Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Upsides to the Down Economy/ Ah So! Ginger Salad Dressing

Happy New Year! Wow- you blink and 10 days have gone by already. I just got back from Daytona, where my Combo Seniors Tennis Team played in a Championship for the State title. It was a great experience, but being away means eating out a lot and often times, eating heavy, fatty food (we ate a Cracker Barrel twice). So, back at home, I am looking to lighten it up. I usually have a salad with every dinner and studies have shown that eating soup (broth-based) or salad before meals causes you to eat less calories during the meal. I made a Thai Turkey Noodle soup last night that Emma wanted to try, with a salad. Since I like my dressing to match my meal, I turned to one of my favorites- Benihana's Ginger Salad Dressing. I know you can buy Ginger dressing at the grocery store, but believe me, this is far superior to anything you will buy, plus it is not loaded with chemicals and preservatives. This is the dressing they serve with your salad at Benihana's which is orange, thick and delicious. It calls for veggies, rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice and tomato paste, which I always have in my freezer. You usually only need a couple tablespoons of the paste for most recipes, so I just scoop the rest into a plastic storage container and freeze it for the future. While the traditional Japanese steak house restaurant uses Iceberg lettuce, I use Romaine and top it with grated carrots, thinly slice cucumbers, and tomato wedges. This dressing is only 17 calories per Tablespoon and perfect for my vegetarian friends! One note, this is so delicious, you might want to double the recipe.

Benihana's Ginger Dressing

1/4 c. chopped onion

1/2 c. peanut oil

2 T rice wine vinegar

2 T water

1 T minced fresh ginger

1 T chopped celery

1 T soy sauce

1 1/2 t tomato paste

1 1/2 t sugar

1 t lemon juice

dash each of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until almost smooth. Makes about 1 cup.

Per Tablespoon: 17 calories (56 % from fat), 1 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, 0 cholesterol, 86 mg sodium.

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