Monday Musings… I choose


It’s been a little bit since I have taken time to write. I miss it. I don’t know if anyone in cyber space misses hearing from me but I won’t dwell there 🙂

It’s June! I am really trying not to feel overwhelmed with that thought. June means that soon it will be July, which means 2 things that I have been heavily committed to, and  will be wrapping up 2 classes I have been taking. This weekend I will take my final written test for my Yoga teacher training. July I will do my practicum, and Lord willing turn in all my homework!1796666_669435899766066_1977222720_nWow, really? But I’m not there yet, and, this post isn’t about those accomplishments… yet. My online cooking class at Rouxbe also ends the middle of July, about 70% done there. I am excited and nervous, and left wondering what will I do with my newly discovered and honed skills and knowledge! Lord only knows, seriously!

I want to share with you all a recent discovery while working on Rouxbe stuff. By choice I have not eaten bread/pasta made with white flour or even wheat in a long time, only whole grain. Pretty much gluten free, again by choice. Recently I have had a few episodes where I have had such “food” only to notice some allergy like issues. The worst being when I was making seitan for my class (this is made with vital wheat gluten and it is a meat substitute). I had hives while making it-stopped to take some Benadryl and only tasted one bite. I was miserable and itchy. Since I know I had yeast rolls at Thanksgiving and even probably pizza with gluten crust since, this made me wonder if it was just the level of gluten. On I went with life, without gluten.

This past week I decided to tackle the making of manicotti, this task centered around learning the process of homemade pasta. I was a little nervous for lots of reasons, but as I was working with the dough I didn’t experience any issues.IMG_9585See how nice and not evil at all it looks… and believe me since it took 2 tries to get the dough right (this was vegan/no egg pasta), I was getting hungry. So when this came out of the oven I knew I would eat some.

the finished product
the finished product

And eat I did, not a lot, but a serving. It was yummy. The noodles were just right, and the tofu “ricotta” spinach stuffing was so good. I opted for my spicy marinara… oh ya!

Well I was having trouble sleeping so I took a Benadryl tablet, just one and tried to sleep. Friday morning I woke feeling yuk, but I had to go to work… get up I kept saying. I walked into the bathroom having trouble getting my eyes open, but was thinking I was just tired, when I looked in the mirror I had a freak out moment! My eyes, really my face were so swollen (I will spare the picture I took). I have to laugh because I thought if I wore my glasses no one would notice! Needless to say I called into work lest I freak people out. The only time I ever remember having a food reaction like this was back in college after eating Chinese for the first time, I almost went to the ER with that event, when you start wheezing you know its bad.  I decided it was MSG, and never had any problems… until the last few months. Of course I have tried to research it a little and haven’t gotten far. I think it is strange that I would develop an “allergy” after all these years. The other thing is that by choice I have eliminated these things, but now it’s not a choice, it’s a need to stay away. So for now I will be sticking to what my body seems to like, veggies, fruit, whole foods and foods as close to original as possible 🙂

So now that I have shared my horror story of food lol, let me get on with sharing a recipe that I made on Rouxbe that is NOT made with noodles. It’s a creamy dressing that can be used for dipping or drizzling over a summer salad. Made with avocado, this dressing has no oil in it! Yes avocado has fat, monounsaturated fat. An average avocado has about 4 grams of protein in it too! Not to mention essential vitamins and potassium. Mix you up some and enjoy the benefits and taste. There is a little chiptole in here for kick so if you don’t like spicy you can nix it, but I suggest trying a little first.

Avocado Ranch dressing/dip

  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup plain Non–Dairy Milk (ie. almond)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and flesh removed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 of garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder, or more to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 3 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced (optional, but highly reccommend)

Place all ingredients, except the chives into blender and combine until smooth, adding only 1 cup of non-dairy milk at first. Depending on whether you are making as a dip or dressing will depend on how much liquid you will want. Once blended, add additional milk as needed. The dressing should be thick but still somewhat pourable if using as a dressing, thicker for dip.

Taste for seasoning, add more salt and/or pepper as needed. Stir in chives. If desired, add fresh lemon juice. ( I say yes add the lemon juice it adds another layer of wonderful flavor)

Fresh herbs are best, but I did use dried dill as I didn’t have any in the garden. Just remember dried herbs are concentrated so use less, and always taste!

ready for lunch!
ready for lunch!

I usually don’t add dressings to my salads, just a squeeze of lemon juice/splash of balsamic, pinch of salt, but so many people do use dressings and bottled dressings are not always what they appear. It’s so easy to whip up your own so I really encourage you to make this good choice and give this recipe a go!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great recipe! How long will this dressing keep without turning dark?

    1. zebveg says:

      To be quite honest I am not sure. I have had it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days with very little coloration change (I eat it too fast! use it on salad, in a wrap you know). Of course I think having the acid from the lemon helps. Hope that helps.

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