Simple Cilantro & Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

CilantroandOliveOilDippingSauce

This cilantro and olive oil dipping sauce is full of fresh and bold flavors. It is perfect to serve with a loaf of rustic bread as a starter to a meal, or to use as a garnish for meats and soups. I have spent countless times with friends enjoying homemade bread dipped in olive oil.

I first discovered this delicious sauce while shopping at a small local farmer’s market. I bought a jar along with a loaf of bread. Later while eating and visiting with friends I realized how simple it would be to make.

The key, really, is in the olive oil. Good quality olive oil can be hard to find. There are many brands out there that sell adulterated oil. It is always best to source your oil from a small privately owned farm. Chaffin Family Orchard located in Northern California, is a wonderful choice when you are looking to purchase olive oil in the States. My personal favorite it sourced in my valley and pressed just down the road from me at Rancho Cortes, located outside of the tiny town of El Provenir, Baja California. Both of these oils are so mild and buttery unlike many counterparts that I have tried over the years that leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Back to the cilantro sauce, it is very easy to make. All you need is fresh cilantro, high quality olive oil, garlic cloves, unrefined salt and a blender. It plays off the idea of pesto but there are no nuts or cheese to be found. Not only is it good with bread or meats, but is also makes a wonderful sauce for pasta.

The garlic, olive oil and salt in this sauce preserve the cilantro for much longer than it would last on it’s own. It will stay fresh in the fridge for at least a month– if you can make it last that long, I can’t.

Related Recipes on The Nourishing Gourmet:

Cilantro Olive Oil Dipping Sauce
 
Author:
 
This cilantro and olive oil dipping sauce is very easy to make. All you need is fresh cilantro, high quality olive oil, garlic cloves, unrefined salt and a blender. It plays off the idea of pesto but there are no nuts or cheese to be found. It is good with bread and meats, and also makes a wonderful sauce for pasta.
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 cups olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp real salt
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a month.
  3. Use to dip bread, on top of pasta and meats or in soup.

My Favorite Mango Salsa Recipe (and a giveaway for a $75 Whole Foods gift card!)

mango salsa- a must try recipe. Perfect for chicken or fish tacos, and more!.jpg

This is an absolute favorite salsa of mine. Sweet mangoes are paired with crisp red onions, flavorful cilantro and garlic, spicy jalapeno, and lime. It’s a simple mango salsa, but surprisingly complex and very flavorful. A great mix of sweet, spicy, savory, tart, and salty. Mango salsa goes well with grilled fish or chicken, is divine in tacos, lovely served with corn chips, and I’ll even enjoy it straight!

Whole Foods Gift Card Giveaway!

I’m sharing this today because Whole Foods Market asked if I’d like to do a gift card giveaway and a share a recipe using their mangos. And because I absolutely adore mangos, I said yes! (And I thought you all would love a chance to get a gift card too.). So gifted with my own Whole Foods card, I ran to my local store where they had a large display of mangos front and center. People, now is the time to buy mangos. These were some of the most perfect mangos I’ve gotten in a long time! Mine were perfectly ripe and tender. My particular store also had them at a great price.

Mango Salsa

All good reasons to enjoy mango salsa. We enjoyed our delicious salsa with organic corn tortillas, pan-fried organic chicken, and avocado. Delicious!

Delicious Mango Salsa! Perfect for chicken and fish, and eating with chips!

By the way, if you go to Whole Foods, look for (Amazon affiliate link) Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips. They are incredibly delicious and healthy, as they are fried in coconut oil. As a big fan of coconut oil, these are a favorite, and Whole Foods is the only place in my area that carries them. This potato chip company is a small company, and I love supporting the good food they are selling! (And nope, they didn’t even pay me to say that. 😉 )

Other Mango Recipes:

I love using mango in a variety of ways. It’s a delicious treat plain, but it’s also great in smoothies, popsicles, and more savory-sweet recipes.

Plus, If you haven’t tried a fruit based salsa yet, do it. They are so delicious! This mango salsa is my favorite fruit salsa, but this Black Bean and Pineapple Salsa is another lovely way to enjoy a fruit salsa.

My Favorite Mango Salsa Recipe (and a giveaway for a Whole Foods gift card!)
 
