Monday, May 16, 2011

Chef Aj's Husband's Favorite No-Oil Dressing

I'm going to be posting my Plant-Strong Tip #9 later today, but before I do, one HGK reader asked for the following recipe, which Chef Aj, the author of Unprocessed, generously provided. I haven't made the dressing yet, but I know that a lot of you are looking for no-oil salad dressings, and based on all of Chef A.j.'s other recipes, it's gotta be amazing!

Chef AJ's Husband's Favorite No-oil Dressing
1 cup of Balsalmic Vinegar (4% acidity preferred)*
4 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
3 Tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari (Trader Joes brand has only 465 mg of sodium per tablespoons)
3 tablespoons of date syrup (or date equivalent) -could use maple syrup
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon xantan gum

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Regfrigerate any unused portion.

*Using a good balsamic makes all the difference in this recipe.Most balsalmic vinegars have at least 6% acidity and they are very strong and sharp. Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve, available at Whole Foods has only 4% acidity and it is naturally sweeter and less sharp.


Samantha said...

I never liked ANY vinegar, even Balsalmic, until my friend Tim turned my onto this low acid one. It so so sweet and yummy you could almost use it by itself. (Or on the chocolate balasalmic glazed strawberries with mint on page 68 of UNPROCESSED.

KK said...

Wendy, I've been reading your blog for awhile and really enjoy it.

Thanks for the salad dressing recipe. I often eat grain-based salads for lunch, and this sounds like it would really be good made with maple syrup. My in-laws make their own syrup, and the only benefit I have to being related to them by marriage is getting it for free.

Jen said...

Glad I bought two heads of romaine! Just getting ready to make your no-oil Caesar now. Many your blog!

Wendy said...

Jen-I'm so psyched to go home and make it tonight after work. Let me know how you like it!

Anonymous said...

surely 465 mg of sodium/tablespoon must be a misprint!

Anonymous said...

ooops, above post got sent before finished...
"i can't imagine something with so much sugar and sodium content being considered 'healthy'."

Chef AJ said...

Dear Anonymous,

The only sugar comes from dates which are a WHOLE FOOD with fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytocmhemicals, antioxicdants and micronutrients. How can you not consider a date healthy, especially in that small of an amount.
The dressing make about 1.5 cups or roughly 24 tablespoons. We get about 8 servings from each batch which is 174mg of sodium per serving.
Since we consume no added salt or processed food in our diet, 174mg for a meal is not high.
The only misprint in the recipe is the word xantan, should be xanthan.

Love & Kale,
Chef AJ

Wendy said...

Blogger is down and I will edit the spelling of Xanthan when it is up again.

As far as the salt and sugar content of the dressing-I was looking at this issue from the perspective of dressing a huge salad filled with lettuce, raw veggies and beans. Whatever salt and sugar are in the dressing should only be analyzed as part of an entire salad recipe, so when condsider under that context, this is probably a very healthy salad dressing!

I do want to note that I could not find the low acid balsamic vinegar at my local whole foods, which is a bummer, because I made it with the normal balsamic that I had on hand and the dressing is quite acidic. I'll have to see how I like the taste when I have it tonight on my Hugh Jass salad (to borrow a term from Mama Pea).

Chef AJ said...

Hi Wendy,

I didn't like the dressing either when made with the regular balsalmic, it was too sharp for me. That's too bad that your WFM doesn't carry it, it's in all the stores out here so it's definitely in their data base. You can get it on line, but maybe you could just ask them to order it?
I thought I read "Hugh Jackman" salad, I think he is a vegan actually. Rip calls his salads the "shock and swe" salad because everyone is in shock and in awe that he's gonna eat the whole thing!

Love & Kale,
Chef AJ

Anonymous said...

I realize that we are not EVER going to agree on this but the date syrups I have seen range from 60-80% sugar content. That's a whole lot more sugar, regardless of which kind than I would ever want in anything I eat.

Wendy said...

Anonymous-I do agree with you--sugar is something that we should all be very conscious of. I'm just not convinced yet that the amount of sugar that would ultimately end up on your salad if you use this particular dressing would be an issue. I have plenty of other "healthy" vegan recipes that I take major issue with, so I totally get where you are coming from!

Wendy said...

Had the dressing last night that I made with the higher acid balsamic vinegar. Put it on a simple salad of romaine lettuce, strawberries and walnuts. It was AMAZING! Even with the regular vinegar. Wasn't too acidic for me. This one is another winner from Chef Aj!!!!

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