When I was an art history professor at a small liberal arts college near Philadelphia, I would invite my seminar participants for a pot-luck dinner several times each semester. The students came from a wide variety of backgrounds and so they arrived at my house with an eclectic group of dishes. We gobbled tiny, spicy chicken meatballs made by a young man from Mumbai, inhaled strong, sweet tea brewed by a young woman from Thailand, and forked in gobbs of Slippery Ham
Pie, brought by a local student with Pennsylvania Dutch roots.
I always cooked something I thought might appeal to the group — often a recipe I had discovered in my travels. These offerings usually focused on meat or seafood, and I soon noticed that the vegetarians not only couldn’t eat my food, they couldn’t consume most of the dishes brought to the table. The vegans had the fewest options and often left hungry.
One semester there were two rail thin, young women in the seminar who had become vegans only after leaving home for college. They seemed unable to cook and bake for themselves, even though they lived in an off campus apartment with a kitchen. They too often left our pot lucks hungry and we discovered that during the week they lived on peanut butter and bananas–something they didn’t have to cook and a meatless option they could pick up at the college dining hall. So, the group decided to teach them how to make nourishing, tasty food they could consume in their apartment, rather than forage in the cafeteria where there were few options. We came up with a recipe booklet with more than 20 dishes that had no milk, eggs or meat in the ingredients list. One of the girls mentioned that she missed mayonnaise, something she had dearly loved in her past, carnivore life. During the following week, the fellow from Mumbai, who had not grown up eating mayo, took up the task of inventing a reasonable substitute. He lived at home with his parents, and with the help of his sister he came up with this recipe:
Egg Free Mayo: Makes about 1 cup of Mayonnaise
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Water
1 teaspoon (or to taste) of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of White Wine Vinegar, or any other type you like, as long as there are no additives
4 teaspoons of white rice flour (as finely ground as possible) I put my flour in a coffee grinder and re-grind
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, or to taste. I’ve found that Dijon mustard from the jar works well too
1 tsp arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, as long as you aren’t allergic to corn.
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
If you want to counter the tart quality of the recipe you can add a tiny bit of agave nectar, a 1/4 teaspoon of Truvia, or you can add palm sugar to taste. Like the other sweeteners, the palm sugar will not raise your blood sugar level.
To Make the Mayo:
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for several minutes, until it emulsifies and thickens. You may add more olive oil through the top of the blender cap, if you would like to alter the consistency. Store the mayo in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. I’ve found that plastic containers impart a flavor to the mayonnaise.
I’ve discovered that I am allergic to eggs, milk and gluten. Now that I’ve cut these things out of my life, my fibro pain has lessened by 50%! Food allergies are common contributors to fibro pain, so it is important to get tested in order to pinpoint the foods that might cause a flare up, or worse. Whether you are allergic to eggs or not, the mayo recipe is worth trying, since it is probably much lower in calories and certainly lower in cholesterol than traditional mayonnaise.