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Lovin’ Mayonnaise (Or Not)

 

If you ask me, a sandwich without mayonnaise is like a salad without dressing. It’s just missing something. Still, there are plenty of mayo haters and others for whom any amount of egg can pose a problem. For all you “no-mayo” and “love-the-mayo-but-not-the-egg” peeps, I have some options I think you may well appreciate.

Mayonnaise (mayo, for short, of course) is an emulsion of oil, egg yolks (and sometimes a whole egg) and something acidic such as vinegar or lemon juice. There are plenty of variations, including mayo made with herbs, paprika or mustard, and a variety of different oils. When egg yolk is slowly blended with oil, it acts as an emulsifier, holding the mayo together and providing creaminess, flavor and texture. Yet, perfectly delicious mayonnaise can be purchased or made without any egg at all. Milk is sometimes used in place of egg yolk as the casein (milk protein), which acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer, producing a similar result.

Mayonnaise, made without or without egg, makes a delicious addition to salads and main dishes. Here are some delicious ideas:

  • Spread it on your sandwich bread! Try our tasty TLC Sandwiches.
  • Add mayonnaise to coleslaw, potato salads and ambrosia salad. This Tangy Coleslaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts is superb! This Potato and Egg Salad is made with Piquillo peppers and dill.
  • Toss with chopped tuna, egg, chicken, turkey or shrimp; serve over greens, or in an avocado half or a seeded papaya half.
  • Serve a dollop with cold roasted beef, cold chicken, steamed tofu or tempeh.
  • Try this Homemade Mayonnaise with fresh herbs.
  • This recipe for Tarragon Mayonnaise would be equally wonderful if made with other herbs such as basil or chives.
  • Mayonnaise is a perfect dressing for pasta. Try this Macaroni Salad.
  • Stir into a hearty bean salad.
  • Make Mediterranean Deviled Eggs.
  • Serve with boiled eggs, cold beets and radishes.
  • Mix with yogurt, spices, lemon juice and herbs for wonderful ranch-style dressing.
  • Mix with grated or blue cheese; serve with a green or fruit salad.
  • Make an old-fashioned gelatin mold with veggies such as carrots, beets and celery. Serve with a dollop of mayo.
  • Spread a thin layer over fish and bake. Delicious when sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese.
  • Make salmon patties or tuna burgers; top with mayo and a favorite mustard or hot sauce.
  • This Sautéed Shrimp with Wasabi Mayonnaise is made with fresh ginger, garlic and wasabi paste and this Shrimp and Grape Salad is made with celery, chives and green grapes.

If you’re a “hold the mayo” kind of a person, give these alternatives a try:

  • Hummus and/or Baba Ganoush are wonderful bread-spreads.
  • Ricotta and/or cottage cheese, puréed with herbs and spices, a little olive oil or milk works as a wonderful spread or dressing.
  • Puréed tofu with herbs, spices and a little olive oil works in many cases.
  • Mashed avocado makes a creamy-type spread.
  • Coconut milk is delicious in fruit and vegetable salads.
  • Sour cream, whipped cream cheese and Cashew Sour Cream make three great alternatives.
  • Yogurt, dairy or non-dairy and especially Greek, makes a great substitute.
  • Pesto, made with or without cheese, is a delicious alternative.
  • There’s always mustard!

Have you ever made mayonnaise? Got a favorite recipe or idea? Let us know.