Salad for Breakfast?! Red Pepper and Ginger Salad Dressing (vegan, raw, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free)

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids get tired of the same old breakfast. I admit that I buy and prepare the simplest things — oatmeal or cereal — because it’s so easy, it dirties the kitchen the least, and it takes no early preparation. My kids are very good eaters, but my 4-year old loves to keep me on my toes.

This morning, he asked for corn. Yep, just a big bowl of corn. Surprisingly, he wasn’t satisfied, so I threw together his favorite salad dressing since I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. Then I served up a little bowl of chopped lettuce with his salad dressing. He gobbled it up and wanted more. His second bowl was the same, and he wanted more. The third bowl I had run out of lettuce, so I gave him some chopped baby kale and dressing. He wanted a fourth bowl! This boy LOVES him some raw dressing! Without further ado, I am reposting this salad dressing with its own dedicated post that is a hit in our household, it makes a huge quantity that I am able to refrigerate for later use, and because I frequently search my own blog for my favorite recipes, and this is one of the regulars in my searches.

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Tait’s third bowl of breakfast salad.

Red Pepper and Ginger Salad Dressing by Cookie & Kate
Ingredients
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped into big pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons raw local honey
  • ¾ inch piece of ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Optional: a dash of toasted sesame oil

Directions

Place all ingredients in the order listed above and process in a high speed blender until combined. Enjoy!

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Tait’s tiny bowl of breakfast baby kale with his favorite salad dressing.

 

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Raw Veggie Collard Green Wraps

Wraps are a quick way to package a healthy assortment of fruits and veggies. For the gluten free, egg free, dairy free person, it’s difficult to find a wrap, tortilla, or outer shell that actually rolls without breaking. Enter the collard leaves! Amazingly nutritious and full of calcium, when collard leaves are deveined by removing the large rib down the center of the huge leaf, then lightly steamed for only 30 seconds, they become the most durable wrap around.

Last night I left my 9-year old in charge of dinner, and here is how she made the wraps:

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Step 1: Prepare your veggies of choice. We used a blend of shredded beets, jicama, and carrots. Then we added sliced mushrooms, horizontally sliced avocado, and cubed cooked sweet potato.

Step 2: Lay your steamed collard green on a flat surface, then add your dressing of choice. We used hummus, but I highly recommend either of the two recipes listed below instead. It should be the consistency of a paste, so it doesn’t leak out.

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Step 3: Add your fillings on top of the dressing in a vertical row.

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Step 4: Fold the collard green over the filling lengthwise.

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Step 5: Start rolling the wrap closed from the filling side to the empty side. They should hold together well because the collard leaf wraps around several times, but you can also secure with a toothpick.

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Voila!

What really makes these amazing is choosing the right sauce. Here are my two favorites:

Carrot-Ginger Paste by Hanne of Raw Evolution

Ingredients
2 large roughly chopped carrots
1 tblsp freshly grated ginger
1 small shallot – chopped
1 tblsp of miso paste
1 tblsp chia seeds
1 tsp raw honey
1 tblsp organic rice vinegar
1 tblsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Directions
Add the carrots, ginger, shallots, miso paste, chia seeds, honey, and rice vinegar in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add the sesame oil and salt, then stir to combine.

Creamy Cucumber-Tahini Dressing by Talya of The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen

Ingredients
1 cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T red onion, minced
1 tsp ground coriander

Directions
Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.

School Potluck: Seaweed Salad

My son’s class had a potluck today, so I made an allergy-friendly dish by asking the vegan child in class what she would like me to make. Of all the cooking projects we have done (documented here), she chose last week’s Seaweed Salad! seaweedsaladWe used ground ginger and garlic powder instead of the fresh spices simply because it was faster, and I believe the toasted sesame seeds are what make the dish, so don’t skimp on the 10 minutes of toasting! It’s the easiest dish ever, and sea vegetables like wakame (also known as seaweed or kelp) are so good for you! Google them to find out why 🙂 It’s amazing how many children chowed down on this dish in class today — second and third helpings until it was all gone. It made my heart melt ❤

And while I’m on the topic of health (as if I’m ever NOT on the topic of health), I wanted to mention my new favorite deodorant. I’ve heard a lot thaicrystallately about how toxic deodorant is, and with my lifestyle, I simply can’t live without it. I have tried the salt crystal deodorant called Thai Deodorant Stone, and while it works great on my husband, it didn’t work at all on me. It rates a tiny little “1” on the Cosmetics Database Product Rating Guide (available at Whole Foods/Whole Body), but it simply did not earthsciencework. Then I tried Earth Science Natural Deodorant, Tea Tree Lavender, but I swear it made me smell even worse than when I didn’t wear any! It also rated only a “1” on the database. This week I tried a different one that my sweet, equally health claydryconscious friend, Cherri, told me about Zion Health ClayDry Deodorant Original Scent (available at Whole Foods/Whole Body), and I love it! Unfortunately, it does rate a “3” according to the database, but none of the ingredients are cancer-causing, as most of the leading antiperspirant and/or deodorants are. What is your favorite deodorant?

