Vegetarian ✻ VEGAN ✻ Grain-Free ✻ Gluten-Free ✻ Dairy-free ✻ Paleo
The original version of this dressing comes from a recipe that my dear friend, Jennifer Rieger! She makes the absolute best Caesar dressing. Her dressing inspired these dairy-free and vegan versions. This vinaigrette is perfect for classic caesar salad with romaine (try the romaine grilled - yum!), coleslaw, as a dip for crunchy veggies, or on grilled chicken or fish for a weeknight meal. It holds well in the fridge for 3-4 days, so including this recipe in your weekly meal prep is a great way to add tons of flavor and even nutrition with not a lot of work.
One of my favorite twists on this recipe is to add handfuls of other fresh garden herbs for variety and extra punch. Fresh herbs like thyme, cilantro, basil, and dill are all wonderful. Most herbs you have on hand will work!
What an amazing time of year for healing. We move from the expansive nature of summer to the more internal, contractive nature of Autumn.
In many healing and spiritual traditions, Autumn is a time of letting go and of new opportunities. This season shows us how beautiful it is to slow down, relax and release. In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is associated with the Metal Element and the Lungs. This season is all about protecting boundaries, setting limits, and organizing around our priorities.
This is a time to ask ourselves what we are holding onto that may not be serving our highest good. This is a time to forgive and move forward. This process of letting go is deeply connected to grief, the emotion of the lungs. When we let go, we create space for new opportunities, deeper healing, and more connected relationships. We may feel a sense of loss, grief, and opening. For some of us, grief and trauma have become stuck in our bodies and are holding us back from our healing potential. If you are suffering from grief, sadness, or chronic lung or digestive symptoms, this is your season to let it all go!
I love beets and beet greens for how grounding and nutritious they are - providing folate, dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, iron, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and more! This wonderful garden beet salad is a perfect way to utilize all parts of the beet plus it’s versatile and so incredibly satisfying.
Some insights on nourishment:
Their beautiful color: Beets primarily get their deep red color from the phytochemicals (color pigments) belatins which are associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties helping to repair cellular damage, fight inflammation, and support our immune systems. Beets also contain beta-carotene (plant form of vitamin A, orange color pigment) supporting eye and skin health as well as immunity - to name a few functions (1),(2).
This delicious chocolatey goodness comes from combining many other vegan chocolate mousse recipes. Over time, this is what I came up with! This mousse is easy to prepare, totally decadent, and has some amazing health benefits!
Some insights on nourishment in this yummy mousse:
The use of dates in this recipe as an unrefined natural sweetener is a decadent alternative to traditional refined sugars and the coconut cream replaces the dairy without sacrificing any richness. It's really just so good.
The unsweetened cacao/cocoa powder elevates this divine dessert by providing an excellent source of magnesium and a good source of non-heme (plant-based) iron (1), (2). Magnesium is involved in something like 300 functions for optimal health including muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation and heart health, building proteins in the body, blood sugar management, and strong bones (3). Iron is vital for blood health, helps supply oxygen to the body, and supports tissue and muscle health. Adequate iron intake is imperative for preventing anemia and fatigue, promoting physical growth, and neurological development (4). In addition, cacao powder also contains flavanols which are antioxidants associated with improved cardiovascular health (5), (6).
Here, I have used organic cacao powder. However, it will also work with regular cocoa powder (unsweetened). Cinnamon is also a wonderful addition adding aroma, a warming flavor, and may help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity (7), (8).
We are on day 14 of social distancing and shelter in place during the COVID-19 Pandemic. One of my silver linings is that I have time to get my recipes written and onto the blog. Plus, I have time to make and test them! I have been desiring something rich and delicious and also know that my nervous system is not up for any non-whole food sweetener. When I am in this place of sensitive digestion, emotions, and energy, the most nourishing sweetener for me is dates.
Dates are nourishing to the spleen (meridian) and boast lots of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, thiamine and complex of vitamin B, folate, vitamin C and vitamin E, vitamin K, along with minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Not bad for supporting overall health right now! I also use high quality raw cacao powder in this recipe. Cacao is rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc. I notice that when I am craving chocolate, that what I am truly needing is minerals and particularly magnesium! The cacao butter is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, a great support for the nervous system and for absorbing minerals. Last, but not least, I add sprouted pecan pieces for crunch, protein, and overall deliciousness!
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