Friday, August 7, 2009

A healthier greener goddess...

The Baltimore Urbanite this month ran an entire article on salad bars and specifically "Green Goddess" Salad dressing. Although the original dressing is decidedly unvegan with its mayonnaise, sour cream and anchovies, I was inspired to try to create my own Veganized version of this green monster. Both my husband and I found the dressing below to be delicious but bear in mind neither of us has any idea what the real "Green Goddess" is all about. To go with the dressing, I created a salad based on my own salad bar favorites from when I was a kid. I would eat so much salad that my dinner had to go home in a little Styrofoam container. This salad was so tasty that I ate two bowlfuls.. I almost had to pack up the rest of my lunch again! (My husband also had two bowls... there really is something magical about this salad!)

Magical 70's Salad with Greener Goddess Dressing
(By eschewing animal products, this dressing is both healthier and more eco-friendly than the original)

Greener Goddess Dressing

Mix the following in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy:

1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 clove of raw garlic
1 small handful of chives
3 TBS rice wine vinegar
2 TBS dijon mustard
1 caper berry, stem removed
1 TBS caper brine
2 TBS dried tarragon
1 large sheet roasted laver
1/3 cup vegan Mayonaise
6 ounces silken tofu (1/2 vacuum- sealed block)

Magical 70's Salad:

Put all of the following in a large bowl, chopped (if necessary) into equal small pieces:

Leaf Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Red Pepper
Extra Firm Tofu (water pressed out)
Black Olives
Tiny green peas (from freezer, defrosted)
Sunflower seeds

Mix chopped veggies in a bowl with a small amount of dressing until every bite is covered. Sprinkle with freshly grated black or red pepper.

(NOTE: As an afterthought I realized that croutons and fake bacon bits would probably be awsome in this salad)

To go with the salad, I fixed a quick and simple tomato bisque that truly cooked itself. This is so simple that I am almost embarrased to call it a "recipe".

Lazy-Girl's Tomato Bisque (LOW-FAT)

3-4 cloves garlic, whole
2 cans tomatos (stewed if you like it sweeter, plain if not)
fresh or dried basil to taste
almond milk, unsweetened
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Place garlic, tomatoes (including liquid) and basil in an oven safe pan. Roast at 450 for about 1 hour or until garlic cloves are soft and fragrant.

Remove from oven and puree using blender or imersion blender.

Once tomatoes are smooth, add almond milk to thin the tomato puree. Season with pepper and salt (if necessary).

Yep... that's it. Embarrasingly simple. Its even tastier if you start with fresh tomatoes, but using canned saves ALOT of time. (If you start from fresh, you will need to add more S&P)

And finally for dinner I had vegan lasagna. I tried a trick from Jessica Seinfeld and hid carrots, spinach and mushrooms into the sauce before pureeing everything. The lasagna was pretty good, but if I did it again, I'd probably skip the spinach.

The basic outlines of the lasagna components were:

Sauce: Cook 1/2 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, lots of red pepper and braggs liquid aminos (or just salt...) in a little red wine. When veggies are soft add two cans italian tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley. Bring to a boil and cook to combine. (this was where I added the spinach but leave it out... just trust me on this one.) Puree everything until smooth and add small can tomato paste. Taste sauce and adjust flavors if necessary. (If you didn't listen and added the spinach anyway you will need to add agave syrup.) Heat through and set aside until you are ready to assemble your lasagna.

Tofu Riccota: In a food proccesor combine equal parts silken tofu and extra firm tofu, some basil, a few cloves raw garlic, some chives, a few squirts lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Bragg's (or salt) and pepper. (It is also good if you add a tiny amount of EVOO or some vegan parmesan). Set this aside until you are ready to assemble as well.

I am going to assume you know how to assemble your lasagna. I followed the box directions for the oven temperature and noodle preparation.

Vegan lasagna is one of my favorite dinners. I seem to make it differently every time, but I always love it. There is just something about all of those noodles and the garlicky tofu-ricotta that I just love. Although my DH has tried this in the past and announced it "ok", it is not his favorite. I don't take it personally, he didn't even like it when I got a restaurant version that was out of this world. Vegan lasagna is a hard sell to non-vegans. As an Italian and non-vegan he is never going to accept a lasagna that is not dripping with cheese and meat. He ate something else tonight. That's fine....more for me.


  1. Hello. I have not ever tried Green Goddess dressing and salad. But I really enjoyed it very much and would have it again in a heartbeat. You have some really great ideas and I am enjoying your recipes. thanks again, The Don

  2. That soup sounds fabulous! I love tomato soup :-)