Got the idea for serving this dish at home from a recent function at my workplace. A colleague shared her quick-n-easy preparation of the salad dip and this was how I got hooked to the idea.
The Japanese cucumber was deseeded and cut into long strips. If the cucumber is not so crunchy, try soaking them in tap water for about 20 minutes to make them crunchier. I noticed that my celery tasted weird nearer both ends and hence I used only the middle portion for the salad. To ‘plump’ them up, I cut one long stalk into 2 shorter stalks and stand one end in a glass of tap water for around 20 minutes too. Then I cut the stalks into thin strips. For the carrot, I just peel the skin and cut into long strips. Cut yellow / red capsicum in strips too. The cucumber, celery, carrot and capsicum strips were wrapped in separate cling wraps and refrigerated until use. Peel and cut mango into cubes. Refrigerate them, covered. Cut black, seedless grapes into halves. Refrigerate them, covered too.
To balance the meal a teeny weeny bit for Hannah, I added hard-boiled eggs for their source of proteins and fats. Yup, there is not much of carbohydrates in this meal save the sugars from the fruits.
Now on to the highlight of the dish – salad dip. I have both the healthy (pictured above) and not-so-healthy (pictured below) version. The healthy version (thanks to Annabel Karmel for her recipe) is IMO very delicious and guilt-free. I modified her recipe so that I could use what I already have in the kitchen. Below is the modified recipe:
- onion (50 g, chopped, about 1 small onion)
- fresh ginger (peeled and chopped, 1 tbsp)
- sunflower oil (100 ml)
- rice vinegar (3 tbsp, I used seasoned rice vinegar for making sushi rice)
- light soy sauce (2 tbsp)
- tomato sauce (3 tsp)
- sugar (3 tsp)
- orange juice (2 tsp, freshly squeezed)
- water (3 tbsp)
- Blend all ingredients together until smooth! :D
- Wrap and chill the dip in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving. If you like the dip, can blend in bigger quanitity and keep in glass containers in the fridge for future use. :)
Okay, now the not-so-healthy salad dip but quick to prepare:
- Light sour cream (100 ml)
- Seasoning mix for salad dip (9 g, I used 1/3 pack of McCormick’s Ranch Dip Seasoning Mix from Cold Storage. Just follow the recommended amount of sour cream to go with the mix)
- Mix the powdered Ranch seasoning mix with light sour cream and a few dashes of paprika. Do taste check. Add more sour cream or seasoning mix according to your preference.
- Wrap and chill in dip in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.
Hannah couldn’t resist the novelty of dipping food into the sauce for the 2 occasions we had this dish for dinner. I had to teach her that she cannot do double-dipping. She finished her meal by ‘licking’ the bowl with the healthy dip clean. Both the girls in the family loved the healthy dip. Yang preferred the not-so-healthy version. To sum up, I found this dish to be a great way to encourage the young ones on their intake of raw veggies. :D