Little gem lettuce is a cross between romaine and butter lettuce that grows in small-size heads. I find it at both natural food stores and the farmer’s market.
This dressing is also great served as a dip for raw or lightly-cooked veggies such as sugar snap peas, green beans, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower. Simply add less water so texture is thicker.
Avocado contains the same quantity of fat as cream cheese, but without the saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones in dairy cheeses.

Makes 3 or 4 servings

Creamy Herb Dressing:
Makes about 2 cups or 6 servings
An updated version of the Ranch and Green Goddess Dressings of the 50s, this one is not based on mayonnaise (made of eggs and oil), buttermilk, cheese, cream and/or yogurt. Also not included are non-dairy mayos based on soybean oil because they derive 100% calories from fat. Those based on soymilk do little better at 85%. Tofu, on the other hand, contains 50% calories from fat, and not many calories at that. It works nicely here. Umeboshi paste replaces the anchovy paste some chefs use.

1/2 pound tofu, 1 cup, fresh, soft or medium texture
½ cup each parsley, fresh dill, and green onion tops, sliced
¼ cup avocado (optional)
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup lemon juice OR 2 tablespoons each lemon juice and brown rice vinegar
½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt OR 1 tablespoon umeboshi (pickled plum) paste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
2 tablespoons to ½ cup water, to texture desired

1/2 pound little gem lettuce, pulled apart, small leaves left whole, others halved OR sliced
4 red or rainbow radishes, very thinly sliced (on a mandoline)
1 small bulb fennel, very thinly sliced (on a mandoline)
Handful sunflower sprouts/greens
1 cup Creamy Herb Dressing, or to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground for garnish

1. In a food processor or blender, adding water last and gradually, purée dressing ingredients until creamy smooth.

2. Mix salad ingredients and transfer to salad plates. Pour on the dressing, and top with freshly-ground black pepper.

For 4 servings, per serving:
Calories: 116 Protein: 6gm Saturated Fat: 0.6gm Fiber: 4gm Carbohydrate: 12gm. Fat: 5gm Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 233mg
Calories from Protein: 21% Calories from Fat: 36% Calories from Carbohydrate: 43%
Notes: With 1 tablespoon added olive oil, calories from fat are 46%. With ¼ cup avocado added, fat calories are 43%.