Whole30 Mayonnaise

Whole30 Mayonnaise

If you’re a condiment-aholic like me, Whole30 eating can often make you feel like something is conspicuously missing from your eating life. Once you start reading the labels of the condiments you so often reach for, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other corn and soy products seem almost impossible to avoid – let alone a host of other synthesized ingredients.

Last August, during our first round of Whole30, we came across many of these unfortunate discoveries; some expected, some less so. We knew our favorite brand of ketchup would not be allowed, due to it unfortunately containing high-fructose corn syrup. But we were rather surprised to find that the number one ingredient in that big tub of taco seasoning sitting in our pantry was corn meal! Why on earth would you put corn meal in taco seasoning? You are probably assembling your tacos into a corn taco shell and perhaps topping them with a corn salsa. Isn’t that more than enough corn?

More recently, I was at the grocery store shopping for a jar of plain mixed nuts. Nothing weird, just roasted and salted mixed nuts. I figured this would be easy. I reached for a package that had one of those earthy-crunchy, this-MUST-be-good-for-me-names like “simply good,” or something like that, figuring it would be just those basic ingredients for which I was looking. Nope. They felt it was necessary to season plain nuts with sugar.

I shared this shopping experience with a family member, in a conversation about Whole30, and they pointed out what should have been obvious: corn, sugar, soy… these are all subsidized crops. If broccoli was a subsidized crop, scientists would have been paid to find ways to work broccoli syrup into my ketchup or broccoli meal into my taco seasoning. A pretty messed up way to decide what ingredients make it into your product, for sure.

But I digress…

So, you’ve taken to snaking on raw veggies instead of chips and M&M’s (congratulations!), but you can’t help feeling like you are eating rabbit food. All of this would be so bad if you could just dip them in some bleu cheese dressing or ranch dip, right? Nope, that will have to wait until next month. But all is not lost!

Enter: mayonnaise.

Ick! You may be thinking. That is probably because you have never made your own from scratch with quality ingredients. Believe me, it’s a different beast entirely. I was actually not prepared for just how delicious homemade mayo would be the first time that I made it. I wondered why I had waited so long to try it. Perhaps I was just a bit intimidated. You know, shouldn’t such emulsified emulsions  be left to the experts like Hellman’s, Duke’s and that quaint little French bistro you love so much? Na! It’s actually quite easy as long as you know what to do.

LET’S GET STARTED

When making emulsions, things can tend to move a bit quickly and really require your full attention. For this reason it is important to have all of your ingredients measured out an in one place along with all of the equipment you might need no farther away that an arm’s reach. This is best practice for any type of cooking and professional chefs call it mise en place, which means “put in place;” to have all of your equipment and ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start with the actual cooking action.

Whole30 Mayonnaise

Small ramekins like these are extremely handy in making sure you have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to go as you need them. Here I have one whole backyard-fresh egg plus one egg yolk, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, extra light olive* oil and my handy immersion blender.** (The one we use is no longer made, but click the link for something similar. This is one kitchen tool that is always being used and worth adding to your kitchen!) I managed to forget to include it this photo, but I also use apple cider vinegar in this recipe. I find that using both lemon juice and vinegar gives a pleasing balance between their two acidic styles.

*When choosing your olive oil, go with something that has the lightest color possible. The darker the color, the more flavor it has. For this purpose, you want something with a very light and unobtrusive flavor (this is why most commercial mayo’s use canola or soybean oil).

** You will see a number of techniques for making your own mayo on the internet. Some recommend a blender, some us an immersion blender, and some swear that whisking by hand is the only way. I employ a hybrid of these techniques. I start the emulsion with an immersion blender and then I transition it to a bowl and whisk it my hand. This seems to work well for me but it might not be right for you. Try different techniques and find out which one gives you the best results. My only word of caution about immersion and traditional blenders (especially high-powered ones) is to use their lower settings so as to minimize the heat that they generate. Too much heat and your mayo will break (more on this later).

Start by adding the eggs, half of the mustard (1.5 tsp), half of the lemon juice (1.5 tsp), and half of the vinegar (1.5 tsp) to a tall, narrow and cylindrical container (I find this old blue plastic cup to be just about right) and blend until thoroughly mixed.

Whole30 Mayonnaise

Begin adding the oil by creating a steady and very slow stream of it going right down the shaft of the immersion blender. This is very important. The slower and more carefully you add the oil, the better your emulsion will be.

Whole30 Mayonnaise

Don’t try to add all of the oil (2 cups) in one go. Slowly add some oil then blend for a bit, add some more, then blend again.Whole30 Mayonnaise

Once you have added half of the oil and you have a good, stable emulsion, add the remaining 1.5 tsp each of Dijon, lemon juice, and vinegar. Continue to blending, adding another ¼ cup of oil. Once you have about ¾ cup of oil to go, using a rubber spatula, transition the emulsion to a large mixing bowl. Check for seasoning and add kosher salt and freshly-cracked white pepper to taste.

Whole30 Mayonnaise

Continue to add oil, a little at a time and beat vigorously with a hand-held whisk until all 2 cups of oil have fully incorporated into the emulsion. Check for seasoning again and adjust as necessary. You’re done!

