I’ve been flirting with the idea of adopting a vegan, soy free, gluten free diet for a little while, due to some strange reactions that my body’s been having to food as of late. Rashes, horrible cramps, etc. Ugh. Not fun. Especially because I consider myself to be a food lover, foodie, and on and on. I take great pleasure in meat, dairy, carbs. You name it, I’ve probably sampled it and loved it.
But for the last two years, my body has pretty much hated some of the food that I’ve given it. Without going into too much unnecessary detail, it’s caused me a lot of pain and inconvenience. At UCLA, I ate the majority of my meals at home, which allowed me to keep unpleasant symptoms at a minimum. Now that I’ve moved home and don’t have the pressure of classes for the foreseeable future, I’ve been paying close attention to what exactly is giving me these symptoms. Apparently, soy and gluten products are giving me some sort of a reaction, which is no bueno. The vegan part of all of this? I’m just sick of getting… well… sick! I know that if I stick to a vegan, no soy, no gluten diet for a while, I’ll be symptom free. I think. But it’s still super-restrictive, seeing as a lot of vegan products contain gluten or soy. I guess these days, I’m not the easiest lady to go out to dinner with or host in your home. As someone who really, genuinely likes being flexible and not picky, this is definitely a stretch for me.
I’m making an appointment with a holistic nutritionist tomorrow. I’m tired of this and just want to know what I can and cannot eat. Instead of randomly guessing (and often losing) I’ll have a concrete answer. But the real reason that I wrote this post is to introduce my new favorite condiment….
Vegenaise! I know, it sounds gross but it’s a completely gluten and dairy-free alternative to mayonnaise! And I’ll be honest, it actually tastes better than mayo. It’s got the same texture, consistency and basic taste of mayo. But I think there’s a little extra “kick” due to the mustard powder and apple cider vinegar that they add. What’s cooler? They have a soy free version of the original too! Score! It’s not horribly expensive, unless you inhale this stuff like there’s no tomorrow. You can find it in the aisles of Whole Foods, my favorite place these days.
And I’ve picked up a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook a few months ago. In this book, she claims Vegenaise as one of her absolute staples in her kitchen. I can see why! One of her most popular “dip” recipes was something that her late father perfected. She lovingly refers to it as “Bruce’s Dip”. I made a variation of this dip (minus sour cream) tonight with some avocado. Delicious! You should grab some Vegenaise and give it a go!
Makes: 4 servings
Active/Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes
1 cup Vegenaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or pushed through a press
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
A few fresh grinds black pepper
Pinch coarse salt
11/2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
Mix it all up!
Serve as depicted in the photo.
Happy Eats, friends!