Newman’s Own Dressings Make Cooking A Breeze

Written by Frugal Nik

How can anyone forget those ice blue eyes… The passing of Paul Newman left a world sad, but with hopeful hearts.  His legacy goes beyond Hollywood and reaches around the globe.  You may be familiar with the line of dressings and other food that Paul Newman created.  However, you might not be familiar with the “Newman’s Own Foundation”, through which he has given over $250 Million to charities around the world since 1982.  All profits from the sale of Newman’s Own products will continue to go to charities within the United States and abroad.

The commitment of Newman’s Own Foundation to make the world a better place is one of the reasons I buy their food.  The other reason is because it’s fantastic!  I’m particularly fond of the salad dressings, especially the “Lighten Up” varieties.  The ingredients are wholesome,  the flavor is stupendous, and the calorie and fat content fit well within my meager attempts at dieting.  My refrigerator is always well stocked with an assortment of Newman’s Own salad dressings, which got me thinking… how can I use this for other things than salad? 

I’m not one to go out and buy marinades when I need one; I’d prefer to use what I have on hand.  The clutter in my refrigerator and pantry would get out of hand if I kept bringing home bottles of marinade.  And, I’d prefer not to start collecting bottles of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette just to mix up marinades.  So, there it was staring me in the face right from my refrigerator shelf.  Why not marinade and cook with salad dressing?  Which is exactly what I started doing.

My cooking with Paul Newman started out simply by marinading some chicken wings in Lighten Up Italian Dressing.  I just put the wings in a big plastic food storage bag, poured the dressing in, zipped up the bag, and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour.  When I put those wings on the grill the aroma wafted through the air and the whole outdoors smelled delicious! 

The next attempt was a kale side dish.  I took out a big heavy pot, put it over medium heat, threw in a big bag of fresh kale, poured in 1/4 cup of Lighten Up Honey Mustard Dressing and 1/2 cup of water. Then I covered the skillet tightly and let it cook down slowly until the kale was softened up a bit, about 20 minutes.  You can try this with any greens, like collard or mustard greens.  Many people find greens to be slightly bitter, which they can be, so by adding something sweet to the greens, like this dressing, they turn out perfect. 

I wanted to try a full meal next, and I was hungry for something Asian inspired.  Newsman’s Own Lighten Up Low-Fat Sesame Ginger was just the ticket!  I laid out six pieces of frozen Tilapia fish in a 9×13 clear glass baking dish and poured about 1/4 cup of chicken broth in the bottom of the pan.  Then I poured enough of the dressing over each piece of fish so they were fully covered. I topped each piece with a few sprinkles of chopped green onion tops, but you could snip some chives instead.  I loosely covered the baking dish with foil and put it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Tilapia is pretty thin and fragile so don’t over-cook; that’s why I put it in frozen and used a see-thru dish.  I covered plates with fresh baby spinach, drizzled just a little of the Sesame Ginger dressing over the spinach, and when the fish was done, laid the hot pieces of fish right on top of each bed of spinach.  The sweet, salty, hot, and cold combinations make this dish a real sensation. Try it on your lady friends!

If you’re lucky enough to have salmon available to you, I’ve found the perfect marinade and sauce.  Salmon is a fish that needs a sauce, at least, in my book.  Put your salmon in a plastic zip food bag with enough Newman’s Own Lighten Up Raspberry & Walnut Dressing to cover it well.  Let the salmon sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Then, take the salmon out of the dressing, and discard the dressing.  Grill or bake your salmon as you normally would.  You’ll be amazed at the added layer of yummy flavor you’ve produced by marinading the salmon in this dressing.  Create a little sauce to spoon over the salmon when it’s served by pouring a cup or so of the dressing (use fresh out of the bottle, not the marinade leftovers) into a sauce pan and simmer it until the dressing reduces down just a bit.  Incredible! 

No more expensive balsamic vinaigrette for me now that I’ve found Newman’s Own Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.  I’ve actually found many uses for this versatile dressing.  Roasted vegetables practically make themselves when you use this dressing.  Just chop up your vegetables, I use a combination of yellow (summer) squash, zucchini, grape tomatoes, and sweet onion, and throw them in a big roasting pan.  Pour enough dressing over them to give all the veggies a good coating.  Salt and pepper, then roast in your oven at about 400 degrees until they start to brown a little bit, about 25 minutes, more or less depending on the size you cut the vegetables.  (You may want to put your grape tomatoes in after the other veggies have started to get soft.)  You can also use this dressing for grilled vegetables.  Truly yummy!

Another more unusual dish that I created using Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing is a raspberry sauce.   We had a wonderful Chocolate Pate for dessert one night and my husband bought fresh raspberries to go with it.  I took the raspberries, smashed them up with just a touch of sugar until they were nice and juicy, and then drizzled a little bit of the dressing in, tasted, drizzled a little more, tasted, until the resulting raspberry sauce had a mystery flavor peeking out from the background.  That was a truly inspired move!  The dressing made the difference between a sweet raspberry sauce and a WOW raspberry sauce. 

What I like about using Newman’s Own dressings is that it’s so easy.  You really don’t need to add another ingredient!  It’s all right there in the bottle.  Of course, you’ll want to experiment and branch off a little bit from these basic quick and easy recipes I’ve shared.  With all the Newman’s Own dressings to choose from, I know you’ll find your own inspirations for creating fabulous new dishes. This is just the beginning!

And, of course, the thing that inspires me most about using Newman’s Own salad dressings is that I’m doing a little bit to help less fortunate people around the world.  If I can purchase a food product that is delicious, nutritious, and philanthropic, well, that just does my heart good.  Go ahead and stock your refrigerator with Paul Newman food products and see if you don’t feel just a tad warm and fuzzy.

When you’re looking for more ways to help you plan quick, nutritious meals, organize your life, or just find a few extra minutes in your day to relax and smile, check back right here and let us give you a hand.


One Response to “Newman’s Own Dressings Make Cooking A Breeze”

  1. Tracy says:
    March 17th, 2009 9:54 am

    If today wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day – corned beef & cabbage, I’d be preparing that yummy sounding tiliapia.

    Thanks for the great ideas.

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