Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Salad Dressing Variation, Banana-Raspberry Soft Serve

With a giant salad my usual lunchtime centerpiece of the day, I like to find easy and delicious variations.  I keep coming back to a combination of a nut or seed or butter thereof, citrus juice, and garlic.  Today I made a new dressing inspired partly by "Hail to the Kale" in Chef A.J.'s and Julieanna Hever's video, linked here


2 dates
clove of garlic
2 oz. almonds
grape-sized piece of ginger
zest and flesh of half a small lime
1 to 1-1/2 cups water

Combine all ingredients and whirl them in the Vita-Mix. A 1/4-cup serving made with 1-1/2 cups water is 1/3 oz. nuts. 

Verdict: Excellent. Creamy and yet with full coverage of the salad when made with the larger amount of water suggested.  Is it strange that I like the garlic aftertaste?  I had this on a salad of artisan lettuces and green leaf lettuce, chopped cucumber, red bell pepper, and scallion, with 3/4 cup home-cooked pinto beans, and a fruit cup on the side.



We are blessed to have black raspberries growing on the side of an old barn adjacent to our property, and hubby and kids have gathered a couple of gallons of them so far, I think.  For Sunday dinner I made a coulis (1 pint raspberries, 3 T. sugar, 2 tsp. lemon juice blended in the blender and then pushed through a sieve) to serve on vanilla ice cream.  For me I just added to the coulis-coated blender container 1-1/2 bananas and a little water (and, I confess, a dollop of ice cream) to get the consistency right.  I got a beautifully rosy product very similar to soft-serve ice cream (or facsimile thereof) and every bit as satisfying as what the rest of the family were having.  That helps make nutritarian eating more workable.  (By the way, I think it would have worked better with more banana, as there wasn't enough to form up correctly around the blades, necessitating the water and possibly justifying the ice cream addition.)

Bananas are magic in the Vita-Mix.  With a chocolate craving last week I put a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder and a little instant decaf coffee into a quarter cup or so of hot water to dissolve, then added them into the blender with 1-1/2 bananas, for a completely satisfying dessert treat.

Verdict: Excellent on both of these, as well as a toasted-walnut variation I've tried in the past.

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I'd love to know what you think of these or if you have suggestions for improvements!