Basic Mixed Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette (AIP)

I realized that I have never posted about the basic salad that I eat with almost every single meal that I make…

This recipe is 100% AIP with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

You can vary the salad ingredients to include anything that you like to have in your salad – no need to stick to the vegetables that I have suggested here – I often vary them depending on what I have available and what is seasonal.

These ingredients are just a suggestion.

To make this recipe low-fodmap, simply omit the green onions and don’t use the suggestion of garlic in the vinaigrette dressing.

The vinaigrette cannot be made low histamine as given, but you could replace the balsamic vinegar with fresh lemon juice.

This recipe keeps well in the fridge for several days – just add the balsamic vinaigrette as needed.  I often make a big batch of salad, and store the dressing in a jar in the fridge.  I will serve myself a portion of salad as needed and then drizzle over a little dressing, toss it and eat it.

Basic Mixed Salad

serves 4-6


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  • ½ head romaine lettuce – chopped
  • ½ head green or red leaf lettuce – chopped
  • 1 small daikon radish – peeled and grated
  • 3 large carrots – peeled and grated
  • 4 green onions – chopped (omit this if low-FODMAP)
  • ½ english cucumber – chopped
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

This recipe is very simple to make.  Peel the daikon and carrots and grate them into a bowl (you could also chop or julienne them if you prefer).  Chop the 2 types of lettuce, the onions and the cucumber.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  I find that my hands are the best tool to do this as it does not bruise the salad greens/lettuce.

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At this stage, the salad can be stored in a covered bowl or storage container in the fridge for a few days.   But like all raw/fresh ingredients, it is better if you serve it fresh.

Just before serving, toss with the balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) and serve at once.

In the picture below, I served this salad with a simple grilled burger and a large dollop of guacamole.

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Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

makes ¼ cup (enough for a salad for 4-6 people)

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This dressing is the epitomy of simplicity.

All you do is add the balsamic vinegar to a small glass jar.  Add the olive oil and season to taste with sea salt.

Shake well and use to dress your salads immediately before serving.

It can be kept in the fridge for several days, but will need to be allowed to come up to room temperature before mixing as the olive oil may solidify.

This recipe can be varied by adding garlic (do not add this if low-FODMAP) or fresh or dried herbs.  I like to add fresh thyme and oregano.  If adding fresh herbs use right away.

You could also replace the balsamic vinegar with any vinegar of your choice or even any citrus juice.  To make this recipe low histamine, I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the balsamic vinegar.

The extra virgin olive oil can also be replaced with any oil that you prefer as well.  Nut and seed oils are not AIP, but avocado oil is and makes a delicious vinagrette.

Paleo Ranch Dressing

My kids love this as a dip with chicken or veggies, but it also makes a smooth, creamy salad dressing as well.

I often put this in packed lunches as a dip to go with chicken strips, and it is always popular.

This simple homemade recipe is so much better than bottled ranch dressing that you can buy as it is made with real food.  Don’t be tempted to use bought mayonnaise for this recipe as it will almost certainly be made with canola oil or a similar vegetable oil which is not good for you due to the high omega 6 levels.  Besides homemade mayo is so easy to make and tastes so much better than the bought stuff that there really isn’t any excuses not to make it!

The egg yolk in the mayo and the black pepper make this an AIP stage 1 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Paleo Ranch Dressing

makes aprox 1 cup

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  • ½ cup homemade mayo
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic – crushed
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives – snipped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill – chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix together until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavours to blend.

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How to get kids to eat more veggies – and a homemade mayo recipe

There has been some research that shows that kids will eat more veggies when they are paired with a dip.  Now personally I have never had a problem getting my kids to eat veggies – heck B will even eat raw brussels sprouts (Blech).  But I do know that a lot of people do struggle to get their kids to eat enough veggies.  So I thought that this piece of research was interesting.

OK so the dips used in this experiment were Miracle Whip based, which is over processed and uses questionable ingredients.  But what about a homemade dip…  Maybe one based on a homemade mayonnaise.

