Tsatsiki / Tzatziki (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low-carb, low-fat, paleo, vegan, vegetarian)

Tsatsiki / Tzatziki Substitute Made with Cashews (photo)

Tsatsiki / Tzatziki made with Cashews (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, tomato-free, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan).

Tsatsiki is a wonderful sauce to serve with many dishes. I like it with vegetables, or with lamb or chicken. Below are two variations on tzatziki recipes. You can use either mint or dill, depending on your preference in flavors, and vary the amount of cucumber you want to use, depending on your own personal preferences. One recipe is low-amine and dairy-free, and the other is vegan (nut-based).
Grated Cucumber for Tzatziki (photo)

Grated Cucumber for Tzatziki. It's better with larger shreds, but I don't have a less-fine grater.

YOGURT-BASED TSATSIKI (nut-free)
1 C plain yogurt
1/4 C English cucumber, grated
1 1/2 tsp mint or dill
1/4 tsp salt
4-6 medium cloves garlic, pressed
Ascorbic acid, to taste
  • Squeeze water out of cucumber.
  • Mix together all ingredients and let flavors mingle for a bit. Serve cold.
NUT-BASED TSATSIKI (dairy-free)
3/4 C raw cashews
1/2 C water
1/4 C English cucumber, grated
1 1/2 tsp mint or dill
1/4 tsp salt
4-6 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid

  • Soak cashews in warm water. Let sit for at least two hours.
  • Drain cashews, and blend them in a food processor with garlic.
  • Add a little bit of water at a time, stopping to scrape down sides. Process until very smooth and all the water has been added (it should reach the consistency of a slightly thin yogurt – if it has reached this point without adding all the water, stop adding water).
  • Squeeze liquid out of cucumber.
  • Add cucumber, dill/mint, salt, and ascorbic acid. Mix well.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least a half hour.
AMINE BREAKDOWN:
Very Low Amine: cucumber, mint, dill, salt, garlic, ascorbic acid, water
Low Amine: yogurt, cashews

Lemon-Thyme Delicatta Squash (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, paleo)

Lemon-thyme Roasted Delicatta Squash (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, paleo) photo

Lemon-thyme Roasted Delicatta Squash served with Cashew Cream Sour Cream Substitute (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, paleo)

Lemon-thyme seasoned Delicatta squash is lightly savory. I like it because it has mildly fruity notes. It pairs well with fish or chicken, or can be an entree on its own with cashew cream (sour cream substitute).

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

2 small delicatta squash

2 Tbsp lemon-thyme (you should be able to get this at spice shops, but as a replacement, regular thyme and 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid ought to make a fair substitute).

3 small bay leaves

1/2 tsp ascorbic acid

1/4 tsp black pepper

Sauce:

1/2 C plain, low-fat yogurt (or equivalent cashew cream)

1 Tbsp dried basil

1 tsp pressed garlic

1/4 tsp salt

  • Move rack to middle-high and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut squash in half (so that you can cut into rings) and “gut” them of seeds with a small spoon.
Delicatta squash, sliced in half (photo)

Delicatta squash, sliced in half

  • Cut squash into rings about 3/4″ thick and lay into Pyrex pan.
  • Add lemon-thyme, black pepper, ascorbic acid, and bay leaves to Pyrex and steep for 10 minutes in 1/2″ hot water. Cover with foil.
Delicatta squash slices steeping in water with bay leaves and lemon-thyme (photo)

Delicatta squash slices steeping in water with bay leaves and lemon-thyme

  • Bake for 15 minutes, then flip. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Uncover, and turn oven to broil. Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until Delicatta squash starts to brown.
  • While Delicatta squash is baking, in a small bowl, mix yogurt (or cashew cream), basil, garlic, and salt together.
  • Serve with yogurt / cashew cream dressing.

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: Delicatta squash, lemon-thyme, bay leaf, ascorbic acid, black pepper, basil, garlic, salt

Low Amine: yogurt or cashew cream

 

Horseradish Lime Avocado Dressing (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Quinoa salad served with horseradish lime avocado dressing. (photo)

Quinoa salad served with horseradish lime avocado dressing.

This is not exactly made with a particular attention to amines in foods. Avocado is a high amine food (especially as it ripens, so choose fairly unripe avocados), and horseradish is said to be high amine. However, with horseradish, I’m not sure horseradish itself is high in amines, or whether it is usually found creamed, in jars, processed, and having sat on a shelf for weeks, months, or years. To be safer, I am starting with fresh horseradish root. However, this recipe is a “eat at your own risk” recipe, to be sure. Amines abound!

Horseradish, lime, avocado dressing (medium-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free) photo

Horseradish, lime, avocado dressing (medium-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, paleo)

Juice of 1 limes

1/2 avocado

2 Tbsp fresh grated horseradish, packed

2 Tbsp safflower oil

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne (or fresh chopped chilies)

1/2 C cilantro, chopped

1/4 C cashews, soaked

1/2 C rice milk (or water instead, for Paleo diet)

  • Soak cashew in water for 2 hours, then drain.
  • In a food processor, puree cashews first, then add all other ingredients except rice milk. Puree until very smooth.
  • Add rice milk and continue blending, until mixture is extremely smooth and creamy.

