Some people have described Russian dressing as Thousand Islands with a 'kick', and for the most part they are very similar. Russian dressing gets it's so called 'kick' from the use of horseradish and hot sauce. And while it has about 75% of the same ingredients as Thousand Island, it is not a sweet style salad dressing. In addition to being a salad dressing, Russian dressing is used to make Reuben sandwiches as well as being a great veggie dip! Created in the early 20th century (about 1906), it is of course 'Russian' in name only and is not associated with the country of Russia at all. According to an article in the Washington Post, one theory on how Russian dressing got it's name is that the original dressing contained Russian caviar, but this is often debated.
Regardless, Russian dressing was eventually superseded by the sweeter Thousand Island dressing (one of my favorites) which is very similar in color and texture. Personally, I think this is a shame. Today many more Americans are expanding their palate and I think many people would enjoy Russian dressings unique depth of flavor and spiciness given the opportunity. That is why I wanted to write this article so that I could share my low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) / Ketogenic (Keto) version of this classic salad dressing for you and your family to try.
Many recipes call for ketchup or ketchup style chili sauce (Heinz) but these have added carbohydrates in the form of sugar, mostly high fructose corn sugar which are not LCHF / Keto friendly. I generally make my Russian dressing with plain tomato sauce, but if I have some LCHF ketchup in my fridge I will use it in place of the tomato sauce. This recipe works well as both a sandwich style dressing and a salad dressing. This recipe is for a good, solid Russian style dressing, but you can add any of your own additions. Occasionally I add 1 - 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish to my dressing; minced pimentos and minced garlic are other popular additions, but I like to keep it pretty simple.
1 cup LCHF or prepared mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 drop liquid sucralose
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Place in the fridge overnight to chill.
Chef's Note: Any hot sauce will do, I like Louisiana hot sauce, but Frank's Red Hot, and Siraiacha are popular choices. Tabasco can be used, but it has a harsher bite and in my opinion is not as smooth as a Louisiana style hot sauce.
Full Recipe (About 1 1/3 cups or 23 Tablespoons)
Calories – 1532, protein 2.6 grams, fat 165 grams, carbohydrates 7.5 grams
Calories 67, protein 0.11 grams, 7.27 grams, carbohydrates 0.32 grams
Ken's Steak House Russian Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 75, protein 0 grams, fat 7 grams, carbohydrates 2.5 grams
Kraft Russian Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 60, protein 0.1 grams, fat 4 grams, carbohydrates 5 grams
Wishbone Russian Dressing (1 Tbsp)
Calories – 55, protein 0 grams, fat 3 grams, carbohydrates 7 grams
As you can see, commercially prepared Russian dressings vary quite a bit when it comes to nutritional information with Wishbone having a whopping 7 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. If you put 3 tablespoons (21 carbohydrates) of Wishbone Russian on your salad you just used up all of your carbs for the day if you are on a strict (20 carbs or less per day) eating regimen. While the Russian dressing recipe in this article has only 0.32 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon or 0.96 total carbs for 3 tablespoons. That's 20 times less carbohydrates than Wishbone. Even Ken's Steakhouse variety which has the least amount of carbohydrates per tablespoon would be a total of 7.5 carbohydrates for 3 tablespoons which is still 7.5 times more carbohydrates than the home made Russian dressing.
This home made LCHF Russian is another great dressing to add to your LCHF and Keto eating regimen. After all eating green salads is a good way to get the extra vitamins (vitamin C and K), minerals (folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium) and fiber. Making LCHF dressings helps you to maintain a low carbohydrate intake as many of us just like more dressing than the traditional serving size of two tablespoons. I hope that you will try making your own Russian dressing and that you and your family will enjoy it's bold, spicy, and unique flavor profile as much as I do. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow us on out Facebook Page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle Google+.
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Ken's Steakhouse: Russian Dressing
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Holl, John, America Was Sweet On It's Spicy Russian Dressing – Until Thousand Island, Washington Post, December 22, 2014
Wishbone Foods: Russian Dressing