I’ve been trying to eat a big salad every single day, and though I haven’t completely succeeded, especially during my recent Spring Break trip, I wouldn’t be able to eat as many as I do if I were stuck using the same boring salad dressing day after day. I can drizzle my salad with one particular dressing for about one week, maybe two, before I get bored and need a change.
Lately I’ve been into creamy dressings that I make with a combination of plain soymilk and white balsamic vinegar. The vinegar causes the soymilk to curdle, resulting in what I call the Buttermilk Effect. Then I blend in whatever seasonings I’m craving that day (smoked paprika is probably my fave) along with some chia seeds, which thicken the dressing and help it cling to the salad greens.
A few days ago, salad boredom led me to look into my spice cabinet for something that I hadn’t yet made into a dressing, and the tiny jar of pink peppercorns practically jumped into my hand. Pink peppercorns, if you haven’t used them before, are much milder and sweeter than black or white peppercorns, probably because they are not actually peppercorns at all, but tiny dried berries. They have a papery outer layer and crush easily with a mortar and pestle but just sort of get pushed around in a pepper mill (I’ve tried and it doesn’t work). They’re mild enough that you can eat one out of the jar without getting red in the face, though they do build up to a modest heat if you consume many of them.
Which leads me to a warning about this dressing: It is not for the spice-shy among you. When combined with black and white pepper, the fruity pink peppercorn becomes more assertive, and though a salad full of this dressing won’t have you gulping down gallons of water, you will feel a pleasant (to some of us) build up of heat. I used a full teaspoon of pink peppercorns, but if you’re concerned that it might be too spicy, I recommend starting with the lesser amount–and definitely reducing the amounts of white and black pepper, which are the real heat-causers.
Creamy Tri-Pepper Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk
- 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed after measuring
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon chia seed (or ground flax seeds)
- Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or until dressing has thickened. Stir well before using.
Cooking time (duration): 5
Number of servings (yield): 7
Nutrition (per 2 tablespoons): 20 calories, 3 calories from fat, less than 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 171.3mg sodium, 41.6mg potassium, 3g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 2g sugar, less than 1g protein, 0.3 points.
Copyright © Susan Voisin 2011. All rights reserved. Please do not repost recipes or photos to other websites.
If You’re Bored with Your Salad…
…check out some of these low-fat dressings:
- Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Salad Dressing (with tips for making low-fat dressings)
- Smoked Paprika Dressing
- Lite Goddess Dressing
- Orange-Sesame Dressing
- Basil Balsamic Dressing
- Mellow Maple-Miso Salad Dressing from Go Dairy Free
- Apple Cider Vinaigrette from A Veggie Venture
- 3-2-1 Salad Dressing from Pass the Potatoes
- Lowfat Poppyseed Dressing from Notes from the Vegan Feast Kitchen