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: black pepper, salt, cilantro, rice milk

Low Amine: safflower oil, cashews

High Amine: horseradish

Very High Amine: cayenne (or chilies), avocado, lime

Slow Pan-Roasted Zucchini with Toasted Cashews

Slow-Roasted Zucchini with Toasted Cashews (low-amine, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free) (photo)

Slow-Roasted Zucchini with Toasted Cashews (low-amine, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free)

I never would have known that zucchini had a “second” flavor, had it not been for NPR. Thank you, NPR, for making me realize that zucchini, when what I would have considered to be dreadfully overcooked, is actually a glorious thing if done right. Go figure! Slow pan-roasting zucchini brings out a very nutty flavor that’s much richer than what zucchini originally has to offer. To compliment this, we’re going to serve it with toasted cashew pieces.

Serves 4

4 small zucchini, cut into quarter-inch thick rounds.

2 Tbsp butter

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp raw cashews, slivered if possible

  • In a large (non-stick preferred) frying pan, add butter and turn to medium low.
  • When hot, add zucchini, garlic, and black pepper. Salt to taste. Toss well in butter. Cook zucchini for 3o minutes, slowly, occasionally giving the zucchini a toss.
Slowly pan roasting zucchini (low-amine, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free) (photo)

Slowly pan roasting zucchini (low-amine, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free)

  • Meanwhile, in a dry pan on medium high, add cashews.
  • Keep cashews moving in the pan, and when they take on a lightly toasted color, remove from heat and set aside. I pour mine into a separate ramekin so that they do not overcook in the pan.
Toasted Cashews for Low-Amine Slow-Roasted Zucchini (photo)

Toasted Cashews for Low-Amine Slow-Roasted Zucchini

  • When pan-roasted zucchini are done, gently fold in cashew slivers.
  • Serve hot.
AMINE BREAKDOWN:
Very Low Amine: zucchini, salt, black pepper, garlic
Low Amine: butter
Moderate Amine: cashew

Sesame Oil Substitute (low amine)

It isn’t sesame oil. But it is a fair sesame oil substitution. Recreating a low amine sesame oil flavor is not really possible, given that all the most likely suspects (nuts, mushrooms, etc) are very high in amines. However, using burdock root (gobo root) gives the oil a somewhat medicinal, smoky bitterness that works in a similar way to sesame oil. The sesame oil substitution is a far milder flavor than sesame oil, so you may need to use more than you would sesame oil.

Burdock root / Gobo root

Burdock root / Gobo root

1/4 C safflower oil

1/4 C gobo root / burdock root chopped, heaping full

1 Tbsp chopped ginger

8 medium cloves garlic

  • Put all ingredients in a small saucepan.
Sesame oil substitution ingredients before cooking

Sesame oil substitution ingredients before cooking

  • Heat very, very low for an hour (it should not even be browning, just bubbling slightly). Stir occasionally and try to make sure ingredients are covered by oil as much as possible.
  • Turn heat to low where it is still very low but will start to brown the ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes. It should be quite browned and crisp by the time the 30 minutes are up.
Sesame oil substitution right before straining

Sesame oil substitution right before straining

  • Allow to cool, then strain out solids. I use a citrus press to press oil out from the solids.
  • Store oil in refrigerator for up to a month.
  • Use in recipes that call for sesame oil.
Sesame Oil on the Left; Low Amine Sesame Oil Substitution on the Right

Sesame Oil on the Left; Low Amine Sesame Oil Substitution on the Right. Cooking foods for extended times increases amines, but the sesame oil substitution is still much lower in amines overall.

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: gobo root / burdock root, ginger, garlic

Low Amine: safflower oil

Cashew Cream Sour Cream Substitute (low-amine, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-carb, paleo)

Cashew Cream Sour Cream Substitute (low-amine, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, paleo) photo

Cashew Cream Sour Cream Substitute (low-amine, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, paleo)

This low amine sour cream recipe adaptation is derived from a recipe for Mock Sour Cream and Chive Dip, in Jennifer Cornbleet’s book, “Raw Food Made Easy.” I was skeptical when my then raw food roommate made this for me the first time, but it took my breath away. It is delicious, and I have since made it many times. This low amine sour cream substitute will keep for five days in the fridge.

Yield: 1 C

1 cup soaked raw cashews

1 to 1 1/2 C water

1 tsp ascorbic acid

1/4 tsp salt

  • Soak cashews at least 2 hours in water.
  • Place cashews, ascorbic acid, salt, and 1/2 C water in a food processor and blend till smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape sides and corners out with a spatula. Add more water until it reaches the desired consistency (it will thicken a bit when chilled).
  • When well blended and very smooth, chill for 30 minutes.
  • Serve, or mix with 1 Tbsp dried basil, lemon thyme, dill, etc., mix in, and then serve.
*If making this with no attention to citrus or amine allergy, approximately 2 tsp lemon juice is fine to use.

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: water, ascorbic acid, salt

Low Amine: cashews

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