Product Review: Tessemae’s
Dressings, Sauces & Marinades
Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, WLC
(Plus Recipe Ideas & Discount Code!)
I cannot express how thrilled I am to be reviewing these products. Tessamae’s All Natural has got it all: an awesome back-story (started by a mom and her three boys), clean ingredients (check ‘em out – not a stinker among them), super cool wax-sealed bottles and most importantly, 100% delicious flavor. Here’s why I love their products, and some of the ways I’ve used them already, along with your code for 15% online orders!
obsession love affair with Tessemae’s began a couple of weeks ago. I was at a regional CrossFit competition (where my box placed a heart-breakingly (<–yes, it’s a word) close second), and met Oliver from Tessemae’s. He was quite popular that day, not only because of his winning personality but also because he was giving away free samples. And if you know anything about CrossFitters, you know that we like to eat. All the time.
But we don’t like to eat crap. So everyone there was thrilled to be trying delicious, healthy, CLEAN salad dressings! Interestingly, just one week prior, I had been giving a talk at a women’s event on making-over your pantry. I very sadly explained that there were NO healthy salad dressings besides homemade. Prior to trying Tessemae’s, I had looked at every “natural,” “fresh,” and organic salad dressing I could find. All of them were made with cheap rancid oils that were nearly always GMO (even “olive oil” dressings are made predominantly of soybean oil), and flavored with garbage sweeteners to make up for a lack of genuine flavor.
I tried four varieties of Tessemae’s dressings/marinades that day (Lemon Chesapeake, Lemon Garlic, Balsamic and Zesty Ranch), along with their Hot Sauce/Wing Sauce (Medium). Each one was better than the last. In fact, I left the competition during a break to go buy a giant salad, just so I could cover it Tessemae’s dressing. (Oliver very kindly obliged and mixed together the Wing Sauce and Zesty Ranch for me. So good. Sooooo good.)
Besides just dressing my lunch salad for me, Oliver also sent me home with five varieties of Tessemae’s to play with at home and review here.
Why I Love Tessemae’s
I guess there’s no “big reveal” that’s going to happen in this review. You can tell I’m a huge fan. Here’s why:
*The base of all of the salad dressings is cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Not soy, not corn and not canola, but good ol’ delicious and healthy olive oil.
*Nearly every additional ingredient is organic.
*The ingredient lists are short. And they are all readable by my seven year old.
*All of their products are gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free (and so, Whole Life Challenge compliant, with the exception of Soy Ginger, which contains tamari).
*The flavors are outstanding. I’ll give product specific details below, but seriously, they are so, so good.
*Having them in the pantry greatly increased the amount of salad we eat. I’ve long wanted us to have salad every night with dinner. But after making breakfast, lunch and four million snacks during the day, and then making dinner, I almost never feel like making one more thing (homemade salad dressing), no matter how simple. With these in the pantry, it was easy to add salad to any meal. (And quite often for lunch, I would use a leftover protein and make salad the whole meal.)
*I get to support a small, local business! (Being based in Annapolis, MD, they are local to me.)
Hot Sauce/ Wing Sauce (Hot)
When I tried the samples, I tried the medium variety. It was a great amount of heat, with such delicious flavor (Frank’s who?). Oliver had a simple grilled chicken breast cut into strips and tossed with the sauce, and it was OUTstanding. I could eat it all day.
Here at home, I had the hot variety. Let me tell you: I AM ADDICTED TO THIS SAUCE. (Speaking of Frank’s, isn’t their slogan “I put that $@#& on everything?” Well, seriously, I put this $@#& on everything.)
Is it possible to improve on deviled eggs? Only in one way: Add this hot sauce. Hard boil or hard bake your eggs (find the methods here). Once they’re cooked and cooled, slice them in half and remove the yolks to a small bowl. Now, I’m sorry about the lack of measurements, but add in, to taste: A dollop of mayo, sea salt and pepper, and some hefty shakes of Tessemae’s Hot Sauce. Blend until creamy, and fill in the whites of the cooked eggs.
In the couple of weeks that I’ve had this sauce, I’ve probably made my breakfast with it ten times. Maybe more.
Basically, each breakfast is some random combination of:
Ground beef or leftover meat from dinner
Heat butter in saute pan. Throw in onions and sweat them down a bit. (Obviously you can tell by the pictures that I sometimes let them, um, caramelize quite a bit.) Throw in the garlic and move it around so it doesn’t burn. Then add in your meat and season with salt if desired. Move the hash to the side of the pan, add more butter if necessary, and fry an egg or two over there. You can either mash it all together, or keep them separate so they look pretty on your plate. Plate it, and dump Tessemae’s Hot Sauce all over it.
