For an elegant sit-down dinner, I like
to follow the tradition of three courses.
This arrangement not only looks attractive,
it slows down the eating process,
which improves digestion.
You might want to start off with
a soup or a salad as a starter,
then move onto an entrée on its own
plate or maybe with a vegetable side dish.
And then for special occasions,
finish with a healthy dessert.
So let’s go on to our first course.
We’re going to be preparing
a creamy salad dressing
that’ll go on a salad of
romaine lettuce and tomato.
Having a couple of creamy salad dressings on
hand makes it easier to eat a lot more salad.
I’m going to be making everyone’s favorite,
ranch dressing, but without the dairy.
You can make a delicious ranch
dressing using soaked cashews.
So let’s get started.
I’m using a blender.
And I’ve soaked these cashews just for a couple
of hours to soften them up enough to blend.
or you could soak them overnight.
This is one of my favorite creamy dressings,
but there are so many other possibilities.
In my book Raw Food Made Easy, I also have
creamy tomato and cucumber dressings,
a honey mustard dressing,
a tahini-lemon dressing.
The more salad dressings you can make,
the more salad you’re going to eat.
I’m going to add a little bit
of water to this blender
and a few seasonings.
We’re going to use some natural salt.
Let me just talk about salt for a moment.
When you’re thinking about what salt to buy,
look for salt with some color in it–
–a little grey, a little bit of pink.
That means it’s still got some minerals.
It might be a rock salt;
it might be a sea salt.
It doesn’t matter, but look for
some color for those minerals.
I’m also going to add
some lemon juice to it,
and that’s going to give it a nice,
zingy tang–almost a cheesy–flavor.
And then two very important seasonings:
onion powder and garlic powder.
That’s what’s really going
to give it that ranch taste.
The reason I’m using onion
powder and garlic powder
instead of fresh onion and garlic is that
the powders have more of a muted flavor,
almost a cooked flavor, smoky, and that’s
what s going to make it taste like ranch.
So we’ll go ahead and add
some of each of those,
and then we’ll blend.
I am going to be adding
fresh herbs to this,
but the reason I’m not doing
that yet is because I want this
to be a white, creamy
dressing with flecks of green.
And if I added the herbs now,
it would be a green dressing.
So let’s go ahead and blend.
I can see that it’s quite thick, so
I’ll just add a little bit more water.
I’m just using a regular conventional
blender for this recipe and all the
other recipes in my DVD.
You don’t need to buy a really fancy,
expensive blender to make things creamy
and to make it work.
Of course, if you get really into raw foods,
eventually, you might want to invest
in a high-speed blender that can blend
larger quantities or that can handle
a lot of nuts in a thick mixture.
But this basic blender works fine for dressings, soups,
smoothies–all the things that we re doing today.
So we’re almost done.
I’m going to add some
fresh basil and fresh dill,
and that’s going to give a nice,
herby flavor to the dressing.
If you don’t have fresh on hand,
just go ahead and add some dry dill
and dry basil.
And you can vary the herbs, too.
You could use cilantro.
That would be nice.
And now I’m just going to briefly blend
this just to incorporate the herbs
without turning the whole dressing green.
That is looking so good.
I’ll pour that out.
And this dressing also
doubles as a ranch dip.
You could make it a little bit thicker–
just add a little less water–
–and you could serve this with those
cut-up vegetable sticks at any party.
This creamy ranch dressing is so delicious,
it rivals any traditional version.
It’s one of my favorites.