Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homemade Vegan No-oil Caesar Salad Dressing

Really big salads are a VERY big part of how I eat. And since for me, they would not be nearly as enjoyable without a wonderful salad dressing, I am continually on the hunt for healthy, low calorie bottled salad dressings (yes, these are pretty rare, but growing in numbers as we speak) and for salad dressing recipes that I can quickly whip up myself.

A few months ago I saw a demonstration of no-oil vegan cooking at Whole Foods. The demonstrator was Amy Cramer, a local chef. I can't tell you how many great tips I got that night, and I have been cooking this way for quite some time! It just goes to show that there is always something that you can learn if you get yourself out there.

One of the recipes that she demo'd was her no-oil Caesar Salad dressing. The key concept I got from Amy is that we can use garbanzo beans as the base of a salad dressing, not unlike a thinned out hummus. Coincidentally, there is a company developing bottled hummus dressings right now, Flamous. It's not exactly ready yet for mass distribution, but they are working on it!

Also going on in my head was an incredible Dr. Fuhrman dressing I had made many months ago called Dijon Pistachio Dressing. So I decided to experiment with combining the two ideas into one dressing and the results might just be perfect.

Coincidentally, yesterday on The Real Meal Today blog, the author posted a no-oil Caesar Salad dressing. Check it out for another take on this fabulous concept.

This no-oil salad dressing is crazy good!

Healthy Girl's Kitchen No-oil Caesar Salad Dressing
adapted from recipes by Amy Cramer (http://www.dinnersdonenow/) and Dr. Joel Fuhrman (http://www.drfuhrman.com/)
makes 4 cups

Printable Version

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, unrinsed, undrained
1/2 cup raw almonds, cashews or pistachios
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp capers with their juice
2 Medijool dates (large dates)
1 tsp garlic powder
5 Tbsp lemon juice (roughly the juice of 2 lemons)
1/2 cup or more water, to thin to desired consistency

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until a creamy consistency is achieved.  Add more water as needed to achieve desired consistency.


Jenny said...

My favorite salad dressing is a no-oil caesar I make, but it DOESN'T have capers, garbanzoes, or dates - I will try this!

Sue said...

This looks good. Will try it soon as I am still looking for an oil free dressing that I like as much as my olive oil based vinaigrette. This makes a lot-how long do you think it will keep in the refrigerator?

Wendy said...

At least a week. You could definitely make 1/2 of the dressing and throw the the other 1/2 of the can of beans into your salad.

But this is the kind of dressing that you can and will want to use decadently-no need to be sparing about the dressing with this one.

Jen said...

Thanks, Wendy...this looks great! Here's an almost fat free dressing. Good with 1/2 romaine, 1/2 julienned bok choy, red pepper, scallion & orange. Pairs well with Lebanese Red Lentil and Collard Green Soup (use frozen collards for ease)from AllRecipes.com. Single serving has 15 cals:
1 1/2 tsp Major Grey mango chutney
1 tsp apricot jam
3/4 tsp mayonaise
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp almond or soy milk

Samantha said...

Hi Wendy,

You may like a similar recipe from my book on page 117. I usde cannelini beans instead of garbanzos because they are creamier. It contains not nuts whatsoever so those following Dr. Esselstyn's program can eat it too. I have a terrific no-oil balsalmic I can give you that's not in my book.

Love & Kale,
Chef AJ

Wendy said...

Chef Aj-Who is Samantha? And that's a great suggestion about the no nuts version from your cookbook Unprocessed. I'll give that one a go next!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef AJ,
I love your book and I will fix the caesar on page 117. Could you send or post the no oil balsamic dressing you were talking about in this post. I am looking for such a dressing. Thanks, Diane Barnett

ViviDu said...

Hi Wendy, is it better to soak the nuts & dates first? Do you? Im wondering if my slow speed blender would cope better if I always soak these ingredients. Thanks, Viv

Wendy said...

ViviDu-actually, if you have the time and your blender is not that powerful, soaking the nuts and even the dates ahead of time is a great idea. I know that soaking raw nuts is supposed to release good stuff too! And it will be easier on your blender. Let us know how it turns out!

Jen said...

YUM! This dressing is AMAZING! I'm having trouble not finishing it off with a spoon! I'm only going to water down half of it & save the other half to use as a dip. This is a new staple in my fridge and next item to serve for bookclub!

Luscious Verde said...

Thanks Jen-It is good, isn't it!

Anonymous said...

When I tried to click on the printable recipe icon this is what came up: Page not found
We're sorry, but we were unable to locate the page you requested.

Could you please fix it, so I can print this delicious recipe? Thanks, Diane

Anonymous said...

he dressing looks very very thick in the pict. What can I thin it with or do you thin it? Thanks, Diane

Sophia said...

I don't know yet why the link is not working, but here is the URL to the printable recipe:

Alot is wrong with blogger right now and I can't get in to edit my posts. Hope that helps.

Wendy said...

That was me in the last comment, I was signed in under my daughters account by mistake.

Wendy said...

You could try thinning it with water if you make it and you think it's too thick. It should work fine.

Anonymous said...

Made two jars of this Healthy Girl's No-Oil Caesar Salad Dressing and it is delicious! I look forward to more recipes similar to this one with a variety of flavors. Any by the way---Wendy you look fabulous--keep up the great work!

Wendy said...

Thanks Anonymous!

Caesar salad recipe said...

If you like caser salad recipes then you have not to spend a lot o time while making it. My mother makes amazing chicken caeser salad in less than 15 minutes.

Dave Lawrence said...

Wow! I'm new to your site today, and it's so great to see your success and so much support. By support I mean recipes and your documenting your struggles in maintaining your target weight. Thank you so much.

I have been logging in my food consumed and exercise at EveryDayHealth.com Logging it in makes me a more responsible eater. Someone (myself) is watching me and feel accountable.

catering Fort Lauderdale said...

Learning a new method of making Caesar salad could be a great benefit because there are some alternatives that you could apply to prevent from using excessive oil.

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! My biggest problem with salads is finding a healthy dressing to use. Would you happen to know the calorie count of this dressing?

cody said...

Very good, unusual taste. world s best recipes

Shari said...

This dressing is wonderful! I made only 1/2 the recipe because I was a little skeptical. Well, that was 4 days ago and I'm headed back into the kitchen to make a full recipe now. Thanks so much!

Chef AJ said...

How did I ever miss this dressing? Wendy made it for me in Cleveland and I ate salads for breakfast just to get my fix. And then I licked the bowl. I am teaching it tonight at my class in Whole Foods!!!

Anonymous said...

I want to make this recipe and I am trying to figure out how many people this will serve assuming 2 Tablespoons per person? Is that a correct assumption in 4 cups of dressing for a dinner salad? Since there are 16 tablespoons to 1 cup I am assuming that there are 64 Tablespoons in 4 cups and that would mean 32 - 2 tablespoon servings if people take 2 tablespoons? Is that the correct way to figure this out.....Thanks Diane

fallowfields said...

I just made this Caesar dressing, and modified it a bit to avoid nuts; I added a 1/2 cup of silken tofu, and 1 T. of chia seeds and 5 drops of stevia (had no dates); I forgot the mustard, but this is a wonderful dressing now , and I am sure will improve. Thanks!

Anna said...

Just made this dressing after reading your review of Dr. Fuhrmans Caesar Dressing. I haven't tried his yet but yours is amazing! I didn't have chickpeas so I used a can of navy beans instead! Everyone in the house loved it, even the kiddies! Thanks for an amazing recipe and thanks for sharing your cooking talents on your blog! Love it!

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