Last week I shared the Simple Chopped Salad that my whole family continues to love. My daughter would be happy to eat it every night, and she even asked me to make it for her school lunch. For my own lunchtime salad, I prefer something a little spicier and without the high-fat olives and walnuts, so I’ve been varying the ingredients and trying different salad dressings. This combination of a Southwestern-style salad and a spicy vegan chipotle dressing has had my taste buds ablaze.
The salad ingredients are obvious from the photos. I filled a bowl up with one heart of romaine lettuce, chopped, and then added black beans, sliced sweet and jalapeno peppers, cubed zucchini, halved grape tomatoes, and sliced radishes. To tell the truth, I usually put it in a much bigger bowl than you see here so that I can add dressing and then toss it all together. But that doesn’t make for as pretty a picture.
The dressing was simple to make in my Vitamix (which, I must mention again, is on sale for only 7 more days). Lately I’ve been trying to make creamy salad dressings without resorting to using cashews or other nuts, so I’ve been using lemon juice to curdle soy milk and then adding ground flax seed for more thickness. I find that soy milk makes a thicker dressing than other types of non-dairy milk, but I’m sure that others will work; adjust the flax seed as needed.
This is an intentionally spicy dressing because I tend to prefer things hot enough to make my eyes water. To me, the half teaspoon of chipotle powder gives this a medium amount of heat, though I suspect that some people will find it too hot while others will find it mild. So adjust the amount of chipotle to fit your taste.
Another note: I used tomato powder to give the dressing just a slight tomato flavor. If you’re not familiar with it, tomato powder is made from dehydrated and ground tomatoes–nothing else. I’m sure you can make it yourself, but I buy it already packaged and keep it tightly sealed in the fridge. I love to add it to soups and stews or anywhere I want to add a little tomato flavor. You can even use it in recipes instead of tomato paste or sauce by mixing it with water. It’s saved me a lot of times when I didn’t happen to have a can of tomato paste on hand.
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 4 teaspoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 of 1 medjool date, pitted (or a pinch of sweetener of choice)
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon white miso (or salt to taste)
- 1 teaspoon tomato powder or 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or chipotle chiles in adobo (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- additional milk or water as needed
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Let it sit for a minute and then check the thickness. However thick it is now, it will be much thicker after refrigerating, so add more non-dairy milk or water to thin it, if necessary.
- Pour into a bottle or jar and refrigerate to thicken and allow flavors to develop.
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