Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tahini Goddess Dressing

I try to eat a salad every day, usually for dinner.  If I go for a day or two without eating raw vegetables, I start to crave them.  I make all kinds of salads, some of which I’ve shared with you on this blog.  There was the sprouted wild rice salad and the raw zucchini salad.  I’ve also posted a recipe for raw broccoli salad and Mexican quinoa salad stuffed squash.  
I usually start with a base of different kinds of greens, like lettuces, spinach and cabbage.  I top that with some grated carrots and beets, and then I add chopped tomatoes and whatever else is in season.  
I top the salad with some protein, like baked tofu or fake bacon or a chopped up veggie burger.  Sometimes I add corn and avocado to the salad and top it with a black bean tamale and salsa.  This is one of Mr. RK’s favorite salads.
I have to admit that what really makes a salad delicious for me is the dressing.  Some times I’m happy to just squeeze a lime over the whole thing but more often I prefer a creamy style dressing.  One of my favorites is this one.

It’s wonderful, but it’s expensive (usually around $4) and there are 13 grams of fat in 2 tablespoons, so now I make my own.  There are other bloggers who have tried to tried to copy this dressing with some success (one blogger tried 7 times) but I wasn’t so concerned with making it taste exactly like this one as much as I wanted to make it lower in fat and make it raw.                                        

I  started by replacing the oil with water.  Then I added some fresh lemon juice.   Don’t use the bottled stuff, it’s just not the same.  Many of the bottled lemon juices contain preservatives.  There are organic ones but they’re pasteurized to make them shelf stable.  Heating the lemon juice kills the vitamin C and enzymes.  
 I also used Bragg’s organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.  This is a wonderful, high quality product that I use whenever a recipe calls for vinegar.  It an excellent morning tonic as well.  You just put a teaspoon of this vinegar in a glass of water and drink it.  It helps to keep your acid /alkaline balance.
The other ingredient that I used was Ohsawa’s organic unpasteurized soy sauce.  It’s the only soy sauce that I know of that is not pasteurized, and made in the traditional way.  Cooks Illustrated conducted a soy sauce taste test and this was one of the winners.  The Ohsawa soy sauce does contain wheat. 

Using fresh herbs, onion and garlic rather than their dried versions makes a big difference in the taste as well.
I also used a raw tahini (sesame seed butter).  If you use a toasted tahini it will change the flavor.  It won’t be bad, just different.  It also won’t have the enzymes that untoasted sesame seeds have.

All you need to do is put all of these fresh, live ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.  You could use a food processor but then you’d have to clean’s just easier to wash a whisk and a bowl.

I did end up adding one tablespoon of raw sesame oil.  It added a mouth feel that water and tahini alone couldn’t achieve.  It’s still good without the oil but better with it, and still has a lot less fat than the bottled version.  I listed it as optional in the recipe.

Eat more’s really the best way to eat your vegetables.  Ranch dressing is the next challenge.
Tahini Goddess Dressing
Make about 1 cup - Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons raw tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unpasteurized soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely minced onion (bottom part of a green onion)
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon raw sesame oil (optional)
Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended.  Pour into a bottle with a top.
This will keep in your refrigerator for at least a week.

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