In my last Meatless Monday post, I spoke about building a better salad. Today, I want to chat about dressing that better salad.
Dressings. They can make or break your salad. That healthy bowl of green goodness can be negated in an instant with a too liberal portion of high-calorie, high-fat dressing poured over top. And an unpalatable bottled fat-free dressing, although certainly more appealing to your calorie counter, can make eating the salad itself completely unappealing. If it makes you dread the idea of eating a salad, it doesn’t matter how little fat or calories it contains.
When discussing salads on our Facebook page, Donnalynn commented that she uses flavored balsamic on her salads. Chocolate balsamic – how glorious does that sound?!! If you have such things available in your local stores (sadly, I do not), I suggest you give it a try!
My go-to dressings:
- Salsa – I eat a lot of taco salads, especially in the winter months. I skip the tortillas and substitute either lentils or chickpeas for the meat. Top with your favorite salsa and a little dab of plain yogurt. Yum! Salsa also works well with just simple salads topped with black beans.
- Honey Mustard – This dressing is quick and simple, but so tasty! It’s my go-to dressing when I’m pressed for time and starving, because it comes together in seconds. One generous tablespoon of honey, one scant tablespoon of dijon mustard, a couple teaspoons of vinegar (I use rice wine, but white should work well, too), and a dash of pepper, whisked together. These measurements are just estimates. Play around and find the balance that works for you!
- Chef AJ’s House Dressing – This is beyond a doubt my favorite dressing! I could eat salad for every meal of the day when I have a batch of this whipped up and I
DO!would lick the bowl clean. This dressing contains one “specialty” ingredient that most omnivores probably don’t keep in the pantry – nutritional yeast. However, you should be able to find it either in a well-stocked grocery store, your local health food store, or a co-op. And you should buy some, just to try this recipe! I don’t have to pull out the triple-dog dare, do I?
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- Place all of the above in a blender and blend until smooth.
If giving up your olive oil-based dressing is unfathomable, then I encourage you to use it sparingly. More isn’t better, it’s just more. Dress your salad, don’t bathe it 🙂 Measure out your two tablespoons into the bottom of your salad bowl. Then gently add your greens and toss lightly, using either a couple spoons or your own two hands. This will ensure that every leaf gets a light dressing and none end up swimming in a pool of oil. This method will also help you use less dressing, which, when you’re talking oil-based dressings, is a good thing!
Tell me, what is your favorite homemade dressing? Or favorite serving suggestion, like the salsa or balsamic? And will you be giving any of the above a try?
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