Last night I had a dream, which had nothing to do with this here AIP Strawberry Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette, keto, or Whole30. (Uh. Why is she telling me this?)
Right before bed I was thumbing through some OLD family photos and getting all nostalgic. This activity did not involve eating any salad dressing by the way…I actually snacked on uncured salami (fruit-based spice autoimmune protocol reintro) and root veggie chips.
As I folded up the last Eckerd’s envelope (Did she just bring up Eckerd’s? OMG) an overwhelm of emotion came over me. Regret? No. Mid-life crisis? Warmer…maybe. Saudade? Yep. Ding-ding-ding!
Saudade (pronounced sau·da·de) is defined by Google dictionary as, “a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia. (Portuguese)” And it hit me hard, yo. Tears and the ugly cries and err’thang.
Chronic illness has this interesting little habit of vampire-ing your every being of self-identity, then pushing you to replace that with something else, or to morph.
I looked at those pictures and saw the old me. And though I don’t grieve for that person anymore thanks to some good hypnotherapy and my Empowerment Training, I do miss the ability I had back then to be able to live unplanned, untamed, and uninhibited.
(Ie: not having to: lug around bottles of supplements; pre-plan meals; pack 87 pillows, ear plugs, an eye mask, and a sound machine so I can quasi-sleep at a hotel…you now tha dealio.)
SO! (Seriously, where are you going with this, Sam?) Back to the dream…
When I was a little kid I really REALLY REALLY R E A L L Y wanted to grow up to be a stand up comedian. I had a chance once at an Improv theater my parents had brought me to. My mom had convince the stage manager to let me go up before the acts started.
I had a little routine that I used to perform in front of my classmates at school….which got roaring laughs from the teachers and students alike. Welllll let’s just say that once I got up on stage, looked over the crowd of adults with cocktails in-hand staring me down, and the bright lights shined in my face, I blanked.
Completely forgot everything I was going to say. Totally BOMBED it. A comedian’s worst nightmare. As the stage manager kindly ushered me off the stage, I skulked off to my seat and tried to sink as low as I could in my chair, hoping to poof into a cloud of vapor and disappear into thin air. Like a fart in the wind.
And my dream last night was reminiscent of that very real moment on stage as a comedian. Being unprepared. Terrified of failure and embarrassment.
(What is the moral of this long-winded 413-word story, Sam!? I’m just trying to eat AIP vinaigrette dressing here, lady.) The point? I woke up this morning and immediately started researching open-mic nights in my area. Because 30 some-odd years later, I’ve still wanted to give it another shot.
My autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases may have changed a lot about my body and the way I exist on the day-to-day, but illness cannot ever, ever, EVER take away my dreams.
In fact I have a lot more funny stories now…a paradoxal gift of sorts from chronic illness to yours truly. Gonna live this life the best I can, and never let ME get in the way of that.
So, oh yeah…AIP STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE! Here you go, love….
Strawberry Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette
- 2 tsp butter (for AIP and Whole30: sub refined olive oil)
- 1/2 sweet onion, halved then thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup strawberries quartered
- 3 Tb white wine vinegar -or-apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tb honey, optional (for Whole30 and Keto: omit)
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 to 2 tsp Himalayan salt, or to taste…I like mine pretty salty, it makes veggies yummier!
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (for AIP: sub 1/4 tsp ginger powder)
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup refined avocado -or- refined olive oil
- 1 to 4 Tb water to thin, if desired
- Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. When hot, add butter/oil to melt.
- Add onions and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until beginning to brown.
- Turn heat to low/medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Onions are ready when they are soft, golden, and translucent.
- Transfer onions to a plate and cool 10 minutes.
- To a high-speed blender, add onions, strawberries, vinegar, honey (if using), garlic, salt, onion powder, pepper/ginger, herbs and extra virgin olive oil. (You’ll use the refined oil in a moment, but not just yet.)
- Blend on medium-high for 30 seconds or until mixture is very smooth.
- Keep blender running, then slowly drizzle in the refined oil in a steady stream. Vinaigrette will emulsify and become “creamy.”
- If mixture is too thick to your liking, blend in 1 Tb water at a time until desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, tartness, and sweetness if desired.
- Store in an air-tight jar up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Contents may settle and separate, so give the jar a good shake before opening.