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. 

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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.

Mashed Rutabagas

Mashed RutabagaI blogged about Christmas Eve’s I spent with one of my aunties and her family and the lefse I learned to make from them back in 2011 after I converted the lefse recipe so I could make the traditional Christmas Eve meal again.  Since then, I haven’t even mentioned the rest of the meal or shared those recipes with you.

I had to share the mashed rutabagas because who else makes them? I never hear anyone else talk about mashed rutabagas, let alone this unassuming root vegetable from Sweden from which they are made.  Maybe the neep has gotten a bad rap for releasing cyanide which then turns into thiocyante which can be a thyroid disruptor and cause goiters.  Maybe people can’t get past the bitterness of the root and don’t try to play with it.  Maybe no one ever made them rutabagas and so they pass by them in the grocery store without notice.  The horror!

Potential thyroid issues aside, I love rutabagas.  Not quite like I love potatoes.  But I definitely start wanting them once Winter rolls around.  I attribute that to the miraculous phenomenon that occurs when you practice eating what is in season.  You want it when it is in season and then the rest of the year, you’re too busy with other produce to think about your Winter love affair.  And all those cruciferous vegetables that I was told not to eat because of my thyroid?  I still eat them in moderation and mostly in season.  This is why I’m okay with eating rutabagas a few times a year.

I may make these once more this season and then patiently wait until December rolls around again while I enjoy the bounty of the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.

Mashed Rutabagas – serves 8

4 rutabagas, peeled and diced

water

salt

pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread (I use the soy-free)

Place the rutabagas in a large pot and cover with water and a healthy pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on a low boil for one hour.  The rutabagas will be fork tender long before an hour is up, but you want to keep cooking them until you don’t smell so much of the bitterness and they are a bright orange.  Drain the rutabagas and return to the pot of you are using stainless steel or to a large bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and Earth Balance (if you can have dairy, use butter, or if you want to avoid all types of butter, use 1/2 cup olive oil).  Mash together well.  Stir the rutabagas with a spoon when you are done mashing to ensure everything has blended well.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs by Ricki Heller.