Friday, August 19, 2011

Dressing Up

In a previous post, I listed a bunch of alternatives to raw veggies at snacktime.  Nuts, fruits, and, "Yay, smoothies!" are all great snacks.  However, you might want to bring those carrot sticks out of the fridge for this post.

As you may know if you've been reading this blog, we make a lot of food ourselves.  Homemade yogurt, granola, mayonnaise - all can be found in the Goldberg kitchen.  We like to know exactly what's in our food before we eat it.  When we buy our farm-fresh veggies, we don't want to ruin them with processed salad dressings, dips, or sauces.  Hence, we make said salad dressings, dips, and sauces at home!  Most of these recipes take about five minutes to prepare, so there is no excuse for not trying them.
Ketchup

2 c. tomato sauce
2 T. tomato paste
3 T. raw apple cider vinegar
About 1 1/2 T. honey - just eyeball it
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. cinnamon

All spices can be adjusted to taste.
Put all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat.  Keep stirring until it thickens to your desired consistency.  By the way, if you add some mustard, molasses, liquid smoke, and a little cayenne pepper, you can turn this into a great barbecue sauce.

Ranch Dressing

Put equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream in a bowl.  Add to taste:  dill, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper.  I'm sorry we don't have exact measurements, or, really, any measurements on this one - my mom just eyeballs it most of the time, and my sisters and I do a lot of taste-testing.  Stir everything together.  If you like your dressing a little thinner, you can add milk or cream to it.

Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. lemon juice or any vinegar of your choice
1/2 t. dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Any herbs you like

Crush garlic and rub vigorously on the bottom of a small mixing bowl.  (You can discard the garlic if you want.)  Add remaining ingredients and whisk until everything is thoroughly blended.

Easy Russian Dressing

Mix equal parts mayonnaise and ketchup (homemade, maybe?) in a bowl.  Done.  You can turn this into an easy Thousand Island dressing by adding chopped pickles or prepared relish.

Honey Mustard

Get some good quality mustard and some local honey.  Mix together in proportions to your taste.

Oil and Vinegar

I think you can figure this one out, but I'll give you a tip:  the quality of your oil is important.  You should use an extra-virgin olive oil or an expeller-pressed seed or nut oil.  Watch out for those trans-fat-filed vegetable oils!

It may seem kind of like a chore to make these yourself - why bother when there are rows and rows of dressings at the store?  But trust me, once you try these recipes, you'll never go back to their chemical-laden counterparts again.