Sunday, May 3, 2009

GINGER SESAME SALAD DRESSING: Day 1 of ginger week (or how to justify spending $4.99 on a convenience product...)

I try to find convenience items that save time and taste good but I've had a hard time. For example,  I haven't been a huge fan of bottled garlic. I just don't think it tastes like what I want. It only takes about 3 minutes to peel a clove and grate it into a recipe, so I take the time.
This Gourmet Garden ginger paste is another try. It was expensive at $4.99 and did have some ingredients other than ginger, but I justified it by convincing myself its for "work." So, I'm going to try to use up the whole tube in the next 2 weeks so I don't waste it. Here is recipe #1. 

Ginger-sesame dressing (adapted from Vegetarian Planet)
prep time 5-10 minutes

1 1/2 Tbspn fresh ginger, minced or from the tube...
1 small garlic clove, crushed or grated (yes, they mean SMALL clove!)
1 Tbspn smooth dijon mustard
3 Tbspn apple cider vinegar
1/4 tspn ground pepper (or to taste... I do a little less)
1/2 tspn salt (I did a little less)
2 Tbspn sugar
1 1/2  Tbspn sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)

I started this in a bowl, but changed to just dump all the ingredients in a jar with a top and then put the top on and shook it well. Then I stored the dressing in the fridge to use again.

This was a huge hit. M enjoyed dipping raw veggies into this one. Its always good to have different dips for kids with veggies. The right dip can be the bridge to expanding accepted veggies for picky eaters. 
I thought the dressing would be a little zingy for M, but she loved it. I also made a salad and will have another one tomorrow (already have the lettuce washed.) One tip if you're having salad and you need to make it more filling/add protein is to add boiled eggs. Tomorrow we're having vegetarian pizza and I'll make a salad with some boiled eggs. The ginger paste was a hit for this recipe. Tasted fresh, right consistency and a time-saver.

Do you have any favorite convenience foods that taste great?


  1. I think this is an Australian product - at least, we have a whole range of them here and they're only about $3.50AUD/$2.75USD a tube. :) I buy them all the time - less waste than buying a whole knob of ginger or bunch of coriander. They last for months in the fridge, so I don't mind the other ingredients. We usually have ginger, coriander, hot chili, lemongrass and basil in the fridge and use them in marinades, stir-frys, soups, curries, Thai dishes like pad thai and larb, etc.

  2. Harpy, how many months? I didn't see any directions about how long they keep, so I figured only a few weeks. If they last longer, then I think it would be worth it. I go through phases with ginger, and often a root gets woody and tough before I can finish it. I think this is one convenience product I will get again. By "here" do you mean Australia? I got this one at Lunds which is pretty pricey, so if anyone knows where to get this cheaper, let me know! I haven't seen that full variety, but I;ll keep my eyes out! Care to share a marinade recipe?

  3. Yes, by "here" I meant Australia. :) We usually go through the tubes in fairly short order, but they seem to last about four months at least. The fact that the packaging is a tube helps them last longer - less exposure to air, dirty cooking implements, etc.

    One of our favourite marinades using the tubes is about 1/2 cup tamari (like soy sauce but no wheat); teaspoon each of ginger, coriander and garlic; 1/2 tsp chili (or to taste), and a teaspon of honey. This one works particularly well on pork, chicken, or tofu.

  4. Way late to the party, but that ginger in a tube? We've got it in Canada, too. It's fantastic and it'll keep for a while in the fridge. At least a month if not more, if my memory is serving me right. And the ginger is just PERFECT for a stir fry or sauce or marinade, because it's already so processed finely down. (But maybe I'm just no good at getting my fresh ginger chopped as fine as I'd prefer...)

    The stuff you've posted with it has sounded delicious, and isn't too far from what I usually do with it. :)