Creamy dressings without the cream cut the calories

THE WASHINGTON POSTJuly 16, 2014 

VEGGIES141

From left, Cilantro Goddess Dressing, Cherry Tomato and Basil Dressing, Cashew Mint Dressing.

THE WASHINGTON POST

These dressings are waistline-friendly and showcase the flavors of the primary ingredients.

None of the three dressings use dairy. I'm not vegan, but the absence of cream, butter and eggs gives these condiments a flavor that's as pure and clear as the summer sun.

CILANTRO GODDESS DRESSING

16 servings (makes about 2 cups)

Here's a vegan take on green goddess, without the mayonnaise, that helps put a fistful of herbs to good use. These proportions also can be used with other herbs (parsley, mint, basil or a combination instead of cilantro), citrus, vinegars and oils.

Use on height-of-summer tomatoes or salad greens, or as a dip for crudites.

The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

12 ounces silken tofu, drained

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup peanut oil (may substitute vegetable or canola oil)

1 tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

Combine the silken tofu, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, oil, ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl as needed. Taste, and add salt if needed.

Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition per serving: 45 calories, 1 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar

CHERRY TOMATO AND BASIL DRESSING

12 servings (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

Tart tomatoes give this vegan dressing its tang, with no vinegar needed, and lend a Thousand Island-esque color.

Use it on salad greens or roasted potatoes or as a dip for crudites.

You'll need a blender to make this; using a food processor might result in a dressing that's chunky or not quite emulsified.

The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed, each cut in half

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts (may substitute walnuts)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

Combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, pine nuts, mustard and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a blender; puree until creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar as needed.

Taste, and add salt if needed.

Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition per serving: 100 calories, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 55 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar

CASHEW MINT DRESSING

8 servings (makes about 1 cup)

Use this dairy-free dressing, a beautiful shade of pale green, on salad greens or summer vegetables.

You'll need a blender to make this; using a food processor might result in a dressing that's chunky or not quite emulsified.

The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

Combine the cashews, mint, vinegar, water, honey and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a blender; puree until creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar as needed.

Taste, and add salt if needed.

Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; use right away, or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition per serving: 50 calories, 2 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar

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