I love salads! They are a huge part of our weekly menu. Once I’ve prepped for the week, offering up a delightful bowl of goodness is super easy. I love to get creative with toppings too. Dressings are a super simple way to add loads of nutrition into a meal with fabulous flavors. If I make a commitment I am ALL in! When I decided there would never be another bottle of store-bought dressing in this house I was on a mission to replace some of the hubby’s favorites. I scored when I found Dr. Fuhrman’s, Eat to Live Cookbook. It opened me to the wonderful world of cooking without copious amounts of oil. These two yummy recipes for dressing are sans oil. Give them a try. Get comfortable with the ingredients and textures they create and then EXPERIMENT!
Before I get to the recipes, here is some valuable news on the importance of fat in your dressings. Yes, I said fat! Here is why. Fat-soluble carotenoids — important antioxidants like lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene that help protect against a wide range of chronic diseases — contained in your salad aren’t absorbed as well by your body without monounsaturated fat. The takeaway here is that your body needs at least some fat in order to get the most out of your salad. It serves no purpose to pile on the good veggies and not give your body the fuel it needs to make use of the nutrition they provide. The following recipes fit the bill, perfectly!
Nutritarian Caesar Dressing (Serves 6)
I can’t claim this to taste like traditional Caesar … but it is so fresh and flavorful. It’s become one of our faves! Great on wraps or raw veggies too.
INGREDIENTS½ cup raw cashews (Nuts.com has great prices) 6 ounces firm silken tofu 3 large cloves garlic, or to taste 2 medium celery stalks, chopped ½ cup water ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ teaspoon white miso (I like Eden Foods, Certified Organic Shiro Miso) 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 pitted Medjool dates or 4 Deglet Noor dates 1 teaspoon kelp granules (I like Maine Coast Sea Seasonings Kelp Granules) 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I like Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning) Freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until the mixture is the consistency of conventional Caesar dressing, adding more water or some soy milk if needed to adjust consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes about 2 ½ cups.
Orange Peanut Dressing (Serves 4)
This hits the spot when you are going Asian! So tasty. The ginger really shines through if you add a bit more than the recipe calls for. Great on a wrap too…or by the spoonful!
INGREDIENTS2 oranges, peeled and seeded ¼ cup rice vinegar 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter or ¼ cup unsalted peanuts ¼ cup raw cashews or ¼ cup raw cashew butter (Nuts.com has great prices) 1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Amino or low-sodium soy sauce ¼ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (I ALWAYS add more ginger!) Small clove of garlic
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.
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