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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superfood protein dip

Superfood Protein Dip

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I’ve mentioned before my love of dips. I honestly think dipping something crunchy into something soft is the best snacking experience. Many people limit their dipping to parties but with this ultra healthy superfood protein dip recipe you can treat yourself completely guilt free at home any time. Keep in mind that this is not a phase one elimination diet recipe!

This recipe does contain edamame, a soy product. It’s a great way to test soy in your elimination diet without having to make an entire tofu dish. Many soy products can be a healthy addition to any diet. Especially because they pack a ton of protein into a small package. Edamame can be a welcome change from traditional bean dips and they also contain as much fiber as the legumes would.

I used both frozen edamame and broccoli for this recipe. I like to buy the shelled edamame and take some of the effort out of the preparation but it does make this superfood protein dip just slightly more expensive than buying the soy peas in the shells. Frozen broccoli cuts and florettes are fairly cheap and this is a great way to use them since it’s normally not as appetizing to eat the cut chunks by themselves as a side.

I found the inspiration for this recipe in a cookbook that billed this as a low fat guacamole. I changed quite a few things but I would never tell you that edamame and broccoli could ever disguise themselves as avocados. Avocados are magic and unique and even though I’m allergic to limes I will never give up guacamole. This is not guacamole. This is, however, a delicious dip in its own right that is packed with vitamins, fiber, and protein. Someone get the health nuts together and tell them to stop naming things after better things that already exist!

Speaking of guacamole, try my nightshade free version of pineapple guacamole.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 cup broccoli (florets and pieces)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (stems and leaves)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • up to ½ cup steeped green tea (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. Cook the edamame and broccoli, either steam for 5-7 minutes or microwave from frozen for about 3 ½ minutes. They should be soft but not cooked pale.
  2. place all ingredients except green tea in blender or food processor
  3. blend until the vegetables are getting quite small
  4. slowly add green tea and blend between additions until desired consistency is achieved
  5. chill for at least 1 hour and serve cold
superfood protein dip

Superfood Protein Dip

Prep Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

1 cup shelled edamame

    1 cup broccoli (florets and pieces)

      3 cloves garlic

        2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

          2 tbsp olive oil

            ¼ cup fresh parsley (stems and leaves)

              2 tsp salt

                ½ tsp black pepper

                  up to ½ cup steeped green tea (room temperature)

                    Instructions
                     

                    Cook the edamame and broccoli, either steam for 5-7 minutes or microwave from frozen for about 3 ½ minutes, they should be soft but not cooked pale

                      place all ingredients except green tea in blender or food processor

                        blend until the vegetables are getting quite small

                          slowly add green tea and blend between additions until desired consistency is achieved

                            chill for at least 1 hour and serve cold

                              Keyword citrus free, legume free, nut free
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                              vegan onion dip

                              Vegan Onion Dip

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                              I absolutely love a good dip. Onion dip has always been one of my favorites. You know the one, sour cream mixed with instant soup powder. It’s really terrible for you, so much dairy and salt and not much of anything else. This vegan onion dip recipe packs a ton of flavor without half the guilt as the traditional dip. However, this recipe is still not okay for phase one of an elimination diet. Only use it to reintroduce tree nuts or once you know tree nuts are safe for you!

                              Using real caramelized onions makes this dip feel decadent and special. It’s so indulgent to be able to gorge on this savory treat. You can always add even more onions if you’re like me and just cannot get enough of them! Just always make sure to take your time cooking them. Caramelized onions happen slowly, that’s what brings out the natural sweetness of the onions and creates that wonderfully deep flavor.

                              Soaking raw cashews makes them easier and creamier to blend. If you can’t find raw cashews you can use roasted and salted cashews just cut back on the added salt. You can still soak roasted cashews; it just won’t have as striking of an effect. I’ve found that roasted cashews are also typically cheaper than raw cashews. Don’t break your bank over a dip. Especially because you’re probably going to eat this whole recipe at once.

