Friday, January 20, 2012
Can you say "healthy?" I thought so. Sometimes saying that with "yummy" in the same sentence is not so easy. Easy here though! Yesterday I busied myself making some more home made nut butters. Sunflower seed butter, commercially known by its brand, Sunbutter. I put the recipe I use in the January Diner News under the blender feature. My Ninja does right by nut butters. It made a way too delicious tahini yesterday. I have to hold myself back on that stuff! (more on that one in another post, as I am still playing around with it)
There are two camps when it comes to nut butters. Raw or Roasted. Here, I am on the fence. Raw is more nutritious, especially soaked. I admit I seldom take that time. Roasted, however has a huge flavor appeal for me. So I vote to compromise. I use half and half. My version of Sunbutter is not quite as good as peanut butter, but then it is not a legume either, with more of those objectionable qualities. I like to ignore those because I doubt I will abandon my love of the peanut forever. Still, a step in the right direction is a good thing. First step, moderation. Second step, healthier substitutes.
Part of the moderation step is not to eat this stuff by the spoonful out of the jar. I tried making some coconut oil candies with it, but it just wasn't all that...at least not in comparison to my peanut butter variety. Trying to lessen sweet treats, after all, except for my daily coconut oil treats. Who needs to feed a sweet tooth to be healthy?
I switched my brain to salad, yah, that's healthy, I tell myself. Turns out I am right. This salad is terrific. Not only that, but it does not require lettuce. Do you ever get tired of lettuce like I do? Even when I have a fresh salad in jar looking down at me from the top shelf of my fridge, sometimes I just can't face another piece of lettuce. That is why this salad (and its delicious dressing) is so great. It doesn't taste like all the rest. The dressing is so good I could eat it by the spoonful and be happy, but I am also pleased with how it flavors cucumber, a veggie never known to be my favorite. That is an understatement of my feelings about cucumber, but the creaminess of the avocado makes up for it. I threw in some of my favorite leaf in the world--cilantro, so it has almost a Thai flavor here. You decide what it tastes like. I just know this fusion is good, and I will definitely make it again the next time a cucumber finds its way into the crisper drawer.
First the salad--you decide what goes in, but I added bite sized chunks of these--cucumber, roma tomato, and avocado. Onion lovers might appreciate a little red onion. Then a handful of chopped cilantro. I added some crumbled bacon, but it was kinda lost, so I would not bother the next time. Make enough for 4 large servings. Now that dressing...oh yeah.
4 tbsp sunflower nut butter (home made or the Sunbutter brand)
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp red curry paste
salt to taste if your butter is unsalted
Blend all ingredients by hand or in a bullet blender. Pour over salad greens or use as a dipping sauce.
1/8 recipe 84 calories 2 g net carbs
Up the curry paste if you like. I feed a lightweight when it comes to spiciness, so just a tad is all he will eat without sweat beads popping out on his forehead. I however, once won a pepper eating contest. Just how did we get together? I digress...This is a good side for some simple grilled meat. Nothing fussy needed.
If you like the jar the dressing is in, I got mine at Hobby Lobby. These jars are perfect for small amounts of home made condiments. The tight seal keeps everything fresh. Sometimes, I use my chalk marker to write what dressing is inside and the day I made it, so I don't forget. The chalk just washes off when it is empty.
My oldest son and his girlfriend are coming for the weekend, so I had better get to my dinner preparations. I am thinking Kristen might like this salad--too bad I ate it all up for lunch!
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