Vegan Mayonnaise

This summer I was asked to do a luncheon salad that with a side of bread, would make a lunch for 30 people, and would be suitable for all by providing variety.  Three platters were offered, and some folks ate it like salad, while others made sandwiches from them.  We have a go-to salad platter which morphs easily to suit seasonal brunches, lunches and dinners.  I planned on using fresh shrimp and grilled chicken as the proteins, with a selection of veggies & fruits to complete the platters.  Thinking that I should add in some egg slices, I remembered that one of the daughters of this family was extremely allergic to eggs.  So, that was a no go.  I checked emails, and lists but could find no reference to this allergy, however I do know that she and her wife, and their little one, would most likely be in attendance, as they had never missed one of these family events.

For the dressing I had planned on doing a Green Goddess, as well as Fresh Blueberry Dressing, and Lemon Vinaigrette.  So, having decided that egg would NOT be part of these platters, I decided to try a tip I’d read about to make a egg-free (vegan) mayonnaise (mayonnaise being a very important part of Green Goddess dressing).

Using nut milk or soy milk in place of the egg, creates an extremely luscious “mayonnaise”.  As with mayonnaise, you can be creative with the flavourings, however this is a classically flavoured version.  The soy milk has lecithin in it naturally, which is found in eggs, which is why they are able to emulsify with oil.  Nut milks usually have soy, flax or sunflower lecithin added to them.  It’s the lecithin that is required!  When baking for Vegans, or those allergic to eggs, I make a flax egg out of 1 T ground raw flax and 2½ T lukewarm water.  Simply mix them together in a small bowl, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Use in the place of an egg.  Works like a charm. Continue reading

Mayonnaise

IMG_8786The ubiquitous mayonnaise is used in so many ways, from fresh to grilling to oven baking. It is one of the simplest emulsions, using five ingredients. Taught to make it by whisking vigorously, I was more than happy to start using my immersion blender to do the work for me. This is really incredibly easy, and will make you question why you buy mayonnaise. I make it in pint jars, so no bowl or cup to clean out, just a measuring cup to put in the top of the dishwasher along with the working end of the blender. It is so nice knowing exactly what is in this oft-used spread. Continue reading

Spicy Soba Salad

IMG_9621This is very much one of our family’s “go-to” recipes. Slightly spicy, with a good mix of interesting flavours, it’s great on it’s own for lunch, or as a side dish for supper. Soba noodles have an earthiness that plain wheat noodles just don’t deliver. Combined with the soy based dressing, they create a dish that totally satisfies. Try serving it with some sliced, grilled chicken, and some steamed vegetables. This little noodle salad lasts well in the fridge for up to five days. Just think, five whole days of lunches prepared in one go! Our family usually doubles this recipe; consequently all the photos show the double portions. Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Ginger Muffins (Gluten Free)

IMG_9416Going through my pantry the other day, I was looking at several bins with a half-cup of this and that. As I wrote my list for the next shopping trip, I thought about that little bit of candied ginger, and it’s neighbouring bin of dark chocolate pieces. Our mom’s favourite candy of all time was dark chocolate covered ginger. All her friends seemed to know it, and we grew up on the stuff, loving every morsel.

I finished writing the list, and got making a batch of muffins. I decided to do them Gluten Free so we could share with my celiac sister, who’s always ready to play guinea pig to my random baking wonts.   I added a bit of espresso to the batter and then mixed diced candied ginger pieces with the chocolate, to make a wonderful, very grown up muffin. Continue reading