Over the past year or so I have started making my own dressings. Balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, agave nectar/poppy/greek yogurt.
It all started with a cookbook called Sauce by Sonja Lee that I picked up on sale (and with a gift card!) at Williams Sanoma. There are beautiful aerial photos of each sauce at various points throughout the process, and the recipes are great! I made a few of the salsas and the balsamic vinaigrette is a go-to of mine.
Then one day while the man and I were visiting my mom, we had some leftover pretzel chicken and decided to make a salad for lunch. I wanted a honey-mustard type dressing, but didn’t have any, so I decided to wing it and try to make my own. I had read lots of dressing recipes so I just tried to go with my gut. And it went great!
I mixed honey mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt and pepper and it has become a go-to dressing for chicken salads. AND one of my pickier friends now makes it herself to go with pretzel chicken, which makes me really happy.
So today we had leftover breaded chicken, baby spinach and carrots, so again we decided to make a salad. I wanted to make the honey mustard, but my mom didn’t have any, so again I decided to wing it. Success again!
I grabbed the spicy brown mustard, a lemon, mayo, the salt and pepper, and a splenda packet. The latter ingredient made me skeptical, but decided to go with it anyway. Because I already had the sweet/salty thought in my head, I really wanted it, so I figured this could work.
The Recipe: (For 2 “small” servings)
- In a small dish mix 2 tablespoons mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard.
- Roll a lemon on a hard surface, cut it in half, and squeeze (open side up to trap the seeds) both halfs until they are compeltely drained, getting every last drop of juice!
- I eye-balled the salt and pepper, but maybe 1/4 teaspoon of each (If you’re worried, do a litttttttle at a time and taste it until it tastes good to you).
- Add 1 splenda packet.
- Mix everything together with a whisk or fork.
- Pour over salad, mix and enjoy!
One of the great things about dressing is that it doesn’t have to be exact (that’s why baking can be tricky). If you like it thinner, add more lemon juice, thicker, add more mayo or mustard. Don’t like it sweet? leave out the Splenda, or just add half a packet.
I love this dressing because it’s a little sweet, but nothing crazy. I don’t like my meals to be sweet, so this added a touch of sweetness without overpowering the salty and savory flavors of the other ingredients. The spicy brown mustard added a wonderful bold flavor that perfectly complements the fresh lemon flavor.
Making your own dressing also allows you to leave out the preservatives and control the quality of ingredients – AND tweak it to make it just how you like it!