Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Salad Dressing

One of the big changes for me is that I am eating a lot of green salad these days. I don't mind that - I like salad. But it can be boring if it is always the same. Plus it can be a source of a lot of carbs if you aren't careful - be sure to read the label if you use a commercial dressing. The vast majority contain sugar.

But why on earth would you use a commercial dressing? You can do better. Much better.

The easiest is the basic vinaigrette. Three parts olive oil to one part acid (lemon juice or vinegar (not balsamic)), mix and season to taste with salt and pepper. There are several permutations just with that, but add some minced fresh herbs for more variety. Add some mustard and/or an egg yolk to make a creamy emulsion (start the emulsion with the oil and add the acid - just like making mayonnaise). Finely minced shallots are great too. Garlic. Parmesan cheese. Red pepper flakes. Seasoned salts. Anchovies.

The best blue cheese dressing in the world is the simplest. Take some Kate's Real Buttermilk, some blue cheese (Roquefort or Stilton) and a fork and go to town. Use a food processor for large batches. Season with some salt and pepper. Make it nice and thick. This is very yummy, I promise.

Or get creamy. Flavor some creme fraiche with something tasty. Like maybe 1:1 with some nice no sugar added salsa. Or a roasted red pepper puree. Make the creme fraiche yourself (just like yogurt, but use heavy cream). Make the red pepper puree yourself (take some red peppers, throw them on the grill until they are black, cool, peel, seed, puree, and season). Herbs would be good here too. Creamy basil red pepper dressing - yum.

Don't forget that bacon bits are low carb. So are sunflower seeds. And pumpkin seeds. And slivered almonds.

Don't let your salads be boring.


My Low Carb Food Philosophy

What matters the most to me when it comes to food is the integrity of the food itself. Minimal quality ingredients prepared with careful attention. This blog will be about describing the ingredients and techniques I find that apply especially well to low carb food.

This blog will not be:
  • A bunch of recipes
  • All about "low carb" prepared foods that purport to replace their normal prepared food counterparts
  • A rehash of all of the benefits of low carb (others have done it so much better than I could)
It will probably be about cooking techniques. It will probably be about dining adventures and choices. It will definitely be about flavor and variety. It may even be about cheating occasionally.

At the moment I am eating grain free, sugar free, and starch free. Everything else goes (though some in moderation). I'm sure that will evolve, but that will be the context of the blog as I write the first posts.