Turmeric Aioli

Turmeric Aioli 2016I have become a little addicted to turmeric these days. I love the earthiness of it and have enjoyed it in yellow curry powder for years. A while back, I found it at my local supermarket fresh, not dried. I couldn’t believe it. It looks a lot like ginger root, but when you peel it or cut it open, it is a vibrant orange color. The first time I saw it, I hadn’t even imagined you could get it in its original state. I thought it was only available as a dried powder. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it, I just knew I needed to have it.

Turmeric has a ton of health properties. It is being increasingly reported on for all of the potential that it has. Some of the benefits of turmeric include its antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Some reports say it can prevent prostate cancer, increase insulin sensitivity, treat arthritis, reduce cholesterol, prevent Alzheimer’s, and several more things as well. Even if it has half of the health benefits that it seems to, it’s worth adding to your day. Especially when you love it.

It makes things a gorgeous color too. Be warned, however, because it can stain counters or sinks if you leave it on there. I haven’t really had a problem with it, but I do notice it. Some people find the taste a little overpowering, though, so go easy the first time and see what you think. This recipe made my heart happy so I think you should try it and see what you think yourself! I ate it with raw broccoli and then this broccoli-tomato salad and then off the spoon. Then I had it on my eggs in the morning. So good!

Turmeric Aioli

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

About 2 Tbsp. grated fresh turmeric, from about a 2 inch knob

1/8 tsp. salt

pinch of fresh ground pepper

Directions

  1. Combine everything in a small bowl and allow to sit for a few minutes so the flavors can blend.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Dip everything into it.

Avocado-Red Pepper Spread

Avocado Red Pepper CreamI had a red pepper that needed to be roasted and I had half an avocado. I wanted to do something a little different that would make everything it touched taste better – and this little sauce, spread, dip, whatever you want to call it, does exactly that. It’s super creamy and the roasted bell pepper gives it great depth, but there’s a brightness to it too from the squeeze of lemon. It is just oh-so-good. I can’t get enough of it. So far, it has topped burgers, slices of cold chicken breast, hard boiled eggs, and I dipped a couple snap peas in too. I’m thinking of tossing it with some sautéed zoodles and might have to make another batch to experiment with a few other options. I am absolutely loving it.

Sometimes people mention that they’re bored with what they’re eating or that their meals lack variety. One way to avoid that is to come up with different toppers or herb combinations that keep your staples feeling fresh. Burgers really fall into this category for me because on a Paleo journey with a budget-conscious mind, ground meat comes into play quite regularly. There are all kinds of ways to dress up a burger and not all of them include bacon either! If you’re looking for something new, consider this lovely little spread – and let me know what you think!

Avocado-Red Pepper Spread

1 roasted red bell pepper

1/2 avocado

juice from 1/2 lemon

small clove of garlic

salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp.)

pepper to taste

Directions

1) Preheat a BBQ over high heat (or the broiler works too) and place the whole pepper on the grill. Close the lid and let the pepper get black. Flip the pepper and continue blackening all sides. It should also be getting a bit soft. Once all sides are black, place the pepper in a container with a lid and let it cool down, steaming and continuing to soften. Once cool, peel off and discard the blackened skin. Remove any seeds but try to avoid rinsing the pepper in order to maintain maximum flavor.

2) Place the roasted pepper in a blender or food processor (I used a Magic Bullet) and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and then spread it on everything!

*Note: A jarred roasted bell pepper would probably work as well, but the flavor might be a little more astringent and lack some of the smokiness. You could try countering that with a tiny pinch of smoked paprika.

Go-To Guacamole

Go-To Guacamole 2014To me, guacamole is one of those foods that doesn’t really need a recipe. In fact, I think that perhaps writing down what you put in your guacamole might even be like putting this fantastic condiment in some sort of food jail. I believe it’s meant to be an expression of the cook, a playful conversation between the different ingredients that you choose to put in, something that can be changed on a whim. It really depends on the flavors of the individual ingredients too. Is your avocado more or less ripe? Is your onion sweeter or spicier? How strong is your garlic? Plus I think it might also be that avocadoes are so incredibly delicious, you have to try really hard to mess it up. At least in my opinion. So go for it! You might even surprise yourself.

That being said, a few years ago I was at a friend’s house and she had become somewhat of a guacamole aficionado. She shared a recipe, or rather more of a technique, that had come from her brother-in-law and ever since that day, this has been my go-to guac. I might do something different when the mood strikes – a little more lime, some cumin or coriander, orange or lemon as the citrus component, extra garlic or other combinations that stray even farther from the base – but when I just want a straight-up, no-nonsense guacamole, this one never fails. Thanks, Lauren and Raf!

Go-To Guacamole

1 large avocado or 2 small avocadoes

3/4 Tbsp. lime juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced sweet onion

1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno

1 Tbsp. minced cilantro

6-8 little cherry tomatoes, diced

1/4 tsp. salt + more to taste

Directions

1) Start by cutting the avocado in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop each half out in one piece and place pit-side down on a cutting board. Cut each half in half again, as if you were cutting at the equator. Then slice lengthwise into very thin slices, 1/4 in. or less. Finally cut the slices horizontally. The goal is to have very small little chunks that hold their shape while also getting a little creamy when mixed with the other ingredients. Put the avocado dice in a medium bowl.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very gently. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more lime juice or salt, a little more jalapeno, whatever makes it taste right to YOU.

3) Dollop on everything, use as a dip for veggies, eat next to eggs at breakfast, lick the spoon!

 

 

Ranch Dressing

Paleo Ranch DressingWhat’s creamy and flavorful and makes everything taste better? Ranch dressing of course! Unfortunately, that stuff that comes in the bottle at the grocery store has far too many strange ingredients for me. And salad dressings are so easy to make at home that it really is worth giving it a try.

Since discovering how simple it is to make my own Paleo mayonnaise, I happily turn that mayo into creamy dressings any night of the week. This ranch dressing has a nice hit of dill because I like it, but you should feel free to adjust the herbs to your own taste buds. I usually make enough dressing for one or two days worth of salad. It’s quick to make and then I don’t get tired of the same dressing either. If you’re looking for something to dip your veggies into, look no further! Unless, of course, you’re in the mood for Paleo Hummus

Ranch Dressing

1/3 c. Paleo mayonnaise

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. dried chives

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions

1) Put mayonnaise in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2) Measure out the thyme, dill, and chives and add them while rubbing them together in your hands to break them up a little and release their aroma.

3) Stir to combine, add salt and pepper, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. Eat with crunchy salads, veggie slices, or even drizzled on eggs.