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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette Dressed Chicken Salad
I was looking for something tart-sweet, creamy and lemony so I had to put this together. It was absolutely sublime for our simple fresh chicken salad. It has been so sultry lately that cooking and eating something hot was just out of the question. And besides, I was out of luscious Rhubarb Mousse!


It occurred to me while I was preparing this that with a few easy, quick adjustments this recipe could transform to many eating platforms such as non dairy, or sugar free for example. I'll give you some examples as we go.

I also used my vanilla bean sugar, simply split a vanilla bean down the center and scrape the inside seeds out. Mix the seeds with 2 cups granulated sugar, stuff the bean casing down into the sugar and keep tightly sealed. Let it "cure" about a week and then use in drinks, sprinkled on your cereal, stirred into plain greek style yogurt, or whatever your heart desires! You can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract - there are several very good brands that are non-alcohol based.

Chicken Salad
Some suggestions:
1/2 cup deli chicken per person
fresh carrot strips, once the outer peel is off-just keep peeling and rotating

salad greens of your choice
fresh tomatoes
fresh snap peas
dried fruits
other vegetables of your choice

I merely chopped everything up before hand, then distributed the vegies per plate. Then drizzle the creamy lemon vinaigrette over all, and salt and pepper to taste.
there are endless things you can add to salads. Just be creative.

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette 
Regular Recipe
1 cup sour cream
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, or unflavored sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt   *If using table salt cut amount in half
fresh cracked black pepper 
1 Tablespoon EVOO or your favorite oil
Optional:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients together except EVOO. Slowly drizzle the oil while continuously whisking. Refrigerate until needed, it may need a fresh whisking just before using, and even a bit of water or milk to loosen it up some if you like it to pour instead of spoon on. Refrigerate leftovers.

Non Dairy Version
1 cup soft or lightly firm Tofu
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, or unflavored sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt   *If using table salt cut amount in half
fresh cracked black pepper 
1 Tablespoon EVOO or your favorite oil
Optional:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients together well except EVOO. Slowly drizzle the oil while continuously whisking. Refrigerate until needed, it may need a fresh whisking just before using. Refrigerate leftovers.

Sugar Free Version
In place of sugar - substitute in honey, splenda, stevia, brown rice syrup, or what ever other sweetener you like. 

Other flavors:
In place of lemon try substituting pineapple juice, orange, lime, or grapefruit juices. Try cranberry juice, Torani syrups.

In place of EVOO try coconut oil...there's an endless list of things you can try. Have fun!