I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th! It's always fun to gather with family and friends. Sometimes in those gatherings we overdo it, indulge, and eat things out of the norm. So how can you get back on track? Start with good, fresh food today.
There is nothing like a nice salad. To make the most of the salad you'll need good ingredients. Go beyond the greens and add nuts or seeds, proteins, fruits, and multiple vegetables. To bring out those flavors, choose a good dressing. Most bottled dressings have sugar, soybean & canola oils, and sodium. How do you combat ingredients that you don't want? Make your own. Today we'll look at some delicious salad dressing recipes.
GREEN GODDESS DRESSING
You'll love this creamy dressing. The avocado will provide you with good fats to keep you satisfied.
1/2 avocado peeled and pitted
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 clove garlic
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds** see note below
1/2 cup parsley leaves roughly chopped
1 tbsp chives minced
Place everything except parsley and chives into blender and puree until creamy smooth. Add parsley leaves and chives and process again until well incorporated. Thin with extra water to desired consistency. Taste and adjust for salt and lemon.
Use immediately or store in air tight glass jar for up to a week.
* I use a toasted tahini for this dressing because I it gives such a nice flavor. Raw tahini will work as well but the taste will be a bit subtle.
** To toast your sesame seeds, simply roast seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant and beginning to brown. Be sure to shake pan regularly to keep seeds from burning.
CHIPOTLE BACON RANCH DRESSING
Spicy ranch will go well on any salad, but particularly a taco salad. Spice it with chipotle!
1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp finely minced chipotle pepper in adobo
4 pieces bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Place all ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined. Serve over salad, chicken or fish.
Here is another version of spicy ranch:
1/4 cup Ranch dressing – use the one above omitting the bacon & chipotle
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Use immediately or transfer to a sealable jar and refrigerate for future use (best used in 2 to 3 days).
HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
Who doesn't love honey mustard? Create your own so you can control the sweetness.
1 clove garlic peeled and sliced in half
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Rub the sides of a bowl with garlic, then discard. In bowl whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. While whisking, slowly add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
Here is another vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar. I like red wine vinegar. The tang is just right.
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Slowly whisk in oil until well blended.
Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use; bring to room temperature and stir or shake to mix.
COCONUT MILK RANCH DRESSING
Here is another version of ranch dressing. You'll get a subtle sweetness using the coconut milk.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon onion powder OR 1/4 small onion, minced finely
1 teaspoon garlic powder OR 1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 teaspoon dried dill OR 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
2 teaspoons dried parsley OR 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried chives OR 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 green onion sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (recommended: Bragg)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk together until smooth. Transfer to a bottle or jar for storage and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving (longer if using dried herbs).
SWEET ONION CITRUS
Add this sweet onion goodness to your next salad. It's also a great dip for veggies or meat.
1 cup diced sweet onions (such as Vidalia)
1/2 cup light olive
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)
3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tapioca starch (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 Large clove fresh garlic
Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.
PALEO CAESAR DRESSING
If you don't like anchovies, this is the dressing for you. The coconut aminos is a nice change.
1 clove garlic halved
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 medjool date pitted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
Place the ingredients (except the oil and nutritional yeast) in the work bowl of a food processor or a blender.
While the machine is running drizzle in the oil. Add the nutritional yeast and pulse a few times to combine.
Pour the dressing into a lidded container (like a mason jar!) and chill until ready to use. Dressing is best when used within 4-5 days.
If you’d rather use anchovies, you can use substitute 3 anchovy fillets, or 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste. Omit the coconut aminos.
You can also use 1/2 teaspoon of honey in place of the date if you’re not doing Whole30. You could even leave it out entirely if the dressing tastes OK to you. I find it to be slightly acidic without a bit of sweetener. Substituting 1/4 teaspoon of erythritol would be a good low-carb option if you feel it needs some sweetener.
Salad dressing isn't only for salads. Here are some other uses:
use oil based dressings to roast chickpeas - roast at 400F until crispy
marinade meats and veggies
use on pasta (even veggie pasta)
liven up beans
use as a spread for a sandwich
use instead of mayo for potato or cauliflower (notato) salad
sauce for slow roasted meats
use in stir fry
drizzle on pizza
Flavor up your salads and other foods by making your own dressings. All these recipes will taste much better than anything you can buy in a bottle. Switch up the vinegars and herbs and create you own masterpiece. If it's flavor that you are looking for, you can't go wrong with these combinations.
Here's to your health! Happy Mixing!