For a long time I’ve been stuck on apples in my lunchtime salad, but yesterday my eyes fell on the bowl of clementines on the counter, and I just couldn’t resist adding them to not only the salad but the dressing as well. I’ve been wanting to try one of Dr. Fuhrman’s many orange and cashew dressings, but, honestly, they all contain too much fat for my tastes and needs. I’m one of those people who like a lot of dressing on salad, so I prefer to have something so low in calories and fat that I can just pour it on without worrying too much about how much I’m using. So I decided to make a dressing similar to Dr. Fuhrman’s but using chia seeds to thicken it and just a drop (literally) of sesame oil for flavor.
When I tasted the dressing, however, I found it too bland. It was crying out for some spice, some zing. I added cayenne pepper, but that just didn’t do it. It needed a different kind of heat, the kind of heat that takes veggie sushi from ordinary vegetables wrapped in rice to sublime. It needed wasabi.
The wasabi made all the difference. I’ll admit that I actually added more than I indicate in the recipe below, but I’m sort of addicted to spicy. You may find that you like this sweet and tangy dressing just fine without the wasabi, or you may do like I did and throw in a couple of teaspoons. I’ll leave that up to you and your scorched or tender taste buds.
- 1/2 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
- 2 clementines, satsumas, or other small seedless oranges, peeled
- 5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 medjool date, pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon chia or ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger-root, minced (about 1/2-inch section roughly chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce or salt to taste (optional)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- a few drops toasted sesame oil (optional, but good)
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend at high speed until smooth. Taste and add additional seasonings as needed. Allow to stand at least 10 minutes to thicken slightly and let the flavor develop.
I set my salad up to look pretty for the photo with spring mix greens on the bottom and clementines, red pepper strips, and chickpeas on the top. But once the photos were taken, I threw the salad into a much larger bowl, filled it up with romaine and shredded carrot, and tossed it with more dressing. You can see the “real life” version of the salad here on Instagram.
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