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Old 05-17-2020, 11:38 AM
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I need a healthier salad dressing, both store-bought and homemade


Looking forward to summer I hope to eat salads most days, as I did last summer with fresh greens from the farmer's market.

but the dressing I've been using, Wishbone 1000 Island, which I find VERY tasty, is not the healthiest option.

I know, I should make my own and I will try but I also want an option from the store which doesn't taste like vinegar. I have had a vinegrette I liked, but mostly they taste too much like vinegar to me.

what are your suggestions? I really need a healthier oil as well as, obviously, much less sugar.

  #2  
Old 05-17-2020, 11:54 AM
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Try something like straight pomegranate (or other flavored) balsamic vinegar.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:14 PM
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French Dressing

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika

That's the base. Personally, I use half the sugar, use apple cider instead of white for the vinegar, dump the chili powder and sub chili sauce for the ketchup.

Honey-Mustard Dressing

1/4 cup each Dijon mustard, vinegar, honey, light oil
salt to taste, about a teaspoon

You can play with any of the ingredients to adjust the taste to suit.

Last edited by silenus; 05-17-2020 at 12:14 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-17-2020, 12:24 PM
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Rice vinegar is much less vinegar-y than white vinegar, if you want to try it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:40 PM
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White vinegar should be reserved for pickling and cleaning. Otherwise explore the vinegar shelves at your local megamart.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Rice vinegar is much less vinegar-y than white vinegar, if you want to try it.
Yes, this is true. I love the ginger-forward Japanese steak house dressings like this one:

https://topsecretrecipes.com/benihan...at-recipe.html

Double the ginger and probably the garlic, too.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:08 PM
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thank you for the recipe, Silenus, I used to have apple cider vinegar but haven't for awhile, so I'm wondering how this changes the taste. I know it's supposed to be very healthy (why I bought it years ago) but also expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Rice vinegar is much less vinegar-y than white vinegar, if you want to try it.
interesting, I have never heard of it.

mostly what I used vinegar for is cleaning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Try something like straight pomegranate (or other flavored) balsamic vinegar.
I don't think I've tried buying a flavored vinegar.


so, it sounds like the answer is to buy a different vinegar. I will be going to Fred Meyer soon and see what they have.

thank you, every one.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:07 PM
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A simple combo that is very tasty is balsamic vinegar and toasted walnut oil. That's it. Experiment to get your preferred proportions.

I'm curious as to what you mean by "healthy."
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:10 PM
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sadly, I am allergic to walnuts so I need a different oil.

Thelma Lou, I think oils are very different: everything from very bad to you, to actually healthy (in moderation, obviously) and less sugar (and NO corn sryup or artifical sweetners).

that's my take.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:35 PM
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My favorite homemade dressing is white basalmic vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard. About equal parts, adjust proportions to taste.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:43 PM
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My favorite homemade dressing is white basalmic vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard. About equal parts, adjust proportions to taste.
Yep. That's the base for about a jillion dressings. Great on its own. Add Italian seasonings (parmesan, basil, Greek oregano, a little red pepper flake). Add Chinese mustard, ginger, scallions and such and you have a nice Asian dressing. It's a blank canvas.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:45 PM
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And if you don't want a mustardy taste just little bit of mayo works well as an emulsifier
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:08 PM
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A little each of really good olive oil and really good balsamic vinegar is hard to beat, sprinkle of salt and black pepper and you're good to go.
One other addtion worth trying is pumpkin oil. the good german stuff is a vivid green and wonderfully nutty. A little goes a long way.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:33 PM
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pumpkin oil! first I've heard of that one.

bet there are lots of different oils and vinegars I'd like but they are so expensive to buy before I'm sure. what I need is samples to taste!

I like a bit of mustard, what I don't like the taste of is VINEGAR!

