Salad Dressings

Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.


My Foot is a Desert, my brother Abe McCowan’s final MFA Thesis Exhibit + Vedged Out Catering Menu and Recipes

All photos in this post courtesy of Chelle McCall

Menu for the Show

For all the recipes for the show, please click here


  • Curried Brown Rice Salad with celery, cranberries, green onion and cashews
  • Ultimate French Green Lentil Salad with radishes, red onion and capers
  • Stacy’s Pita Chips and Homemade Hummus
  • Organic Corn Tortilla Chips and homemade Fire Roasted Salsa
Vegan Cheese & Cracker Platter:
  • Pepperjack Cashew Cheese & Wheat Thins/Gluten Free Cracker option
  • Macadamia Nut Brie
Snack Cups:
  • Filled with Sesame Sticks, Coconut Shreds, mini vegan chocolate chips, tamari pepitas, pistachios, golden raisins, wasabi peas and amazing corn snack
Vegetable Tray:
  • Assorted Olives, Cucumber, Grape Tomatoes, Broccoli, Celery Sticks, Baby Carrots, with Cashew Vegan Ranch Dressing
Fruit Tray:
  • Strawberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Pineapples, Blueberries, Kiwi & Pears
  • Gluten Free  & Regular Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  • Gluten Free & Regular Vegan Lemon Bars
  • Iced Water
  • Homemade Ginger Ale Lemonade

Food Bloggers Against Hunger: Simplest Chickpea Salad

Simplest Chickpea Salad1Simplest Chickpea Salad

I’m joining today with more than 200 other food bloggers to fight against hunger, an issue that millions of Americans and even more millions around the world face on a daily basis.

I was struck more than a month ago when I was asked by a blog follower how she would be able to do my Green Smoothie Challenge on a budget of $50 for her family for the week. I had to reply: “You can’t” Of course my reply was more heartfelt and helpful than that, but it made me realize how lucky I am to be able to afford all the fresh produce and healthy foods that I want. When you do the math, this person, with a family of four had a budget of $7.14 per day, or $1.78 per person for food for her family. Those figures broke my heart.

Many impoverished Americans are forced to eat poorly. When boxes of generic macaroni and cheese can be found for .33 cents and a packet of ramen noodles can be bought for less than a quarter, it’s no wonder that some of the nations poorest families eat the most nutritionally devoid foods. It’s a bit disturbing that An apple costs more than a cheeseburger on the dollar menu at a drive thru because the government subsidizes beef the beef, dairy and corn that go into making that hamburger, but it doesn’t subsidize apples. 

My goal today was to create a healthy meal for less than a dollar. One that would take less time to create then going through the drive thru and one that would trump that fast food cheeseburger and provide more nutrients.

Simplest Chickpea Salad

Simplest Chickpea Salad

  • One can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used one that my mom canned for me, so it was free, but you can find a generic can of chickpeas at Walmart for .68 cents or less
  • 1-2 diced tomatoes, (1/4 lb, bought at .99 cents a pound)
  • drizzle of olive oil (pantry item)
  • drizzle of red wine or balsamic vinegar (pantry item)
  • dash of garlic powder (pantry item)
  • 1/2 t. of dried basil (pantry item)
  • salt and pepper to taste (pantry items)

Method: Combine all in a bowl. Serves 2 for less than .50 cents per serving

Nutrition Stats for the Drive thru Cheeseburger

Calories 300 Calories from Fat  110

% Daily Value Total Fat 12 g 18%,  Saturated Fat 6 g 30%,   Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 40 mg 13%, Sodium 750 mg 31%, Total Carbohydrate 33 g 11%,   Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%,   Sugars 6 g, Protein 15 g 30%, Vitamin A (IU) 300 6%, Vitamin C 1.2 mg 2%, Calcium 200 mg 20%, Iron 2.7 mg 15%

Nutrition Stats for the Chickpea Salad

Calories 289.3 Calories from Fat  45

% Daily Value Total Fat 4.88 g 8%,  Saturated Fat 0.6 g 3%,   Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg 0%, Sodium 636.5 mg 27%, Total Carbohydrate 51.32 g 17%,   Dietary Fiber 10.01 g 40%   , Sugars 10.89 g, Protein 11.05 g 22%, Vitamin A (IU) 566.99 11%, Vitamin C 15.9 mg 26%, Calcium 75.16 mg 8%, Iron 3.07 mg 17%

I’m certainly NOT the expert on affordable healthful eating. So, for healthy eating on a budget, I invite you to look at my friend Nick’s Blog, Frugal Feeding. His whole agenda is how to eat well and eat affordably. For those wanting to eat cheaply on a vegan diet, I recommend a book by Ellen Jaffe JonesEat Vegan on $4 a day.



VISIT: Share Our Strength

WATCH: the A Place at the Table, via Amazon or iTunes

GIVE THANKS: to The Giving Table, for creating this event

DO: Take action! click here and take a minute to send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. Doing so will protect nutrition programs that help fight hunger in the US.

Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing with Carrot Ribbon Salad

Carrot Ribbon SaladCarrot Ribbon Salad with Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing

My mom brought me nearly a gallon of roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) last time she came to visit. I’ve been using them in everything, but this post is all about the best salad dressing EVER. You’ll pretty much want to drink it from the jar once you’ve made it. You can serve it over any type of salad. Last night we had it over baby greens, artichoke hearts and white beans. However the carrot ribbons are cute and whimsical, plus this dish reminds me of an unusual (but tasty) salad my mom used to make when I was little: shredded carrot, mayo, sugar, raisins, salt and pepper. I like to think of this as my grown up version. Thanks mom for all the lovely pepitas!

Pepita ButterPepita Butter

Salad Dressing

Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 C. pepita butter (I made the pepita butter in my blendtec: 3 C. roasted salted pepitas, processed and scraped down, over and over until smooth, this took just a couple minutes) OR you could use 1/2 C. pepitas
  • 1/4 C. pure maple syrup (if desired, halve this amount for a more savory dressing)
  • 2 T. bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 3 T. plant milk of choice, I used soy
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Method: In a power blender, blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Dressing will be a bit thin, but thickens nicely in the fridge. If you don’t have a power blender, or a food processor to make the pepita butter, soak the pepitas for a few hours before blending the dressing.

Carrot Ribbons

For the Carrot Ribbon Salad:

  • 2-3 Carrots per person, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Roasted and Salted Pepitas for sprinkling over salad
  • Cranberries or Raisins for sprinkling over salad
  • A few tablespoons of the above dressing, per person

Carrot Ribbon Salad 2

This recipe is featured on the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck