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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Store-bought vs. homemade: Thousand Island Dressing

Don't get me wrong!  I am all about store-bought for some things...pie crusts, peanut butter, roasted red peppers.  But I simply do not understand what has happened to the manufactured version of many things to make them taste the way they do...teriyaki sauce (more on which later), mayonnaise, salad dressings.  When you make these things at home, they taste NOTHING like their store-bought counterparts.  Not always better (SEE peanut butter), but totally dissimilar and in many cases in my oh-pinion, the homemade version is in fact superior in taste.  And cheaper.  And healthier.  And cheaper. 

So Thousand Island Dressing.  I made some as an enticing dip for crudité.  It takes nothing like store-bought, which is a giant plus as far as I'm concerned.  My better half who likes store-bought TID also liked this, so don't give up on it if you do happen to enjoy the Miracle of Modern Chemistry that is shelf-stable salad dressing.  I like the tofu base here as a way to sneak in extra protein and reduce fat content.  This recipe uses the type of tofu that comes in a box, like this:

I know it seems asinine to use just a couple tablespoons of minced vegetables.  Here's what I did...I'm planning to make cheesesteaks later in the week, so I went ahead and sliced some onions and green peppers for that, stole a slice or two of each for this recipe, and put the rest in a container to saute later.  I get double-mileage out of my prepwork!

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
Makes 1 1/2 cups

Finely chopped veg

3 tbsp minced fresh onion
3 tbsp minced bell pepper
3 tbsp minced green olives
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
1 10 oz. aseptic package firm tofu
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp BBQ seasoning (I'm using Penzey's)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice

Put onion, green peppers, olives and egg in a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.  You don't want big chunks of anything left.

Add the tofu, and pulse until tofu is smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.
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