Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing

Paleo Caesar Dressing

Caesar Salad  used to be one of my favorites! But, I haven’t had it for years. It’s impossible to find a Paleo friendly version, so I decided to make my own Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing. I imagine that some of you have been missing it too!

After my friend Natalie of Honey, Ghee, & Me bought me a bottle of this Avocado oil, I have been addicted to making my own creamy dressings. You can find this oil at Costco. The flavor is very neutral, so it lends itself perfectly to recipes like Caesar Salad and Paleo Ranch Dressing.

Why we should avoid store-bought salad dressing

Before we jump into the recipes, let’s look at the ingredients for store-bought Caesar Salad Dressing, so we can see why it is a good idea to avoid it.

This is the ingredients list of a conventional brand.

Soybeans Oil, Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Cheese Romano From Cow’s Milk (Milk Part Skim, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Eggs Yolks, Cheese Parmesan (Milk Part Skim, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Contains 2% or less of the following: (Salt, Vinegar Red Wine, Garlic Dried, Spices, Phosphoric Acid, Fish Anchovies, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Onions Dried, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Yeast Extract Autolyzed, Soy Flour Defatted, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Caramel Color, Tamarind, Flavors Natural, Sorbic Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA)

This is the ingredients list of an organic brand.

*Canola oil, *parmesan cheese (*milk, *cheese culture, salt, enzymes), *apple cider vinegar, *lemon juice, anchovy paste (anchovies, salt, water, olive oil), sea salt, *garlic, xanthan gum, *black pepper. *Organic Ingredients

It’s easy to see what’s wrong with the conventional brand. It’s loaded with what Michael Pollan likes to refer to as “edible food like substances”, everything from processed unhealthy oils to food coloring. Although the organic brand has a much shorter ingredient list, the first ingredient is canola oil. No, thank you! I don’t want to eat lettuce drenched in canola oil.

For those new to the Paleo diet, it’s recommended that you avoid canola oil. Canola oil is made with a highly unnatural processing method that involves high heat, deodorization and the toxic solvent hexane. You can read more about it here.

The good news is that making your own dressings is not only much healthier, but it is also easy to make and tastes much better than the store bought stuff.

Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing

I’ve been using this dressing with everything. Just the other day, I made a kale salad (pictured here) with carrots and some cabbage for color, tossed with this Paleo Caesar Salad dressing and some fresh lemon zest.

Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing

You will need a food processor for this one. I used this size, but any size will do!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (I use this kind)
6-8 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil
2 large egg yolks, preferably pasture raised
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup avocado oil (I recommend this brand)
2 tablespoons olive oil (find my favorite 100% olive oil here)

  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, anchovy fillets, egg yolks, salt and pepper. Blend together and mix thoroughly.
  2. In a slow stream add avocado oil and olive oil through hole in the lid. Adding the oil slowly is key to making the dressing. This will help it emulsify and become creamy. Most food processors have an insert with a little whole. You can just add your oil there and keep the food processor on until all the oil has mixed in.

Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing

 

 

INGREDIENTS: SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, EGG YOLK, SALT, WHITE WINE AND DISTILLED VINEGARS, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SPICES (INCLUDING MUSTARD SEED), PARMESAN CHEESE (PART SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), GARLIC*, ONION*, OLIVE OIL, XANTHAN GUM, MOLASSES, CORN SYRUP, ROSEMARY EXTRACT, CARAMEL COLOR, SUGAR ANCHOVIES, TAMARIND, NATURAL FLAVORS. *DEHYDRATED. – See more at: http://www.cardinissaladdressing.com/dressings/product/14/cardinis-original-caesar-dressing#sthash.fPlwDip5.dpuf
INGREDIENTS: SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, EGG YOLK, SALT, WHITE WINE AND DISTILLED VINEGARS, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SPICES (INCLUDING MUSTARD SEED), PARMESAN CHEESE (PART SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), GARLIC*, ONION*, OLIVE OIL, XANTHAN GUM, MOLASSES, CORN SYRUP, ROSEMARY EXTRACT, CARAMEL COLOR, SUGAR ANCHOVIES, TAMARIND, NATURAL FLAVORS. *DEHYDRATED. – See more at: http://www.cardinissaladdressing.com/dressings/product/14/cardinis-original-caesar-dressing#sthash.fPlwDip5.dpuf

Paleo Chick-Fil-A nuggets

Paleo ChickFilA nuggets

When Taylor of Tayste of Paleo reached out and asked if I would be interested in having her guest post her Paleo Chick-Fil-A nuggets, I was thrilled. I am a big fan of her blog and her Instagram account, so naturally I was so excited to share her brilliant work with you here. You can also find Taylor on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

I grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Colorado so there are a lot of times that I incorporate dairy into my diet. My website and my vision are all about sustainability and acceptance of life obstacles along the way. I encourage others to understand where food comes from and developing relations with local farmers/providers. Small agricultural companies are the core of my roots and I only hope that with the help of Paleo, and creating more transparency between the consumer and the farmer, more health conscious eaters will arise.

