The Original Texas Tastemaker

Sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing has certainly had a long run in the spotlight. Made popular by Helen Corbitt back in the 1950’s, poppy seed dressing is still a regular offering on most summer fruit salads. (FYI inasmuch as I could have googled this Helen Corbitt factoid, I knew this one off the top of my head. Helen Corbitt has been THE tastemaker in Texas since the 1950’s . Her recipes are still featured at every Neiman Marcus lunch spot, where her name is spoken softly, with reverence and respect.)

This recipe is a reinterpretation of Mrs. Corbitt’s original, but uses chia seeds instead of poppy seeds. Heralded as a super food, chia seeds are showing up more often in healthy dishes and beverages. Their subtly, nutty flavor is easy to work into anyone’s diet.

From Dime Store Novelty to Super Food

Until the last decade, chia showed up only on those quirky dollar-store plant projects, where you could sprout green hair on terra cotta llamas, bears or Homer Simpson heads. In the tradition of “It was a brave man that ate the first oyster…”,  it must have been a misguided dollar store shopper that licked the first chia pet, and subsequently declared they had discovered a new food trend for the U.S.

But seriously folks, the fact is that chia has long been a staple food in its native land of Mexico, where the ancient Mayans enjoyed chia in beverages, or by the handful on long journey. Known by its scientific name Salvia hispanica, chia provides out bodies with a wealth of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and works in our tummy as an appetite suppressant. The more you read, the more you will add chia to your diet!

Try a spoonful of our sweet and tangy Lemon Chia Dressing over an avocado half, use as a dip for cucumbers, or substitute in traditional supper club style dishes that call for poppy seed dressing, such as wedge salads or fresh fruit.


Watermelon Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing

Watermelon Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing
  • Yield: 4


  • 4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunks (600gr)
  • 1 cucumber, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 of a small onion, sliced
  • 20 grapes, cut into quarters
  • ¾ cup avocado or olive oil (175ml)
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (60ml)
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds (10gr)
  • 2 tbsp. honey (30ml)
  • 1 tsp. fresh onion juice* (5ml)
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard (3gr)
  • ¼ tsp salt, or to taste (1gr)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (60ml)


  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a salad bowl.
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients, and serve over watermelon.


To make fresh onion juice, simply grate a fresh white onion using a cheese grater. The onion juice can be pressed out of the grated onion. Do not add onion pulp, as the flavor is very strong.


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