This is an oil free and fat free bonus recipe that comes in my Savory Raw Dinner Recipes book and ebook (not shown in the dvd) that I’m going to share with you today. If you are looking for some amazingly delicious and healthy raw food recipes, please check it out. I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on my spin on oil free raw vegan dinner recipes. (Scroll down for the recipe.)
Travel update: We are back home now in Vancouver, BC this week after spending 2 months in Corpus Christi, Texas and enjoying the sun down there (and avoiding the dark clouds and rain here). It’s nice to be back home, but it feels a little surreal. I have to get used to my kitchen again and finding all of my seasonings and kitchen gadgets. So I’m going to ease back into making recipes, as I’ve totally broken my groove from traveling and moving back in and unpacking everything.
Sweet onion dressing was one of my favourite dressings I used to buy from a bottle (because it’s low fat), but it’s filled with high fructose corn syrup, so I decided to make my own and it tastes pretty similar and is much healthier.
Why Do I Make And Prefer Fat Free Raw or Vegan Salad Dressings?
Well because salad is supposed to be healthy and full of nutrients, and not be a fat bomb of a meal. When I was at the Houston, TX airport we grabbed a bite to eat at Wendy’s and I was just curiously looking around me at what other families were getting. I noticed the woman beside me was eating what she thought was a really healthy meal, because there were no burgers or fries in sight: a BLT Cobb Chicken Salad, a cup of chili and a large soda.
Now I don’t know if you know this, but all restaurants and fast food companies market their salads to women, especially mothers and older women who are trying to eat healthier, watch their weight (or lose weight) as their children and husbands love ordering a burger and fries regularly. Everyone generally thinks burgers and fries are less healthy and salads are on the top of the list of healthy meals so this can be misleading when it comes down to the details.
The woman who ordered this was also probably 35-45 lbs over her ideal weight. I don’t say this to be critical, just to give you an idea of who buys these fast food salads and how they are being seriously deceived. The thing that shocked me the most was that she squeezed every last drop of dressing out of her packet and then proceeded to suck on the packet just to double check! Gross! I thought people knew these dressings were very fatty and to only use half the packet or less. I guess not in Texas…
Why Wendy’s and Fast Food Salads Are
NOT Healthy and Actually Bad For You.
Let’s take a look at her “healthy” Wendy’s meal. <- Go here for the nutritional info.
Let’s add up her totals here just to get an idea of how “healthy” this meal is. I’ll pretend she only got a small soda, as Wendy’s doesn’t want to acknowledge people drink more than this… yeah right!
|Menu Item||Calories||Fat||Sat Fat||Cholest||Sodium||Fiber|
|Wendy’s BLT Cobb Salad||450||25g||11g||270mg||1610mg||3g|
|Thousand Island Dressing||160||15g||2.5g||15mg||290mg||0g|
|Small Cola Or Sprite||160||0g||0g||0g||0mg||0g|
|Rec. D. Allowance:||2000||65g||20g||300mg||1500mg||25g|
Thousand Island Dressing is the highest calorie dressing they offer. Avoid it at all costs!
Sodas: Wendy’s CONVENIENTLY only lists the amounts for a SMALL cup of every beverage in their nutritional info. This is insanity. Combo meals come with a medium or large drink! This is total deception.
This salad meal with chili is over half the recommended daily calories for an athletic adult women or an inactive man. Most woman in their 40-60’s only need 1600-1800 calories if they are fairly sedentary. So the RDA of 2000 calories is obviously too high for her. It blows the RDA for cholesterol and sodium out of the water, and is almost maxing out the fat and sat fat for the entire day.
Let’s compare this to a typical combo meal at Wendy’s, just to see how it stacks up as a “healthy choice” for woman.
|Menu Item||Calories||Fat||Sat Fat||Cholest||Sodium||Fiber|
|Single 1/4 pounder||580||33g||14g||105mg||1240mg||3g|
|Small Cola or Sprite||160||0g||0g||0g||0g||0g|
|Diff Between Salad Meal and Burger Combo||-80||-5g||-1g||+240mg||+1540mg||-3g|
There isn’t any real health benefit in going for a salad with chicken, bacon, feta cheese, creamy dressing, croutons/tortilla strips, and ground beef chili instead of a burger and fries. You save a little bit of calories, but let’s face it, if you’re a woman you blew your calorie budget for almost 2 meals on one meal, and you killed your cholesterol and sodium recommendations for the day. This is bad news for your heart, arteries, blood pressure, and waistline ladies. Don’t be fooled that restaurant and fast food salads are in ANY way shape or form healthy, low in fat, or low in calories. If you want a salad, the best bet is to bring your own fat free dressing (store bought or homemade) and get a large green garden salad. No croutons, no cheese, no bacon, no meat, no fried noodles, no tortilla strips etc. You can also bring or order a fruit plate, fruit cup, piece of fruit (if available). Or try going somewhere that can do steamed vegetables and plain rice, that’s a healthy meal as well.
Now, are you curious what we got instead at Wendy’s? Bet you had no idea you could eat Low Fat Vegan at Wendy’s!
We got a side salad and a plain baked potato each with a small packet of Italian dressing (they didn’t have light so we made do).
(DO NOT eat the fried croutons this can come with the garden salad!)
|Menu Item:||Calories||Fat||Sat Fat||Cholest||Sodium||Fiber|
|Wendy’s Garden Side Salad||25||0g||0g||0g||30mg||2g|
|Wendy’s Plain Baked Potato||270||0g||0g||0g||25mg||7g|
|Italian Vinaigrette (Low Fat)||70||6g||1g||0g||180mg||0g|
This is your best option at Wendy’s for a low fat, filling, nutrient and fiber rich meal. You can even get an extra baked potato for a more filling meal.
If you want to know more about why oils, nuts and seeds are NOT good for your health check out this great dvd by vegan RD and Nutritionist Jeff Novick From Oil To Nuts. It will dispel every half truth and myth you’ve ever heard about oils and nuts being “heart healthy”, “good for weightloss” “super foods” and more. I’ve shown it to all of my friends and they were just shocked. They are much more conscientious about their food choices now and have lost weight and lowered their cholesterol and risk for heart disease and cancer.
Wow, what a difference it makes just ordering vegan sides (that are not deep fried and free of creamy dressings/butter/margarine) compared to the regular fast food fare. You can get a large snack or a mini meal, for about $3.50 or less. If you want a larger meal, just order 2 baked potatoes. We always skip the butter, margarine, sour cream and fatty dressings. You can use ketchup or a vinaigrette to season it, or better yet bring a little packet or container of salsa, or barbecue sauce etc if you’re planning ahead.
It is actually NOT that hard to eat vegan and relatively low fat when traveling. Of course it’s not 100% unrefined and ideal, but it’s a heck of a lot better than just saying oh well and getting that pack of fries or fatty oil and cheese salad like many vegans and vegetarians do.
Our first option of course when in airports is always to scope out the Asian food and look for steamed veggies, rice, vegan sushi rolls, rice paper wraps, or stir fries. Keep that in mind next time, if you are new to eating vegan or low fat vegan and worry about eating on the go.
Now on to my recipe oil free vegan salad dressing recipe.
This is a really easy no oil, fat free vegan salad dressing recipe that you can make with ingredients you probably already have on hand. I know I had all of these already, so it was simple enough. I put mine into an empty condiment style bottle so it could be squirted easily on the salad in small amounts.
(Oil Free) No Fat Raw Vegan Sweet Onion Salad Dressing
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing
5-6 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 cup peeled cucumber, chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 cup of sweet vidalia onion, diced (about 1/2 large onion) (Walla Walla is another variety you can use too)
8 small dates, pitted
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2+ tbsp water (to blend or thin as necessary)
1. Place ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Taste test and adjust seasonings if desired.
3. Serve over green salad and refrigerate any leftovers.
To make the onion flavour more mild, you can chop the onion in advance and let it sit out or in the fridge and oxidize so that some of the strong oils dissipate and it won’t be as intense.
This is a dressing I would use in smaller quantities because of the bite. I wouldn’t make an entire family sized salad with it, and eat it myself. It might sting your tongue a little if you eat the whole recipe in one meal. Side salads or a medium sized salad would be best with this recipe.
For more information on Savory Raw Dinner Recipes click here
What do you think of this recipe? What was your favourite salad dressing you now make vegan or raw?