Sunday, February 1, 2009

Obsessing over Dressing

Within the past few months, I have added a new foodie obsession to my list: salad dressings, specifically Annie's salad dressings. Not only do these sauces add a little flavah to my greens (although I enjoy plain raw veggies too!), but many also provide a healthy source of fat. While nuts and nut butters are always welcome components in any meal, sometimes it's nice to switch it up with a tasty tahini- or oil-based dressing. Alternatively, the lite options are lower in fat and are equally delicious and versatile in the kitchen.

Although I have reviewed Annie's dressings before, here are a few my recent faves:

Annie's Lite Gingerly Dressing
On a recent trip to Whole Foods, my mother had instructed me to select a dressing for the salad that night, and emphasized "nothing too fatty this time!" Apparently, she did not appreciate my choice of Annie's Goddess dressing last time...Undeterred by her warning, I skipped on over to the Annie's section and was immediately drawn to Annie's Lite Gingerly dressing. Considering my love of anything gingery (ahem, cashew ginger tofu, Ginger Zing granola...), it shouldn't surprise you that this dressing strikes my fancy. Plus, it was "lite," meaning I could avoid making my mother grumpy.
Each two tablespoon serving contains just 40 kcalories and 3 grams of fat. Beware that this tiny amount does pack quite a sodium punch, with 290 mg (12% RDA), but most all salad dressings are similarly salty.

I suggest drizzling this dressing over a side salad, to accompany an Asian dish...such as Cashew Ginger Tofu, perhaps?

Also note that this salad dressing lends itself well to either sweet or salty; it combines beautifully with a traditional veggie-ful salad as well as with a salad topped with dried fruit (as shown).
Annie's Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette
This was another dressing chosen to appease my mother's anti-fat tendencies, but I ended up falling in love with it from first bite. Never one to say no to anything sweet, I love how this dressing provides a perfect balance of berry tartness and sugariness.
Each two tablespoon serving contains 40 kcalories and 3 grams of fat. This dressing is a lower sodium variety with just 60 mg (3% RDA). There are also 4 grams of sugar to account for that oh-so-delightful sweetness.
Recommendations for using this dressing include drizzled over dark greens, with nuts and dried fruit. Although it may seem strange, it also makes a fantastic accompaniment to wheat germ on top of a salad--the perfect combination of crunch and flavor.
Additionally, if you are a fan of pomegranate seeds on your salads, this raspberry vinaigrette will add just the right fruitiness to your dish.

Annie's Shiitake and Sesame Dressing
Surprisingly enough, the on-campus grocery store stocks a small selection of Annie's dressings. In addition to the classic Goddess and Balsamic Vinaigrette, I noticed this little gem sitting on the shelf. With food points to burn and an insatiable appetite for a new foodie find, I tossed this into my basket. With my love of Asian cuisine, this dressing was sure to be a perfect accompaniment to countless meals. As predicted, Shiitake & Sesame adds a distinct flavor to my abundant salads. While it is delicious, it is also quite salty, so be careful not to drown your greens in it.
Each two tablespoon serving contains 120 kcalories, 13 grams of fat, and 250 mg of sodium (11% RDA) . The fat in this dressing comes from heart-healthy expeller pressed canola and sesame oils, so rest assured that the hefty dose of fat won't clog your arteries.

I haven't had much time to experiment with this dressing yet, as it is a relatively new addition to my ever-growing salad dressing arsenal. However, I especially enjoyed it drizzled over steamed edamame last week.
None of these dressings are limited to use on those leafy greens. Here are a few alternatives:
-Dip for raw veggies such as baby carrots and bell peppers.
-Binder for tofu/tempeh/veggie salads. Simply combine with desired ingredients and stuff into a pita or place atop a bed of greens.
-Flavor enhancer for pasta salads. Try it on the Corn-Edamame Salad from V-Con.

I'll continue to experiment with my beloved salad dressings and continue to add to my list of favorites. What are your favorite salad dressings? Do you have a favorite within the Annie's Naturals products? How do you dress up your greens? I'd love to know!

Enjoy your evening!


VeggieGirl said...

Wonderful dressing recommendations!! I've always been a fan of raspberry vinaigrette, and just oil & vinegar :-)

Jen said...

I have a large collection of Annie's dressings in my fridge, among other products of that brand... SO wonderful, there is not one I do not love! :)

shelby said...

I really love the Raspberry Vinaigrette from Annie's. I noticed they changed the formula though to make it "lite" which is weird because it used to be 1.5 g of fat instead of the "lite-er" 3. Strange but delicious all the same.

Annie Shin said...

mmm i love annie's dressings! my recent favorite dressing is tomato vinaigrette but i will always like the classics like balsamic vinaigrette and ranch. hehe

ksgoodeats said...

My favorite dressing is Newman's Own Toasted Sesame - it brings the yums, girl!

Erica said...

I needed this post! I have been looking at those dressings wondering which one to buy! I usually just use olive oil and vinegar! Thanks chica ;)

carolinebee said...

there is a bernstein's dressing called Cheese Fantastico :D It's pretty light and very cheesy and good if you're interested!! I LOVE Annie's Raspperry Vin too...i made a salad for thanksgiving and xmas with spinach, romaine, pears and candied walnuts w/Annie's- so good!

orangepop said...

YES- I love Annie, she's great! She has a new Pomegranate Vinaigrette... hmm?! One of my favorites from her is the Sesame Ginger with Chamomile. Since you love ginger AND Annie so much, I think you'd quite like it! It can be a great marinade, too! Enjoy!

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: Yep, I've always thought good ol' oil and vinegar is pretty perfect too.
Jen: Annie's is great--LOVE her products.
Shelby:Hm I had no idea that they had changed their formula. Regardless, it's tasty now!
Annie Shin: I've never seen the tomato vinaigrette--is it by Annie's as well?
K: Sounds pretty delish--I'll keep my eye out for it.
Erica: Glad you found it useful!
CarolineBee: Yum a cheesy dressing sounds fab...I made a salad on Thanksgiving with pecans, pom seeds, and Annie's Raspberry Vin.
OrangePop: I remember seeing that pomegranate dressing in the store and totally coveting it. Thanks for all the recs!