Prep time:
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Makes about 1½ cups. The most important thing to know about making salsa is this: Don’t be afraid of mixing things up, and playing around with ratios of ingredients. Love cilantro? Use a bigger amount. Hate garlic? Leave it out. Taste and as you make it, and adjust until you get it just right.
Ingredients
  • 3 small/medium ripe mangos
  • Half a bunch of cilantro (I love cilantro so I used the big half)
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and put through a garlic press
  • 1-2 limes
  • ¼-1/2 red onion
  • ½- 1 jalapeno pepper
  • Unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Using a small paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel the mangos, and then cut the mango flesh off the core (eating any of the mango flesh left on the core is cook’s treat). Dice the mango into small, bite-sized pieces, and put in a bowl.
  2. Wash, and shake dry the cilantro, and then cut the leaves from the stems. Roughly chop.
  3. Peel the red onion, and cut in half. Dice finely one half of the red onion. Add half of this amount to the bowl, and keep back the other half.
  4. Stem the pepper (you may want to either coat your hands with oil or use gloves to protect your skin), and cut in half. If you want it less spicy, remove the seeds. Chop really finely. Add to bowl.
  5. Cut the limes in half and sprinkle over this mixture and give a couple sprinkles of salt to the mixture as well. Gently mix. Taste test. Does it need more salt? More onions, more chopped pepper? More lime juice? More cilantro? Adjust flavors, if needed. Serve right away, or allow flavors to meld for at least one hour.
Notes
Possible additions: Black beans, seeded tomatoes, or chopped red bell pepper.

Congrats to our winner, Annette! I’ve just emailed you! 

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Turmeric Sunburst Dip (Vegan & Paleo) – And Should We Fast From Animal Products?

Turmeric Sunburst Dip

This turmeric sunflower seed sauce is bursting with flavor and nutrition. It’s perfect as a dip for wraps and raw veggies, and is a great way to get protein when not eating animal meats. Natalia is fasting from meat products as she completes a traditional fast. One thing that I appreciated about Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, is that although she is an advocate of the benefits of traditional foods such as grassfed beef, eggs, and saturated fats in our regular diet, she also mentioned that there could be possible health benefits to cleanse diet/ fasts, for limited time periods (another traditional practice in many cultures). Natalia is exploring that concept for herself, as she talks through that issue in this post. -Kimi 

By Natalia Gill, from An Appetite For Joy

You might guess that this dip was named for its sunflower seed base. Or for the burst of complex flavor that it brings – earthy turmeric, bright lemons and the kick of crushed red pepper. But truth be told, the inspiration for the name Turmeric Sunburst Dip is actually a little nerdy.

By now you’ve probably heard of turmeric’s unsurpassed power of reducing inflammation. Take a quick glimpse at this chart which shows the MANY causes of inflammation targeted by curcumin, turmeric’s active agent. How astounding and exciting! And it looks just like a sunburst! (Well, maybe technically a starburst. I improvised a bit.)

I’ve been dreaming up simple, healthy vegan recipes such as this one because I am currently fasting from most animal products. You might remember I was contemplating participating in the Orthodox Lenten Fast in this Buckwheat Crepes post. Well I took the plunge! Here are the guidelines.

 ORTHODOX LENTEN FAST DIET PARAMETERS

  • The fast lasts 40 days leading up to Easter, based on this calendar.
  • No meat or animal products are allowed, with the exception of shellfish. Incidentally, shellfish happens to be an amazing source of B12 which isn’t found naturally in the vegan diet. Clams contain the most B12 of any food, surpassing even liver.
  • Olive oil and wine (alcohol) are not allowed, except for certain days – usually Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Fish is only allowed on two specified dates.
  • If someone who is fasting is invited to eat in someone’s home who is not Orthodox, it’s ok to eat whatever is served.
  • If  fasting causes undue stress (physical, mental or spiritual) it can be deviated from at any time. Some describe it with the term “Economy” or “Oikonomia” meaning to use discretionary power or to handle things to the best of one’s ability.

Fasting provides a “time outside of time” – a physical shift that leads to a perception shift. I’ve noticed that things I’ve needed to work through on a spiritual level are coming to the surface.

I’ve also been reflecting on the potential health benefits and I’d like to share my thoughts with you and raise some questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.

3 REASONS THE ORTHODOX FAST MAY BENEFIT HEALTH

1. Tradition

The practice of giving up meat intermittently is an ancient practice, across all cultures, religions and philosophical practices. This particular fast has been around since the 4th century. I’m most familiar with it’s place in a traditional Russian diet. Russians eat a balanced diet that includes meat, healthy animal fats and cultured dairy. But it has always been interwoven with the complete elimination of animal products.

Since we seek wisdom by looking back at “nourishing traditions” it seems that this type of fasting should be considered as part of the whole picture.

2. Detoxification

I believe grass fed beef, pastured eggs, chicken stock, etc. are healing and deeply nourishing and I include them regularly in my diet. But in the back of my mind is the nagging reality that the farther up the food chain we go, the more concentrated environmental toxins can become, some of which may unavoidable even if we source our food carefully (source).

