Thursday, July 8, 2010

Curried Sesame Seed Dressing

Dinner last night was a very simple meal. I lightly steamed some broccoli (about 7 minutes to retain as much nutrition as possible), tossed it with the curried tomato sauce and served that over brown basmati rice. I topped the dish with cashew crème fraiche. Pictured above is Dan’s serving which included a extra large dollop of the crème fraiche. ;-) We had this is some shredded romaine topped with a curried sesame seed dressing. Here is how I made it:

Curried Sesame Seed Dressing
Makes approximately 10 tablespoons


½ cup raw sesame seeds (or use tahini if you aren’t using a high powered blender)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled, or to taste (start with ½ clove)
¼ - ½ cup water (drizzled in until you get the texture you want)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cumin seed (pre ground if not using a high powered blender)
¼ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (be generous the black pepper makes the turmeric more bioavailable)
sea salt, to taste
Next time: I am going to add a Medjool date or a little stevia for a bit of sweetness


Combine the sesame seeds, ½ garlic clove, apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup water, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and black pepper in your blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. If the dressing is too thick drizzle more water into the running blender until you get the texture you like. Taste for seasoning and adjust. I used the entire garlic clove in this dressing but you may find it to be too much. We like a lot of garlic here.

Nutritional Information (assumes 1/10th of the recipe and does not include the proposed date):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 42.58
Calories From Fat (71%) - 30.12

Total Fat - 3.6g
Saturated Fat - 0.5g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 29.43mg
Potassium - 39.24mg
Total Carbohydrates - 1.9g
Fiber - 0.89g
Sugar - 0.03g
Protein - 1.32g

Nutritional Information (1/10th of the recipe and includes the proposed date):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 49.23
Calories From Fat (61%) - 30.15

Total Fat - 3.6g
Saturated Fat - 0.5g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 29.46mg
Potassium - 55.95mg
Total Carbohydrates - 3.7g
Fiber - 1.05g
Sugar - 1.63g
Protein - 1.36g


I included both nutritional breakdowns in case any of you wanted to try adding a date to the dressing. I thought it was fine without the date, but that the little bit of sweetness would round out the flavor nicely.

One tenth of this recipe contains approximately 73mg of calcium, 1mg of iron, 48mg of phosphorus, and 27mg of magnesium. Most vinaigrette based dressing provide calories and not nutrition.

Many of my omni friends are under the impression that nuts are fattening and should be avoided. While this dressing does contain 3.6 grams of fat per 1/10th of the recipe that is not much compared to oil. A tablespoon of olive oil contains 13.5 grams of fat. Additionally the oil contains very few other nutrients it is predominantly fat. Comparing a tablespoon of olive oil to tablespoon of sesame seeds we see that the oil is 120 calories and the seeds are 51. But the sesames also contain 87mg of calcium, 55mg of phosphorus and 30mg of magnesium to name a few. I am not trying to remove the fat from our diet as much as I am removing the fat that adds no nutritional benefit.

Unrelated note:

Because making dinner earlier in the day worked so well I am going to try to do it again. Planning two days in the row? Who am I? LOL!

Since we like to have salad with falafel on top I will be making something similar today. I am working on a red lentil and millet ball/mini burger to top our salads. The idea is a make a big batch of them to keep in the freezer to top salads later on. I will come back later and share the recipe with you later today.

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday. I love these short weeks. It seems like the weekend is coming so much more quickly than usual.


  1. Yum. This sounds great as I've been wanting curry lately. Good for you for being a planner 2 days in a row! At least one of us is being productive as such ;-)

  2. Heather,

    Anything with turmeric is good for us. I have been trying in incorporate it into our meals where it makes sense. ;-)

    Planning two days in a row is SO not like me, LOL.

    talk to you later,

  3. I'm on it! I've got the curried tomato sauce done and in the fridge and this afternoon, I'm making this dressing!
    Thank you!!!

  4. Meg,

    I would try this without the date first and see if you think the dressing would be improved by a little sweetness. I think it will round out the flavors nicely. The dressing will get a little thicker as it chills. You may need to add a little water after refrigerating to make it more liquid.

    Are you making the cashew cream fraiche too? If not I would add a few cashews or slivered almonds to the dish. But then again I do like my nuts and seeds, LOL.

    I hope you enjoy your Indian inspired meal tonight.

    talk to you later,

  5. It looks like we were on the same wavelength with the broccoli last night :-)


  6. Courtney,

    I love my cruciferous veggies, LOL! Not surprised at all that you do too! ;-)

    talk to you later,

  7. This looks so yummy. If there is turmeric in the recipe, I am there! Ali, you are such an inspiration and I so look forward to your blogs! YOU ROCK!!

  8. Lolly,

    I love using turmeric too, LOL. Do you ever add it soup? I do that just for the antioxidants. As long as you don't add too much it doesn't change the flavor but does up the nutrition.

    You are very sweet! Thank you so much for you kind words.



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