Sunday, November 15, 2009

Homemade Salad Dressing

I think one of the most difficult parts of this yeast-free diet is no vinegar. Granted, I don't just drink vinegar for fun. However...vinegar is in pretty much every salad dressing, ketchup, mustard (which I don't even like), and mayo. Ketchup has been hard to live without...some things just taste better with ketchup. Although I have found a few recipes for homemade ketchup, I am not certain I will try them.

One of the books I got from the library is entitled "The Healthy Kitchen" by Andrew Weil & Rosie Daley. It contains 'recipes for a better body, life, and spirit'. In this book there are many dressings that don't contain vinegar, sugar or gluten. Today I decided to try one. I had all the ingredients and I wanted a salad. I haven't had a salad in almost a month-because I am not a fan of 'dry' salad. So this was something I wanted to try. The recipe I extracted it from was for Simple Marinated Chicken Salad. I didn't do anything with the chicken part of the recipe-I just pulled the salad dressing from it.

Here is the recipe for what I am going to call Avocado Cream dressing. It didn't have an official name, so that is the name I am going to give it. Let me add that the next time I will make it, I will put the lemon juice into it in short amounts. I think there was too much lemon juice in it. Also, I can't have Worcestershire sauce so I just left it out.

Avocado Cream Dressing:

1 ripe avocado, pitted
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream (I didn't use low-fat; I used regular since it is all I had on hand)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic, quartered (I have a PC Garlic Press so I just pressed it with the avocado)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I only used 1)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (which of course I omitted)

Put all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until the garlic is pureed and the dressing is smooth. Yields about 2 cups.

I do not have a blender or food processor, so I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, with the whisk attachment and it all came together just fine. However, I should add that I did mash the avocado up until it was smooth before I added the other ingredients.

So, I got it all mixed up and smooth and creamy, and then I tasted it. It was VERY lemony. Too lemony. So I thought, "I'll put some stevia into it." Well, rather than measuring anything, I just sprinkled a little bit into the dressing. And then it was too sweet. So then I added a little bit more lemon juice. Overall, it is still very, very sweet. But I braved it anyway. I piled some green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and broccoli onto some lettuce and then put a little bit of cheese on it.

I decided that instead of drowning the salad in dressing, I'd just dip my fork into it, and then take a bite of the salad. When I did this, the dressing was too overpowering, too sweet. And then I thought "Wait, I have slivered almonds that would taste great with this!" So, I got the almonds and sprinkled those on the salad. Then I took my fork and sort of drizzled the dressing over the salad. Overall, it was an enjoyable salad. I know that I can modify the recipe into something that will taste really good. Once I have perfected it, I will post my own version of this dressing.

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