Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

[caption id="attachment_592" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="My salad looks neon pink from the beets."]PICT0034[/caption]

Yes, its that old saying: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Its funny when I decided to name this post that since I realized as I made my beautiful salad, that what I am really imitating is myself. Let me clarify. There is a cafe in the Marina in San Francisco that I adore called Blue Barn. I go there very often to get a fresh, delicious, organic salad. I love their salads, but the truth of the matter is, I only ever get one salad and it is a combination I chose myself utilizing their "You pick your own" salad option. You get a choice of greens, 6 toppings and can add avocado or protein for an extra dollar. Their dressings are delicious, my personal favorite being the grain mustard vinaigrette (which is gf & vegan). Heck, its probably the reason that I keep on going back.

However, there are (many) times when I am not available to drive into San Francisco and get a $10 salad, or I am not in the area at all. Should I do without? Say it isn't so. So it dawned on me one day that I must figure out how to make that dressing on my own. I played with it and ultimately, found a dressing which mimicked that at Blue Barn. It is easy enough to gather the ingredients that I ALWAYS pick when I make my salad there and now am able to enjoy a taste of my favorite joint, wherever I am. Sadly, I don't have a cute chinese takeout box to put mine in like they serve theirs.

Devon's Favorite Salad

For this salad, I use the following vegetables & then when I want to make it heartier I top with a few ounces of meat such as in the picture (leftover BBQ'd chicken):

Spring/Mixed Greens

Jicama, julienned

Carrots, julienned

Cherry tomatoes

Beets (Raw or cooked, whatever is on hand)

Roasted Bell peppers


And one of the following (again what is on hand): grilled portabello mushroom, caramelized onions, garbanzo beans or red onion

Ingredients for Dressing:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tbsp grain mustard

2 tsp agave nectar

1 cup good olive oil

salt and pepper


In a blender, blend all ingredients except the olive oil together. Then with the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil in until the dressing emulsifies. Makes several servings.

(more below picture)

[caption id="attachment_594" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="PB filled deliciousness. Nice crisp outside, soft on the inside. Yum."]PICT0029[/caption]

Another thing I have taken keen interest in imitating but in a gluten free fashion is peanut butter filled pretzels. I love pb pretzels but haven't found a brand that does them gluten free. I have taken it upon myself to create such a product. Maybe just for me, maybe for the world.

This was my first attempt at working them out. They were good, not great. But still pretty darn tasty. I need to work out the xanthan gum amount, or better yet, work with a gluten free flour mix that already includes it (which is much easier yeah). I am going to re-write the recipe and do much more perfecting before I post the recipe (if I ever do, who knows I could come up with an amazing secret formula I patent and produce for the world). I am excited about continuing to work on this though. After that, I am going to start work on my own on the run nutrition bars and see if I can create my own ultimate running food.