Reena’s Kooky Kitchen
A series of kooky yet nutritious recipes I concoct daily to feed my taste buds AND my health! Hope you enjoy and please share comments if you are brave enough to try these recipes!
Paradise Dressing – Guten and Dairy Free Deliciousness
Last week I had a date with my husband in paradise. We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and he surprised me with a trip to Palafitos resort in Riviera Maya. The gourmet all-inclusive resort indulged our every whim. Its hard to believe just 18 months ago I couldn’t have enjoyed the experience as I was reacting to everything I ate. With a little prayer of gratitude for the Gods who helped me heal I dove into some extravagant meals. In between my bites of delicate Vietnamese summer rolls and lobster I tried to eat some salad.
There were 6 restaurants and just 1 of them was a buffet. We ate there the second day and I mustered up all my willpower to create a large plate of leaves, herbs, broccoli, and nuts.
In the middle of the salad bar, there were six old-fashioned glass soda bottles filled with a variety of colored dressings. I asked which ones were dairy and gluten free and Alicia pointed to four bottles.
They were peach, kiwi, pear, and mango. I tried a lick of each and was surprised by their delicate yet delicious flavors. The dressings were sweet, tart and so flavorful!
My boring and dry salad wrapped in mango or kiwi dressing was like a party in my mouth.
I couldn’t get the recipe out of the chef other than “its fruits”, so I came home and tinkered in my kitchen till I crafted a pretty similar dressing.
One of the awesome side effects of this dressing was that I didn’t crave sugar the rest of the day. Perhaps the sweetness from the fruit was all that my body was hungry for (and not the brownies and lava cake).
However, if you’re not into “sweet” taste (like my hubby) then use unripe fruit (unripe pears, peaches, kiwis or mangoes) when you follow the recipe below. The tart dressings are still delicious.
Peach or Mango Dressing:
- 2 large ripe organic peaches or 2 ripe mangoes
- 1/4 cup almond yogurt
- 15 soaked cashews
- 1 to 2 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil or hemp seed oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
- pinch of pepper
- 1 Tablespoon diced onions
- A small piece of organic ginger
- 1 teaspoon Poppy seeds
Kiwi or Pear Dressing:
- 6 ripe Kiwis or 3 large ripe D’anjou Pears
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, hemp seed oil or another mild oil of choice
- 1/2 cup organic orange juice
- 1/2 bunch cilantro without stem (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
- pinch of pepper
- 1 Tablespoon diced onions
- 1 green chili for a kick
Peel, core, and cube the fruit. Toss everything and blend in a high-speed blender till smooth. Enjoy!
- Peaches: One medium peach also contains 2% or more daily value of vitamins E and K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and, copper. Peaches are low in calories (100 g just provide 39 calories) and contain no saturated fats.
- Mango: Mangoes are a great source of carbohydrates, with an average sized mango containing up to 15g of them. If you eat a normal sized cup full of sliced mango, it will give you nearly 100% of your daily vitamin C value. The other abundant vitamin found in mango is vitamin A. The most abundant mineral is calcium followed by manganese, magnesium, and iron. There are traces of zinc and sodium as well. Other vitamins you obtain from eating a mango are thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K and vitamin E.
- Almonds: Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
- Almond Milk: It is nutritious. It is low in calories. Unsweetened almond milk doesn’t raise blood sugar. It is dairy-free. Enriched almond milk may strengthen your bones. It may reduce the risk of heart disease. Enriched almond milk is high in vitamin D.
- Cashews: Cashews are one of the lowest-fiber nuts, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function.
- Extra Virgin Oil: The FDA says eating 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day may reduce the risk of heart disease, due to its monounsaturated fat content. Extra virgin olive oil also contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants, reducing the oxidative stress throughout your body.
- Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range. Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.
- Orange: Oranges are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, thiamin, folate, and potassium. Vitamin C: Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. One large orange can provide over 100% of the daily recommended intake (4)
- Lime: Promotes consumption of water. Helps improve diet. May aid digestion. Reduces cancer chances. Improves skin quality. Promotes weight loss. Improves immune system. Reduces risk of heart disease.
- Apple cider vinegar: Helps improve digestion by increasing stomach acid. Drinking a glass (8 oz) of water mixed with 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar* 15-20 minutes before a meal can improve digestion and nutrient assimilation by increasing HCl production.
- Sea Salt: The health benefits of sea salt include good skin care, improved dental health, relief from rheumatoid arthritis, muscle cramps, psoriasis, and osteoarthritis. It also assists in providing relief from acne and rhinosinusitis.
- Pepper: They’re low in calories and are loaded with good nutrition. All varieties are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.
- Onions: The phytochemicals in onions that scavenge free radicals may also reduce your risk of developing gastric ulcers, according to the National Onion Association. The chromium in onions assists in regulating blood sugar. The sulfur in onions helps lower blood sugar by triggering increased insulin production.
- Ginger: Possible health benefits include relieving nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and pain. The root or underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form, or as juice. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside cardamom and turmeric.
- Poppy Seeds: The most important benefit of poppy seeds is the prevention of heart disease. The seeds contain linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid required for heart health. … And the iron and phosphorus in the seeds maintain bone health. The two minerals are essential for maintaining the bones and muscles.
- Pear: Eating one medium pear provides 12 percent of daily vitamin C needs, as well as 10 percent of vitamin K, 6 percent of potassium and smaller amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and folate. Pears, especially those with red skin, also contain carotenoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins.
- Coriander or cilantro: A wonderful source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron, and magnesium as well. In addition, coriander leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene.
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