Saturday, July 16, 2011

Condiment Conniption

A conniption fit.  A full blown melt down.  A tantrum.  That's what I almost had in the aisle of the supermarket the other day.  Since trying to eat better, I find it takes me a looooong time to grocery shop.  I mean, shopping with a two-year-old alone makes it an adventure.  But when you add to that adventure trying to read the small print on nutrition labels for hidden sugars and additives?  And comparing price tags of course.  Yikes.

So there I was in the condiment aisle, hoping to make it home in time to cook dinner before my whole family had conniption fits, and all I wanted, was a salad dressing that didn't have loads of sugar.  Or worse, corn syrup.  Condiments are one of the areas where added sugars are still sneaking their way into my diet.  I eat a lot of salad, which means a lot of salad dressing.  And yet among those many, many shelves of bottles I couldn't find one that looked to be both low in sugar and edible.  Then, I had a realization.  A realization that many people would have had a lot earlier, but still, at least it came to me.

I could MAKE salad dressing.

People have done it in the past.  Before the invention of plastic bottles, and before the invention of corn syrup.  People used to make salad dressing.  They would churn their fresh milk into ranch.  Or something.  I think Martha Stewart still does it.  Why not me?

And so, I invested in cute little glass bottles from Michael's for $1.47 each.  And even better, saved a few glass mason jars for $0.00.  And now, I have a delicious supply of salad dressing I feel good about eating.  My sweet husband even thinks I'm should sell it.  That sounds like a lot of work, and I only have a few more weeks of summer left, so I'm just going to post my recipes for ya'll.

Here's the first one:  Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

-1/2 c. chopped strawberries
-1/4 c. white wine vinegar
-3/4 c. walnut oil (you can substitute another oil of course, but I like the walnut oil best for this recipe)
-1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
-1 Tb. poppy seeds
-pinch salt
-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum  (this will thicken the dressing, so careful not to overdo it or you'll get sludg!)
-Stevia to taste (I used 1 1/2 packets)

-Place strawberries in a blender and put just enough water in blender to cover them.  Blend on high until liquid.  Pour into a bowl.  Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and whisk them together.  Store in an air-tight container.

I served this dressing over a spinach and arugula salad with pear, strawberries, feta, and pecans.  The peppery arugula was delicious paired with the sweet summery fruit on top.  Yum!


  1. I know what you mean! I have been getting rid of all things corn syrup and tossed all salad dressing from my cabinet. I am making this dressing tomorrow!!! Where do you buy stevia? I've never heard of it before.

  2. Hey TeacherMama - you can buy stevia in many locations. Technically, liquid stevia is an herbal supplement, so you can find it in the herb and nutrition section of health food stores. My local grocery store does have stevia packets in the baking aisle near the sugar substitutes. Good luck!

  3. This salad looks delicious. Today I posted a strawberry desert as well!