If you’d like to make a change to your beauty products, slowly start checking them on the database as you start running out of product and replace it with healthier alternatives.

The Oh She Glows Cookbook! (and what I “gave up” for Lent)

Today is the first day of Lent that is marked by Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church. Usually people talk about what they are going to give up for Lent, and this year I have decided to identify what I can eliminate that is going to make me better. I have decided to turn off social networking sites Facebook and Instagram and spend more time focusing on this blog and trying out new recipes that make the tummies of my family very happy.

I also created a mock Instagram account, so I can continue to document daily happenings of my life since most of my photo albums contain my Instagram-filtered-and-captioned photos. Today, my 9-year old daughter ran to school for the first time — 2 miles in under 16 minutes! And, my husband and I spoke to a Psychology of Marriage class at my Alma Mater, Santa Clara University, for the fourth year in a row. We received so much positive feedback from the class, and this is my favorite quote from one of the students (another offered to be our babysitter!):

I feel like I took a lot away from their experiences and many of the things they said will resonate with me. It definitely helped to bring the course material to life and really put what we’ve been learning in perspective.

Arun and I enjoying the beautiful Santa Clara University campus with the Mission Church in the background.

Arun and I enjoying the beautiful Santa Clara University campus with the Mission Church in the background. He was super happy to be there 🙂

Once I returned to my office, I was checking out a few food websites to find a link to my FAVORITE salad dressing recipe that I served last night at a dinner party I hosted that featured an authentic Spanish seafood paella made with wild seafood by my mother in law, plus a kale salad with Raw Red Pepper and Ginger Salad Dressing. redpepperandgingersaladdressing

That’s when I realized that one of my favorite bloggers, Angela Liddon, launched her brand new cookbook today called The Oh She Glows Cookbook, ohsheglowscookbooknamed after her blog entitled Oh she Glows! I can only imagine that she chose only the best of the best recipes, and I can’t wait to pick up my copy. She is one of the few gluten-free, vegan bloggers whose recipes are 100% consistent and delicious every single time. I arrived at work this morning and saw that my sister had a copy sitting on her desk because she pre-ordered it! I sifted through it for a bit, and there is a picture for every single recipe in the cookbook — SCORE!!

On this Ash Wednesday, it must be an omen for me to buy a copy ASAP to support the fabulous recipes she has on her blog. Can’t wait to get cookin’ and show you what’s in store!

xoxo

Asian Noodle Salad from Whole Foods

Today is a happy day because I was able to duplicate my favorite entree from the buffet counter at Whole Foods in Campbell. I always pay $6.50 for a teeny tiny box of these delicious spicy noodles, and I rarely ever share, partly because my son’s allergies limit him from this dish…but that’s not the real reason. It’s the perfect balance of tart and spicy and I want it all for myself! So I took a picture if the ingredients label, bought the supplies, and came home to make it gluten free, vegan, and nut-free!

The label read: Asian Noodle Salad – spaghettini, carrots, scallions, sesame seeds, dressing (soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, cilantro, vegan worcestershire sauce, chili flakes), pepper flakes.

I used my favorite gluten free vegan pasta by Ancient Grain, omitted the super finely grated carrots and sesame seeds, then started mixing to get this recipe:
4T gluten free organic soy sauce
4T toasted organic sesame oil
1T + 2t freshly squeezed lime juice
1t garlic powder
1/2t ground ginger
fresh cilantro, chopped
1t vegan worcestershire sauce (omit if you can’t find this gluten free)
1/2t chili flakes

Mix together and pour over cooked noodles! I cooked 8 oz of pasta, so I had a few tablespoons of dressing left over to use on a shaker salad for later this week.

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Lunchbox: Salad

It would have saved some time if I made the same thing for me for lunch! Do they make laptop lunches for adults?? (Maleah’s lunch: spring mix with red bell peppers, cucumbers, and poppy seed dressing, homemade hummus with carrots, and pears –all raw, organic, and non-gmo.) yum!!lunchboxjan2012