It was strangely a very warm day today, so I decided to bike down to the beach this afternoon. I sat for awhile taking in the warm salt breeze and sun on my skin. I started thinking about the days when I would visit the beach before I started this health journey two months ago. I always had to drive. Biking and walking seemed out of the question back then. I had started to feel hopeless about my health situation. I did not know how to fix something that could not even be diagnosed yet by some of the best doctors in the country. I only knew that I felt horrible. I knew that making changes in my lifestyle would help, but the task seemed overwhelming and I did not know where to begin. Plus, it felt like it would take forever.
So I am sure you are thinking, "What do we eat on this long journey o' baby steps, huh?!" I will tell you. I decided to attempt a recipe for Vegan Cool Ranch Dressing that I got from the Healthy Happy Life website today. I believe that Ranch dressing is something that no one should have to go without. It is basically an American delicacy (if you have grown up in burger joints and bars like me!). So, you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this vegan version of ranch. Well, I say excitement ... the pictures looked awesome, but I was fearful of the taste. Ranch dressing made from tofu? Come. On. I expected a funky tasting version of ranch that I would not like, similar to the light and fat free versions that make me want to vomit. Ranch is something that is just best not messed with. All of these thoughts aside, I had to give it a shot because of my love for Ranch and my commitment to this new healthy lifestyle.
Guess what?! It turned out SO good! I even fed it to a non-vegan friend this afternoon who could not tell that it wasn't regular ranch! I know, right?! Another vegan prayer totally answered. Even better is that it is packed with protein and low in fat. Perfection. I put the extra ranch dressing in a jar and have it stored in my fridge for an upcoming ranch craving (you know there will be one).
I also made the Vegan Frisée Ranch Salad featured on the Healthy Happy Life Website. Wicked good. The extra protein snuck in with the tofu and spinach in the dressing is a bonus! Your kids (or husband, or roommate, or whoever) will never know it is in there! Nutrition doesn't get much better than that, people.
Vegan Cool Ranch Dressing
- 15 ounce container of firm silken tofu
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed sea salt (or more to taste)
- For Zesty Green Dressing
- 1 cup Vegan Cool Ranch Dressing (see above)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 bag organic baby spinach
- For salad:
- 4 cups Frisée salad
- 1/2 cup Vegan Cool Ranch Dressing (see above)
- 1/4-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2-1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cucumber, chopped or sliced
- 1/2 cup croutons
- crushed sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
3. Put salad on plates to serve. Top each serving with a bit of the original white cool ranch dressing.
4. Top with grape tomatoes, cucumber, croutons, sea salt, and black pepper. You might sprinkle on a few extra sunflower seeds too to make it pretty.
5. Serve and enjoy!!!