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 pine 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.
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!
These always turn out well, even when I have difficulty with the mix. If you think it's too sticky add more chickpeas.
I have even used much less water to form a dough that I rolled out using a pin to form the tortilla before cooking on the griddle.
As per Elavegan's recipe (see link above) you can use chickpea flour in place of the chickpeas in this recipe.
1 cup chickpeas (they should be cooked until very tender)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3/4 cup of water, to start
1/4 - 1/3 tsp salt (optional)
Preheat stove-top griddle/pan
Add chickpeas to a food processor, and process until very grainy.
Add tapioca starch and pulse to mix in.
Add water while processing to form a batter which should be pourable.
Pour the batter onto a hot griddle/pan to the desired size. You may need to spread a bit with the back of a spoon or spatula.
Cook until bubbly on top (just like pancakes) and flip over to cook the other side.
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:
* Home-cooked beans are preferred, but organic canned is a quick and handy option
** Fresh corn is preferred, but organic frozen corn works well too
Most of the ingredients in this recipe are some that you can keep on hand in your fridge/freezer ready to grab. This makes preparing meals so easy.
1 clove garlic
Fresh slices of colored bell peppers, chopped
Onions (of choice)
Prepared beans of your choice*
Leafy greens, chopped (collards, kale or chard)
Diced tomatoes (fresh)
Sweet Corn** (fresh or frozen organic is a quick and handy option)
Pico de gallo (topping)
Cooked Brown rice or quinoa
Grill the onions and bell peppers together on the stove-top, adding garlic last so it doesn't burn
Add beans, tomatoes, corn until heated thoroughly
Toss in chopped leafy greens
Serve in a bowl on top of a bed of rice/quinoa. Add toppings such as guacamole and/or pico.
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 (of course, you can roast a red pepper over an open flame or broil in the oven)
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
Optional Add-ins: Taco seasoning, salsa, jalapenos, etc.
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 substituting cashew flour in place of cashews – in both instances, 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.