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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Editor's Choice: Tessemae's Salad Dressing

For the longest time, I refused any salad dressing that wasn't ranch. At some point, I mistook a different dressing for ranch, somehow liked it, and thus added Caesar to the lineup. I ran with those two mainstays for just about the entirety of my life, and never thought better of it. Ranch or Caesar: what else could a salad possibly need?

I know now that this was an egregious error on the part of my younger, less salad-ly inclined self. I have the line of dressings from Tessemae's to thank - their hand-crafted, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan products have opened my eyes and saved my salads from a lifetime of pale-colored boredom.

I do have salads for dinner quite a bit, so I really got a chance to thoroughly test drive these dressings. First up, I tried the Zesty Ranch, mainly because it had the word 'ranch' in it and I was still scared of trying new things. Now I feel silly for doubting - the olive oil, organic lemons and garlic really proved the 'zesty' part of the name, and this non-creamy version of the popular ranch dressing was devoured in no time. It really added an extra zing to the grilled chicken I added, and I plan on trying this out as a marinade in the near future.

I got a little crazier with the Soy Ginger, using it on some grilled salmon - this turned out to be a great idea, because I made the exact same thing the next night and went right back to the Soy Ginger bottle. I feel comfortable saying that it would be great for stir-fry as well.

Finally there was the Oil Free Red Wine Vinaigrette. Even though I had lived most of life through my ranch/Caesar haze, I was vaguely aware that many people preferred vinaigrettes on their salads. I was admittedly sold into trying it by the word 'wine' - yes, it's that easy. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste, and the touch of pepper. Also, zero calories! Bonus!

Tessemae's line of dressing also includes Balsamic, Cracked Pepper, Oil Free Italian, Lemon Chesapeake, and also Hot Sauce. The bottles look great as well, with a very unique seal that lets you know you're about to open something special.

So I must thank Tessemae's for curing my salad dressing phobia. However, now I have a harder decision to make when I'm eating salads at a restaurant - what dressing to choose? Thankfully when I'm at home, I'll be using Tessemae's.