party pleaser recipe ideas

labor day has come and gone, it's hard to believe the summer is already almost (technically) over.. but thank goodness for the delayed san francisco indian summer! there are still a lot of bbq's, picnics and parties to go to, and yummy food to bring (and eat!). 2 things i made in the last week - spinach artichoke dip & carrot ginger salad dressing - were both incredible hits at the parties i brought them to. they were also relatively quick and simple to make, and absolutely yummy - not to mention acne safe, healthy, and vegan too! acne safe spinach artichoke dip first: acne-safe spinach artichoke dip. here's the secret: the creaminess comes from cashew cream, and not milk or cheese - making it acne safe! i got the original recipe from fellow skinSALVATION'er angela ross, of whole body balance's website here. she's a certified nutrition consultant, and her site is full of acne-safe recipes. (ps - she's also starting a sugar detox program starting in a few days - click here for more info!). the only modification i made was to add a bit more salt to taste - but other than that, i thought the recipe was perfect. the second recipe i made (rather, my lovely beau made as my potluck contribution, since i was caught up at work) was the carrot ginger salad dressing. you know, the dressing that's on top of the iceberg lettuce greens at your favorite japanese restaurants - the one that there's never enough of? well, now with the recipe below, you can make a whole quart for a few bucks, and have lunch set for at least a week post-party. carrot ginger dressing the original recipe we based our dressing on was found here, on's website - and we made some modifications to make it acne-safe, a la sS style. if you have any acne-safe (or even better, candida safe!) recipes you've brought with much success to gatherings, please share them with us! the holiday season is upon us, and we might as well get our potluck recipe arsenal ready :) angela ross' spinach artichoke dip ingredients: one 16-ounce package of frozen, chopped spinach one 14 ounce can or jar of artichoke hearts 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup) 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt (adjust to taste - i added at least a half teaspoon more) 1 teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste) 1 tablespoon lemon juice (didn't have a lemon, so i used apple cider vinegar instead) 1 – 1 ½ cups cashew cream (easy recipe below) instructions
  1. to make the cashew cream, soak 1 cup of raw, whole cashews in water for at least two hours, drain and rinse the cashews then put them in the blender with 1 cup water and blend until smooth. (i didn't have any raw cashews, so i used roasted from costco instead. i also didn't plan ahead, so i used hot water to soak them for about 30 minutes, then blended it up with fresh water to make the cream).
  2. defrost the spinach and squeeze out the excess water. set aside.
  3. drain and roughly chop the artichokes.
  4. sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent, about 10 minutes. add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  5. stir in the chopped artichokes, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne and heat through.
  6. add in the spinach and lemon juice and stir until heated through.
  7. stir in the cashew cream.
  8. this dip is best enjoyed warm. enjoy with baby carrots, sliced red pepper & cucumber or try rice crackers or Mary’s crackers. ff there are leftovers the dip can be refrigerated and eaten cold the next day. (i've mixed my leftovers with quinoa for a hearty breakfast, topped with an egg - yum!)
skinSALVATION's carrot ginger salad dressing

ingredients 1 cup olive oil ½ cup rice vinegar ¼ cup coconut aminos soy sauce substitute (available at whole foods, rainbow grocery or online) 1½ tsp. finely grated ginger 2 medium carrots (about 8 oz.), peeled and roughly chopped ½ medium yellow onion (about 6 oz.), roughly chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for serving - any veggies you want! we used: a bunch of lettuce greens including iceberg, arugula and spinach radishes, sliced thin tomatoes, sliced into wedges onions, sliced thin


  1. combine oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, carrots, and onion in a food processor, and process until smooth.
  2. season with salt and pepper.
  3. combine dressing and lettuce in a bowl, and toss until evenly coated.
  4. serve immediately.
unused dressing will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

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