Creamy Coriander Dressing – Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free

Hey, look! I’m participating in Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free! The last time I was able to was over a year ago with my Super Berry Smoothie. This month, Shirley Braden of gluten-free easily is hosting with the theme When You’re Grain Free and Feeling Like A Nut, But Can’t Eat Tree Nuts or Peanuts.

This one is out of the box and the ballpark. It was also one of those accidents that just happen when you experiment. It was also one of those I’m-tired-of-the-super-simple-stuff-on-this-altered-diet-my-taste-buds-need-to-wake-up-now moments. Dressings are a great way to add a lot of flavor and make your dishes fun, especially with the warmer weather.

My plan was to make fish tacos with a creamy cole slaw. My quandary was how to make a creamy dressing from whole foods and not use dairy or eggs and make sure it paired well with the fish.

My answer stared me in the face in the vegetable bin. Avocado. DUH!

I toasted the coriander and as it toasted it created this earthy aroma in the kitchen. I was in heaven. I’m sure you could leave it raw, but it won’t have the same depth of flavor as it will toasted. Once I had the dressing together and tasted to see what I needed to adjust it had this unexpected nutty flavor. It wasn’t as nutty when I put the whole dish together, but if you are serving it with just a salad and not in a taco like I did, it will retain the nuttiness.

Did I mention Chaz hates nuts in his food? I either have to omit nuts from recipes or add them as a topping if I want them in my food. This was a great way to get nutty without him having a hissy fit about nuts in his food. What he doesn’t know, yeah?Creamy Coriander Dressing

Creamy Coriander Dressing

2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted (or not)

1 lime, juiced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 avocado

olive oil

salt

Toast the coriander in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Add the seeds to your blender and turn it on to break up the seeds for a few seconds. Add the lime juice, cilantro, avocado, salt to taste, and a little olive oil. Take out the middle of your blender lid so you can drizzle oil through it. Turn the blender on low to medium and drizzle the oil in until you have the consistency you want. The dressing is enough for sixteen ounces of salad or cole slaw. Make sure to use that day up to the next day, no longer.

This post is linked to Whole Food Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska and Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs. 

Radish Salad

Radish Salad

Radish Salad

I really don’t want to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen these days. It’s warm, I’m exhausted a lot, and I would much rather be writing. Seriously. There are days it takes all I have to tear myself away from my writing. I went to sleep last night still writing in my head. Go figure that I woke up in the middle of a dream that could be a scene for what I’m working on. I blame my friend, Katie, for that. She kept asking for more of my short fiction series on Chocolate Wasteland. I resisted because I liked where I ended it. Then my imagination took her request and ran with it. So here I am writing more about J.D. and Ariana instead of editing/re-writing my book.  Remember, it’s all Katie’s fault.

If you read my last post, today I’m keeping it light both in tone and in the recipe.

I made this radish salad to go with a rich Red Snapper dish I made one nice. The crispness of the vegetables and the acid from the dressing were a nice counterbalance to the richness of the fish. Chaz even liked it better than the fish. Admittedly, the fish didn’t even look like the picture for the recipe I followed. I cooked that thing to perfection though. That Red Snapper melted in my mouth.

Back to the salad. I intended to use the radish greens, but they went bad FAST. The dressing is simple because I added fresh cilantro to the salad and didn’t want a lot of flavors fighting with each other in the salad and with the snapper dish. The most difficult part of this salad, slicing up the radishes.

Radish Salad – Serves 4 

1 bunch radishes, sliced

1 cucumber, de-seeded, quartered, and sliced

1 bunch radish leaves OR 1 large lacinto kale leaf, de-ribbed, rough chopped

1 handful chopped cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lime, juiced

pinch of salt

Place prepped radishes, cucumber, greens, and cilantro in a medium bowl and give a light toss. In a small bowl add olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Whisk together until emulsified. Pour over the radish salad and toss well.

This post is linked to Raw Foods Thursdays at Gluten-Free Cat, Whole Food Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska, Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

Black Bean Breakfast Tacos

Using up some leftover slaw to top off the tacos.

I was intrigued by Mario Batali making tacos for breakfast on The Chew a few weeks back during his food stamp budget challenge.  I decided this was something I needed to try in order to bring more variety to breakfast.  I tried to find the original recipe for you readers, but The Chew’s recipe search isn’t always the brightest tool on the site.

I was in love from day one.   I seriously kicked myself for not thinking of this before.  The tacos have so much versatility that you can top it with whatever you want once you have the black bean mix on the tortillas.   You can also use lettuce leaves instead of corn tortillas to make this grain-free.  Want to use another type of bean?  Go for it!  Hate mushrooms?  Leave them out!  Want cheese?  Add it!  Can’t have eggs?  Use more beans and mushrooms!

I initially made it the way I’m giving you.  But I played around with it and used things like leftover coleslaw as the vegetable topping.  I have to say, the coleslaw gave it a nice crunch and a bit of an acidic bite that was refreshing for the morning hours.  It was a vinegar based coleslaw that Chaz made for dinner one night, but my Lemony Slaw would work, too.

Without further ado…

Black Bean Breakfast Tacos – makes 3-4 tacos

grapeseed oil or your choice of oil

3-4 corn tortillas (use lettuce leaves for a grain-free option)

1/4 cup cooked black beans (I cooked 1 cup of dried beans ahead of time and had them in the fridge ready to measure out throughout the week)

1 mushroom, diced (or sliced and torn into small bites)

2 tablespoons diced onion

1 egg, scrambled (omit for vegan option)

1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cumin

healthy pinch cayenne pepper

salt, to taste

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 tomato, diced

fresh cilantro for garnish

(or instead of avocado and tomato, use any combination of veggies you want)

Heat 2 large pans over medium heat.  Add oil to one pan, enough to coat the bottom well.  In the other pan, add the tortillas and toast lightly (or to your preference on each side).  Remove from the pan when done and lay out on a plate.  Add the onions and mushroom once the oil is warm.  Allow the onions and mushrooms to carmelize and then add the beans and the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.  Stir well.  Add the scrambled egg and then salt.  Keep stirring to get the eggs cooked through.  Once the eggs are done, divide among the tortillas.  If you are not using eggs, just cook the mixture until the beans are warmed through.  Top with your choice of vegetables and serve with a side of fruit.