                              Serve this vegan onion dip with anything that you would normally dip in onion dip. Sweet potato chips and baby carrots are my favorite partners for this caramelized vegan onion dip. The little bit of sweetness pairs really well with the natural sweetness brought out while caramelizing the onions. The saltiness of the dip is also an addictive addition to the sweetness of the dippers. You’ll have to be careful not to eat this entire batch in one sitting!

                              Tips for caramelizing onions

                              • Start with the right onion! Yellow onions are standard in my house for almost all uses but sweet vidalia onions will give even more sweetness to the caramelizing process without adding extra sugar. Don’t use red or white, they have a higher water content and you’ll never reach the desired texture.
                              • Use the right pan! You want a pan that’s big enough for all of the onion slices to be in contact with the pan at all time. Having a big pile of onions in an undersized pan wont cook evenly. I use my large cast iron, check out the one featured at the bottom of the list.
                              • Slice thinly but not too thin! Slice your onion about 1/2 cm thick. If you slice it too thin, like so thin that you can see through it, the onion will cook to quickly and be more likely to stick and burn. Too thick and it’ll take hours to reach your desired color.
                              • Use a lower heat! I set my burner at about a 3 when making the onions for this vegan onion dip. Every burner is different, but you want to aim for the low end of medium low.
                              • Don’t use too much oil! You want just enough oil to cover the pan. Remember, you’re not making fried onions, the slices don’t need to be submerged in oil.
                              • Don’t stir too much! At the beginning of the process you’ll want to stir very little. Maybe two times in the first 20 minutes. If the onions are really starting to stick, add a little water and stir, but then leave it alone again. You’ll stir a bit more toward the 40 minute mark but just trust the process and let the onions do their thing.
                              • Add sugar if you’re short on time. I don’t like adding sugar to my caramelized onions, I prefer to take the slow route. However, if you’re in a rush, add about 1 tbsp sugar to two sliced onions after they’ve been cooking for about 25 minutes. This will cheat the process and make them look and taste more caramelized in less time.
                              the double handles make it easier to hold

                              Ingredients

                              • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
                              • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
                              • 2 tbsp olive oil
                              • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
                              • 1 garlic clove, minced
                              • ½ tsp salt
                              • ¼ tsp onion powder
                              • ¼ tsp black pepper
                              • up to ¼ cup water
                              • extra olive oil for cooking onions

                              Instructions

                              1. heat a skillet over medium low, drizzle with olive oil
                              2. add sliced onions and saute for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, stirring infrequently, until a nice caramelized color is reached
                              3. add minced garlic and saute 1 minute longer
                              4. add all ingredients except caramelized onions, garlic, and water to a food processor or blender and blend
                              5. mixture should be creamy, add water until desired consistency is reached
                              6. add 1/2 cup of the caramelized onions and pulse to incorporate onions without destroying them, top with any extra
                              7. chill for at least one hour and serve cold
                              vegan onion dip

                              Vegan Onion Dip

                              Prep Time 5 mins
                              Cook Time 45 mins
                              Course Side Dish, Snack
                              Cuisine American
                              Servings 4 servings

                              Ingredients
                                

                              1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour

                                2 small yellow onions, sliced

                                  2 tbsp olive oil

                                    2 tbsp white wine vinegar

                                      1 garlic clove, minced

                                        ½ tsp salt

                                          ¼ tsp onion powder

                                            ¼ tsp black pepper

                                              up to ¼ cup water

                                                extra olive oil for cooking onions

                                                  Instructions
                                                   

                                                  heat a skillet over medium low, drizzle with olive oil

                                                    add sliced onions and saute for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, stirring infrequently, until a nice caramelized color is reached

                                                      add minced garlic and saute 1 minute longer

                                                        add all ingredients except caramelized onions, garlic, and water to a food processor or blender and blend, mixture should be creamy, add water until desired consistency is reached

                                                          add 1/2 cup of the caramelized onions and pulse to incorporate onions without destroying them, top with any extra

                                                            chill for at least one hour and serve cold

                                                              Keyword citrus free, gluten free, vegan
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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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