2/25/10

Homemade Ceasar dressing and tofu-egg salad

According to scientists, traditionally there are four taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. However, in the Eastern hemisphere, piquance (the sensation provided by, among other things, chili peppers) and savoriness (also known as umami) are also identified as "basic" tastes.

I am going to create another sensation: CREAMY

I am not sure what proteins are in creamy food and what receptors in our body can detect this "taste" but it's really hard to resist cream-based foods.

Ice cream, yogurt, cream cheese, soup, sauce, whipped cream, pie, pudding, risotto, mousse, smoothie, milkshake and pudding. Are you drooling yet?
What's your favorite creamy food?

In addition to my above list (which I'm sure there are more), two foods come to mind when I think creamy:
Salad dressing
and
Egg salad

The other day Karel asked if I could find him a "healthy" Caesar dressing. He loves Caesar salad's when we go out to eat (99% of the time, we eat out only when we travel) and was craving a different dressing than our normal "salsa" dressing.

Here's the nutrition facts of Newman's Own Creamy Dressing:
Serv. Size 2 Tbsp (30g)
Calories 170
Fat Cal. 160

Total Fat 18g (28% DV)
Sat. Fat 3g (15% DV)
Trans Fat 0g
Cholest. 20mg (7% DV)
Sodium 340mg (14% DV)
Total Carb. 1g (0% DV)
Dietary Fiber 0g (0% DV)
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g

Ingredients: Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil), Water, Distilled Vinegar, Egg Yolks, Salt, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Anchovies, Tamarind, Natural Flavor), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Olive Oil, Mustard Flour, Garlic Powder, Spices, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum


After looking at the nutrition facts, there was no way that I would bring a bottle of fat into my home. When we go out to eat a few times every few months, no problemo. But this dressing is not part of our every day diet.
However, because I do not like to see food as GOOD or BAD food, I wanted to see if I could create a healthier alternative to settle is creamy Caesar craving.
When I got home, I went right to my fridge and was excited to make a new healthy creation.

Homemade Caesar Dressing:

2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp egg yoke (I used a piece of yoke from my egg salad)
1 tbsp greek yogurt
1 tbsp light sour cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 large clove garlic (crushed)
Dash of pepper
Water

1. Mix all ingredients, except water, with a fork in a bowl.
2. Slowly add 1 tsp of water until dressing is "creamy" and drips off your forks

(Karel LOVED it and was so impressed. He thought it was the coolest thing that I could make it taste so yummy).


Next comes Egg Salad. I am a big fan of my tofu-egg salad. However, not so much a fan of the egg salad at Whole-foods (this was the only "prepared" egg salad I could find on-line):
Whole-Foods egg salad:
Calories 220
Calories from fat 180
Total Fat 19g
Saturated Fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 325mg
Sodium 350mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g

Although eggs appear to get a bad reputation due to the cholesterol, there are a lot of great research studies on the benefits of a whole egg a day. There are very few studies on the health benefits of egg whites, aside from the protein. However, the yoke is filled with healthy nutrients such as selenium, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. Even as a vegetarian, who is a vegetarian for animal-reasons, I don't mind egg yokes...however, I do admit that I have trouble just sitting down and eating a hard-boiled egg yoke. Therefore, when I eat eggs, I usually cook them.
Because the protein is in the white, egg whites are a big part of my daily diet. However, because I eat a few (usually 2-3) eggs a day (primarily w/ lunch or dinner) I let a little yoke (about 1/2) drip in my egg whites when I am making a meal for myself. If I am making a meal for Karel and me, I usually use the whole egg. Although egg whites are really filling, especially as an omelet or Frittata, I use the egg yoke to contribute to my daily fat intake.
Here's the nutrition facts of a large egg:
Calories: 71
Fat: 5g
Saturated fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 211mg (70% of daily diet)
Sodium: 70mg
Protein: 6g

Here's my favorite tofu-egg salad recipe....it's a bit spicy :)

Tofu-egg salad
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/3 block crumbled tofu (firm)
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
Pepper, cayenne pepper
1 tsp horseradish
1/8 cup salsa
1/8 cup canned chili tomatoes or 2 fresh roma tomatoes
1/8 cup chopped jalapenos
2 tbsp Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)
6 hardboiled eggs (4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs -sliced/chopped)
1 ounce brick Swiss cheese (shredded)
3 large celery sticks (chopped)

1. Mix all ingredients together.
*It's so much better after you refrigerate it for 12-24 hours.





Here was the dinner the other night:
*For asparagus: I steamed asparagus in a little water on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. I turned off burner, drained water from pot, added 1 clove garlic (chopped) and 1 tsp smart balance butter to pot. Mixed together and covered.


(Karel's plate: hummus on french bread)


(My plate: 1/2 flat bread (from local HALA store))

Here's the egg-tofu salad to go along with the dressing: