Right after I graduated from college, I made this salad quite often because it is very economical. Also I was a terrible cook then. I have redeemed myself on that score. Now I make this dish because it is something quick to eat if I am spending a lot of time in my garden. And it’s economical. I used to make the salad with Newman’s Own Italian. Now I make my own dressings. The store bought ones, even the more expensive ones, are filled with soybean oil, vegetable or canola. All of those oils are terrible for your health. I don’t even buy the individual packets to which you add oil, water and vinegar. The ingredient list on those packets is like reading a chemistry lesson. Citric Acid, xanthan gum, guar gum, maltodextrin, sugar. I don’t want those things in my salad dressing. Naturally occurring citric acid does come from the peel of citrus fruits, but more commonly it is produced from black mold or corn. This type is cheaper to manufacture. Most companies will use the cheapest ingredients. The store bought salad dressings also may contain GMO or bio engineered ingredients. I don’t want to consume those either.
This is my mix recipe. Feel free to tweak it to your taste. You can also use more black pepper or cayenne for a zesty version.
Italian Dressing Mix
- 2 tsps Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tbsp dried Parsley
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- ½ tsp dehydrated Red Bell Pepper powder or flakes
- ¼ tsp Thyme
- ½ tsp dried Celery Flakes or Celery Seeds
Mix together and store in a jar. To make the dressing put .7 ounce of the dry mix into a jar. Add ¼ white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons water and ½ cup oil. I use extra light olive oil. St aside to allow the flavors to meld.
- 1 12 oz can Tuna packed in water, drained
- 1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained (I freeze the bean liquid to use in my vegetable soups)
- 1 15 oz can Dark Red Kidney beans, drained
- 2 Carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 medium Red Onion small dice
- 2 Celery ribs, small dice
Mix together in a large bowl. Add the Italian dressing. Place in a storage container and chill for at least an hour. Make a double batch. This is devoured quickly.