Flash in the Pan: Freshly Dressed and Saucy

[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]

[Uber creamy–with no dairy or soy!]

Thanks, everyone, for all the great comments in response to my last post. One point I found fascinating–and hadn’t thought about before–is how so many vegan options in restaurants are just “meh.”  As Julie, Jessy and Danielle pointed out, most often the vegan foods are simply the regular items with the animal products taken out–rather than dishes designed from scratch as “vegan.”  In that case, I agree: more fun to eat at home!  I do feel fortunate that there are so many great choices here in Toronto, however.  (Oh, and summers are the best time to visit: it’s been sunny and between 22 and 30C/72-86F the past couple of weeks.  Toronto is a fabulous city, filled with world-class events, sights and culture, not to mention multicultural cuisine.  You’re welcome, Toronto Tourism Network).

One of the things I love about the ACD (a veto on over half the usual foods from my diet?  Causing a horrendous detox reaction in which I stumbled around with flu-like symptoms, barely able to think straight during the first few weeks of the diet? Forcing me to stave off cravings that persisted unabated, basically for the first six months–sort of like The Bride against the Crazy 88s in that scene from Kill Bill (Volume I)? ) is that, now finally in Stage II, I can rejoice over the return of some fruits to my culinary repertoire.

I nearly wept with elation when I first ate fresh pineapple again a couple of weeks ago; I love it that much (can you believe the HH doesn’t fancy it?  “Too acidic,” he says.) Besides its heavenly, ambrosia flavor and distinctively pinecone exterior, pineapple always brings with it the pleasant satisfaction of accomplishment after you finally cut away all the inedible parts and sink your teeth into the luscious, juicy fruit inside.  I’ve even been known to gnaw at the yellow flesh clinging to the skin, risking the thorny bits for the joy of pineapple nectar running down my chin. (“Mum, you don’t have to take that risk.  Just let us eat it instead–we don’t care about the thorny bits.”)

In my zeal to bring more fresh pineapple into the house, I purchsed a huge specimen last week and went to town cutting away the peel and slicing it into bite-sized chunks.  But after two days of gorging on diced pineapple and with over half a container remaining, I realized that radical measures were necessary to finish the beloved treat before it began to ferment (a huge no-no for the ACD).

Some of you may recall the wayward patch of mint growing at the side of our house.  Well, this year I determined to take the offensive and begin snipping and using those emerald leaves as soon as I saw their little Martian heads sprouting through the ground.  I’ve already made a variation on my original mint smoothie (with the aforementioned pineapple, as well) and today whipped up this quick and easy salad dressing (or mint sauce–it’s very adaptable that way).

With Gena’s inspiration still in my mind, I based this dressing/sauce on the principle of “veggies + flax = creaminess.”  I also added pineapple for its natural sweetness and the fact that it contains the compound bromelain, a digestive enzyme that serves to distinguish pineapple (and, similarly,  papaya because of its papain) from other fruits as two that are acceptable to consume at the end of the meal even if you’re following principles of food combining (since they aid in digestion rather than delay it).

The dressing turned out light and smooth, its creamy texture complemented by a fresh and subtly mint flavor and aroma.  It created a beautiful visual and textural counterpart to my lunchtime dandelion salad (fresh dandelion greens, cucumber slices, and more pineapple chunks).  The very slight sweetness along with the spirited minty flavor were the perfect foils for the bitterness of the dandelion and crunch of the cucumber.  Just right for a light and summery meal.

While I used the mixture as a dressing, I think it would also make a perfect sauce for your next dinner in a bowl.  In fact, I’m going to cook up some millet for tonight’s supper and start thinking about which veggies would work well as a foundation for the sauce (I know; that’s sort of like buying furniture to match the color once you’ve already painted the walls, but hey).

Canada AM update:  a few of you asked where you could find the clip of me on the show. I’ve now added it to my Press page (first item under “Television and Radio”).

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Last Year at this Time: Dog Day: Where’s Mum?

Two Years Ago: Radish and Grapefruit Salad

© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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Comments

  1. That sauce/dressing does indeed sound perfect for summer – the flavor combo must be really refreshing!
    Do you use dandelion greens that you find in your own yard? I’ve never tried them and I’m getting curious about them, but I’m kind of worried that the gorgeous ones we have in our yard would not be safe for consumption – not that we’ve ever sprayed anything in our yard, but I don’t know for sure what kind of nasty stuff the wind might’ve blown our way from the neighbours’ yards…

  2. this sauce sounds great and I went to the vid as soon as I saw the link – you are such a natural on the tv and all your food look so so so good – and also I love pineapple so am so glad you can eat it again as I know the joy

  3. That sounds like an incredible salad dressing – it is so full of nutrition I would be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. So many good things to try. Chickpeas are soaking in anticipation of another roasted chickpea and artichoke salad that you hooked me on 😉 but that’s OK!

