I eat a lot of salads–big lunch salads that fill an entire serving bowl–and because I hate a dry salad, I wind up eating a lot of salad dressing. So finding low-fat salad dressings that I like has practically become my life’s work. As far as I’m concerned, the less fat it has, the better because I’m not one of those people who can put just a teaspoon of dressing on a salad and be satisfied. If I were eating oily salad dressings, I’d certainly be consuming an extra 500 calories a day, 500 calories that I–and my hips–don’t need.
I’ve been in a salad dressing rut lately. I alternate between my Pecan Dijon Dressing, a very vinegary dressing that I use as the base of almost any kind of salad, and Newman’s Own Low-Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing, which has very little fat for such a big taste. I decided yesterday to try to break out of the rut and try something new. I noticed the recipe for Guacamole Goddess Dressing in Robin Robertson’s 366 Simply Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes and decided to try it, with a few adaptations of course.
Guacamole Goddess Dressing
1 green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 small cloves garlic
1 12-oz. package lite silken tofu
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 tsp. spicy mustard
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. Cajun hot sauce (or to taste)
1 large ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
salt to taste (optional)
In a food processor, pulse the onion, parsley, and garlic until chopped. Add everything else except the avocado and optional salt and process until smooth. Add the avocado and blend well. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
This turned out to be a very thick mixture, more like a dip than a dressing. I had it on my lunch salad (baby lettuces, spinach, tomato, cucumber, and chickpeas) and it was okay, though I will thin it out some next time. Later in the afternoon, I tried it as a dip for baby carrots, and it was better as a dip than as a dressing; the flavors benefited from a few hours of refrigeration, and the color was not adversely affected.
I think I’ll keep playing with this recipe. It was good, but it wasn’t “feed it to company” good. The avocado gets a little lost while the tofu flavor (a certain chalkiness) is never hidden.
I’m a great believer in adapting dressing recipes to fit your own taste. People seem to be pickier about dressing than any other food–what I love, someone else is bound to hate and visa-versa. This may be even more true of fat-free dressing recipes because the flavors are all right out there, without oil as a buffer. If you’re looking for a low-fat or fat-free dressing recipe, I recommend that you start with a recipe that looks promising, but don’t be afraid to add flavors that you know you like. Who knows–my Guacamole Goddess Dressing might be reincarnated as your Artichoke Ranch Dressing. But if it is, drop me a line because I’d sure like to try it!
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