Thursday, January 6, 2011

Warm Shallot Dressing

I love to make my own salad dressings. For one, I get tired of the same old ones I buy at the store, and for two, I tend to like the homemade ones quite a bit more. Some I like to make in a big batch and save in a washed out dressing bottle I keep exactly for this purpose. (To view the recipe for a nice big batch of ridiculously good and ridiculously low fat vegan Caesar dressing, click here) Others I like to whip up at the last minute to eat right away. This recipe falls into the latter category. One batch is perfect for 2 salads. I prefer to use it on spinach, because the dressing is warm and it wilts the spinach just a little bit when you toss it. I like the wilted spinach effect but I don't think it would be the same on mixed greens or romaine or something. The beauty of this dressing is the simplicity. Open a bag of spinach, toss with the dressing and voila, you have a very elegant little salad. Toss on a couple croutons and it's practically restaurant quality. I tend to make this salad a lot when dinner is almost ready and I decide that there aren't enough veggies on the menu. Add this salad to any meal and not only will it seem more elegant, but it will get you a solid dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium.

The instructions are simple:

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a small sauce pan. Add one shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds. Cook until shallots are soft and almost translucent then add 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 Tbsp. cooking sherry and 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar. Keep on the heat until warmed through, then remove and drizzle immediately on spinach. Toss to coat and eat!

We had this just the other night and J raved three or four times about how yummy it was. I have to agree. I know that an entire Tbsp. of olive oil in each serving makes this dressing higher in fat than some others I would choose. While I tend to try to keep the fat content low in most of my meals, I do think it is important to incorporate some healthy fat into every meal...just keep an eye on it. For example, I love to eat avocado on my sandwiches, but if I do that means I can't also have delicious Wildwood Zesty Garlic Aioli, because both are high in fat. Likewise, this dressing is great, but only if the rest of the meal is low in fat. Which is why I love to toss on a few fat free croutons and a few grinds of black pepper and leave out any avocado, nuts, pumpkin seeds or any other delicious yet fattening salad toppings. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving = 1/2 recipe of dressing and 3 cups raw baby spinach. 158 calories, 14.4 g fat (2 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 156 mg sodium, 8.4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4.8 g sugar, 2.8 g protein.

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