Last edited by JackieLikesVariety; 05-17-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:41 PM
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Did anyone mention using avocado oil in salad dressing? It has the added advantage of also being great for cooking with as it has a very high smoke point. Note: I haven't tried it yet because I have a Costco-sized jug of olive to get through first.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:44 PM
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Mrs. L loves this stuff on salads.

https://www.target.com/p/herdez-guac...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

50 Cal for 2 Tb is pretty good.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post
Mrs. L loves this stuff on salads.

https://www.target.com/p/herdez-guac...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

50 Cal for 2 Tb is pretty good.
Interesting....
  #18  
Old 05-17-2020, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Did anyone mention using avocado oil in salad dressing? It has the added advantage of also being great for cooking with as it has a very high smoke point. Note: I haven't tried it yet because I have a Costco-sized jug of olive to get through first.
I also have a bottle of EVOO to finish and then I'll consider what oil to buy. avacado sounds like a good option.

today I bought some ingredients to play with including a new vinegar.

it's almost June when the Farmer's Market starts!
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post
Mrs. L loves this stuff on salads.

https://www.target.com/p/herdez-guac...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

50 Cal for 2 Tb is pretty good.
I'm sure it's tasty but don't care about calories, looking for something without sugar.
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:43 AM
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Along the lines of silenus' suggestion of a basic recipe, here's a chart with a basic recipe with a lot of variations for each category with the proportions.

It's basically

Oil 1 TBSP (EVOO, hazelnut, avocado, etc)
Vinegar 1 tsp (balsamic, sherry, rice wine, red wine, etc.)
Sweetness 1/2 tsp (honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, jam, etc.)
Mustard 1/2 tsp (dijon, honey mustard, grainy, spicy, etc.)
Herbs 2 pinches (rosemary, basil, thyme, dill, etc.)
Seasoning 1 pinch (salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, pepper flakes, etc.)

It's a small enough portion that you can try it once and toss it if you don't like it. It's also vegan.

You can decrease the sugar, leave it out or use a fruit juice concentrate.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks good to me.
  #21  
Old 05-18-2020, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JackieLikesVariety View Post
I also have a bottle of EVOO to finish and then I'll consider what oil to buy. avacado sounds like a good option.

...
You're allowed to own more than one type of oil at a time. At least you are in Texas, but we're pretty wild here.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:09 AM
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Now that I joined a CSA I am obliged to eat salad almost daily in order to not be swamped by greenery in my fridge (the obligatory salad is part of the reason I signed up). My normal dressing is simply drizzle with olive oil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle some salt and pepper. Done.

I rely on the salad ingredients for interest, not the dressing.
  #23  
Old 05-18-2020, 06:39 AM
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I rely on the salad ingredients for interest, not the dressing.
I rely on lettuce as a carrier for the dressing. Maybe I don't even need the lettuce.
  #24  
Old 05-18-2020, 06:56 AM
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Lemon juice + olive oil + herbs + salt is a pretty tasty dressing.

Cider vinegar can get expensive, but it's so strong that a little bit goes a long way. We buy schmancy hippie cider vinegar and go through a bottle every year or two.
  #25  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
Along the lines of silenus' suggestion of a basic recipe, here's a chart with a basic recipe with a lot of variations for each category with the proportions.

It's basically

Oil 1 TBSP (EVOO, hazelnut, avocado, etc)
Vinegar 1 tsp (balsamic, sherry, rice wine, red wine, etc.)
Sweetness 1/2 tsp (honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, jam, etc.)
Mustard 1/2 tsp (dijon, honey mustard, grainy, spicy, etc.)
Herbs 2 pinches (rosemary, basil, thyme, dill, etc.)
Seasoning 1 pinch (salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, pepper flakes, etc.)

It's a small enough portion that you can try it once and toss it if you don't like it. It's also vegan.

You can decrease the sugar, leave it out or use a fruit juice concentrate.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks good to me.
looks very good, exactly what I needed to know.

thank you, Roo! I also like the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
You're allowed to own more than one type of oil at a time. At least you are in Texas, but we're pretty wild here.
more than one?

let me think about that - I guess I worry since it's just me eating it it might go rancid before I can consume it.
  #26  
Old 05-18-2020, 10:04 PM
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Buy the smallest bottle they have, keep it away from light and heat and it will last a very long time.
  #27  
Old 05-18-2020, 10:16 PM
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You can also refrigerate olive oil (take it out of the fridge a half-hour or more before you want to use it because it will congeal), but the best way is to buy small amounts fresh and use it before it gets too aged.

Seconding lemon juice as an alternative acid in dressings if you really don't like the taste of vinegar.
  #28  
Old 05-19-2020, 11:37 AM
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My family has salad almost every night with dinner and almost all are dressed simply with balsamic, olive oil, a shake of granulated garlic, some freshly ground pepper, and a dash of salt. Nothing is pre-mixed. Just drizzle/shake on the bowl of greens/veggies and tossed together.

Sometimes we mix it up with different flavored vinegar or oil. Vom Fass is a good source for those, if you happen to have one nearby.
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