Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tried and True: Salad Dressings

Flashback post from Penny Ann Poundwise Newsletter.  August 2004

Dressing the Salad

I've always loved salads, but we've eaten more than our fair share
since we began following a low carb meal plan over a year ago. It's
easy enough to get variety in summertime when the price of fresh
salad vegetables are low, but in the winter the cost can be
staggering. Add to the salad makings the cost of store bought
dressings(many of which contain a goodly portion of sugar and salt,
not to mention additives and preservatives) and my budget could
easily be crippled before the month was over.

I've learned to make dressings over the past year, and find them so
tasty that I seldom will indulge in a bought dressing at all. When
I do, I often wish I'd saved myself the money and stuck to the
homemade! The flavor difference is truly that great. If you do
prefer your dressing a little less 'sharp' add a teaspoon at a time
of sugar or sugar substitute until it suits your families taste. I
seldom add sweetener to my dressings.

I use a cider vinegar when vinegar is called for. It adds a more
full bodied flavor than the white vinegar. You may also substitute
red wine, balsamic or raspberry vinegar to prepare any basic
vinaigrette recipe. If you'd like, substitute the herbal vinegar.
And if you want a fruity zing, use lemon or other citrus juice in
place of all or part of the vinegar.

One of the first dressings I prepared at home was Thousand Island.
I've tried variations of this recipe, but this is the absolute best
in my opinion.

Penny's Favorite Thousand Island Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise(I use Duke's which has no added sugars)
2 tbsp chili sauce(you can substitute ketchup)
2 tbsps finely minced onion
2 tbsps finely minced red bell pepper
2 tbsps finely minced celery
2 tbsps finely minced green bell pepper
1 tsp paprika

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and place in covered jar in fridge.
This is excellent on Reuben sandwiches as well as hamburgers, as a
condiment for fish and seafood or with any salad. Variations of
this recipe can include sweet pickle relish and/or chopped hard
boiled egg.

Once we'd made blue cheese dressing at home there was simply no
going back to the standard bottled dressing! We are fond of this
dressing with hot wings and celery sticks, as a dip for broccoli or
carrots and on salads when we're having a hearty steak or roast beef
dinner. This is a thick dressing. If you like a thinner dressing
add milk in 1/4 cup increments to the consistency you prefer.

Chance's Blue Cheese Dressing

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion juice(or finely minced onion)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients and chill overnight before serving for best
(If you're cutting down on fat and costs, substitute half cottage
cheese for the blue cheese, and no fat sour cream)

This is the newest addition to our homemade dressings. With a
little sugar or sweetener you'll have a taste similar to Catalina or
Russian dressing. Again, this one is good for Reuben sandwiches.
Brush this dressing on chicken and broil. And if you happen to like
liver, you can marinate the liver for a half hour in the dressing,
then flour and fry gently over medium heat. It's delicious!

By the way, if anyone has a good mayonnaise or cream based French
recipe I'd appreciate it. It's still hard to beat the bottled Kraft
French dressing!

Penny's Tomato French Dressing

1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup salad oil(I like to use a light olive oil)

Mix first six ingredients well and then slowly add oil, whisking as
you add. I keep mine on a dark shelf, as the olive oil has a
tendency to solidify when refrigerated. I try to use within 7 days
however. Shake well before each use. If you like the flavor of
garlic in your french dressing, add just one small clove that has
been crushed thoroughly.

Italian Dressing

1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsps water
1 tsp oregano
3 tbsp minced onion
3 tbsp minced red bell pepper
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

In covered jar, shake all ingredients until thoroughly blended. The
addition of grated Parmesan cheese is nice if you like. Great on
salads, or brushed over vegetables and meats you plan to grill or


1/2 cup salad oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 vinegar or citrus juice of choice
1 tsp sweetener(or to taste)
2 tbsp water

Shake all ingredients together until thoroughly blended. 

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