Whole30 Mayonnaise

 

Whole30 Mayonnaise
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Condiment
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of extra light olive oil
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, divided in half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, divided in half
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, Divided in half
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly-cracked white pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the eggs, half of the mustard (1.5 tsp), half of the lemon juice (1.5 tsp), and half of the vinegar (1.5 tsp) to a tall, narrow and cylindrical container and blend until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Begin adding the oil by creating a steady and very slow stream of it going right down the shaft of the immersion blender. (The slower and more carefully you add the oil, the better your emulsion will be.) Don’t try to add all of the oil (2 cups) in one go. Slowly add some oil then blend for a bit, add some more, then blend again.
  3. Once you have added half of the oil and you have a good, stable emulsion, add the remaining 1.5 tsp each of Dijon, lemon juice, and vinegar. Continue to blending, adding another ¼ cup of oil.
  4. Once you have about ¾ cup of oil to go, using a rubber spatula, transition the emulsion to a large mixing bowl. Check for seasoning and add kosher salt and freshly-cracked white pepper to taste.
  5. Continue to add oil, a little at a time and beat vigorously with a hand-held whisk until all 2 cups of oil have fully incorporated into the emulsion. Check for seasoning again and adjust as necessary.

We have made this mayo two times in the past week and used it in many of the meals that we ate and mentioned in our Whole30 Week 1 Recap. This Whole30 Mayonnaise is a great starting point for many condiments and sauces that you will want to make. Trust me when I say it is worth making and last night during dinner were discussing if we will ever go back to the store bought stuff. Have you taken the plunge and made your own mayo? Any secrets you want to share? We will be sharing the aioli that we made later this week with this mayo.

And before I go, I can’t help but say a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my hubby!

Whole30 MayonnaiseToday is his day and this crazy picture pretty much sums up how crazy his day was. And while most people would take the day off from cooking and being in the kitchen, he wanted to make his own birthday dinner and even kept it Whole30 compliant! He cooked pan-seared duck breast with marinated grilled portobello mushrooms, steamed artichokes and roasted beets.

Whole30 MayonnaiseI realized as we sat down to eat that he really just was looking for another way to eat some of this yummy Whole30 Mayonnaise, but really, can you blame him! Happy Birthday, Chris! You keep life tasty and fun in the kitchen and out! May this year be full of good food, warm times with family and friends and the courage to take leaps as you go after your dreams!

Whole30 Week 1

Whole30 Week 1Like was mentioned in one of the previous posts, Chris and I decided to get 2015 off to a healthy start with our second round of Whole30. Unfortunately, we never formally blogged about our overall experience when we completed Whole30 for the first time back in August, like we had planned to. So this time we will do a weekly recap and at the very end we will each write about our experience this time versus last. I can, however, say that so far, this time has been much easier. Maybe that’s due to being past the initial learning curve we experienced last time, but after a month of sweet holiday treats, we were both just dying to get back on board with meat and veggies and having an actual meal plan. So far, so good! Whole30 Week 1, done!

We started the week of with some basic meal prep. I am very lucky to have quite the kitchen warrior and Chris spent much of Sunday in the kitchen making clarified butter (ghee), homemade mayo, curry chicken salad and boiled eggs for us in preparation for our first week. (We will be sharing many of these recipes over the next couple of weeks so make sure you stop back by!) And boy was it worth it! From experience, the biggest key to being successful with this plan is having some basic essentials available throughout the week so in a moment of weakness or desperation you can reach into the fridge and grab a boiled egg or make a chicken salad lettuce wrap and survive until the next meal. For me, leftovers are also key for both breakfast and lunch. One of my favorite breakfast meals now is leftover veggies from dinner the night before with a fried egg on top. And – it is quite funny – I have become the girl who cannot live without leftovers. If you would have met me three or four years ago, I would have told you I hated leftovers, but now I cannot live without them. So, onto what we ate this week.

Our first day of Whole30 was talked about here, so this posts starts with day 2 and covers day 2-8. Here is our recap of Whole30 Week 1.

 Day 2:

Breakfast – Bacon, two backyard-fresh-eggs scrambled with onions and parsley and blackberries

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Banana and fig

Lunch – Missed it! Whoops! *see below

Dinner – Stuffed acorn squash – Acorn squash roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper. It was then stuffed with a shaved Brussels sprouts hash consisting of grass feed ground beef, chicken sausage, red peppers, onions, calamata olives, salt, fresh cracked pepper, thyme and oregano.

Whole30 Week 1

 

*I had a horrible headache around and after dinner. I drank water all day but I do not think I had enough to eat. This was the only day during the week this happened so I think it might have been because I accidentally skipped lunch.

