Deep In The Salad Bowl

Good Morning from someone who did NOT wake up at 2 am today!  I slept really well last night.  I think that’s because I didn’t take a nap yesterday.  Just plugged through and fell asleep about 10pm.  Woke up at 5:30 today and I feel good!  (Insert James Brown singing…here…)

I got several questions yesterday regarding my home-made salad dressing that I’ve been doing lately.  It’s really just something I made up and it is almost always in flux, changing with my mood.  I never liked the very thick feel that comes from most bottled dressing.  I like my salad to be dressed down to the bottom of the bowl!  Thought I’d share with you how I do it.

Since most of you have seen my salad bowl…the Big Purple Bowl, you know that I like a Lot of salad.  When I make these dressings I’m making one serving, but keep in mind it has to cover a LOT of salad.  Smaller salad eaters…or eaters of smaller salads as the case may be, could probably use this for two servings.

I start with this…

It’s a six-ounce Ball jar…probably had home-made jam or jelly in it at some point.  I like it because it would work if I decided to double the recipe.  Also its wide mouth makes for easy pouring in and out.  If I decide to add spices, it’s easy to shake into also.  And I didn’t go out and buy something to use, I had it!

I generally start with extra virgin olive oil and honey.  I’m not an olive oil snob, I buy what’s on sale.  In fact when this bottle is finished, which will probably be today, my next bottle is Wal-Mart’s store brand.  Much less expensive than others and I figured I’d give it a try.  I’ve been using honey again because I have it.  I might try agave next.  Have to check on the Weight Watchers points value.  So 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 3 WWPoints and 1 Tbsp of honey for 2 WWPoints.  Measure the OO first, it makes it easier to get the honey out of the Tbsp! 😉

Then depending on my mood (or which one my hand lands on first!) I use either apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or balsamic.  I love this balsamic bottle and may keep it when it’s empty just cause it’s so cool!  I usually use 1 or 2 Tbsps of one of these, again depending on how I feel.

After that it’s up to you or Me!  Many times I’ll add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard (store brand of course or what’s on sale.)  That doesn’t cost me anything on WW. 

I have also tried adding a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt to make a creamy dressing.  When doing that, I was trying to re-create the Southwest sauce at Subway.  I added some Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime once and one time Penzeys Arizona seasoning.  I’ve also tried sriracha sauce (yummy!)  I haven’t got that quite right yet it’s a work in progress.

If it looks a little thick to me and I don’t think it will be enough for my Huge salad, I just add a little water until it looks right.  You can do a lot of things with it to make it the way you like it.  I have several ideas that I’ll be working on.

I used it on this wonderful salad that included this…

A home-made black bean burger that my sister Ele made and shared with me.  I’m going to make these over the weekend and I’ll share the recipe with you next week.  It is So good and I’m certain it will be less expensive than the Morningstar Farms ones that I love so much.

Well that’s WAY more than I thought I had to say today!  Guess getting a good night’s sleep can make a difference.  Looks like it will be a beautiful day.  It is supposed to get Hot over the weekend so I guess I really do need to call the air conditioner man today. 😦   At least yesterday we got our dates for our vacations straightened out, made our car reservations and I made contact with my cousin in California who we’ll be meeting up with when we get out there…but that’s all more for another post.

Happy Thursday!! Time to put out the Trash!!

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26 responses to “Deep In The Salad Bowl

  1. Thanks Fran! I’ll be trying this (and the various versions)! The only one I’ve made to date is for spicy peanut slaw and it has a similar base–I’ve been meaning to do more so happy to have your tips! Hope you have a great time when you go to CA (I’m going for a visit soon)!

  2. I’m so glad that you liked the black bean burger. I could not believe how yummy they are! I made them the way the recipe said the first time but I made some changes the second. The variations are only limited by your imagination. What I like about it is that you have control over the quality of the end product. I also think that putting all of it through the food processor is better than only half. They stayed together better. It’s also a way to use up left over rice mix if you have it. I made it with regular rice because I wanted it to be totally vegetarian so that I could let you try it. But the possibilities are endless with spices!

