Recipe: Crack Italian Dressing

 

Fresh salad dressing is so simple that once you find a recipe you love, you’ll wonder how you ever bought bottled dressing. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and everyone loves it. Seriously, it’s been nicknamed my crack dressing. Enjoy!

IMG_2844 copy

IMG_2881 copy

Ingredients

1 T garlic salt
1 T onion powder
2 T dried oregano
1 t black pepper
1/4 t dried thyme
1 t dried basil
1 T dried parsley
1/4 t celery salt
2 T sea salt
1/4 c vinegar*
2/3 c oil*
2 T water
1 garlic clove, minced

*For this rendition I used apple cider vinegar and hazelnut oil because it’s what I had on hand. Vinegar ideas: champagne / red wine / white wine vinegar, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar. Oil ideas: olive, canola,  pumpkin. Feel free to be creative with the vinegars and oils you use.

IMG_2847 copy

IMG_2845 copy

IMG_2848 copy

IMG_2853 copy

IMG_2851 copy

  1. Mix together garlic salt, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Pour vinegar, oil, and water into a jar or dressing shaker.
  3. Add 2 T of dry mix and the minced garlic to liquid mix. Store remainder of dry mix in an airtight container.
  4. Seal and shake dressing until well combined.
  5. Toss desired amount of dressing into salad and keep the remainder in the fridge for up to a week.
  6. Next time you need salad dressing, simply repeat steps 2-5 until dry mix runs out.

ACS_0002

IMG_2884 copy

 

This dressing is fabulous over greens, but it’s also awesome over veggies (raw or cooked) and grains.

Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Italian Dressing Mix.

Advertisements

Recipe: Falafel

This falafel is baked and hits the spot. Serve it with cilantro hummus for added flavor.

IMG_2641

IMG_2607

IMG_2639

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T bread crumbs
2 T chickpea flour*
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
3/4 t sea salt, divided
2 T coconut oil
1 lemon
6 T tahini
1/4 c water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t paprika
pita bread
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
dill pickles, chopped

*Whole wheat flour can be substituted.

IMG_2624

IMG_2616

IMG_2623

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine chickpeas, onion, bread crumbs, flour, parsley, cumin, coriander, pepper, two garlic cloves, and sea salt in food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes paste-like.
  3. Using a spoon, cookie dough scoop, or melon baller, scoop mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the back of the spatula until they’re about 3/4″ thick.
  4. Brush both sides of each falafel disc with coconut oil. Bake for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Set aside when done.
  5. Whisk together juice from the lemon, tahini, water, olive oil, paprika, remaining 1/4 t sea salt, and remaining two minced garlic cloves and set aside.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. To assemble, cut about 1″ off the top of the pita to open the pocket. Add falafel, romaine, tomato, cucumber, and pickles and then top with tahini sauce.

IMG_2635

IMG_2631

IMG_2638

Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Recipe: Cilantro Hummus

Hummus is a great source of protein and good fat, and the benefits of cilantro include aiding in digestion, preventing UTIs, and, perhaps most compelling, the ability to purify water.* The point is, it’s an incredible herb, and this recipe is like butta.

IMG_2606

IMG_2592

Ingredients

15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 t sea salt
3 T tahini
1/4 c liquid reserved from chickpeas or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 c water

IMG_2597

IMG_2594

IMG_2593

  1. Combine all ingredients into the small bowl of a food processor, pulsing until smooth.
  2. Taste and add more lemon juice or sea salt, if you like.

Enjoy straight away or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days.

IMG_2602

Serves many snackers.

Adapted from It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.

*Roizman,, Tracey. “Health Benefits of Cilantro, Basil, Rosemary, Dill and Mint.” Healthy Eating | SF Gate, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-cilantro-basil-rosemary-dill-mint-4675.html. Accessed 01 July 2018.

Recipe: Mujaddara

Mujaddara is a Lebanese dish, but I’ve also seen it associated with Jordan and Iran. I believe the origins are regional and predate today’s borders, but if you have more info please let me know in the comments below.

This recipe is simple,  savory, and an unsuspecting crowd pleaser. The caramelized onions are heaven and the vibrant spices bring the dish to life. Rick houses it.

IMG_2745 copy

IMG_2762 copy

Ingredients

1 c lentils
1/2 c olive oil
1 t cumin seeds
1/2 t black peppercorns, cracked or whole
3-5 red onions
2 t sea salt
3/4 c brown basmati rice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1″ cinnamon stick
3 c water
1-2 lemons
2 T pine nuts, toasted (optional)

IMG_2753 copy

IMG_2749 copy

IMG_2758 copy

  1. Put lentils into a medium saucepan and cover them with about an inch of cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a minute. Add cumin seeds and peppercorns, occasionally shaking the pan until the cumin seeds darken, about one minute.
  3. Sauté onions and 1/2 t sea salt, stirring often. The onions are done when they’re dark brown in color with slightly crispy edges. This will take about ten minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, move about half of the onions to a tea towel or paper towel-lined plate. These are for garnish.
  5. Add ground cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick and sauté about one minute.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. Keeping the lid on, turn off the heat and allow the rice mixture to steam for about five minutes.
  8. If using, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat about five minutes.
  9. Serve rice mixture with the reserved onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, and pine nuts, if using.

IMG_2769 copy

IMG_2771 copy

IMG_2776 copy

Unlike the photo above, make a polished table presentation by filling a mold or small bowl with the dish and flipping it onto a plate.

Enjoy this mujaddara for lunch or dinner, as a side, or as a main course.

Serves four.

Adapted from Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions.

5 Ways to Support Someone Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

1. Make it clear to you are there for them, but do not press.

Unfortunately, there is still negative stigma surrounding mental health today, and Bipolar Disorder is at the forefront of misunderstanding and insensitivity. Chalking up regular but perhaps undesirable behaviors as “bipolar” has crept into social jargon, and this general ignorance may make the diagnosis particularly challenging for your loved one to accept and embrace. Make yourself available to the person but gauge and respect their comfort (or lack thereof) discussing the new diagnosis.

2. Be patient.

When someone is diagnosed with any sort of mental incapacitation, not only may it take time to accept and embrace the newfound diagnosis but the pharmacological aspect may be a lengthy journey, too. One of the best ways to support your loved one through the process of new diagnosis, medication, and therapy is to be patient. It’s important to know that finding the right meds can take several tries to get right, and while it may feel tedious to the people around the person with Bipolar Disorder, trust that the medicinal process is much more taxing on the person ingesting the meds.

3. Understand that there may be backtracking.

Like any kind of healing or medical adjustment, there may be times that feel like one step forward, two steps back, whether it’s with therapy, work, relationships, or meds. Remember that the person with Bipolar Disorder is along for that tiring ride, too. Work hard to be empathic and gracious toward the person going through this transition, as there is not a one-size-fits-all solution and it may take some time.

4. Be respectful to the person diagnosed.

Before someone very close to me was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, being around them was like walking on eggshells. That was over ten years ago and we’re now able to openly discuss what things were like before the diagnosis. It’s important to approach your loved one with respect, and not harp on old behaviors that were perhaps undesirable. Remember, the person diagnosed was previously living with an undiagnosed mental illness and that is hard enough. It’s not fair to take shots at someone who is newly healing and trying to live a better life post-diagnosis.

5. Champion respect for Bipolar Disorder.

If you hear someone describing another person’s behavior as “bipolar” as a mean write-off opposed to an actual allusion to Bipolar Disorder, kindly let that person know their misnomer is hurtful towards those with Bipolar Disorder and the people who love them. This is one way to champion respect for your newly diagnosed loved one while maintaining privacy they may wish to have.