Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salad Dressings Galore!

Pom is my future Food Network Star. At not-quite-ten years old, she made us dinner last night with NO help from ANYONE. This wasn't a hot dogs and canned veggies kind of meal either. She made from-scratch gluten free Gnocchi with a Buttery Parmesan sauce. She made Spring Salad with Oranges and Olives served with a fresh, from-scratch Vinaigrette Dressing. The best part? IT WAS REALLY GOOD!!! I am the proudest mama EVER!!!

I was also really proud of her when she said, "Mom, thanks for teaching fractions. That would have been hard without that!" Sniff, sniff. I teared up a bit there.

I started thinking while devouring the salad. (Did I mention how really yummy the salad and dressing were?) Salad dressing is one of those really tough things for gluten free kids. Ranch, in my experience, is an all around FAVORITE, but only a handful of brands sell it gluten free. (My favorite there is Litehouse). Homemade dressings though. Those are easy. And cheap. And did I mention easy? Really. So here are a few of our favorites. And yes, Pom's first homemade dressing is included. :)

Pom's Fruity Vinaigrette

(these measurements are approximate...apparently she didn't measure and it was TOTALLY from her head...SO proud!!)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • Juice of 1 mandarin orange (juiced by hand)
  • Juice of 8 strawberries (again by hand)

Mix it all together. SERIOUSLY good.

Mom's Raspberry Balsamic

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

Mix well. This is Diva's favorite.

GF Low(er) Fat Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 4 oz GF blue cheese, crumbled (mine comes pre-crumbled, I just use the whole package)
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (NOT low fat)
  • 1/2 cup Sour cream (NOT low fat)
  • 1 cup fat free 1/2 and 1/2
  • 2 Tblsp Tarragon Vinegar **
  • 1/2 tsp (or so) garlic powder OR 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (I use a garlic press)
  • 2 -3 Tblsp chopped fresh dill
  • dash of freshly ground sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer*** or processor. Note that it is lowER fat, not fat free or even necessarily very low fat.
**Make your own Tarragon (or any herb) Vinegar by boiling white vinegar and steeping tarragon in it for a couple of weeks in a cool, dry place. Strain into decorative jars and use or give as gifts.

Gorgonzola Dressing

  • 2/3 cup fat free 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3-4 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (I use a press)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients in a mixer***.
This was inspired by a Giada recipe and happens to be ultra yummy on a BLT salad.

Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup fat free 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tblsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • dash paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tblsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill

Mix all together in a mixer***. This is DH's favorite.

***I swear by Pampered Chef. In many areas but particularly here. Every dressing ever made in my kitchen is made by one of these. Measure, mix, pour and there are even recipes ON the side of it!! I love, love, love this thing so much in fact that I own three. Two to ensure I can always have a variety of dressings on hand and one for my camping gear.

Now you can have salad at any time!

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