Homemade mayonnaise

I know making mayonnaise seems a little scary to a lot of people – they have heard stories about how it is very difficult, how it curdles easily, how it is time consuming to make, how the eggs have to be at room temperature, how they should be straight out of the fridge…  you name it.  Those stories are out there.

But really, it is easy…  I have been making mayonnaise since I learned how in Home Ec class when I was 13…  And while it has curdled on me once in a while, for the most part it works just beautifully.  And if it does curdle, it is no biggie.  You just start again with an extra egg, add the curdled mixture, followed by the rest of the oil and the only outcome is that you end up with more mayo than you planned on having in the first place.  And seeing that it keeps in the fridge for at least a week that is not a problem in my book!  But if you add the oil drop by drop it is unlikely that you will have a problem as this recipe contains mustard which is an emulsifier and helps to stop it splitting and curdling.

Ingredients

2 egg yolks

1 tsp Dijon mustard (I usually use a grainy one, but smooth works well too)

1 tsp lemon juice

300ml/1.25 cups of olive oil (If you don’t like a strong olive oil taste, you may want to use a mild tasting olive oil rather than extra virgin, or even a mix of olive oil and almond oil)

2 tbsp whey (optional) – it adds some friendly bacteria.  if you don’t do dairy you could use an acidophilus/probiotic capsule instead

2 tbsp flax oil (optional) – mitigates the effects of using almond oil somewhat.

unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Put the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice in a blender (you can also do this long-hand using a balloon whisk and a mixing bowl if you don’t have  blender.  It will just take longer.  Put a damp cloth under the bowl and it will stop it moving around).

Very slowly add the oil drop by drop, blending the mixture the whole time (if making this by hand it is even more vital that you really do add the oil drop by drop – adding the oil too fast is the primary reason that mayo curdles…)

As the mixture starts to thicken, you can add the oil a little faster, in a steady stream.  Don’t stop mixing (even if you are making it by hand and your arm aches… you develop good arm muscles that way!)

Taste and seasaon.

As I mentioned earlier, if it does curdle, just tip the curdled mixture back into the oil mixture, add another egg yolk  and start adding drop by drop again… don’t rush it, or it will curdle again and you will end up with a ton of mayo by the time you are done!

This recipe can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for at least week….  I don’t know what the upper time-limit for keeping this is because my mayo never lasts a week!  But seeing as it contains raw egg I would not be comfortable keeping it any longer.

And just to allay peoples fears of eating raw egg, yes there is a slim (very slim) chance of getting sick.  But really, unless you are already sick, immune-compromised, pregnant, very young or very old, you are going to be fine.  If you are in one of those groups I mentioned, I would not recommend that you make this mayo…  go and buy some that is made with pasteurized eggs instead.  Just read the ingredients first OK?  Back when the whole salmonella-in-eggs things blew up, some 20 years ago, my microbiology professor (I was still at university at that point) calculated that you could eat a raw egg every day and still not get sick.  And the site I linked to above says that the chance of encountering an egg contaminated with salmonella is 0.005%.  That means that the average egg consumer will only eat a contaminated egg once every 84 years.  And if you are using good eggs – organic, pastured, from a reputable source, the chance is probably even smaller than that.  And seriously, I have been making this mayo almost weekly for the past 30 years (now I have just let on how old I am!), and I have never had a problem.   Plus I add raw eggs to the smoothies that I eat for breakfast (to provide extra protein) and again, I never get sick.

Now you have your mayo base, go and make some awesome dips for the veggies.  You can flavour this base in any number of ways…  add a garlic clove with the mustard/egg-yolks/lemon and you have aioli – but your kids might not like that (it is yummy though!).  Add chopped herbs to the ready made mayo – parsley, basil, tarragon, thyme are all good.  Add chopped capers.  Add finely diced tomatoes and roasted pepper.  Add a pinch of chilli and use lime juice in place of lemon juice to make a chilli-lime mayo.  And if you add the garlic clove, and then use the chilli and lime you get an awesome chilli-lime aioli that works amazingly with oven baked sweet potato fries…..