An Announcement Plus Vegan Quick & Easy Italian Dressing

I have a little announcement for y’all but first a little background.

Ever since I was a teenager, long before I ever went vegan, I’ve had to deal with a multitude of chronic medical issues. The main concern being severe female issues. Over the years I’ve tried a variety of treatment methods, meds, etc., but found little to no relief. In recent years especially, my medical issues have really been causing havoc in my life. Tired of it all, I decided to check in with my doctor once more and see what, if anything at this point, could possibly be done or changed to help remedy these issues once and for all. I knew that I needed something new, something we (my doctor and myself) hadn’t thought to try before, and that’s exactly what I got.

There’s an old saying, “let food be thy medicine,” and my doctor and myself have decided to put this old saying into immediate action. For an undetermined amount of time I will be on a very strict, yet still vegan, diet which my doctor believes will do wonders for my chronic medical issues. With that said, I’ve decided to take a little time off from my blog to get my new diet kickstarted -and to figure out some new recipes that work with my dietary restrictions and are still so damn delicious and worthy of sharing with y’all! I will be returning to my little ol’ blog on May 31st and I hope you’ll be as excited for my return as I will be!

 


 

And now, a recipe…

A few weeks ago I promised to share 2 recipes because I missed a week. Well, I never did that. #SadFace

Earlier this week I made the statement that this would be the week that I would share 2 recipes and that they would both be sweets of some kind. Well… about that… the 1st one was indeed sweet but in between that one and this one I had that doctor’s appointment I spoke of in my announcement above. With new dietary restrictions in place I had no choice but to scrap the 2nd recipe that I had planned for this week as I couldn’t eat it and therefore couldn’t make sure the flavors were spot on before sharing it with y’all. So I had to reach deep within my recipe box to figure out what I could make that would be in line with my new diet yet good to share, and that brings me to the subject of salad dressings.

I love me a good salad and I’m not necessarily talking about a salad that’s loaded with toppings or anything like that. Sometimes all I need is a plate full of crisp greens and a fantastic dressing. My favorite dressing is ranch and I’ve shared my recipe for d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s ranch dressing with y’all in the past but every now and then I want something else. One such “something else” is Italian dressing.

Of course, just like with ranch dressing, you can go to any store and buy yourself a bottle of the stuff, but homemade is always going to be the better option. So today I’m sharing my recipe for quick and easy Italian dressing. This recipe is great because it uses things that I, and probably you, always have in stock -unlike the ingredients needed to make my ranch dressing which very rarely do I ever just happen to have in stock.

To get started on my Italian dressing, you’re going to grab a jar (or other seal-able container) and pour in some oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice.

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Next you’re going to add in a little spicy brown mustard and the generously measured seasonings -Italian seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.

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Screw the lid on tight and then shake the mixture vigorously for 1 minute to create an emulsion. What’s an emulsion? An emulsion is the bringing together of 2 liquids, who don’t normally like to be together, into one fine little mixture. In this case, we’re bringing together oil and vinegar. #FromFormerFoesToBestHoes

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You can use this dressing immediately or put it in the fridge and let the flavors meld until you’re ready to use it. The longer it sits, the bolder the flavors will be. If the mixture separates while sitting in the fridge just give it another good shake before you use it.

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Vegan Quick & Easy Italian Dressing

  • Servings: makes a little less than 2/3 cup
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oil (not olive oil but rather canola or vegetable)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend (I like the kind which also has salt and pepper in it but if yours doesn’t have salt and pepper then you’ll need to add a little salt and pepper, to taste, to your dressing.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. In a jar or other seal-able container, combine all ingredients.
  2. Close jar or container and then shake mixture vigorously for 1 minute. Serve immediately or keep in fridge for up to 1 week. Flavor will develop (intensify) the longer it sits in the fridge for. If mixture separates while sitting in fridge simply shake again before serving.

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Vegan Ranch Dressing

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I l-o-v-e ranch dressing. I dip everything in it from vegan pizza, to carrots, to french fries, and hell if I could I would even dip my ranch in ranch. Are you starting to see the depth of my love for this dressing?? It’s pretty damn deep, y’all, pretty damn deep.

Now of course you can pop in your local WF and buy some vegan ranch there but making it from scratch is really easy and the end result is so much better than store bought. Once you’ve had my fresh, homemade ranch dressing I promise you that you’ll never want to have anything else. It’s lusciously creamy and dare I say it’s so good that one might just drink it? Oh, I dare.

To begin, you’re going to prepare the fresh herbs (parsley, chives, and dill) by getting them all chopped up very fine.

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Once your fresh herbs are all chopped up you’re then going to prepare the garlic clove by peeling it and giving it a rough chop. Then you’re going to sprinkle some salt on it and, using a fork, mash it into a paste.

There is something about doing this step that I find to be so therapeutic so I tend to get a little zen with it and really get that paste good and mushy, but don’t feel like you need to obliterate the garlic or anything. (Unless you’re in need of a zen moment then by all means, give that garlic clove hell.) We’re just looking to help break it down a little and the blender will do the rest.

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Now it’s time for the blender I speak of. You’re going to blend until smooth the garlic paste with all of the other ingredients except the fresh herbs.

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After the mixture is nice and creamy you’re going to pour it into the seal-able storage container of your choice, I like using a large mason jar, and then you’re going to toss in the fresh herbs and give the whole thing a good shake.

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Now give yourself a pat on the back because you just made ranch from scratch! I’m like legit proud of you, you ranch making fool, you.

You can use the ranch right away if you’re in dyer need of ranch dressing (#StoryOfMyLife) but it tastes even better if you let the flavors get to know each other a little better in the fridge for say, 4 hours or so.

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Vegan Ranch Dressing

  • Servings: about 2 cups
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. Finely chop the fresh herbs if you haven’t done so already then set aside. Roughly chop garlic clove if you haven’t done so already then sprinkle garlic with salt and, using a fork, mash the garlic and salt together until a paste forms.
  2. In a blender combine the garlic paste with the remaining ingredients, except the fresh herbs, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a seal-able storage container (like a large mason jar) then toss in the fresh herbs, close the lid tightly, and shake to combine. Can be used right away but tastes even better, and will thicken slightly, if it’s allowed to rest in the fridge for about 4 hours. Ranch dressing will keep in fridge for 4-5 days.