The summer sunshine is lingering – salad is definitely still on the menu. But so many salad dressings are packed full of no no ingredients, keeping to a dairy and yeast free diet can make them a little boring at times. I love lemon and olive oil on my leaves, but repetition makes it a bit dull.
Browsing through my fabulous Leon cookbook, I stumbled across a double page spread of coleslaw recipes. I love coleslaw – my favourite sandwich used to be cheese piled high with creamy coleslaw – but so often the dressing is laden with some form of dairy it’s a rare treat to find one I can eat. Even the Leon one has had to be modified to leave out any vinegar or fermented products, but the overall taste is still marvellous.
Having soya milk or cream as a dressing base hadn’t occurred to me before – goodness knows why! The sesame is a strong base flavour but isn’t overwhelming and stands alone as a great salad dressing for strong green leaves and cucumber, as well as this slightly different coleslaw. And of course, being high in calcium and other minerals, it’s pretty good for you too!
The slaw contains edamame beans. If you’re not into Japanese food, these may be a mystery to you – it’s just green soya beans, rebranded! Soya gets a bad name some times, especially in the States where GM is an issue. But these beans really are worth a try as they are not only delicious but packed full of goodness. One of the few vegetable products that is a complete protein (contains the full complement of essential amino acids), they are high in fibre, low in fat (and being a veg contain no cholesterol) and have impressive amounts of vitamin C, folate and thiamin, as well as magnesium, iron and a superb dollop of manganese. Often served in the pod as an appetiser at apanese restaurants, they are juicy, sweet and a much more interesting and less bitter alternative to broad beans. I’ve only found them fresh in the pod in a specialist store in London, but luckily my local supermarket stocks bags of frozen beans – not as much fun but still pretty tasty.
I’m definitely going to be trying out some other non-dairy creamy dressings – in the mean time, try this Asian-ish coleslaw and give your taste buds a sesame treat.
Creamy sesame dressing
3 1/2 tbspn soya milk or 2 tbspn soya cream mixed with 1 1/2 tbspn of water
1 tsp Dijon mustard (or mustard powder)
2 tbspn lemon juice
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 1/2 tbspn sesame oil
100mls light olive oil
salt and pepper
Apart from the oil, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil and continue whisking until the dressing has emulsified. Add an extra tablespoon of water if it’s too thick and extra seasoning to taste.
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
200g peas (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
110g edamame beans (defrosted if you can’t find fresh)
1/4 white cabbage shredded
2 medium carrots grated
1 portion of creamy sesame dressing
handful chopped parsley
Toasted the seeds and leave to cool. Prepare the vegetables and combine everything except the parsley in a bowl. Pour over the gorgeous dressing and leave for a while for the flavours to fuse. Sprinkle the parsley over the top when you’re ready to eat and enjoy!