Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Creamy “Honey Mustard Dressing and a New Use for Okara

This is our little boy who has somehow squeezed himself into my running shoe box. Why are cats so fascinated with boxes, even little tiny ones? Our boys Nicco and Masi are little guys weighing 6 and 7 pounds respectively though they are full grown. It is amazing the small places they manage to get into. ;-)

Thank goodness the predicted overnight snow did not materialize Sunday. I was dreading looking out the window when we got fearing the ground would be white but not a flake was to be seen. *woo hoo* It was wonderful to start my own on a very bright note. ;-)

Since we got home very late Saturday evening and then stayed up for a while our morning began later than usual which was perfectly fine. I was up before Dan, like usual, and took the time to post the comments from overnight and respond to my texts. I still marvel at home we were ever able to communicate before computers and cell phones. *shakes head*

We ended up having breakfast much later than usual this morning. Dan had his usual oatmeal with wild blueberries, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, stevia and walnuts.

I had savory oatmeal with the usual ingredients only this time I added some frozen organic peas, carrots, corn and green beans and finished with a few white chia seeds.  As usual my savory oatmeal included: nutritional yeast, cumin, oregano, no-salt seasoning, wheat germ and freshly ground flaxseed.  There is something extremely comforting about having savory oatmeal for breakfast when it is cold outside.

Lunch with my parents was mushroom ragu over polenta. However this time I added lemon zest, rosemary, garlic and okara to the polenta. The okara gave the polenta a creaminess and richness that was unexpected. I added the okara for fiber and protein but was more than happy with the unexpected richness it brought to the dish. Don’t you like happy accidents? Me too!

To accompany the mushroom ragu I made a simple salad with baby spinach, artichokes, grape tomatoes and a creamy dressing since this is more acceptable to my elderly omnivore parents. I decided to take my usual “honey” mustard dressing and make it creamy. Here is what I did:

Creamy “Honey” Mustard Dressing
Serves 12 (assumes ½ ounce serving)


½ cup raw cashews
1 ounce red wine vinegar
2 ounces water
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
stevia, to taste


Place everything in your high-speed blender and process until smooth. I used my Vitamix for this dressing and it was thick and creamy. I stored the dressing in the refrigerator in a squeeze bottle which I used to add it to the salad. Simple, easy and tasty ... my favorite combination in a recipe. ;-)

Nutritional Information (assumes 1/12th of the total recipe):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 24.35
Calories From Fat (63%) - 15.22

Total Fat - 1.85g
Saturated Fat - 0.31g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 32.12mg
Potassium - 30.85mg
Total Carbohydrates - 1.47g
Fiber - 0.2g
Sugar - 0.24g
Protein - 0.84g


The dressing is rich and creamy and has a light flavor. It would work well on a green salad with either vegetables or fruit.  If you like creamy dressings you may like this.

Since lunch was rather heavy (the ragu and polenta) we opted to go light with dinner and had green smoothies. These were made with: raw kale, frozen bananas, cooked quinoa (since it is a complete protein), wheat germ (for vitamin E), freshly ground flaxseeds (for omega-3 fatty acids), cinnamon (to help our bodies process the natural sugar), powdered ginger (for anti-inflammatory properties and because it is said to regulate gene expression), water and ice.

After our smoothies we took it easy and spent some time talking before turning it. It was a nice Sunday at our house.

Happy Thoughts:

• It was nice to have Dan at home on Sunday and to be able to spend time with him. In spite of the fact that he had to work this weekend we were able to make the most of our weekend.

• I loved finding a new use for okara. When you make a lot of soymilk and/or tofu you find that you have a lot of okara hanging around. It is great added to polenta and seemed to result in a creamier final product which was fantastic.

• The creamy salad dressing experiment turned out really well. I am always looking for salad dressing ideas since we eat many, many salads. It is nice to have another option.

• Dan loved the mushroom ragu this weekend which makes me very happy. I get a lot of pleasure out of doing things for my sweetie.

• All weekend I was really looking forward to spending the day with Dan on Tuesday. We haven’t been to the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC since 1997. I think it is time we went again don’t you?

• I have been reading “The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse” and am thoroughly enjoying it. When I am finished with it I will tell you more about it. You may remember that I was grateful for Debbie Ford some time back and this is one of her books.

• Lately we have been enjoying a very wide variety of green, white and herbal tea. I have been having a great time coming up with my own tea blends. I plan to write a post about tea blends at some point when I have time. My list of topics to blog about seems to get longer and longer. However I suppose that is a good thing right? ;-)

Signing out:

Today is another very busy one for me. I have been moving since I got up this morning. This afternoon I have a few things on my to-do list before the cooking class.  Today I decided to try scheduling a future post. If all goes well this post should publish while I am still out.  Time will tell if it works.  ;-)  I will write more about our day in DC in my next post.

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. Talk to you again soon. ;-)


  1. Loving the furbaby picture! That mustard dressing sounds fantastic too. Super versatile. YUM

  2. Have you ever tried Maple syrup in your dressing recipes? I'm afraid I don't know what your stance on maple syrup is, but I love to add maple to vinaigrettes when I want a little sweetness. It's awesome when combined with fruit vinegars and mustards.

  3. That dressing sounds delicious.

    I keep seeing hints about cooking class - I can't wait to hear the details!

  4. As usual, your food all looks great, but I'm particularly intrigued by the okara in the polenta. I don't make homemade milks very often--but at least now I know what I'll do with the leftover pulp when I do! :)

  5. Love that feline....and the dressing recipe.
    I am not an okra Girl, but will admit that I have had some Indian spiked okra that is good.
    Funny, when I was a kid, I loved okra!

  6. I eat a lot of salads too and I get tired of the same dressings so I think I'll try your recipe (I am, however, a devoted Blendtec-er!). The smoothie sounds good too! Thanks for the tips - I never thought about putting quinoa in a smoothie, I'll bet it makes it more filling!


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