  4. Mmmm. This looks so delicious. I’ve been avoiding thinking about pineapple, since I love it too. I haven’t been brave enough to venture into tropical fruits yet. I’m still limping along with my quarter cup of berries. Le sigh.

  5. i just watched the clip, Ricki – you look great and everything looks absolutely delicious! i also love veggies along with my breakfasts and i can’t believe we haven’t made your almond encrusted sweet potato parsnip fries. dan and i need to make them – i’ll have to put them on the menu for next week. squeeeeeee!

    hooray for phase II! that kicks so much butt! i had no idea pineapple was okay to eat after a meal, i always thought all fruits were to be eaten alone and now i’m superhappyfaced you pointed this out because i used to love having some fresh fruit after my meal for dessert but had stopped because my stomach never cared for the decision. it took me a while to figure it out but i had an “ah ha!” moment when i read about food combing on the crazy sexy life site about a year ago – since then i’ve always waited at least an hour after my meal to eat fruit. i’m gonna have to grab an organic pineapple to enjoy and also make your creamy mint and pineapple dressing. a friend of mine just gave us some mint and besides mint juleps i haven’t thought of what to use it in. thanks so much!

  6. Courtney says:

    Hahaha–I love pineapple that much too, lol! I am embarrassed to admit to gnawing on the skin I cut off too, just to make sure I didn’t cut off too much of the juicy delicious flesh… 🙂

    Your dressing sounds great–I will have to try it soon!

    Courtney

  7. This is a combination of foods that I would never think to put together, but now that I see it, it looks wonderful and fresh! Yay for summer!

  8. oooh, now that sounds delicious! i have gone through 2 watermelons in less than two weeks (by myself), so fruit never stands a chance in my kitchen 🙂 i’m always a sucker for new ways to use them though!

    loved the clip!!

  9. Josiane,
    Thanks! No, I haven’t yet been brave enough to eat the dandelion from my own yard, because the previous tenant used lots of pesticides in the garden (similar to yours, I guess).

    Johanna,
    Wow, thanks so much! I think I was too tired to be nervous 😉

    Mom,
    Oops, sorry about that. There are worse addictions, though, I suppose! 😉

    Leah,
    I can’t have any other tropical fruits (too sweet), but pineapple is the exception because of that bromelain I mentioned. I don’t know if it would be safe for everyone, but it’s worth asking your ND/holistic health care provider/ACD doctor. 🙂

    Jessy,
    Thank you so much! 😀 And I know you will love those fries! Yes, Phase II is definitely an improvement on Phase I 😉 For most people, pineapple is okay as the exception to the food-combining rule (but I know that some people are really strict about it and don’t eat the pineapple anyway). But I’m glad you figured it out and rid yourself of those tummy troubles! And yay for gifts of glorious green mint!

    Courtney,
    I don’t think we need to be embarrassed about that one–it’s (a) too delicious and (b) too expensive to waste a single bit! 🙂

    Iris,
    It’s a bit unusual, yes, but very tasty nonetheless. 🙂

    Shannon,
    Wow, now I’m craving watermelon! 😉 And thanks so much re: the clip–it was a gas.

  10. I can’t wait to try this! What a creative combo. And thanks for the info on pineapple. Now I’ve got yet another reason to stock up on that delicious fruit. 🙂

  11. I always want to eat my food now. So this recipe is exactly what I need. Plus, it looks absolutely fresh and delicious!

  12. I love mint– it makes me feel like a successful gardener while some of my other plants are a little, er, stunted. The flavors in this salad sound amazing! I have fresh pineapple now, and would love to use it in a sweet/savory preparation. I usually freeze the leftovers after a couple of days for adding to smoothies, but this seems like a “higher and better” use!

    You’ve captured my interest in ACD, and I’m looking forward to poking around DDD to learn more. Perhaps you can give me an easy answer, though, to this question: do you avoid kombucha tea on your ACD? If so, is it possible that it will be introduced at a later stage, or will it always be a no-no?

  13. What a unique combination of flavors! I rarely is ever use mint or pineapple in savory dishes, so this is really outside of my comfort zone. I’m really curious though… Maybe I need to “try it to believe it”!

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever had pineapple in salad. This sounds like a great summer meal!

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