  3. Ohh, have you posted about these vacations already and I missed it? Either way, I want to hear what you have planned! And I used to make salad dressings, but now I just dump balsamic vinegar all over my salad and call it a day. A delicious, delicious day 🙂

    • Allie, we’re going to New Mexico (Be still my Heart!!) in July. We’re weren’t going to this year (insert sad face) because of finances, then we got invited to the wedding of the daughter of long time friends in Santa Rosa, CA. Well…my two cousins live in a suburb of Santa Rosa, so we couldn’t go without visiting them. Now, my cousin has asked us to stay with her while in CA so that will help a bit on finances. So we drive to NM (whee!!) spend a few weeks there…drive to CA, then drive back to NM (whee!!) and spend maybe another week (Or the rest of my life!) before the drive back to NJ. So I’m so excited, I’m starting to make lists of what I need to take with me!!

  4. isn’t it funny how some days there is just soooo much that you could talk about!
    glad you had such a good sleep and that you have sunshine. those two things combined are going to give you a productive day, i know it!
    fran, you are genius with the salad dressing – so easy! so unprocessed! i could do this! and yes, please share the bean burger recipe.
    now go call that air con man! 😀

    • Thanks, Cathy! Glad you like the idea of the dressing. I think it’s pretty good and simple and tasty! I’m off to to buy black beans this afternoon that will be destined for the crock pot! Oh, yeah…call a/c man…Yikes!

  5. I love homemade dressings but usually do a semi homemade version with good seasons mix. You’ve inspired me to do the whole thing from scratch, what am I waiting for?

    Also just curious why if you love New Mexico so much you don’t move there permanently? Do tell.

    • The dressings are great and you are in charge of what you put in, Marie. On the topic of NM. We ARE going to move there! We have a house in town, and 15 acres outside of town. We’re just facing some issues here and we have 2 houses to sell here. We are really trying to get there. I can’t wait to be there!!

  6. You are coming to CA? How exciting. Let me know if you need any suggestions!

    And I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night either. I am so thrilled to be well rested for a change.

    Enjoy your Thursday Fran!

  7. Sounds like good basic recipe to have..then alter as desired. Thank you!

  8. Glad you got some much-needed recipe.

    I’m looking forward to the burger recipe–especially if it’s something I can get my meat-loving husband to eat. 🙂

  9. “Smaller salad eaters…or eaters of smaller salads as the case may be” – that made me laugh out loud 🙂
    Simple salad dressings like that are the best; I bet plain soya yoghurt would be good too as you don’t get the same tang as with Greek yoghurt.
    Looking forward to the bean burger recipe, I always like them!

  10. I make my own dressings all the time! Soooo much cheaper- usually i use a glob of plain nonfat greek yogurt (protein!), a glob of hummus, and i thin with v8 juice andbshakeshakeshake my jar! The trip sounds so amazing, have fun!

    • That sounds like a great combo, Tt!! I’ll have to give it a try. I like adding the Greek yogurt for some added protein, but adding the hummus would add even more. I love V8 so that sounds like a nice twist! Thanks for visiting, please stop by again!!

  11. Homemade black bean burger?? That sounds awesome! I am always on the lookout for innovative ways to use beans, especially since there are SO many different kinds about. Your salad dressing sounds awesome. I love salad dressings that are equally sweet and dare I say salty? I feel like that’s not the correct word to describe a salad dressing of my favor :p. But anyhoo, I will definitely have to make this sometime! (I have all of the ingredients too, woot woot!)

  12. I have been scared to make my own dressing for lack of decent recipes. I am also a big salad eater (I’ve taught myself to be–i never really liked them, but when I started improving health quest in 2011 –well I eat at least 5 a week now for a meal) so thank you. I’m going to try the honey, olive oil, greek yoghurt one and see what mrs.dash will make those tasty.

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