As you are resolving to hit the gym or start the couch to 5k to lose weight for 2012 (you *are* doing that like everyone else, right?),  remember that exercising is only part of the equation.  You’ve got to eat right! No more fast food, don’t eat out too often, and don’t even bring the junk food into your house.  Do eat more fruits and veggies, fewer processed foods, and drink water instead of soda.  Easy, right? Ha!

Here’s a basic salad dressing recipe that you can use for any type of salad.  We had a big salad with rotisserie chicken, apples, pecans, craisins, and goat cheese, but you could add anything you like.  When I make up a salad I like for it to have lean protein, something crunchy (like nuts, radishes, sunflower seeds, or apples), something sweet (maybe raisins, craisins, or fruit), and a little cheese.

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette 


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pressed or grated fresh garlic
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup  olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of salt.  While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. (You can also put all the ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake it up.)  Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.