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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fresh Dressing Ideas

Most salad dressings are composed of a mix of a fat and an acid  (usually in a 1:2 ratio).  The fat is usually oil and the acid vinegar, but here are some other ideas to break thru the box.  The fat can be nuts or nut butter.  The acid could be lemon or fruit juice.  There are so many different ways to experiment and tons of dressings to enjoy.

My favorite dressings are oil based, mostly because I’m always happy for a chance to use good, healthy oils (flax, hemp, cold-pressed olive).  Healthy fats are good for us as they are rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, which we as Americans are deeply deprived of in our regular diet -- EVEN if we are eating "healthy".  You should always be looking for ways to add healthy Omega 3's to your diet to help feed your brain (primarily composed of the fat) and decrease inflammation (which causes disease) naturally in your body.

On a Maximized Living Nutrition Plan, we know to stay away from the bottled dressings due to the ingredients (chemicals, sugars, non-organic quality).  So, are you sick of the same old olive oil and vinegar salad dressing?  Me too.  Here are some of the dressings I've been playing around with for my salads lately.  We eat a lot of salads, mostly for lunch since we are a no microwave family and need quick and easy meals away from a stove (check out why microwaves are so dangerous and make an educated decision for your family).  Salads are a staple!  Here are some yummy dressings to switch it up from the normal oil and vinegar.  Send along your favorite salad dressing ideas!  We are always looking for different mixes!

Creamy Avocado-Cumin Dressing
Yeilds About 1 Cup

1 tsp whole cumin seeds (buy them in the bulk section at your co-op)
3-4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 avocado
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced (3 roasted cloves if you have time)
1/4 c filtered water
Fresh black pepper to taste

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant (just a few minutes, keep close watch not to burn!).  Grind into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.  Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.  Add pepper and season to taste.

Asian Inspired Dressing
Yields About 1 Cup

1/2 Tbsp ginger, diced
1 c olive oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1/3 c water
4 Tbsp white miso paste
4 pitted dates, diced

Blend all ingredients together in blender until creamy and emulsified.

Thai Inspired Dressing

Yields About 1 1/2 Cups

1 c filtered water
1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup basil
Sprinkle of sea salt to taste
2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp stevia powder
1 avocado, diced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.


Zucchini Dressing 
Yields About 1 Cup

1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp organic honey mustard
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
2 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
3 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 medium zucchini, chopped

Blend all dressing ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. ((delicious with spinach!))

Poppyseed Dressing
Yields About 1 Cup

1 c raw pine nuts
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c filtered water
1 Tbsp Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
Dash sea salt
2 Tbsp poppy seeds (Added last, after blending)

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high.  Add poppyseeds.  ((So good!! Dave's Favorite!))

Butternut Squash Dressing
Yeilds About 1 Cup

1 c cooked butternut squash
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos
2 Tbsp filtered water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp raw agave nectar

Blend all ingredients in a blender till smooth. ((Great with raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds over greens!!))

Beet Dressing
Yields About 1 1/2 Cups

2 c cooked beets, chopped
2 Tbsp Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp filtered water
2 Tbsp flax oil

Blend all ingredients on high. Enjoy this sweet&tart creamy dressing.  ((Great over any greens with cucumber, red onion and carrot.))

Sweet Carrot Dressing
Yields About 2 Cups

2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 c raw, organic tahini
1 c unsweetened carrot juice
2 Tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos
2 tsp fresh ginger (more if you can handle it)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sprinkle of powdered stevia (optional)

Blend all ingredients in blender until creamy.  Add a splash of water to thin out if preferred.  ((Wonderful with dried cranberries, raw almonds and cabbage.))

Buttermilk Dill Ranch Dressing
Yields About 1 Cup

1/2 c organic plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c raw milk
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Vegenaise
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp dried savory mix
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp fresh dill fronds

In glass measuring cup, add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tsp lemon juice and let stand for about 5 minutes (turns the milk into a buttermilk substitute).  Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until thoroughly combined.  Let rest covered in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.

1 comments:

Ashley

I made the caesar dressing, and it didn't say to let sit.. didn't taste quite so good when used immediately :P

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