Creamy salad dressing

Creamy Salad Dressing

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Any home chef needs to have an arsenal of different dressings, condiments, sauces, and dips at their disposal. A good creamy salad dressing can go a long way in impressing dinner guests. Please do yourself a favor and step it up from a plain, boring oil and vinegar! 

Store bought creamy dressings are typically much less healthy than the other options on the shelf. They have all of the sugar that any store bought dressing does with the added bonus of tons of fat. And not healthy fat either, like olive or avocado oil, we’re talking bottom shelf milk solids fat. Plus all of the preservatives and additives that keep the dressing from separating.

This creamy salad dressing recipe uses coconut yogurt for a dairy free, soy free, nut free, option. Make sure you buy the plain coconut yogurt, vanilla would taste really weird here. If your diet is more flexible you can use any plain yogurt that you would like, even dairy if that’s what you’re into. 

The other vital key to creating the best salad dressing is salt. I cannot ever stress enough how important it is to taste your food as you season it! Start this one with ¼ tsp of salt and work up from there. Add a little bit at a time, tasting each time, until it’s just right. Salt brings out every other flavor. Without it you won’t get the sweetness of the honey or the tang of the yogurt and mustard. Everything is muted without our good friend salt.

Salads get a bad rap as a boring diet food. Here’s the trick, a green salad is not a meal! I’m sorry, no matter how hard you try, a green salad isn’t going to keep you full for hours. But, it is a great side dish or appetizer that can add a ton of veggies to your day.

The salad I used for the photo for this recipe is mixed greens, kale, carrots, cucumber, blackberries, and feta. Super simple, requires little chopping, and comes togeter in just a couple of minutes. You can add pretty much any fruit and veggie you like. If your diet allows you may also add nuts, seeds, croutons, anything crunchy to step it up even more.

Creamy salad dressing just feels more indulgent than a vinegar based one. As long as you make it yourself and don’t go overboard the dressing is just another healthy addition to this dish. The fats in salad dressings helps your body absorb many of the fat soluable vitamins found in salad veggies and gives you much more bang for your buck.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plain coconut yogurt (or any plain yogurt that your current phase of diet allows)
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. mix all ingredients together
  2. serve with any of your favorite salads
Creamy salad dressing

Creamy Salad Dressing

Prep Time 5 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup plain coconut yogurt or any plain yogurt that your current phase of diet allows
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp pepper

Instructions
 

  • mix all ingredients together
  • serve with any of your favorite salads
Keyword citrus free, dairy free, soy free recipes
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cherry bourbon bbq sauce

Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

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If you’ve seen some of my other sauce recipes you’ll know that I’m inspired by a tomato allergy. So many of my favorite sauces are tomato based! BBQ sauce happens to have a lower amount than say pasta or pizza sauce but it is definitely still present in most BBQ sauces you’ll find in restaurants or stores. 

I am unwilling to give up BBQ sauce. I put it on all sorts of things! Especially pizza. Give me a bacon, jalapeno, pineapple pizza with extra BBQ sauce and I’m a very happy diner. Now, I just have to make that at home instead with this delicious nightshade free alternative. 

If you happen to be like me and can tolerate nightshades that aren’t tomatoes there are a few additions to this sauce that will make it even better. You can replace the liquid smoke with ½ tsp of Spanish smoked paprika and add ¼-½ tsp of red pepper flakes for a little more heat. But even without any nightshades at all this BBQ is sure to impress even the pickiest eaters.

It works best to make the cherry ketchup first and then use it to make the BBQ sauce. You will have some cherry ketchup leftover. It is delicious on it’s own and works great with most dishes you would use tomato ketchup on. I used some on some homemade burgers with smoky bacon, swiss cheese, and caramelized mushrooms and onions. The cherries pair so well with the smoky bacon that you’ll even prefer this version to your typical ketchup!

How to store homemade BBQ sauce

The easiest way to store this cherry bourbon BBQ sauce is to let it cool in the pan and then transfer it to an airtight mason jar. This will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge. It’s best to use it quickly in order to keep the best flavor. However, if you want to make a larger batch there are two other methods you may use.

You can properly jar this homemade nightshade free bbq sauce. This requires you to sterilize the mason jars using a large pot of boiling water. Boil the jars for 10-15 minutes to ensure they are completely clean. Then fill the jars with the sauce and use your go to method for canning. You’ll have to go elsewhere for those instructions, I won’t be responsible for that. But once properly jarred you may store the sauce at room temperature for 4-6 months.

You may also freeze this cherry bourbon BBQ sauce. Transfer the cooled sauce to a freezer safe airtight container and freeze for 4-6 months. Simply take out of the freezer and let it thaw overnight.

