Cucumber Caesar Salad Dressing

Cucumber Caesar Salad

I made the dressing not knowing what I would use for the salad ingredients, but I’m happy that I found this Cucumber Caesar Salad Dressing combination and I wanted to share it with you right away.

I decided to try this dressing because my daughter likes Caesar salad dressings.

And I enjoy cucumbers, especially when I can find really great tasting ones. That usually means a trip to the Farmers Market though. Yet, sometimes I find that the mini packaged cucumbers taste good too. Yet, the best cucumbers I’ve ever had were those that I grew in my own garden. I wish you the best in finding some good cucumbers for this salad.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/8 cup raw pin nuts, or raw sesame seeds (I didn’t have either, so I used tahini paste.)
  • 3 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp miso paste (I used a mellow white. See note* below.)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kelp granules (I used powdered kelp.)
  • 1 tsp honey, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup of water (I added more for a thinner version.)
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, optional (Omit for oil-free version).

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small food processor or in a blender until smooth.

*Note about miso paste: If miso paste is kept in the freezer it will last for at least a year. It never freezes solid, so it’s easy to measure out what you need as you need it.

Cucumber Caesar Salad

SERVE:  I served over a salad of sliced cucumbers, split cherry tomatoes and chopped celery. I will definitely make this Cucumber Caesar Salad again in the near future (like tomorrow).

It is so YUMMY! It’s quick and easy. I hope you will try it soon.

Click for more salad dressing recipes.

Watch Creamy Cumin Ranch Oil-Free Salad Dressing and a Vegan Tex-Mex Salad on YouTube.

Chickpea Salad Spread (Vegan Chicken and Tuna)

Chickpea Salad Dip Spread

…for Sandwiches, Wraps and Crackers

This chickpea salad spread has two options.  It can be prepared as “chicken” salad or “tuna” salad substitutes.  See “tuna” flavor salad add-in options below under the ingredients section.

Ingredients: Of course substitutions can be made for many of these ingredients, but this list serves as a general guideline.

  • One 15 ounce can of chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cup home cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 green onion (or 2 TBS red/white/yellow onion or 1 scallion), finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 TBS tahini (or homemade vegan mayo or any dressing of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard of choice
  • 1/4 cup of nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc)
  • 1 – 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Chickpea salad dip and spreaddash of paprika
  • salt and pepper, to your liking

Add-ins for the “tuna” flavor: One or the other will do just fine

  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed, crumbled
  • 4 mini sheets of any nori seaweed snacks
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of kelp powder

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor then mix/chop.  Or mash the chickpeas with a fork and then add remaining ingredients.

SUCCESS!

I offered the chickpea “chicken” version salad to someone who had never tried anything similar to this before. I was informed that he was not a fan of hummus. I put the spread into a tortilla wrap with avocado and jalapenos. After the first bite, the response was, “Not bad.” But when the plate was empty, he asked for the recipe.

More chickpea recipes:

Vegan Meringue Cookies – Using Aquafaba

meringue cookies

Yes, vegan meringue is possible using aquafaba. Aquafaba is the left over water after cooking dried beans or legumes. The only one I’ve ever used is that which I have after cooking chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I think chickpea water is the most popular one for most recipes. (See the aquafaba recipe below.)

I cannot eat pure sugar, so these cookies are not for me, but I wanted to make a dessert that my daughters might enjoy and for those of you who might enjoy them too.  But really, I just wanted to try to try a substitute for egg whites to create a meringue cookie. And it works great!

Oh, and before you get started, the recipe below calls for the use of a pastry bag with a star (decorative) end. You can use a pastry bag with a hole cut in the bottom. Or simply use a spoon to plop the meringue onto the cookie sheets. Don’t worry…these cookies will taste the same once baked no matter what “shape” they are in.

Once baked and cooled, the cookies will be crispy. Store in an airtight container to keep away from moisture or they will lose their crispiness. Also, keep them away from heat because they will melt.

Leftover Vegan Meringue…

I had left over meringue, so I decided to make vegan lemon meringues desserts. Not pie, because I didn’t want to make a crust. I used this recipe . This recipe also contains good tips on making the lemon curd thicker (such as using agar agar flakes). I simply used the basic recipe even without the vegan butter. There is also a link to vegan pie crust recipe and suggestions for store-bought brands.

