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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Healthy Green Goddess Dressing

My uncle Lee owns a 30-some-odd acre farm in Haiku, Maui. He is what I like to call an all-around guru. He knows something about everything. Everything. He can stretch out your spine and tell you how your nerves in your feet are connected to other parts of your body (my friend Pete can attest to this). He can prepare a Hawaiian fish like you have never seen or tasted before (which is how he introduced me to Herbamare). Years and years ago, I came across his huge 5-gallon glass containers with a 3-inch thick mushroom molded to the shape of the glass for making homemade kombucha tea (this was waaaaay before kombucha tea became trendy and companies started selling commercial versions with pretty labels and fruity flavorings). He can whip up an all-natural elixir to cure any ailment you might have. He can build a house. With a pool. He even built a traditional Hawaiian hale (pronounced ha-lay), which are gorgeous, traditional structures from old Hawaii and you can rent them if you find yourself on the beautiful island of Maui. The hales are built by hand using all natural materials from the land-no nails, no screws. Amazing, right?! I know.
My uncle Lee also serves these amazing salads in giant gorgeous wooden bowls. And, somehow, I am always lured away from other meal items to take seconds (or thirds) from the never-ending-giant-bowl-of-salad. I don't know why I am perpetually surprised by his salads. I mean, the man also grows his own mangosteen and hearts of palm. And sweet white pineapples. And apple bananas that look like this, which, in my opinion, if you have never tried an apple banana, is worth the entire trip out to the islands. You gotta love the man. He is...amazing and wholesome. Going to his house, even if it is just for dinner, is like a little retreat to a healthy land of feeling good and full of energy and life.

I wish I had a more exciting post to go with this story of my uncle. But it is about salads. Well, about a salad dressing that kind of reminds me of his magical salads.

I wonder, since when did the "garden salad" get such a bad rap?! I like lettuce. I love cucumbers and tomatoes. I dunno. Is it because it seems a little boring?! Maybe. I love salads (especially chunky, chopped ones) that have all sorts of neat ingredients. But if you are gonna go the simple garden salad route, I think you need a snazzy dressing to get things going.

So I gave some thought to some of my favorite salad dressings and, while I love a good balsamic vinaigrette, I have always been a fan of Annie's Green Goddess dressing. So, I thought I would try my hand at making Green Goddess Dressing using the good natural fats of olive oil and tofu rather than the more traditional sour cream and mayonnaise. It turned out great and I am so glad I can make it at home now!


* 1 shallot, minced finely
* 1 clove garlic, minced finely
* 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
* 3 tsp. lemon juice
* 3 Tbsp. olive oil
* 6 ounces of silken tofu
* 1/4 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
* 1 scallion, chopped
* 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1/4 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
* 1/4 tsp. freshly ground cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. I like to put it into a squeeze bottle so I can drizzle it on salads...

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