Ingredients

Cherry Ketchup

  • 4 cups pitted cherries
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground clove
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup cherry ketchup (ingredients above)
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke or smoked salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

For the Cherry Ketchup

  1. put the cherries in a food processor or blender until pulverized into a paste
  2. combine the cherry paste and all other cherry ketchup ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat
  3. bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer, stir frequently
  4. simmer for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half the volume and the smell of vinegar steaming off the pot no longer burns your eyes

For the BBQ Sauce

  1. add all the BBQ sauce ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil
  2. reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring frequently
  3. the sauce will get quite thick after about 30 minutes
  4. remove from heat and let cool before transfering to a jar, refrigerate overnight before using
cherry bourbon bbq sauce

Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

Cherry Ketchup

  • 4 cups pitted cherries
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp ground clove
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup cherry ketchup ingredients above
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke or smoked salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

For the Cherry Ketchup

  • put the cherries in a food processor or blender until pulverized into a paste
  • combine the cherry paste and all other cherry ketchup ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat
  • bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer, stir frequently
  • simmer for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half the volume and the smell of vinegar steaming off the pot no longer burns your eyes

For the BBQ Sauce

  • add all the BBQ sauce ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil
  • reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring frequently
  • the sauce will get quite thick after about 30 minutes
  • remove from heat and let cool before transfering to a jar, refrigerate overnight before using
Keyword corn free, nightshade free recipes, soy free recipes
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nightshade free salsa verde

Nightshade Free Salsa Verde

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I was worried about calling this dip a salsa when I was first making it. Typically, I get disappointed when something claims to be something it clearly is not. This nightshade free salsa verde has no tomatoes, no peppers, and no lime. But oh my goodness it’s still salsa! I was chowing down with some corn chips all afternoon and didn’t even miss the jalapeno burn. 

The apple cider vinegar adds a nice acidity that more than makes up for the lime. Getting a deep roast on the vegetables and garlic is the biggest key though. This dip has a ton of flavor! I had never roasted a cucumber before and now I think I’ve really been missing out my whole life. I’m certain roasted cucumbers will be a new addition to many salads and entrees I’ll create in the future. 

You can use this nightshade free salsa verde any way you would traditional salsa. Within an elimination diet you are not going to have tortillas or chips but any sort of burrito bowl is a great alternative. A good brown rice easily makes up for the missing starches.

I’ve made this salsa two ways. In the air fryer and in the oven. It took way longer in the oven. The air fryer does a much better job of dealing with the high liquid content in the onions and cuccumbers so it acheived a char in half the time. If you have an air fryer I recommend setting it to 375 F for about 15 minutes, stir once halfway through. If you don’t have an air fryer check out this affordable option for roasting veggies without overheating your kitchen:

this is the one I use at home

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled 
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper
  2. chop the cucumber and onion into large pieces
  3. place the cucumber, onion, and whole garlic cloves on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
  4. roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes, you want a deep brown on the garlic and some charred parts on the onions, stir once or twice during this time
  5. remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes
  6. place vegetables and all seasonings into food processor and pulse to chop until desired consistency is reached
  7. serve room temperature or chilled
nightshade free salsa verde

Nightshade Free Salsa Verde

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course dip
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large cucumber peeled
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • olive oil

Instructions
 

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper
  • chop the cucumber and onion into large pieces
  • place the cucumber, onion, and whole garlic cloves on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
  • roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes, you want a deep brown on the garlic and some charred parts on the onions, stir once or twice during this time
  • remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes
  • place vegetables and all seasonings into food processor and pulse to chop until desired consistency is reached
  • serve room temperature or chilled
Keyword citrus free, nightshade free recipes, nut free
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Tzatziki sauce, citrus and dairy free

Elimination Diet Friendly Tzatziki Sauce

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Traditional Tzatziki sauce is made with greek yogurt and lemon juice. Since your elimination diet is likely to eliminate all dairy and may eliminate citrus, this Tzatziki sauce is a great substitute that can be eaten at any phase. If you follow my recipes you know I’m allergic to citrus. Since I discovered that unfortunate fact for myself I have amassed quite a collection of vinegars. Many recipes require an acid to help balance flavors and vinegar is a versatile, affordable, and healthy alternative. You should at least have plain distilled white vinegar and a basic apple cider vinegar in your pantry at all times. These two ingredients will become staples in your cooking.

Coconut yogurt is the only yogurt option available during phase one of an elimination diet. If you have reintroduced soy or nuts feel free to use soy or cashew yogurt instead of coconut if you prefer. None of these options are going to be as thick and rich as regular greek yogurt but we’ll make do. If you are really desperate to thicken your yogurt, especially if you’re going the home made route, you might try adding xanthan gum. A little goes a very long way here so I wouldn’t recommend more than ⅛ of a tsp for this whole batch of sauce. Use a food processor or blender to mix it thoroughly into the yogurt before adding any of the other ingredients.

