Salad dressing love


I need to up my game when it comes to salad dressing. I’m pretty predictable. I make a vinaigrette every time. There is some variety in the spices but not that much. Salad dressing is inexpensive to make (unless you get caught up in fancy vinegar and oils) and pretty easy as well. I’ve done a peruse on Pinterest and narrowed it down to five recipes to try. I’m still on the lookout for a good ranch dressing recipe. I’m pretty sure that if I substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and buttermilk it will work well. I just need to play with the spices.

Mamma Allegra’s Vinaigrette – I would probably reduce the sugar a bit

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette – on Premeditated Leftovers (love the blog name)

Homemade Italian Dressing Mix – this will be a big time saver

Paleo Italian Salad Dressing

Carrot, Miso and Ginger Salad Dressing – I can’t wait to try this

Dressing ingredient substitutions

  • buttermilk –> Greek yogurt
  • Mayonnaise –> whipped tofu (as in put soft tofu in the blender)
  • Mayonnaise –> yogurt
  • Tahini –> sesame paste (nerigoma 練りゴマ)


kabocha coconut curry dip

Kabocha Coconut Curry Dip

kabocha coconut curry dip

I made this for a little while ago and it was a hit. I was a little worried because the day before I cooked a kabocha that was so dry I couldn’t eat it. While the creaminess varies a lot, I’ve never had such dry kabocha. Luckily the one I used for the dip was nice and creamy.

Kabocha Coconut Curry Dip

1/4 kabocha squash, cooked
1/2 can white beans, drained
18g coconut milk powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt

Put everything in the food processor and puree until you get a desired texture. You may need to add a bit of water if it is too thick for your liking.


Quick Dip: Onion Tofu


It’s now dip season. As I am not a hot dip person, dip season is only when it is warm. This is a quickie – only two ingredients. All you need to do is blend them together using the tool of your choice whether it is a whisk, blender, food processor or immersion blender (my tool of choice).  In the picture you can see my onion consome (オニオンコンソメ onion consome) of choice, Knorr – I love their chicken and beef stock cubes as well.

Quick Onion Tofu Dip

1 small block soft tofu
1 packet onion consome soup

Blend and serve. You may need to add a bit of water to get your desired consistency.

miso making

Highlights from Miso Making

Every year since I got married I have made miso with my mother-in-law. I love homemade miso, everything else pales in comparison. Miso making is really easy as you can order everything in one kit called a miso set in Japanese (味噌セット miso setto). If you search using that key word you can find lots of places to order miso kits. My mother-in-law orders from a company that isn’t online as far as I know. I just about had a heart attack when I was editing the photos because one of the ingredients (kouji kome こうじ米 – fermented rice) comes from Fukushima (of nuclear disaster fame). The heart attack subsided when I remembered that the rice used in this batch was pre-disaster. Phew. This last weekend we also ordered barley and brown rice miso to make for fun. My mother-in-law told me that when she was a kid barley miso was the norm because rice was to expensive. She can’t remember what it tastes like so we decided to order a kit. I’m also curious how the brown rice miso will be as it has a lower salt to rice ratio. The two new kits probably won’t arrive for a couple of weeks.

The miso we made has three ingredients salt, soy beans and kouji kome.

You start off like this mixing the kouji kome and salt.

Then you add soy beans.

And eventually you get this.

And six months later you can use it.

Kabocha Miso Vinagrette


I went into Tokyo today and had planned on bringing my lunch. When I realized how much stuff I had to take to daycare for my son, I gave up on the idea. That is the reason for the bento box presentation. Beautiful, isn’t it? I threw the dressing together in a minute. Salad dressings are all about personal taste so I’ll just give you the ingredients list and you can find your ideal mix. Just put everything in a jar and give it a shake.

In the mix: kabocha puree, miso, cider vinegar, sugar, water and salad oil

In the salad: lettuce, zucchini, carrot and red peppers