Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Oil Free Goma (Sesame) dressing

Perusing through the Asian section of Central Market, I came across Ikari Oil Free Sesame Dressing.  Kewpie brand Goma dressing is like gold.  The absolute BEST salad dressing in my humble opinion.  Also, any steamed vegetable like spinach is amazing with Goma powder on top.  (Usually a mixture of ground roast sesame seeds & sugar) In Japan many schools don't allow children to have sugary snacks or even fruit in their bentos (lunch boxes).  Many times this powder is used to entice youngsters to "eat their veggies". 

It's ridiculously hard to find oil free salad dressing in the super market.  Salad is so so healthy...and then, we pour dressing over it and add about 100-300 added empty calories to it.  At $3.99 a bottle and 12 calories a tablespoon, Ikari makes for a great back up when I don't have home made.  It's very tasty.  Like, really.  Like, I ate a whole head of Roman lettuce in one sitting because I loved it so much. 

Did I mention it's delicious? Okay, now that we have that out of the way, here's the con.  It's store bought in a bottle.  While it doesn't have oil, it does have some preservatives and other things that I really don't want to have all the time. So I set up Nicki's lab----ur, I mean Nicki's Kitchen to make my own version. Here's a recipe chronicling my first attempt.

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 dates (Medjool pitted)**
  • 3 baby carrots or, about 1/4 of a carrot (minced finely)*
  • 4 Tbsp. roasted sesame seeds (divided)
  1.  In a small sauce pan ad cornstarch, water, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar.  Simmer until solution is clear and it's thickened a little
  2. In a frying pan, dry or water saute onion and garlic until translucent
  3. Place all ingredients, save one Tbsp of sesame seeds in a high powered blender or food processor to combine. 
  4. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sesame seed in and shake for added texture if desired

    *If you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, just put the baby carrots in whole or, roughly cut whole carrot in chunks.
    **If you don't have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, try 1 Tbsp of maple syrup and add more to taste.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Purple Jesus & Copy Cat All Purpose Cleaner

Just realized there's no essential oils in the pic! Sorry about that.  I've linked
below in the recipe what essential oils I used.
What do these two have in common?

There is a certain "natural" cleaner that I get at a certain favorite store of names here other than this store would be good for traders. Anyway, the cleaner comes in a 34oz spray bottle and is super for all applications but especially wonderful in the kitchen and bathroom.  It leaves a streak free shine on the back of the bottle is says it's good for, ' any washable surface, including glass, mirrors, stainless steel, oven tops and hoods, countertops, refrigerators, walls, tile, linoleum, sinks, and even granite countertops. ' 

It's not that expensive.  About $3 a bottle I believe.  I also appreciate that there is no animal testing.  However, I wondered if I could make this all on my own.  The ingredients on the back were almost everything that I had already at home.  Except for one.

Grain Alcohol or, Everclear was something I had never heard of.  My college educated husband had though.  Apparently this is something used at a PJ party (Purple Jesus Party).  According to stories it involves grain alcohol and a bathtub.  Let's all take a moment and pay homage to higher education.  HA!

After exploring online, there are some folks who will use rubbing alcohol for a DIY cleaner.  It's a lot cheaper for sure. A bottle of Everclear at the store cost me about $21 (This bottle will probably last me for 30-40 of these recipes).  I'm not sure if there is a significant difference of the two when it comes to quality of cleaning.  The one thing I will write is that although both liquids are pretty detrimental if swallowed, grain alcohol would be less so. On my store bought natural cleaner, there are no warnings about not swallowing the product and no phone# for poison control so,  I'm lead to believe this is the reason grain alcohol was used over rubbing alcohol. 

If there is a reader out there who knows more information please write a comment.  I couldn't find much information online about this.

Even though I spent $21 on a bottle of Everclear, I'm still saving a good amount of money by making it on my own.  If someone where to use rubbing alcohol it would literally bring your cleaner cost down to pennies.  I also appreciate that I won't be in a scramble running to the store if I run out.  I can just whip up another batch in my kitchen in like....a few seconds.

You ready for this?  Here we go:

  • 3 Tbsp. of Everclear
  • 1 Tbsp. of dish soap (You can also use Castile Soap)
  • 30 drops of Essential oil (There are many with anti microbal or anti bacteria properties use your favorite!  I used 20 drops of orange oil and 10 drops of tea tree.  The original store bought cleaner has clary sage and ceder wood oils)
  • Distilled Water (Tap works alright as well)
Using a funnel, pour first 3 ingredients into the bottle then top off with water.  Give it a little shake.  I reused my 34 oz plastic bottle BUT, I read that I could do this later on. Mind Blown!

It's that easy. Seriously. This will take you seconds to do. Do it. Right now.