Now, I actually don’t care much for the flavor of dill. Mint can also be used for this recipe to gain a different flavor profile. You can even substitute any fresh herb that you like. This is your sauce, enjoy it. Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, go crazy! Whatever you want you can put it right in there. Just in moderation or it will take over this otherwise delicate Tzatziki sauce.

In order to sieve the cucumbers you can use a mesh sieve, or you can squeeze the liquid out using a tea towel or multiple paper towels. Measure the cucumber BEFORE you drain them. They will lose a lot of volume this way but it’s going to keep your elimination diet tzatziki sauce much thicker and help it last longer in the fridge.

How to prepare cucumbers for Tzatziki sauce

There are many ways to prepare a cucumber. Some people will tell you to peel and seed them, some people just cut them right up. A lot of this comes down to preferences, here are some tips for preparing cucumbers.

  • wash OR peel your cucumbers. Cucumbers have a natural wax on the outside with has a bitter taste and unpleasant mouth feel. I prefer to wash my cucumbers because the peel contains plenty of nutrients. If you find that washing doesn’t remove enough of the wax you pay peel your cucumbers
  • option to remove cucumber seeds. Since you’ll be draining the cucumber for this elimination diet recipe you may decided to remove the core of the vegetable which contains the seeds and the most liquid. The seeds contain their own nutrients so I like to leave them in but removing them will make draining easier and produce a smoother tzatziki sauce.
  • use a food processor for quick grating
  • use a clean towel to press and drain the cucumber if you don’t have a fine mesh seive, just place the cucumber in the towel and sqeeze all the juice out by hand
  • mix all ingredients promptly, if you drain the cucumber but don’t mix it right away it will become dehydrated and turn an unpleasant texture

Ingredients

  • ½ cup finely grated cucumber
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt, or preferred plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mint or dill, minced

Instructions

  1. sieve or press the liquid out of the cucumber
  2. mix all ingredients
  3. chill for at least one hour
  4. serve chilled
Tzatziki sauce, citrus and dairy free

Elimination Diet Tzatziki Sauce

Prep Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup finely grated cucumber
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt or preferred plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mint or dill minced

Instructions
 

  • sieve or press the liquid out of the cucumber
  • mix all ingredients
  • chill for at least one hour
  • serve chilled
Keyword citrus free, dip, sauce
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Pineapple Guacamole

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Pineapple guacamole is a great alternative to traditional guacamole when your elimination diet excludes citrus. Normally, guacamole would be made with fresh lime juice but this recipe exchanges the lime for pineapple and apple cider vinegar. There is absolutely no reason for you to not enjoy delicious avocados while on a strict elimination diet. Fresh pineapple is always great but you can also used canned for this recipe and you’ll barely notice the difference.

I actually used this pineapple guacamole recently for burgers. Anyone who has been following me will know that I’m allergic to citrus and tomatoes. Good grief I miss ketchup so much! But I still was craving a burger and didn’t feel like making a whole batch of cherry ketchup for an impulse meal so I needed a new topping. Guacamole is always delicious and goes on so many things! This is a wonderful citrus free version that everyone can have!

You could substitute white vinegar for the apple cider vinegar if that’s all you have but I find that it’s best to just keep a gallon jug of both around at all times. Vinegar has so many uses I would feel like my house was empty without it! In this recipe it provides the acid that would normally be supplied by the lime. It also helps keep the avocados from browning quite as quickly. It is also very important to always remember to salt anything that you make with avocados. They cry out for it and just a little salt elevates the whole recipe to the next level every single time.

Does citric acid cause an allergic reaction to someone with a citrus allergy?

No! Citric acid is not the allergen in citrus fruits and is safe to eat for many individuals with a citrus allergy. Citric acid is often used in commercial cooking as a preservative and flavor enhancer. It is available to everyone so you could even cook with it at home to replace a citrus flavor.

Citrus allergies are rare but typically caused by a cross reaction pollen allergy or by the component limonene, found in citrus peels. It is important to determine if you’re allergic to the juice or the rind and then also if you are able to eat cooked citrus instead of raw. Every body is different and these types of allergies require experimentation. But if you’re avoiding citrus in all forms just try some pineapple guacamole.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½-1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. fork mash the avocado until smooth
  2. mix in remaining ingredients
  3. serve right away

Pineapple Guacamole

Prep Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

2 ripe avocados

    ¼ cup diced pineapple

      2 tsp apple cider vinegar

        ½-1 tsp salt

          ¼ tsp black pepper

            ⅛ tsp garlic powder

              ⅛ tsp onion powder

                Instructions
                 

                fork mash the avocado until smooth

                  mix in remaining ingredients

                    serve right away

                      Keyword citrus free, corn free, nightshade free recipes
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