Friday, August 10, 2018

Salad Dressing Basics


I’ve tinkered with the recipes a few times now and have found what works for me. The base of the dressing is a vinegar, an oil in the form of avocado and/or nuts, an optional sweetener (banana, dates), and water to achieve the desired consistency. The additions can vary pretty widely.

For some dressings, the vinegar/water measurements are: 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water. When the mixture is thicker, then the measurements become: 1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water - especially if you have avocado, nuts, and banana in the recipe. Some vinegars may overwhelm the flavors if there’s more than a 1/2 cup. Lemon juice could be used instead of a vinegar as well.

In general the water is twice the vinegar.

Base:
1/2 cup Vinegar
1 cup Water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted Nuts (cashews, walnuts, etc) - optional
1 Avocado
1 Banana - optional

Equipment choices and preparation: If you have a Vita-Mix, food processor, or equivalent, then you can thoroughly blend in most ingredients. If you’re using a standard blender, some ingredients would work better with a little prep. Nuts may need to be soaked overnight to soften them for blending. Carrots will most likely make a chunkier dressing, but it’s not the end of the world. People often put carrots on salad. Onion, garlic, and harder veggies like carrots may need to be chopped before being added to the blender.

For the flavor profile, it depends on what you wish. I like to add zucchini and carrots to give it more depth of flavor and add more veggies to my day.

Zesty dressing:
1 peeled Zucchini
2 peeled Carrots
2 tsp chopped Garlic or 3-4 cloves Garlic
1/4 yellow Onion
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Mustard dressing:
(I’ve made this with Amy’s German mustard but not yet with the mustard seed)
4-5 tbl prepared Mustard or 1-2 tbl ground Mustard Seed
1 Banana (extra sweetener for the Honey Mustard idea)
Salt and Pepper to taste - optional

Balsamic dressing:
(contains sulfites)
For this dressing, I added nuts, avocado, and banana so the base had 1 cup Vinegar and 2 cups Water
2 tsp chopped Garlic or 3-4 cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste - optional

Fruit dressing:
(I haven’t tried this yet, but here are my thoughts of what this would look like)
5-6 oz Fruit - could be frozen or fresh
Banana or Apple to taste - depending on the sour/sweet aspect of the fruit
Salt and Pepper to taste - optional

Because the oil is also a thickener, these generally don’t separate. The fruit one might because some fruits like to do that.

These dressings last about 1 week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mustard Salad Dressing


1 Avocado
2 Bananas
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ½ cups Water
4-5 tbl Amy’s German Mustard (or other mustard you like)
4 oz (~1 cup) raw Cashews

Blend


The Amy’s mustard has apple cider vinegar, so it should be safe if you can do ACV. If not, maybe use rice vinegar and skip the prepared mustards. Instead add ground mustard to taste - maybe 1-2 tbl. You might also need some salt and pepper if you go the ground mustard route.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flourless Brownies


The amount of almond flour in this Coconut Brownie recipe seemed to be too small to make enough of a difference. So I made them again, but this time with 4 cups of coconut shreds and no flour.

The only other difference was that I turned the pan 90 degrees every 15-20 minutes so that it would bake evenly. This is optional.

These brownies seem to hold together better after they’ve been in the refrigerator. I’m assuming, given the final texture, that they would do well as mini-muffins or cupcakes too. It’s easier to tamp this down firmly in one solid pan though. If you do try a different container, keep in mind that these do not rise.

Salad Dressing


I played with two different versions of a salad dressing. The first one was probably too heavy on the vinegar and it contained oil. When poured on salad, the vinegar taste was diminished enough to be quite enjoyable. If I make that particular one again, I’ll cut the amount of vinegar in half and leave out the oil.

The second recipe came from the desire to play with a new acquisition - ginger juice - and an avocado that was at the use it or lose it stage.

Nut Free: Because both the avocado and the cashews add the creamy consistency, the cashews are optional. Cut back on the initial amount of water and then add as needed for the desired consistency.

Ingredients for recipe 1
1 cup ACV
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 very small Zucchini
2 yellow Carrots
1 small Avocado
2 tsp chopped Garlic
1/4 yellow Onion
1/2 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
Water to achieve desired consistency

Ingredients for recipe 2
1/2 cup ACV
1 cup Water (more later if needed to achieve desired consistency)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
1/2 tsp Salt (I added a little bit more at the end to brighten the flavor)
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 Avocado
1/2 tbl chopped Garlic
2 tbl Ginger Juice (or other desired flavoring)

Put everything in the blender and blend on high until creamy. This may require adding more water to allow the blender to keep going strong. I used the dry container on the Vita-Mix to help get the cashews well macerated. If your blender is not up to macerating nuts, I suggest soaking them in water or ACV to soften them up first.

I’m a big fan of strong flavors. If mild is more your style, cut the amount of ginger juice down to 1 tablespoon. Once this is on salad though, it should lose more of the flavor’s strength. 

This lasts roughly 1 week in the fridge.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Carrot Hot Dogs


Just heard about these Carrot Dogs and they look good.

https://www.peta.org/living/food/carrot-hot-dog-recipe/

Personally, I would skip the liquid smoke (carcinogenic) and replace the soy sauce with tamari (no wheat). To cut out the soy, maybe use salt instead. If sulfites don’t bother you, try a little balsamic vinegar. Sometimes figuring out what tastes you fancy and creating a marinade based on that is your best bet.

The bun is another story altogether. Something to think about for a future recipe.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blueberry Pudding


Going for a simple recipe with minimal ingredients. I did something nearly identical for Raspberry Yogurt but that was more yogurt than pudding because it was on the sour side and I blended it for a long while to get more air into the mix.

2 small Bananas
1 small Avocado
1/3 pkg frozen Blueberries (roughly 3 oz)

Blend the bananas and avocado together until creamy. Blend in the blueberries.

And that’s it. Takes very little time to throw together.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Coconut Brownies


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Stir together in a medium to large bowl:

3 ½ cups Coconut shreds
½ cup Almond flour
8 tbl Chocolate powder
2 cups Applesauce
1 pkg Mini-Chocolate chips (can probably use any chocolate chips)

I stirred the dry ingredients together first, then added the applesauce. The chocolate chips went in last. It’ll be somewhat loose, but make sure it’s stirred up completely. Have to get the applesauce spread as uniformly as possible.

I used a 2 L (2.2 qt) rectangular pyrex dish. I think a 2 qt dish is fine too.

Lightly coat the dish with olive oil (or whatever oil you wish)

Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and tamp it down firmly, making it as uniform as possible.


Bake for about 75 minutes until the edges start to get dark. Turn off the oven and allow it to sit inside while the oven cools down for another 20 minutes or so.