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
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).
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.
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.
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
dash 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
Add all the ingredients to a food processor then mix/chop. Or mash the chickpeas with a fork and then add remaining ingredients.
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.
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.
Vegan Meringue Cookies
3/4 cup aquafaba
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated, demerara, or turbinado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt (optional)
Food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (or lowest setting). If your oven won't go that low, keep the over door ajar.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment pape.
Whip the aquafaba and the cream of tartar together for about 3 - 4 minutes.
Gradually add in sugar (about 1 TBS at a time, allowing it to dissolve between additions), vanilla and salt, if using. (and any other flavorings, see notes below). Continue to beat for about 5 additional minutes.
3. Add in food coloring, just a few drops at one time. (It won't require much.)
Mixture should begin to form stiff peaks and it will actually become thick, fluffy and shiny. (Just make sure that all the sugar is dissolved.)
Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a large star end (or whatever you have and can even just cut a small hole in the end of the bag).
Fill the bag with meringue and pipe onto baking sheets. (Note: These cookies will not spread.)
Bake in the over for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off after time has elapsed, but do not open the door. Allow the cookies to cool completely with the door closed for 1 to 2 hours.
1. I added ginger spice to my last batch and thought it made a good addition.
2. You can also use a dehydrator after the hour or so baking in the oven. Some say that you can use a dehydrator for the whole baking process, but I have not tried that yet.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
I have been sharing this cheese sauce for about 6 years now. I always make it when we are having Tex-Mex food or having a pot-luck type dinner with friends. Everyone is always amazed at how great it tastes. Pairs wonderfully with crunchy tortilla chips. I don’t miss cheese at all. (Side note: I quit cheese about 8 years ago and haven’t had a cold, the flu or even seasonal allergies ever since then. Loving it!)
The original recipe (and also, the name I believe) comes from Vitamix, but I’ve made a few adjustments. I have tried recipes that use steamed potatoes (in place of potato starch) and carrots and even onions, but this one is my favorite. Here is my go-to recipe.
1 cup water
1 ½ TBS lemon juice
¼ cup pimentos , canned or jar OR use 1 roasted red pepper, peeled
½ cup raw cashews (or almonds)
1 tsp onion powder
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 TBS potato starch (or tapioca starch) mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
Notes prior to getting started:
1 – I suggest soaking the cashews and definitely the almonds if you do not think that your blender can thoroughly blend the nuts without leaving crunchy bits in the mixture. I always remove the brown hull/skin when using almonds, or I buy them already removed (blanched almonds).
2 – As an alternative to raw cashews and raw almonds, you could try raw nut nutters. ( I haven’t personally tried this option, just a suggestion.
3 – I have been successful with substituting almond flour in place of using almonds and I was satisfied with the outcome.
4 – I sometimes substitute green chiles for pimentos. This allows the cheese sauce to appear more creamy white instead of being tinted red by the pimentos.
Place all the ingredients except for the boiling water and potato starch mixture into the Vitamix.
Set machine to 1, turn on quickly increasing speed to 10, and then to High.
Blend for 3 – 7 minutes until steam forms and you can see it coming from the lid’s vent.
Meanwhile, boil water on the stove-top
Reduce speed to 7, remove plastic plug from the lid and add boiling water and potato starch mixture.
Continue to blend until thickened, usually no longer than 1 minute.
Blender Plus Stove-top Directions:
Place all the ingredients except for the boiling water and potato starch mixture into the blender.
Meanwhile, boil water on the stove-top in a saucepan
Once you have a well-blended “cheese” mixture, add it to the saucepan along with the boiling water, bring back to almost boiling temperature.
Reduce the heat under the saucepan and slowly pour in the potato starch mixture while continuing to stir until thickened.
Polenta is a corn-meal porridge. You can top polenta with anything you like which makes it a delicious options for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.
Polenta is identified as a yellow corn-meal. The way it’s process produces a more whole form of what many know as grits and contains 6 g of fiber. ( The most popular form of grits only have .7 g – yet I believe there is a white corn that can be used to create white polenta “grits” which reserves the whole kernels.
If cooking on the stove-top it takes about 30 minutes. Use 1 cup of polenta to 6 cups of water.
But I prefer the much easier option of using an Instant Pot. This recipe makes 4 – 6 servings.
1 cup polenta
6 cups water or broth
Vegetable Toppings: (in photo)
`1 bell pepper
2 stalks green onion
8 ounces mushrooms
4 ounces cherry tomatoes
4 cups spinach
Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (optional)
Directions: (for Instant Pot)
Add polenta, water and sprinkle with a little salt (optional) into Instant Pot and stir.
Cook for 10 minutes (manually set or use ‘Rice’ button).
After time is up, Press ‘Cancel’ to switch to ‘Off’ and allow natural pressure release (usually 10/15 minutes).
Stir to combine water and corn-meal. Using a whisk makes this easier.
Heat griddle or pan on stove-top.
Add 1 tsp of oil and/or 2 TBS water to the pan.
Add all vegetables except for spinach and stir-fry (stir-steam) until desired tenderness, sprinkle with seasonings of choice.
Remove vegetables to a plate, turn off heat, add spinach and allow to wilt. (Adding a bit of water to create steam will help spinach wilt.)
Serve by adding polenta to a dish and topping with the vegetables.