I got some fantastically beautiful heads of lettuce at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend. The heat has given farmers an abundance of lettuce and there were plenty of vendors offering great buys on what some were calling “heat wave lettuce”!
I often have dinner with a friend who usually offers salad as part of the meal. She makes a dairy free dressing for me that is similar to ranch and her base is mayonnaise. I wanted to mimic this dressing to use for my lunch salads, but my goal was to find a more whole foods way to do it. I found this creamy alternative and while it did not turn out quite like I had hoped, it was a delicious flavor. The texture was more like a blue cheese than the smooth “buttermilk” ranch I thought it would be. I blame that on my blending option. I used a large blender for a small amount. When I try this recipe again, I will use my magic bullet instead. This makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.
On Sunday I made a last minute plan to have a couple of friends over for “happy hour” so I used this dressing with a salad made of butter lettuce, red onions, thinly sliced Bartlett pears, dried currents and candied pecans. It turned out beautifully and received a thumbs up from my guests. I used the remainder of the dressing for my lunch salad yesterday, but I chose a more hearty salad that can withstand a little travel bouncing. I used butter lettuce, red onions, shredded carrots and zucchini, toasted almonds and some chili cilantro spiced chicken thigh pieces, cut bite sized. It was a delicious salad! I will definitely try this recipe again, adjusting my blending tool for the amount this makes. Give it a try! It’s a great alternative that provides a great whole foods protein punch!
This is where I got the original version:
Here’s my version:
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup cashews
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I’m trying pickle juice next time!)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp agave
2 Tbsp water