In the mainstream market there is an immense amount of false stigmas about organic, non organic, natural, grass fed and free range. Within my Farm to Tayble series I hope to debunk some of these myths and help consumers understand what farming really consists of in the US. I hope to give the consumer a birds eye view of what actually takes place in agriculture and what eating local really means.

With my background of growing up on a dairy farm in Southern Colorado I understand the importance of agriculture. I grew up with large gardens and processing our own livestock for meat that would serve our family all year-round. My family emphasized the importance of seasonal eating and making sure every aspect of the animal is not only consumed, but also respected.

What is “Free-Range” Chicken?

With my agriculture background and my foodie mentality I sometimes feel stuck between a more realistic farmer approach and then the demands of the consumer.

What do I mean by this?

For example, let’s talk about free range chicken. On TV and social media we see these brutal images of chickens being trapped in small cages and having zero value of life. For the consumers to feel better about this we started purchasing free-range chicken thinking that these chickens are outside roaming around and happy as pie.

But are they really?

There’s no precise federal government definition of “free range,” so the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves these label claims on a case-by-case basis. USDA generally permits the term to be used if chickens have access to the outdoors for at least some part of the day, whether the chickens choose to go outside or not.

In practice, most chickens stay close to water and feed, which is usually located  within the chicken house. Chicken labeled as “organic” must also be “free-range,” but not all “free-range” chicken is also “organic.” Less than 1% of chickens nationwide are raised as “free range,” according to the National Chicken Council (NCC). Therefore, a farmer can literally leave the door open when feeding their chickens because they know the chickens aint goin nowhere when it is feeding time. They could consider this “Free Range” because they had the opportunity to go outside.

Does it make it right? No… but that is the system.

I feel for the farmers because those are my roots. I understand the pain, heartache and physical labor it takes to create a product of livestock. I also understand the consumers concerns though too. The consumer doesn’t want to be lied to–the consumer wants to think that they are actually purchasing a free range chicken.

How do we solve this problem?

Like I preach on my blog.. if the welfare of the animal is important to you. Get to know your farmer. Develop a relationship with local farmers and purchase their products after you understand and educate yourself about their farming techniques.

Quality of food is in your hands…

Overall I hope this blog post helped you ask questions. I don’t mean to discourage or bring doubt. If anything I hope to bring more awareness to local farmers and help the consumer understand that sometimes labels aren’t everything they seem to be. If you do choose to purchase chicken whether it is organic, free range or store bought, try my infamous Paleo ChickFilA nuggets.

These nuggets taste just like the real deal. I love this recipe because it definitely brings out the wow factor. They are crunchy, salty and packed with flavor.

chick3

 

Paleo Chick-Fil-A nuggets

Ingredients
2 large Chicken Breasts (find pasture raised chicken here)
1 -2 cups of Pickle Juice ( enough to submerge the chicken breast)
Paprika
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
Tapioca Flour (find tapioca flour here)
Coconut Oil (find coconut oil that doesn’t taste like coconut here!)

  1. Begin my marinating your chicken in the pickle juice. You want to make sure the chicken is fully immersed in the pickle juice.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  3. Once chicken is marinated, prepare the dry ingredients by scooping about 1⁄2 cup of the tapioca flour into a small bowl. Set aside
  4. Lay the chicken out on a cutting board.
  5. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I fully covered the chicken with the seasonings. Flip over and season the other side.
  6. Next, lightly roll the chicken in the tapioca flour. Try not to handle the chicken too much, you want the seasonings to stick to the chicken for as long as possible.
  7. Place about 1⁄4 cup of Coconut Oil in a sauce pan, bring up to a medium/high heat. ( If you want a more fried effect to your chicken add more oil )
  8. Place the nuggets in the oil and let cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on these. Coconut oil heats more quickly than your average oil. Once they are browned on one side, flip over and let brown on the other side.
  9. Remove and season with salt.
  10. 10. Pair with favorite dipping sauce, I used Paleo Sriracha.

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