Eat Real Food. This is the best advice I have received in my 15 year journey towards a healthier me. It has taken me years to know what real food is, and I admit it, I am still learning and discovering new things every day. The industrialization of food, along with the media sending a new fad diet our way every couple of months has made it so complicated to know what “real food” is! Let me give you an example, I was at the store buying eggs and instead of a quick in and out, I felt as if someone had asked me to solve a complex puzzle – Brown or white? Medium, large, extra large or maybe jumbo? With omega-3? Pasteurized, all-natural vegetarian or Organic? Cage-free, free-range?
Do you ever wonder what all these choices do to our brains? How do we make decisions in this modern world? Even people who are conscious about eating healthy can easily get lost in this maze. My theory (and don’t hold my feet to the fire!) is, in order to simplify our food choices, we pick a “category” of food that we believe is good for us – Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Low Carb, Non Fat so on and so forth. The problem with this approach, in my opinion, is that such categorization is an oversimplification of what is and isn’t good for us. Onion rings fried in Canola oil are Vegan and Vegetarian, so does that make them good for me? I know plenty of vegetarian Indian dishes that are loaded with empty calories with no nutrients. Gulab Jamuns, anyone?
Since no one diet has ever worked for me, I try to buy and prepare foods the way “nature intended it to be”. There are two things I pay attention to – ingredients and cooking method. The ingredients have to be as close to their “natural” state as possible and the cooking has to maintain the natural nutrients in those ingredients.
I have come up with my own two step rule while buying groceries:
Step 1: Avoid packaged foods. I try not to buy anything that comes in a box, can or wrapper.
Step 2: If I do buy packaged foods, I read the ingredients and check if I would be able to make the same food in my home kitchen. High fructose corn syrup? Don’t have that in my kitchen. Partially hydrogenated? Can’t do that in my kitchen.
Homemade mayonnaise is essentially an emulsification of egg yolks, oil and lemon juice – 3 ingredients. A jar of most store bought Mayonnaise on the other hand has over 20 ingredients including Modified Food Starch, Maltodextrin, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors (another name for MSG), Beta Carotene, Color(s). Would you even call that a mayonnaise? What do all those chemicals do our hormones, digestive systems, and moods? I have prepared a coconut milk mayonnaise which is healthier and tastier than any mayonnaise you can buy from the store.
A coleslaw, shredded cabbage and creamy mayonnaise is a classic combination. I have added carrots for some extra crunch and pear for sweetness. This refreshing coleslaw is light and will pair well with any main dish. Use it as a taco filler or as a crunchy salad, it is sure to win over even the pickiest eaters. I hope you pass on that jar of Mayonnaise at the store next time!
Coleslaw with Coconut Milk Mayonnaise
Coconut Milk Mayonnaise
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey/agave – optional
salt & pepper
Refrigerate coconut milk for at least 4 hours or overnight to separate coconut cream from the water. Carefully scoop out coconut cream solids from the top. Put coconut cream, lemon juice, dijon mustard and honey in a food processor and blend until smooth. While the food processor is running, drip olive oil one tbsp at a time. Add more oil if the consistency is too runny. When the mayonnaise is the consistency that you would like, add salt and pepper to taste. You can store mayonnaise in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You won’t believe it but I was totally thinking about a coconut milk aioli/mayo today because the Bon Appetit I was glossing over had a recipe for almond aioli. I’m so glad you made this. I’m going to have to try it out soon.
Thank you for stopping by! Seems like I can read your mind, I am glad you like it!
Prasad Np says
Salads never looked so appetizing…..I guess the presentation makes all the difference….
Thank you Prasad. Its easy to make too, hope you try it!
Tara Nair says
Here goes my vote to you Medha. I lOve your blog and I so agree with the confusion they create with facts on packages. I too go through such dilemma as what to buy and end up buying at food market not malls or make some at home. I love the recipe of mayonnaise as it doesn’t contain egg, and being a Keralite I adore coconut. Thanks for sharing the info. 🙂
Thank you Tara, I do appreciate it!
Hi Medha, Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your blog and all the recipes. You seem to be a professional photographer. I also love your story telling in each recipe. I am happy to find your blog and will look forward for more updates.
Thanks Gunjan, I am not professional photographer. I like to think I am getting better at taking pictures, but its still a hit or miss! See you around in blogosphere.
This mayo recipe is GENIUS–and I’m so glad it’s egg-free too (I’ve always been squeamish about raw eggs)! I haven’t had store-bought mayo in ages, so I cannot wait to try this! I’m already imagining using this on to make coleslaw, egg salad, tuna salad…I just found your blog–definitely going to continue exploring it!
Thanks Monica, Now I started dreaming about egg salad with coconut milk mayo 🙂