Leftover aquafaba…

I always like to keep aquafaba available for use in some requires that list eggs as an ingredient. I often use aquafaba in pancakes and cookies. But, if I don’t use the aquafaba right away, I freeze some in ice cube trays for later use.

How to make aquafaba

I enjoy using chickpeas in many recipes, therefore, I always have aquafaba on hand. I think chickpeas and pinto beans are my favorite legumes. Although, I’ve never used pinto aquafaba in any recipes…I supposed that you could, but it would give it a pink tint for sure.

I prefer to soak the chickpeas overnight (or at least 8 hours). Note: The cooking times below refer to soaked chickpeas.

Drain off the soaking water, prior to cooking.

Instantpot: Cover with 1 inch of water. Stovetop: Cover with 2 inches of water.

Instantpot: Cook for 13 minutes. Stovetop: Bring to boil for 1 minute, then simmer on low for about an hour.

I usually use a spoon to remove some of the froth that appears in the pot after cooking.

Strain the aquafaba into a container for later use.

Ta da! Chickpea Aquafaba

I usually put the chickpeas into the freezer for later use in soups, salads, hummus, and stir-fries.

More Vegan “Sweet” Desserts

Creamy Balsamic Dressing

This dressing has a tangy, burst of flavor. The cashews give it a creamy texture. I used the Vitamix which made it quick and easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of filtered water
  • 1 -2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 -2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup cashews (soaked is preferable)
  • splash of lemon juice (optional, adds more “tang”)
  • dried herbs of your choice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except for the dried herbs to a blender and blend.
  2. Add dried herbs if using them.

Other Suggestions:

  1. Use fresh herbs in place of dried herbs. Basil is a nice addition. (Add once blended just to chop a bit, but not to puree the fresh herbs.)
  2. Use 1/8 cup balsamic and 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar.

Salad Made Easy

This technique makes creating a mid-day lunch or dinner snack easy.  It also helps with creating a variety in your meals.

What I like to do is put various toppings together into containers and add the salad dressing too. Ideally, choose any ingredients that you would like to marinate in the salad dressing. For me, this is everything other than nuts and soft lettuces, but I will add kale and cabbages because they are tougher lettuces.

Toppings in this photo:  beans – edamame and chickpeas, fresh sweet corn, zucchini, artichokes, bell peppers and olives.

There are so many vegetable toppings for you to choose from. For more ideas download the “Delicious – ‘No Fail’ Salads” Guide. Also, check out these delicious oil-free salad dressings.

Chickpea Tortillas

Tex-Mex is my favorite without a doubt. I really enjoy corn tortillas, and my preference is organic corn tortillas. Yet, it’s so difficult to find organic corn tortillas or the right organic corn meal (masa) to make my own tortillas (still looking though). But this tortilla recipe is just as satisfying. It’s very mild tasting so it would make a good wrap for anything you wish to put inside.

The original recipe is from Elavegan, but when I didn’t have any chickpea flour I decided to try fresh, cooked chickpeas instead – and it worked!

Notice how flexible they are!

Crispy Baked Tofu

Crispy Baked Tofu

Main Tip: Use firm tofu always. I’ve never had a problem eating firm tofu, but ‘Silken’ (SOFT tofu) can be difficult to digest especially if you are more sensitive to the GOS and Fructan FODMAPS (found in wheat, rye, onions, garlic, legumes and lentils).

Crispy baked tofu goes well with leafy greens and wheat-free noodles, rice or quinoa.

FODMAP FRIENDLY Approved
Click here fore more FODMAP FRIENDLY Recipes.

Ingredients:

  • Firm tofu (even “extra” firm)
  • Seasonings for the tofu marinade:
    • Tamari Soy Sauce (Tamari is gluten free soy sauce, no wheat ingredients)
    • cumin
    • turmeric
    • dried chives
    • dried parsley
    • salt/pepper
  • Coconut oil or Garlic infused olive oil if you enjoy the taste of garlic

Directions:

  1. Cut tofu into desired sizes, preferably equal size squares
  2. Press tofu between napkins or a clean towel to remove excess liquid. The more drier the more crispier once baked.
  3. Brush tofu with Tamari sauce

 4. Place into bowl with desired seasonings

5. If using oil, drizzle a bit onto the baking pan prior to adding the seasoned tofu. You should just slightly oil the pan. Oil is not necessary for baking, but will produce a crispier texture.

6. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. It’s best to flip half way through cooking. If desired crispiness/firmness has not been achieved after 20 minutes, you can bake longer.

Tips:

  • I like to bake these on a pizza stone for added crispiness.
  • Also, I heard that baking in an air fryer will work. I don’t have one yet.
  • I’ve even pan-fried with a bit (only about 1 tsp) of oil too.

ENJOY! Serve over a bed of quinoa, rice, noodles or even a salad.

Crispy Baked Tofu

Tex-Mex Bowl

As you may already know, I live in Texas. Houston has been my home for my entire life. (Actually now I live in Pearland, but if I just drive for 5 minutes I’m back in the Houston areas.) Therefore, it should be no surprise that my favorite dishes are “Tex-Mex” combinations which include lots of beans, rice, salsa, guacamole, corn, grilled onions, etc. Yeah, I know, you might be thinking…”What about the cheese?” Well I don’t eat cheese anymore, (gasp), and I don’t miss it one bit.

This is my chance to add a little nutrition/health info…so I’m going to do just that.

I grew up eating cheese and many dairy products (ever heard of Borden milk and Blue Bell ice cream?) I never imagined my life without cheese/dairy. But about a decade ago, when my allergies had become unbearable…I decided to test the theory that perhaps the milk and cheeses were causing most of my issues…and that was exactly the case.

But, since that’s the only change that I made during that time and the fact that I haven’t been bothered by seasonal allergies since then….well one thing is for sure – the milk and the cheeses didn’t agree with my body. I had these issues since a small child and they disappeared  when I took milk and cheeses out of my diet. The relief that I now experience makes up for any losses I initially felt when I gave up dairy.

For you – Do you battle seasonal allergies? If so,  I suggest that you try changing your diet by removing dairy from your diet. You will know in a matter of weeks whether it’s had a positive affect.

I won’t try to explain the science behind it all. Just some basic principles. I talk about this more in the online courses and in some of the nutrition blog posts too. Here is the recipe:

Carrot Juice

Carrot and Apple Juice

My favorite juice is carrot juice. (Just in case you didn’t already know.)

Juicing provides a rush of energy because it’s a hydrating drink full of vitamins and minerals. Fresh juices do not require much digestion and therefore the nutrients are in your body’s cells in a matter of about 15 minutes. Even if you are new to juicing, you are likely to enjoy this recipe that’s balanced with a perfect touch of sweetness and tartness.

Tips

  • Removing apple seeds/core is not necessary (especially when using organic)
  • Use a strainer over the juice collection cup/bin or simply strain the juice before pouring into your glass for drinking.
  • It’s best to drink immediately or drink within 24 hours to get as much of the nutrients as possible.
  • Once you become familiar with this juice, try changing up the tastes and nutrients by adding in some of the optional ingredients.

If you do not YET have a juicer at home (highly recommended), you could ask your local juice bar to make this exact recipe for you. Hint: To find a local juice bar, simply GOOGLE ‘juicebar near me’ for maps and reviews using an internet web browser. (You can also try this direct link.)

Grilled Eggplant and Hummus Stacks

eggplant and hummus dish

Note: This grilled recipe was inspired by the grilled eggplant as described by https://minimalistbaker.com/smoky-grilled-eggplant/.

Serves 4.

Hummus Recipe:

Mix all of the following ingredients using a food processor.

  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic (2 if you like it spicy!)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 TBS roasted red bell peppers (optional, but adds a nice flavor)
  • salt to taste

Here is the way I served it:

1. First lay a base of sauteed power greens

2. Then layer: (stacked at least twice)

    • Grilled Eggplant
    • Hummus 
    • Grilled Veggies: Onions, Red Bell Peppers, Mushrooms 

3. Serve with a side of quinoa ( or other grain).