Even if you don’t have time for all that, a quickly fried egg – or even a hard boiled one from the fridge – covered in Tessemae’s hot sauce is delicious.
Matty’s BBQ Sauce
Barbecue sauce is something that I never really perfected making at home, so I am overjoyed to have a healthy and delicious one to buy. I wanted to come up with a recipe that was kind of unconventional, and so I made some steak with it. I’m usually not one to ruin a good steak with a sauce, especially a barbecue sauce, but this came out delish. Just give it a chance.
Rubbed Steak with Matty’s BBQ Sauce
*2 grass-fed sirloins, about 8 oz. each
*Steak rub: About 3 T chili powder, 3/4 tsp. each cumin and coriander, 1/4 t cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. each dry mustard and oregano, 1 Tbsp. sea salt
*Tessemae’s Matty’s BBQ Sauce
Preheat your broiler as high as it will go.
Combine the steak rub ingredients and rub each steak on one side very generously with it.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron or other oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, add the steaks, rub-side down, and brush generously with the BBQ Sauce.
Place the steaks under the broiler for five minutes. Flip the steaks over, brush again with BBQ Sauce, and broil for four more minutes for medium-rare. (My broiler goes to 500 degrees. If yours doesn’t go that high, or your steaks are very thick, increase the time as necessary.)
Remove from oven, brush one more time with BBQ Sauce and let rest for a few minutes.
(Read some more about this steak cooking method here. These would also be great on the grill, but I don’t grill (because grillin’ is man’s work). )
PS – Remember the horribly staged picture I mentioned a few days ago? Yeah, that’s it above.
Lemon Garlic Dressing/ Marinade
Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing/ Marinade was actually a life-saver. Or at least a meal-saver. Long story short, I tried buying some wild-caught salmon at Aldi because it was soooo much cheaper than what I usually pay. Yeah, the reason it was cheap was because it was DREADFUL. It was the most pathetic, anemic color, and was really random scraps of fish sort of pressed together to shape a fillet… It was awful. The only way it was edible was because this marinade/ dressing was so good. I can only imagine how life-changing it would be on quality fish!
Lemon Garlic Salmon Salad
*Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing/ Marinade
*Romaine lettuce, shredded
*Cucumbers, sliced and quartered
*Green onions, thinly sliced
Marinate salmon fillets in Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing/ Marinade for about 20 minutes.
Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
Meanwhile, combine the shredded lettuce, cukes and green onions in a large bowl. Add in Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing/ Marinade and toss very well. Divide among serving plates.
Add marinated salmon fillets to hot pan. Increase heat to high and cook for three minutes. Sprinkle with capers (if desired) and sea salt. Flip fillets over, and cook for about five minutes longer or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Do not overcook (unless, like me, you unfortunately buy salmon that is of such dubious quality that you are terrified to cook it any way besides well done :/).
Top each plated salad with a salmon fillet (along with capers from pan, if using). Serve with extra Lemon Garlic Dressing on the side.
Variation: Tessemae’s Lemon Chesapeake Dressing/ Marinade would also excellent be in this recipe!
Balsamic Dressing/ Marinade
How could I not have a special recipe for this delicious dressing?! Balsamic dressing is one of my favorite things in the world, and this one is outstanding. When making those last minute dinner salads I mentioned above, more often than not this is the dressing I would reach for. A favorite of the whole family, Tessemae’s Balsamic Dressing/ Marinade would also make an excellent marinade for chicken breasts or thighs, or even vegetables.
Where to Buy, Plus Your Discount Code
Tessemae’s products are now available in nationwide Whole Foods stores! Take a look here to see where else they can be found.
Thankfully, you can also purchase them online. Take a look at their selection – including the brand new Southwest Ranch, about which I am excited way beyond what is normal – here. And as my reader, you can receive 15% off using the discount code DISHRAG (good until 3.18.13). Go ahead and share that with your friends, and make sure to check out their “Rainbow Packs!” [Update, 3.6.13: Tessemae's is having technical difficulties, and you may not be able to enter the discount code. They are manually refunding 15% to every order that comes in. Thank you for your patience!]
More Recipes & Other Good Stuff from Tessemae’s
Which variety of Tessemae’s can you not wait to try?
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