– make your own salad dressing

One of the negatives of being surrounded by farms is that you can’t really walk anywhere, not like a regular town, which is where I’d like to move.  House has been for sale for a year, but that’s not what I want to write about.

One of the positives of being surrounded by farms is that fresh, locally-grown vegetables are only a bike ride away.  Another positive is that I get to have summer salads every day.  For me, a summer salad is really a salad I can have most any time of year, except the rest of the year I have to drive to get my vegetables.

My summer salads consist of four parts:  the veggies, the meat, the extras, and the dressing.

  1. The veggies are usually the basics:  tomato, lettuce, pepper, and cucumber.  I prefer campari tomatoes because they smell like veggie candy.  Grape tomatoes are similar and easier to cut up.  Some people don’t cut them up at all, but I prefer that their insides drip out and mingle with the rest of the veggies.  I’m good with iceberg lettuce, although Romaine rules in both nutrition and price.  Lettuce is basically worthless, only in use for the fiber that cleans out the ol’ intestines.  The peppers can be any color, I don’t mind.  Whether red, yellow, or green, I’ll eat any.  Know what causes them to be different colors?  The longer you leave them growing, the more they changed from green, then yellow, then red.  I can’t taste the difference, but that’s because I have very few tastebuds left.  Cucumbers don’t really thrill me, but others in the house like them.  And they’re all up the road at Grasso’s Farm.
  2. As for the meat, I’m good with either grilled chicken, diced up or the contents of one
    basic can o’ tuna.  Either works for me
  3. The extras:  craisins and crushed up blue corn chips.
  4. The dressing is really the reason I’m writing this, and I’ll now break from the numbered format.

Sure, you can buy whatever salad dressing you want at the supermarket.  Go for it:  thousand island, Caesar, Italian, ranch, whatever, but don’t they all get boring after a while?  Sure they do.  That’s why I use whatever I find lying around the fridge to make my own dressing.  It’s learning, nutrition, and fun all wrapped up in one.  Not sure “one” what, but one of something.

I start with mayonnaise for a slightly creamy base.  I don’t like creamy dressings, but I LOVE creamy dressings.  I mean I don’t like the calories, and thousand island, ranch, and those are too high in calories.  If I use mayo, and I use as much mayo as I want, then at least I can control the calories.  Today, or on the day the pictures were taken, I was making my “mayo, pickle, salsa, horseradish” dressing.  It’s quite simple.

Get a small bowl, dump in a tablespoon of mayo, then have fun.  Teaspoon of salsa goes in for color and flavor.  I don’t actually use pickles, just the juice from the jar.  Careful with the horseradish.  Tastes great but could singe nose hair.  Ladies probably don’t have to worry about that, unless you’re an Olympic athlete from an Eastern bloc nation.

All those things are dumped into one small bowl and mixed nicely with a fork.  All amounts are kind of estimates.  Trial and error, try things, taste, add, subtract, dare your daughter to taste it, it’s all good fun and very inexpensive.

Considering that the original formula for Caesar salad dressing was created to be used as a feminine hygiene product, I doubt that anything I’ll come up with could be any worse.

Enjoy!

29 thoughts on “– make your own salad dressing

  1. Do you know about Duke’s Mayonnaise? H.E.B. sells it in Texas now. It’s made in North Carolina. We used to order it for years. It’s the absolute best.

  2. First I had to worry about Cara making me hungry, and now you as well. I love salads, especially with fresh, local veggies. I also like fruit in my salads…mango, strawberries, raspberries. YUM! I usually only use a olive oil and vinegar dressing, but I like to experiment around with different vinegars.

  3. If you make your own mayonnaise, which is basically egg yolks and oil (plus salt and vinegar, along with whatever else you feel like throwing into it), you might find that there are quite a few calories there. I don’t know what they put into bottled mayonnaise – apart from the chemicals to keep it from going off too quickly.

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