Beware the (not-so) healthy recipes

I made a delicious salad dressing this weekend: Cilantro-lime vinaigrette. I found the recipe before I made it, and was so excited about it that I went to Kitchenalia (kitchen store in Westboro) to see if I could find a new container for my homemade salad dressings. Which I did find. In fact I bought two of them because I like to have variety in salad dressings. But that also means there are none left on their shelves for you. Sorry. (not actually sorry).

I made the salad dressing as an option for coleslaw. Yes, I’m still on my coleslaw kick. Why wouldn’t I be? It’s delicious! But I realized that my love of fancy coleslaws has limitations. Sometimes the variety that I have on hand doesn’t go with whatever main dish I’m serving. Case in point, last night my mom came over for dinner, and she had requested spaghetti and meatballs. Clearly I wasn’t going to serve Asian coleslaw with that! That’s when it hit me that I need to have two dressings on hand at any given time.

Now I should take that back a step: when I make coleslaw now,  I don’t actually mix the dressing in with the vegetables until serving. Instead, I put the dressing in tupperware (well now I put it in my awesome new salad dressing dispensers), and I put the vegetable part in either tupperware or ziploc bags (I squeeze the air out so it lasts longer).  Using this approach I find it lasts up to a week. Not bad!

All that to say, I needed a new dressing, so I went to Chef Google. It didn’t take long to find this delicious-looking Cilantro-lime vinaigrette. The reviews were impressive – 231 reviews and an average 5-star rating. Great! I perused the ingredients  to see what I needed to buy (ginger and jalapeno pepper), and headed off to the Herb & Spice.

Honestly I didn’t really give much thought to what I was putting into the container (I used my Nutribullet instead of the food processor – worked incredibly well) until I ate some of the slaw during dinner. Without question – that was tasty stuff! But wow, was it ever sweet! That’s when my recall kicked in: there was 1/3 of a cup of honey in that dressing. No wonder it was so sweet.

Lesson learned: even with a lot of positive reviews, and being a “healthy” and homemade food, doesn’t mean it actually is healthy. Now the good news is that the recipe will probably be fantastic if I cut the amount of honey back significantly. I think I’ll try it with 1 tbsp next time. I actually think it’ll taste better that way as it will let the  lime, cilantro, and jalapeno flavours shine.

Moral of the story: read the label and read the ingredients! It may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Some of you may think this is a good reason to not cook – wrong! It is true that sometimes you’ll have regrets about what you made, but most of the time you won’t. And the more you cook, the better you’ll get at reading recipes, and the better you’ll get at preparing them, which means you and your family can have lots of healthy and delicious eating in your future.

 

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