Southeast Asian Dressing — Recipe of the Week
Hey, what’s cookin’?
We all know salads are a great way to fill our stomachs and fuel our bodies with lots of vitamins and minerals. But (wo)man does not live by salad alone–(s)he needs a good salad dressing to top it off and set the stage for a super-satisfying bowl of greens! But what to top it with? Truly, I’d advise you to stay away from most commercially bottled dressing; they are loaded with too many preservatives and unknown components to make them a good choice. An exception is if you can find an organic, all-natural bottled dressing–just read the label carefully; if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or don’t have a pretty good idea what it is without Googling it, you’re better off not bringing it home.
Speaking of home: homemade dressings, if carefully and thoughtfully crafted, are probably your best alternative. You know every ingredient, can vouch for its freshness, and best of all, can tailor the finished product to your exacting palate.
Today’s Southeast Asian inspired dressing gets its creamy appearance from sunflower seeds! It’s a flavorful dressing that is reminiscent of a Thai-style peanut dressing.
Southeast Asian Dressing:
- ¼ cup sunflower seed butter (or almond butter, cashew butter, or tahini)
- 2 tablespoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (raw cider vinegar has a more complex flavor)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari, Bragg’s aminos, or coconut aminos
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch square of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or microplaned
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup water (or more, for a pourable consistency)
- 1-2 teaspoons honey, coconut sugar, or agave nectar; or stevia (optional)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid, or a small container that will fit a stick blender, or a high-speed blender. Shake/blend until completely smooth. Taste; if you feel the dressing is too sour, add some sweetener, blend, and taste again.
- Need some ideas for your salad? Okay! Chop/slice up some m.e.l.t.-approved salad ingredients, including green pepper, baby kale, romaine, cucumbers, and celery and put them in a large bowl. Fresh herbs always provide a great kick to a salad, so be sure to add a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or mint to your mix of greens. Finish it with some chopped red onion or scallions.
- Pour the dressing on your salad, and toss lightly. If you’re in the mood for some extra crunch, sprinkle a teaspoon of raw chopped nuts (cashews would be awesome!) or sunflower seeds on top.
- Store any leftover dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Note: Go ahead and add some protein to this salad if you want it to be your main dish and not just a side green. Chopped hard-boiled eggs will be especially tasty!