the IP).

Before you crucify me, this may seem like a lot of ingredients but everything below are spices you have in your pantry and ordinary refrigerator staples. Basically, what you actually see here is just some fancy looking chicken, veggies and spices thrown together. No big deal!


? For the Soup…

1 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 lb skinless Chicken Thighs

1 chopped onion

2 chopped celery stalks

3 chopped carrots

5 chopped garlic cloves

1 jalapeño (deseeded & diced)

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 brunch parsley

7 cups water

1 tsp Better than Bouillon Chicken Base or a bouillon cube

1 cup dried lentils (rinsed & sorted)

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

? Leafy Greens to add in JUST BEFORE serving soup!

2 bunches Chopped Kale (I prefer Lucinato)

1 5 oz container pre-washed spinach

? To Garnish:

Greek Yoghurt, Sliced Green Onions, Cilantro


1. Turn the IP to Sauté and heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Season chicken with salt, pepper & paprika. Brown on one side (6-7 Mins), flip and brown other side. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.

2. Without using additional oil to the IP, add onions, carrots and celery to the pot seasoning with salt & pepper. Sauté the “trinity” until they begin to sweat and soften using a spatula to scrape any chicken bits from the bottom of the pan (#Flavor). About 5 Mins. Press cancel to turn off the IP.

3. Add garlic, jalapeño and spices. Sauté for 1 min turning constantly to prevent burning.

4. Add remaining ingredients (chicken, tomatoes, lentils, parsley, water, bouillon, bay leaves) to the pot stirring gently to combine. Set Instant Pot to Soup function for 30 Mins with a natural pressure release.

[Go about your business. Work out. Play with the kids. Call your man, the kids, your parents. Watch Netflix. Whatever. The work is done]

5. Once the Instant Pot has done its job and beeped, press cancel & remove lid. If it’s been awhile and you got seriously “busy” meaning the soup is no longer hot, turn the IP to saute. Once simmering, gently fold in Kale for 2 Mins. Turn off machine and fold in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper (you should not actually need any additional seasonings, particularly salt, so be careful here).

? To serve:

6. Ladle soup into wide bowls, top with a couple tablespoons Greek yoghurt, sliced green onions and cilantro leaves.


As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. #Hubbs says this is one of the best bowl of soups he has ever eaten.  Not bad for 30 minutes work standing in the kitchen!  We hope you enjoy as much as we did.


Entrees, Food, Jackie's Healthy Habits, Uncategorized

Winter Citrus Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

January 30, 2018

When I’m hungry but not famished and definitely not in the mood for anything heavy to eat, I usually throw together a salad from pantry and refrigerator staples. To keep my blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating, I try to eat something every 3 – 4 hours during the day. Skipping meals is a NO-GO, health & wellness rookie mistake!  In moments like this, I love throwing together a colorful salad from whatever I have on hand: leafy greens, citrus, fruit, crunchy veggies like cucumbers, peppers and celery and nuts, cheese, quinoa for a touch of protein. Creative salads are a healthy lifestyle secret: quick preparation, easy to digest, vitamin & nutrient rich and cost friendly if using inexpensive in-season ingredients.

Winter Citrus Goat Cheese Salad: pre-washed romaine lettuce mixed with baby kale, peeled & sliced cucumber, half of a ruby red grapefruit, 1 tbsp garlic & herb goat cheese & 1 tbsp sliced almonds TOSSED WITH Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe below)

As you already know, I long ago stopped buying pre-made salad dressings from the grocery store which are generally loaded with sugar, artery clogging fats and preservatives. Using the formula below, you can easily whip up salad dressings in a couple minutes with ingredients that I am sure you have right now in your pantry!

The options are endless for salad dressing when using the formula above. Make it sweet using honey and orange or savory using shallots and mustard. While I absolutely love my Famous Red Wine, Shallot & Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe (also #Hubbs fave), I also enjoy using different ingredients to create unique flavors. As you must know, I eat a lot of salads.  Creating new salad dressings keeps my taste buds from getting bored and keeps my creative juices flowing. For example, I made this apple cider vinaigrette today using “Jackie’s Salad Dressing Formula” (very odd to speak of myself in the 3rd person) with the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

If you are feeling like Taco Tuesday, here’s a “Margarita” inspired salad dressing variation:

  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 3 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Agave
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Looking to go down South to the big easy, here’s what a “Creole” inspired Vinaigrette might look like this:

  • 1 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Couple Dashes of your favorite hot sauce
  • Minced Garlic clove
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. We can’t wait to see what your minds create with the Jackie Salad Dressing Formula. Tag us in your recipes cause we love hearing from you. Can y’all believe that January is over already? Geez!