My all time favorite Greek salad is the one offered at Pappadeaux, have you ever had their Greek Salad, the one with the shrimp? My oldest son Sam and I would always fight over the two shrimp that came with our salad, and while I should probably tell you that I always allowed him to have both of them (“good” mothers would do that, right?), I did not…in fact I would try to steal his, LOL!!
Even though we no longer consume dairy products, I have found that quite a few recipes stand very well on their own without cheese, like my dairy-free basil pesto (still trying to make a good cheese-less pizza though…I can’t seem to figure out how to make the toppings stick to the crust without some type of cheese “glue”).
The following recipe is my adaptation of a recipe I discovered on Allrecipes.com called Absolutely Fabulous Greek/House Dressing, how can you not try something with ‘absolutely fabulous’ in the title? The recipe also got 908 great reviews (make that 909 with my seal of approval), so you know it’s good stuff!
The “creaminess” in my adaptation comes from the addition a few Macadamia Nuts (they’ve become my DFBFF over the past few months). The dressing is great without the addition of the nuts, so if you are allergic or don’t have any on hand (or if you do not have a high powered blender like a Vitamix), I would still recommend still trying this recipe, it will just be a thinner consistency.
Creamy Greek Salad Dressing (dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free with a corn-free recommendation)
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar (if you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own red wine vinegar!)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. dried Oregano
1 tsp. dried Basil
3/4 tsp. Onion Powder
3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
3/4 tsp. Black Pepper
3/4 tsp. Dijon Mustard (for corn-free: try this recipe for Homemade Dijon Mustard, sans the Tobasco Sauce)
5 Macadamia Nuts* (see notes)
- Add all of the ingredients to the wet blade container of a Vitamix (or other high-powered blender) and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container (I use a mason jar) for up to a week.
- You can certainly add more macadamia nuts if you like your dressing creamier, but add the additional nuts slowly so you don’t overdo it and make Greek Pudding instead of Greek Dressing.
- You can also substitute cashews for the macadamia nuts (they’re much less expensive).
Oregano has some amazing health benefits, which I only recently discovered after my 3 year old was found to have a significant yeast overgrowth last February. Not only is oregano an excellent source of vitamin K but it’s also a good source of iron, manganese, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber.
In addition, the volatile oil of oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, which are two powerful antimicrobial agents. A clinical study in Mexico compared oregano to tinidazole, a commonly used prescription drug used to treat Giardia lamblia. These researchers found oregano to be more effective against Giardia than the commonly used prescription drug (click here to read more).
Thymol and carvacol have also been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria, including Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus aureus, two bacteria that are often the cause of impetigo (click here to read the study).
Oregano also has tremendous antioxidant activity. In one analysis conducted by the USDA, oregano scored highest in antioxidant activity of any herb or food tested, ranking even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables known to be high in antioxidants. Oregano had 42 times as much antioxidant activity as apples, 30 times as much as potatoes, 12 times as much as oranges and 4 times as much as blueberries. The active component was rosmarinic acid, which is also found in rosemary as well as other herbs in the mint family (“Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Compounds in Selected Herbs.” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2001, 49 (11), 5165-5170).
Pretty impressive for a tiny little leaf, huh?
On another note, my cyber friend Al Klapperich shared an excellent article he wrote on Dr. Rodney Ford’s Gluten Free Planet Facebook Page last week.
The article is titled Cross Contamination in the Home – Living in a Mixed House and I highly encourage you to read it and also share with your loved ones (I also put a permanent link to this article in my sidebar under “recommended reading” for easy future reference).
Lastly, I will not be doing a menu plan this week. Time just slipped away from me with all the Father’s Day activities and I am also working on a presentation on celiac disease that I will be giving this Tuesday for my sister’s college level nutrition class.
Did I tell you that I have a major fear of public speaking?
No kidding, when I took a speech class back in college, I took donuts for the entire class each and every time I had to speak…just to take the focus off of me, LOL!
I better go pull out my “semi-retired” gluten free flours and get to baking…
What should I make? (can you tell I haven’t really baked in nearly 6 months??).
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