Saturday, January 15, 2011

1000 Island Dressing

This week I'm making over my lettuce salad and definitely couldn't do that completely without addressing the salad dressing.  Thousand island dressing is the dressing I grew up on.  I have fond memories of going to Golden Corral on car trips and making myself a huge salad topped with chopped eggs, ham, turkey, bacon bits and lots of thousand island dressing.  Looking at that list, I think I might be the only person who can turn a lettuce salad into a full serving of protein!

As I researched different dressings, it became pretty obvious that one of the easier dressingsto make from scratch would be thousand island.  I finally settled on this recipe from  It only had three ingredients:  mayonaise, chili sauce, and pickle relish.  The recipe got great reviews.  It seemed like a no brainer-until I went to the store to get chili sauce.

I should've known better than to think that I could walk into the grocery store, pick up a bottle of chili sauce and walk out.  That would've been entirely too easy.  My store of choice had 4 different kinds of chili sauce, and all of them had ingredients that I'm trying not to buy.  Most notable among them are high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn syrup and corn syrup solids, and partially hydrogenated anything.  So, that was a bust, although I did pick up some organic cornstarch that will pop up in a post later on.

At home, it was back to to find a recipe for chili sauce.  After looking at several, I chose this one.  It was simple enough to whip up, but I found myself with a real problem.  I don't eat chili sauce.  I can't recollect a time when I did.  That makes it very difficult to taste something and know if it's "right."  I plodded on and used it in the dressing recipe.  The results were so-so.  I have discovered that I don't really like mayonaise in a lot of things, and I could pick out the mayo taste right off-not good.  This is where the tinkering begins.  I added more chili sauce, a bit more vinegar and a little lemon juice.  It is still sweeter and had less zip than my $.99 bottle from Aldi's, but it will do.  Once I have used this up, I think I will try the second runner up and see if I like that one better.  It didn't get chosen originally because it calls for ketchup and my ketchup right now still has HFCS in it.  Since my goal is to get more natural ingredients, using the ketchup would have been counter productive.  But, I think I'll still make it with my ketchup and see how it is.  Then I can keep the recipe for when I buy better ketchup.

Sorry I took so long posting this.  I wrote my post on a different computer than where the picture was, so I thought I'd wait and put the pic on before posting-then I forgot.  Oops!  Tomorrow I'm going to try a Caesar dressing and maybe a Ranch one too (we're having guests that like ranch).


  1. I hate this! I have often gone to the store to get ingredients for a 'from scratch' recipe to find that the ingredients have the very things (HFCS, GMOs etc) in them that we are trying to avoid by making everything ourselves. Very frustrating. Keep at it!

  2. I decided to eliminate HFCS from my kitchen in November, and it's been really easy-except for the condiments! It's in almost all of them, and it's frustrating to find non hfcs options.


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