 

Day 3:

Breakfast – Chicken sausage, scrambled eggs with onions and peppers and blackberries

Whole30 Week 1

Lunch – Three Romaine lettuce pork tacos with bacon, apple, pickles and thinly sliced onions

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Lemon Lara bar

Whole30 Week 1

Dinner – New York Strip Steak seasoned with salt and pepper, ½ sweet potato and asparagus

Whole30 Week 1

Day 4:

Breakfast – Fried backyard-fresh-egg over leftover broccoli and cubed sweet potato with blackberries

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Apple

Lunch – Leftover acorn squash

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Apple Pie Lara bar and apple

Whole30 Week 1

Dinner – Seared pork chops with cauliflower rice, mushrooms and collard greens

Whole30 Week 1

Day 5:

Breakfast – Leftover veggies (mushrooms and cauliflower rice) and fried backyard-fresh-egg with blackberries

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Almonds and dried figs

Lunch – Leftover seared pork chops with cauliflower rice, mushrooms and blackberries

Dinner – Ground beef breakfast casserole with eggs, red peppers, onions, spinach and green onions with half an avocado on the side

Whole30 Week 1

Day 6:

Breakfast – Ground beef breakfast casserole with eggs, red peppers, onions, spinach and green onions with half an avocado on the side and strawberries

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Hard boiled backyard-fresh-egg

Lunch – Two romaine lettuce wrap boats with curry chicken salad and pickles

Snack – Apple

Dinner – Marinated pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes and collard greens

Whole30 Week 1

 

Day 7:

Breakfast – Today I tried something new. For years my husband has made stock from a variety of leftover bones after we cook. Last weekend he made turkey stock and I had a cup of warm turkey stock that many people call bone broth. It was so good and warmed me up from the inside on a VERY cold morning and I was quite surprised how filing it was. Definitely interested in doing this more.

Whole30 Week 1

Lunch – Curry Chicken salad with an apple

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Almonds and a hard boiled backyard-fresh-egg

Whole30 Week 1

Dinner – Leftover steak and pork tenderloin topped on a wonderful salad full of a variety of veggies and cashews. Chris made a homemade dressing from our homemade mayo, avocado and mustard. It was an amazing salad and I would eat it on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I was so focused on the salad and how good it was I forgot to get a picture.

Day 8:

Breakfast – In a hurry this morning so I grabbed a Lara bar and a boiled egg. I am finding that if I have a little protein even for a snack, I am good for a couple hours and not hungry again until the next meal.

Lunch – Curry chicken salad with a boiled egg and a pickle.

Whole30 Week 1

Snack – Apple

Dinner – Skirt steak with dressed arugula side salad with cooked onions and red peppers. This was a really great dinner.

Whole30 Week 1

So that is the recap of Whole30 Week 1. All of the pictures above were taken on my iPhone and in real time so you can see how we have made Whole30 work for our family both at home and work. This was a quick run-down of what we ate last week but Chris is writing up the recipes that we will share over the next few weeks. Have you started Whole30 recently? Is it your first time or are you doing it again? Do you have any secrets to share? One thing I have really enjoyed about this experience in addition to feeling good is the Whole30 community and all the recipes and inspiration that is shared. Feel free to ask us questions or let us know what is working for you. I love to get feedback and hear about other people’s experience.

 

B.L.T.’s with Apple and Brie

B.L.T.'s with Apple and Brie

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Seared Mahi Mahi with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Apples

Seared Mahi Mahi with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Apple

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Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of autumn, visions of seafood don’t exactly go bouncing around in my head.  So, when I decided to pair Brussels sprouts, bacon, and apples with Mahi Mahi, I was more than a little skeptical about the flavors working well together.  But I was at a loss as to what to make for dinner and staring blankly at the contents of my refrigerator wasn’t moving things along any.  Why not give it a shot?

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On Pink Slime: In Light of Recent News – Part 1

Pink slime!

I recently came across this article from Time.com, “The Surprising Reason ‘Pink Slime’ Meat Is Back” and it renewed my horror and disgust at the current state of our food supply.  If you don’t want to take the short time to read the article, which I think is important to do, here is the gist:  The article cites drought in much of the country as the reason for decreased beef production and goes on to say…

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Party In Your Mouth – Seared Salmon with Portobellos …

Seared Salmon with Grilled Portobellos, roasted reds and arugula

This is a delicious and fun-tasting salmon preparation.  By fun-tasting, I mean party-in-your-mouth kind of fun.  As simple as it is, there is a lot going on.  The salmon provides a rich and fatty mouth feel.  The portobello provides an earthy, umami driven contribution (especially having been grilled).  The dressed arugula adds acidity and the kind of “pop” that only arugula can.  In the midst of all that, you’ll notice a pleasing sweetness creeping in from the roasted red peppers.  Now, if I wasn’t trying to be as health conscious as I am right now, I would serve it with a big slice of potato galette.  But alas…

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Summer Soup: Gazpacho with Shrimp and Avocado Cream

It is hot! Really hot! And that calls for a cool summer soup.

Summer soup, gazpacho, avocado, shrimp

Gazpacho is a favorite in our house and this recipe has been on repeat the past few weeks.  It’s good any time of year but just feels right during the hot Georgia summer. Gazpacho has innumerable variations and this one is pretty classic, which I like because it lends itself well to being dressed up in a number of ways; in this case with sautéed shrimp and avocado cream.

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Isn’t that where you start something like this?!?

From the beginning?

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