Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lemon Pepper Dressing (with Bacon and Egg Salad)

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 works really hard to eat well on $6/day.

Got hard-boiled eggs? Yeah, me too. Mine have lots of multi-colored splotches on them when you crack them. Yippee. Now what to do with these beauties? I made some deviled eggs, of course. And I think they're great sliced onto a roll sandwich with cheddar, mayo, salt, and pepper. But I've got a booty-load of lettuce in my fridge right now and some expiring spinach. And then my friend mentioned how her mother's been eating egg bacon salads for lunch every day. And all the sudden nothing sounded better in the whole wide world.

And the dressing to go with. Oh, this one's good. I thought I would want to make it creamier with some mayonnaise or sour cream, but found that it had a sort of creaminess even without those things (vegans rejoice). I think this comes from the fact that's it's not quite as thin and unobtrusive as a vinaigrette and also that it sort of jams with the egg yolks (vegans stop rejoicing--but wait vegans, it's still really good; don't go away yet).

And the price tag that goes with it is lovely too. Store-bought salad dressing is rather pricey. Additionally, there are very few varieties that taste really good to me (and those are more than 'rather' pricey). The ingredient lists are nothing short of reprehensible and call me an alarmist (or, you know, whatever else you'd like to call me), but I bet they sometimes sneak MSG in under the 'spices' category. This dressing isn't quite sainted, but it contains friendly fats and simple spices.

For one serving of salad I use 1-2 C interesting lettuce (I use a combination, but anything not iceberg should do), 1 C spinach, 1 hard-boiled egg, and 1-2 strips bacon, crumbled (did I just lose the remaining vegans there). Sometimes I add a sprinkle of cheese too.

Lemon Pepper Dressing
adapted from smittenkitchen
Makes 1 1/2 C
Prep time: less than 5 minutes
Cost: .37
(canola: .12, olive oil: .15, other stuff: .10)

Note: This is good if you mix it up right before you eat it, but it's better if it has some time to sit and let the flavors meld.

Another note: I used dry mustard, which is surprisingly non-obtrusive (at least my el cheapo kind was), which I liked. If you don't have dry mustard, you can sub in regular mustard, but I'd start with only 1/2 tsp. lest the mustard flavor overpower the others.

3/4 C canola oil
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C red wine vinegar (I suspect another kind would work as well)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp lemon pepper (start with 1/2 and move up if you feel it needs it--I like more)
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp sugar
1 clove minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder if you or yourn have texture issues)
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all in a jar or a Tupperware with a nice tight lid and shake shake shake it.

Taste it and adjust seasonings.

Let it sit for a spell if you've got the time. And be careful that your lettuce isn't too wet because it dilutes the flavor of this dressing considerably.

Refrigerate to store (that's probably not even necessary if you're going to use it quickly, but it's what I do). Give it a good shake before next use.

P.S. If you're quacky for all things lemon, as I am, check this out.


  1. We ate the last of the deviled eggs today. :) Your dressing looks yummy!
    I'm curious though, with your $6 a day plan. Does your family get the 9 fruits/veggies a day that we're supposed to get?

  2. Hi Betsy. That's a great question. In the month of March I kept track of our fruit and vegetable intake in Jean's Food Journal. Have a look (you'll find it in the bar at the top of the blog). I used the USDA'S recommendations for the ages of my kids. We did okay. When we didn't do okay, it was mostly by choice (i.e. not wanting to eat one's veggies) and not by budgetary limitations. You can also find a breakdown of that information in our March assessment (You can find 'monthly assessments' under labels.) I might keep track again next month, mostly because it kept me aware of how many fruits and vegetables we were eating and it make me try harder to have to account to the blog.

  3. OK..thanks! Having a family of 6 and an ever growing grocery bill, I've been interested in what you are doing and how you feel about it! :)



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