Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ginger Orange Salad Dressing and have you heard...

About the ingredient that Starbucks uses to color their strawberry Frappucinos ? I just learned this week that Starbucks uses something called cochineal extract to give their strawberry Frappucinos that nice pink color. Cochineal extract is gotten from crushed South American bugs called cochineal. It's not dangerous or anything and according to the news clip it does no harm. Yet, all I can say is ewwww. I am totally grossed out just thinking about it and am so very glad that I have never been tempted to order this item before. Now I have no fear of being tempted by their frappucinos ever again:-) If you want to check out the entire news clip click here.

Moving on here is something that I have begun to make quite frequently,  especially since I find very good oranges in the produce section these days. This salad dressing is very light, fruity and simple to make. I have used it in a variety of salads and enjoy it in every one of them. This salad dressing is ideal for days when I want something light that adds an interesting flavor to my salad as opposed to something creamy like say ranch dressing. The combination of ginger and slight sweetness and tartness all complement each other very well. My favorite salad with this dressing is a combination of grated carrots, finely cut bell peppers in two to three colors, strawberries and cherry tomatoes. Lots of color, crunch and delicious flavor too :)

 Ginger Orange Salad Dressing

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Ginger Orange Salad dressing
2 oranges peeled and de-seeded (I used cara cara seedless oranges) (see notes)
1 tsp chopped ginger (or to taste)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey ( I used organic raw honey)
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (optional, see notes)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional, see notes)(or to taste)
1 Tbsp oil ( I used olive oil)

Blend the ginger and orange in a blender until smooth. Strain and extract juice from the blended puree. I got about 3/4 cup of juice. If you do not want to discard the pulp, you can use it in cookies or something like that. I made cookies with it (will post the recipe next week)  Mix all the other ingredients to the extracted juice and mix well.
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Use in any kind of salad. I usually use this dressing for a salad made with grated carrots, finely cut bell peppers in two or three colors, strawberries and cherry tomatoes

You can use store bought juice for this too, just substitute with equal quantity of store bought juice.If you use store bought juice with added sugar, you can omit the sugar and honey in this recipe.Also if you use store bought juice, then just puree the ginger with a little water and extract the juice from that and add to juice, then proceed with rest of the recipe

The salt and chili powder are optional, I omitted it once and it tasted good that way too, just a little on the sweeter side. With the salt and chili powder you get a hint of heat in the salad that we enjoyed :)
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