Like many of you, my husband and I are trying to eat healthier in the new year (though it doesn't feel so new anymore...I can't believe that January is almost over!). Our main priority has been eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables, which despite living in France we don't get nearly enough of, believe it or not! We've been doing well so far, and this combined with lots of exercise (mostly Zumba, jump rope and cardioboxing for me) has me feeling great! Our dinners have included lots of salads, and inspired by a recipe from I Don't Cook, But My Boyfriend Does!, I whipped up a simple, zesty and healthy (oil-free!) raspberry chipotle salad dressing to go with a Mexican-inspired meal tonight.
Fresh raspberries at a digestible price are unfortunately hard to come by at this time of year, so I made do with frozen berries, which we always keep on hand for smoothies, milkshakes and desserts. Here in France, we are blessed by the presence of Picard, an excellent chain of frozen foods of very high quality found all over the country. Delicious soups and potages, couscous royale, fondant au chocolat...you can find it all at Picard! Including these raspberries...
For anyone who may not be familiar with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chipotles are smoke-dried jalapeno peppers which are brown and shrivelled up in appearance. They are commonly used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine and hail from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. In Spanish, adobo actually refers to any type of sauce, seasoning or marinade used in Latin American cooking. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce refers to chipotles in a sauce stewed with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, peppers, ground cumin and dried oregano. Cans of chipotle peppers in adobo can be commonly found in supermarkets in the U.S. and I'm presuming in many parts of Latin America as well. If only the same can be said about France...I have to beg and plead American visitors to bring me cans of the stuff or stock up on it when we travel to the U.S.!
The combination of sweet from the raspberries and spicy from the chipotle proved to be a great one in this dressing. It's oil-free, but you could easily emulsify with a little olive oil if you want a more "typical" salad dressing texture.
RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE DRESSINGInspired by I Don't Cook, But My Boyfriend Does!
Makes 1 cup
1 cup fresh or frozen (and defrosted) raspberries
1 teaspoon of the sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1. Combine the raspberries, chipotle chile puree, agave syrup and coriander in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the lime juice (and more agave syrup/honey if desired, to taste) and stir well. You're done!
NOTE: I served this on a simple salad of mache, grape tomatoes, avocado and red onion. For additional Mexican-inspired touches to your salad, you could try jicama, mango, corn, black beans, tortilla strips, queso fresco...the possibilities are endless!