Sunday, May 28, 2006


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 Spinach Salad with No-Oil Poppyseed Dressing, featuring radish "ruffles" made in my new Joyce Chen Saladacco Spiral Slicer, a birthday present. (See notes and alternatives below.)

Tonight we had a spinach salad with my husband's favorite dressing, Poppy Seed. I'm going to share this easy, low-fat recipe with you-- it's very similar to the Poppy Seed Dressing that you can buy in bottles, or be served in restaurants, but those versions consist first and foremost of oil and either sugar in excess, or non-vegan honey.

This version is quick and easy and very low in fat; sweet, but not cloying. It’s great on fruit salads, spinach salads, etc... We had it alongside Pommes Frites (French for French fries, but in this case they were oven-fries and also low-fat) and a new dish I tried for the next issue of the Vegan Feast newsletter [update: newsletter is now defunct], Vegan "Steak" au Poivre, made with homemade seitan "beefsteaks".

Steak au Poivre is a classic French dish, usually very heavy on the butter, which was not the case here. The black pepper "crust" is addictive! It is scrumptious, and fast and easy to make, once the juicy seitan "steaks" are made (they freeze well). (UPDATE: The recipe for the "steaks" and the au Poivre is in my new book, World Vegan Feast.)

PS: ABOUT SPIRAL SLICERS: The Joyce Chen Saladacco Spiral Vegetable Slicer mentioned above gets mixed reviews online. It got consistently poor reviews on amazon, but pretty positive ones on I didn't buy mine, it was a gift, and I'm kind of glad I didn't pay the Cnd $30 for it. I like it, but it isn't very heavy-duty. I will just use it for decorative slicing, I think. But, here is a whole page (6 pages printed!) about using the Saladacco properly-- seems a bit much for something that is supposed to be simple. This is a Japanese one, the "Super Spiral Slicer", that is supposed to be a little better, and this one is very similar, but quite a bit cheaper (there are many similar models on the market).

Options?  This is a more expensive one, but it's bound be better than the Saladacco, because a.) it weighs quite a bit more, b.) because of the way you clamp the vegetables on it looks more stable, and c.) that you can just keep spiralling into a bowl and you don't have to empty the device out every few minutes. Oh, and it does thin strands, too.

Printable Copy

Makes about 2 cups

In a blender, mix until smooth:

8 ounces medium-firm tofu OR (2/3 of a box) firm or extra-firm SILKEN tofu, crumbled
(For soy-free, omit tofu and instead use 1 cup rinsed and drained cooked or canned white kidney beans or Great Northern beans)
6 tablespoons maple syrup (you may substitute agave nectar for the maple syrup,  but you may need a bit less)
OR half of a 6 ounce can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
6 tablespoons non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons cider vinegar (or other preferred vinegar-- but *not* red wine or balsamic vinegar; use white wine vinegar, and berry or fruit vinegars are good!)
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons wholegrain Dijon mustard
1 scant teaspoon salt

Store in a jar in the refrigerator. This recipe is easily multiplied.

1.) Use the white part of 2 or 3 green onions, or a shallot, instead of the onion.

2.) Use lemon juice instead of vinegar (you could also add a teaspoon of organic lemon zest, if you wish).

4.) Use 3 tablespoons maple syrup and 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate for the sweetener, and add a teaspoon of organic orange zest, if you wish.

Nutrition Facts (using reduced-fat silken tofu, reduced-fat soymilk, apple juice concentrate, and only 1 tablespoon of poppyseed)
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 45.2 calories; 18% calories from fat; 1.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 268.3mg sodium; 110.7mg potassium; 7.1g carbohydrates; 0.3g fiber; 0.6g sugar; 2.5g protein.



Susan Voisin said...

I can't wait to try the poppyseed dressing and to see the e-book! And the seitan steaks look delicious and may just drive me to making seitan again!

Anonymous said...

Dressing looks good! I have something similar to that joyce chen spiral slicer, it's called the "saladacco." Makes nice raw angel hair "pasta," using vegetables.

I love the flowery look of the radishes with the red rims! Looks gorgeous with multi-colored beets too.

A seitan e-book would be fabulous!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Nice to hear from you, Susan! I've been checking your blog daily, but not posting-- it's been a pretty insane time for me, family-wise! You have GOT to do a book!

Linda, I think Joyce Chen must have bought our the Saladacco brand, because she calls it that, too, and I saw the exact same thing at a thrift store, but it did not have the Joyce Chen brand on it.

Susan Voisin said...

Hey thanks, Bryanna! I'm sorry your life has been so chaotic lately. I've been thinking of you!

About the spiral slicer, I have a Spirolli which looks a lot like the $26 one you mention--except I got it at one of those discount close-out stores for about $5. I had been looking for one for ages, but hadn't been willing to pay the internet prices plus shipping. Then I saw it in our local Big Lots store, and grabbed it. I need to use it to do fancier things, like your radishes. So far, I've just made "pasta" out of zucchini.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Susan, I found that cutter:

It's only $20 and gets 5 star reviews! I'll add it to my comments...thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have the spirooli too :) Works great with turnips, rutabagas for the raw "pasta" as well! Toss it with Bryanna's raw tomato sauce and BAM! Lol! Yummy!

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks great and I really need to find some more salad dressing recipes. Any suggestions on how to modify it so it doesn't contain soy?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Are you allergic to soy, patagium?

Susan Voisin said...

Bryanna, thanks so much for the dressing recipe. I used it on coleslaw and it was terrific!

Anonymous said...

Soy doesn't agree with me. When I eat it I get abdominal pain so I avoid it.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

patagium, you could try using 1/4 cup raw cashews and 1/4 cup rice or almond milk in place of the tofu--'course it will be higher in fat.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try. I've been trying to think of ways to get a creamy texture without dairy or too much fat or soy. In a recipe last week I used arborio rice cooked with water to replace the cream cheese and ricotta cheese in a baked stuffed papaya recipe. The consistency and flavor were right but it didn't have the creamy mouth-feel that I wanted. I'll keep trying different things.

Karen said...

Hi Bryanna! Do you think that I could use honey instead of the maple syrup, we don't find it easily here in Brazil. Another question, by non-dairy milk do you mean soy milk? Can I use it? How long will the dressing keep? So many questions and that's just my first visit... Thank you!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Any syrup will do...honey is not really vegan, but that's up to you. A cane syrup would work, too.
You can use soymilk, nut milk, or rice milk-- doesn't matter. The dressing will keep about 2 weeks if well refrigerated. Ask away!

Karen said...

Thank you, Bryanna! I'm not really vegan, but I'm trying to change my diet and eat healthier products. Soymilk is the only non-dairy milk avaible here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna,

I made this dressing last night (with less maple syrup)and served it over salad with asian greens, strawberries, fresh tomatoes and it was wonderful. We also had fresh steamed asparagus on the side and drizzled some of this dressing on and it was fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Just dropped back to say thanks for the recipe I tried this last week with some salad for myself and my wife and it was beautiful. I am not a vegan but she is and we shall be checking your blog out more often.

Many thanks,

Carry said...

This was a lovely dressing for broccoli slaw. Thank you!

Blannie1 said...

I made this tonight and it is THE BOMB! I used a can of butter beans as my base. I buy Costco's kale salad, which I LOVE. It comes with poppy seed dressing and since I'm doing McDougall, I needed a fat-free version. Thank you, I'm doing a happy dance tonight after making your recipe!!