Is there value in giving the body a rest and flushing out some of these toxins that could be accumulating in the body?

3. Variety & Rotation

It seems that our bodies were designed for a rotation diet. Eating seasonally and seeking variety are ways to rotate the foods we eat.

I’m guessing that hunter-gatherers took breaks from meat when it wasn’t available. Later, fasting became more intentional. Maybe this sort of fasting is a missing element in a “modern traditional” diet?

CHALLENGES TO FASTING FROM MEAT

Without a doubt there are circumstances that would make a meatless fast challenging, stressful or even impossible. Diabetes, autoimmune disease, grain & legume intolerance to name a few.

I was concerned about doing a disservice to my digestive system as some of my healthy gut habits would be dropped. So I decided I would deviate from the fast as needed – an egg here and there, olive oil on days that it’s “not allowed”, anchovies on cheeseless pizza on a non-fish day … “oikonomia”.

And after some transition, I feel great. I sense that my digestion will be better able to receive and absorb all foods, when they are reintroduced in a couple of weeks.

So back to this delicious dip! A true representation of the joy that lies within a fast.

I love it alongside lettuce wraps filled with rice, mung beans, cilantro, jalapeno and green onions. Drizzled with a squeeze of lime, this was such a flavorful and satisfying lunch! You’ll find both recipes below.

Turmeric Sunburst Dip

OTHER NOURISHING FAST-FRIENDLY RECIPES

What do you think? Is the traditional practice of fasting animal products an important piece of the puzzle?

Turmeric Sunburst Dip
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce, Condiment, Salad Dressing
Serves: 4
 
This turmeric sunflower seed sauce is bursting with flavor and nutrition. Perfect as a dip for wraps and raw veggies.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter (preferably made from roasted seeds without added sweeteners)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, freshly grated (can sub ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (I use reduced sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Instructions
  1. Blend ingredients together. Taste & add water if a thinner consistency or lighter taste is desired. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, crushed red pepper and sunflower seeds.
Notes
Try this sauce with mung bean lettuce wraps! In a Bibb lettuce leaf, wrap soaked & cooked rice and mung beans, cilantro, green onions, jalapenos and lime.

 

 

Simple Herb Garlic Butter

SO simple, but incredibly delicious herb garlic butter

Heavenly. This is such a simple recipe to make, but puts together a couple of my favorite things: butter (from grassfed cows), fresh herbs and garlic. The herbs add such a great freshness to the rich butter, and the garlic – a delicious savory shot of spiciness that only garlic can bring. Whirled together this spread is absolutely to die for on crusty bread, and is a lovely touch for serving to guests.

There are so many uses for it! It can be used to top pan-fried steaks, or as a delicious finish to fish or chicken. Toss with boiled pasta of any kind, top rice, or top steamed or roasted vegetables. Anywhere you usually use butter in savory foods, use this. It lasts two weeks (if you don’t eat it all), so having it on hand to use in different preparations works well.

This simple formula is easy to play with – use whatever herbs are your favorite, or you have on hand. I recommend pairing a couple different kinds, if possible.

Butter from grassfed cows is high in vitamin A and K2, and is an important part of a diet based on Dr. Weston A Price’s research. I used unsalted Kerrygold butter (#affiliatelink). Every single time I make a recipe like this with such high quality butter, I am reminded that every thing tastes better with butter, and even more better with the really good butter.

The other thing that is great about this recipe is that the fresh herbs and garlic add their own nutrition, as well as flavor. Herbs are surprisingly nutritious.

Good food is often good for you. Win-win. Enjoy.

Simple garlic herbed butter

Simple Herb Garlic Butter
 
Author:
Prep time:
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If you don’t want your butter to turn bright green like mine (which I think lovely), you can chop your herbs and garlic by hand, and gently stir into the butter. Makes about 1 cup.
Ingredients
  • ½ pound unsalted butter, room temperature (from grassfed cows, preferred)
  • 1 cup of loose herbs (such as parsley, chives, thyme, dill, oregano)
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined salt (skip if using salted butter)
  • 1-2 smallish garlic cloves (use only one if not a huge garlic fan), peeled and roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Prep the herbs, by rinsing and spinning or gently shaking/patting dry. Remove the stems from herbs like parsley and thyme. Parsley is a great filler herb, as it is fresh, but not to strong in flavor. I used ½ parsley, and then filled the rest with chives, thyme, and dill. Beautiful. Put in the food processor, and pulse until the herbs and garlic are finely minced
  2. Add the butter, and blend until the ingredients are well combined. Chill for a couple of hours to meld flavors. Then, enjoy with abandon at room temperature.