Though I truly love making my own dressings & sauces, I also have my fair share of favorite bottled dressings. My very favorite bottled dressing ever is Wish Bone Italian, the original one, not the Robusto or the other varieties. My mom likes to poke fun at me by saying I put it in everything, including my cereal (not true!!!). I’m also a huge fan of Trader Joe’s Creamy Cilantro and the Champagne, Pear & Gorgonzola dressings. But one little dressing that tends to get ignored a lot, even by me though I love it, is Goddess dressing. Not to be confused with Green Goddess dressing (another amazing little dressing), this is made with all sorts of good stuff like tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and spices. It’s a wonderful departure from the norm and offers a such a full flavor that you don’t need to use too much to get the full effects of its flavor. It’s not hard to find, either; you can find brands like Annie’s Naturals in the organic section of most major grocery stores, and there’s always the trusty Trader Joe’s version (just $1.99!).
Unfortunately, I’ve never played around with this dressing very much, so I have probably been missing out on a lot of great dishes that can be made with it. But luck has a way of stepping in, and it did so in the form of another one of my crazy cravings: I wanted chicken salad one day, and I had neither mayo nor tzatziki, let alone any of the other yummy sauces or dressings I’d throw into a bowl of chicken. I peered into my fridge and found the Goddess dressing and thought I’d give it a whirl. It was divine! The tangy nuttiness of the dressing really went well with my leftover chicken from the night before, and the whole thing was simply delicious on a sandwich with some greens & sliced tomatoes. I decided I would play around with this a bit more and see what I could come up with. It definitely needed some texture, so I added some crunchy celery and onion. Tossed in some fruit for a sweet kick and I was on my way. Though my first version was good, this is by far a much better salad, and can be served in a pita pocket or on top of some fresh greens. And, just like my Tzatziki Chicken Salad, it’s a great way to make use of some leftover chicken & veggies!
Goddess Chicken Salad (serves 4; total cost per serving: $1.99)
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/2 sweet white onion, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1/4 c dried apricots, chopped
3/4 c Goddess dressing
Small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 c chopped almonds
Fresh ground pepper
Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Add the Goddess dressing, almonds, and cilantro and mix well. Garnish with plenty of fresh ground pepper, serve over a nice baby lettuce mix or in a pita pocket, and enjoy!