Friday, August 3, 2007

Great Salad Dressings

A member of one of the online groups I belong to recently asked for suggestions for interesting vegetables to try or recipes, as her boyfriend doesn't like to eat veggies. I think this is a fairy pervasive problem and I have decided to post great vegetable recipes and tips for eating more of them. This will be the subject of the next few posts.

The member also stated that her boyfriend doesn't like raw veggies. Which made me think about how much I like tossed salads and can't imagine not eating them. Yet. There are a number of reasons why someone might not like salads:

1. Terrible dressing: Virtually all commercial dressings are vile, loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors, sugars and cheap oils. (Some natural prepared dressings are good--check the refrigerated section of a natural food store.)

2. Too much dressing is poured onto salad. A little goes a long way--when in doubt, use a bit, toss, then taste--you can always add more.

3. Salad isn't dressed and you have to pour dressing yourself and toss in with a fork. The problem here is that you are sure to get great globs of dressing in one bite and traces on other bites. (I hate this.)

4. Dressing sits on salad too long, making it wilt. Mix dressing into salad no more than five minutes before you eat.

5. Inferior vegetables--either old, brown or just nasty.

My husband and I eat a lot of salad, but it's still just the two of us, so I keep things interesting by rotating what veggies I buy for salad. Summer is easy, as a wide variety of greens are available at farmer's markets and natural food stores (our local stores carry local produce, too.)

I make most of my salad dressings and chose dressing based on the other dishes we are eating that night. I make a bottle at a time and they keep well refrigerated.

Here are my favorites:

Classic Vinaigrette
1 cup parts olive oil and/or canola
1/3 part any of the following vinegars: balsamic , red, white, apple cider
1 T dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper
Shake, use a blender or food process

Add more pizzazz by adding some or all of the following:

Anchovy paste
Hot sauce
Fresh herbs: parsley, rosemary, dill, cilantro
Garlic, pressed
Crumbled bleu cheese on the side

Caesar Dressing
1 ½ olive oil/canola
2 T white vinegar
1 T anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic pressed
3 T lemon juice + zest of one lemon
2 T Dijon mustard
2 t white pepper
½ cup Parmesan
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (raw eggs make me nervous, and hard-boiled gives dressings nice body)
Food processor or blender

Soy Dressing

This is excellent dressing for a salad served with cold noodles and sesame (I'll post this yummy recipe another time. It's also in my book, Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet,) Also, try as a dressing for cold cooked vegetables, like broccoli or asparagus.

3 parts olive oil
1 part white rice vinegar
1 part soy sauce
1-2 cloves crushed garlic


Sandra Yvonne Duke said...

A good salad bar with lots of options can change a person's outlook on salads, too.

I have discovered that most people who don't like vegetables have never had them prepared well.

Norma said...

I so agree!

Especially people who grew up with overcooked vegetables. Overcooked asparagus gets stringy, peas become mush and so on.

Shani said...

Hi there-

Do you have any more clean eating salad dressings? Great Journal btw, I plan on reading through all of them!

Shani said...

Thank you for your salad dressings, do you happen to have anymore? Thanks!

Norma said...

Thanks, Shani.

I have more on my website: This comment section isn't allowing me to get you there directly, but go to my homepage and midway down, you will see recipes. Click on that and at the bottom of that page, click on salads dressings.


Annamika said...

Good post.