I need to vent. Brace yourselves because this is a vegetable vent. And I love vegetables.
I ate some nasty vegetables this weekend. I was served a side of steamed zucchini with one loner baby carrot. Some pieces were on the raw side. Others were mushy. Big sigh. Was there a trace of seasoning? Nope. Not even some stray sauce from the chicken.
The entire universe is scolding us to eat more vegetables. But when veggies arrive on someone’s plate like my aforementioned zucchini, especially a skeptic, I cringe. As a health educator I want people to have good experiences with veggies. The truth is that when vegetables are given even the slightest attention, they are satisfying and incredibly delicious. This is coming from a woman who ate a lot of canned green beans heated in the microwave during her childhood. (Note: Not a way to teach a kid to love vegetables.) My ignorance has convinced this adult omnivore to constantly read vegetarian cookbooks. I even have a whole Pinterest Board devoted to vegetable love. And I still have a long way to go learning about the prep of these super foods.
In honor of my nasty zucchini, I felt it only fair to spread some vegetable-love. Here’s the beginning of a week of salad dressings that I use frequently at my house. I toss these on spinach salads, cabbage-based salads, broccoli slaw based salads, veggies after I steam or roast them, etc.
To start us off, let me introduce Citrus Cilantro Dressing. I was craving a light, citrusy dressing today and lucked out that I had some cilantro in the fridge.
Cilantro is a true culinary superstar. It’s versatile and tasty. It’s inexpensive. I chopped up two bunches of cilantro and tossed them in my food processor. The cilantro was greeted by some lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, fat free plain Greek yogurt, garlic powder, chili flakes, chipotle chile powder, salt, and a squeeze of honey.
Here’s what it looks like when they all become friends in the food processor.
Drizzle this over zucchini, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, or cabbage.
We served it on a bed of thinly sliced cabbage, stewed black beans, corn, and crumbled feta. This became the featured salad because that’s just what happened to be in the fridge. The best salads are usually created based on this model. Scrounge, pair, and eat. Sweet little toddler fingers were caught stealing bits of cabbage. Watch out for similar crimes at your house.
This dressing is fabulous when drizzled on tacos or burritos, too. I think I need to go make another batch.
- 2 Bunches Cilantro, roughly chopped
- 6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice from 2 Medium Lemons or 6 Tablespoons
- 1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used fat free)
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1-2 Teaspoons Honey
- Big pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
- two shakes of chipotle chile powder
- Salt, to taste
- Gather your ingredients and toss together in a food processor or a blender. Pulse until the cilantro is in tiny bits and you have reached a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve as a condiment for tacos or burritos or on top of your favorite salad.
This dressing will keep in the fridge for about one week.