Sunday, April 9, 2017

Homemade Salad Dressings

Hi readers, it's Kris here!  If you're a regular visitor to our blog, you're probably aware that Judd is the main contributor here and I'm his helpful little editor.  I'm also the lucky lady who gets to benefit from his knowledge and research of all things related to living a clean-eating, holistic lifestyle and am I ever grateful for that!  This week, however, I'm taking over the blog to share a few of my favorite homemade salad dressings with you.  Before I get to the recipes, I have to share a few funny anecdotes that come to mind when it comes to the topic of salads:

When I met Judd 26 years ago, he did not use salad dressing.  Not even a drop!  I remember the first time I witnessed this, I thought it most peculiar.  I'd never seen anyone eat a salad that wasn't drizzled in some sort of fabulous dressing.  To this day, when he orders a salad in a restaurant and replies to the server that he doesn't want dressing, he is met with a puzzled look and some form of the question "none at all?" or "would you like it on the side?"  Now that we make our own dressing at home, he really does enjoy it!  And honestly, on the rare occasion that we eat out these days, it is usually at some fabulous vegan restaurant that we've discovered and the last thing we want to order is a salad! Which leads me to my next thought...

Nourish Bowl from Nourish Cafe in San Francisco

If you eat solely a plant-based, vegan or vegetarian diet, you've probably encountered this scenario as well:  You're invited to lunch or dinner with a group of your friends, co-workers, family etc.  The restaurant they choose has little to no vegan friendly options.  It never fails that someone in the group says "they have salad" or "oh, you can't eat that can you?"  My first thought is "Yippee, they have salad.  Because that's all I eat."  I try not to get too offended by these comments, but sometimes it does get to me.  If you have a polite, non-snarky response that works for you, please share it with us!  And if you are one of our meat eating readers, please try to remember that even though you may find our diet unusual, we truly aren't aliens and we're really not that different than you, with the exception that we don't consume animal products.  We love stuffing our faces with delicious meals, snacks and desserts and while we adore cute little bunny rabbits, we don't necessarily eat like them.  Our appetites are just as adventurous as yours, and we sure don't want our meals to be bland and boring. With that being said, when we do eat salad we do it up right!  From a wide choice of greens and toppings, to our flavorful, homemade salad dressings made with all natural ingredients, our salads tend to be the main course and not just a puny little side dish.

And now, without further ado, please enjoy some of our favorite dressings. They can be whipped up quickly and will keep in your fridge for about 1 week, but once you taste them I have a feeling they won't last that long!

1/2 cup Vegan Mayo 
(We use Vegenaise, Hampton Creek Just Mayo or Hellman's Vegan Dressing)*
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
10 large basil leaves (we have a basil plant growing on our porch at all times)
2 scallions or green onions, lightly chopped
1/2 ripe avocado
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
You can also toss in a few sprigs of cilantro, Italian parsley, tarragon, and chives if you have them on hand.  I'm not a a fan of cilantro, so I leave it out, and I usually just sprinkle in a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning if I don't have fresh herbs on hand.
*If you aren't strictly vegan, you can use a plain Greek Yogurt.  I suggest Fage.
Combine all the ingredients in a powerful blender until completely pureed.
This dressing also makes a fabulous veggie dip!

Watermelon Arugula Salad w/ Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
Course sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper.
Whisk together the mustard, vinegar & maple syrup in a mixing bowl; slowly add the olive oil and continue to whisk. 

1/2 cup Vegan Mayo
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

This simple yet delicious recipe is the perfect portion for a couple of salads.
  Double or triple the recipe to make enough to store in your fridge for a week:
3 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Pack up your salad and a comfy blanket, and find a lovely spot to have a picnic like we did here at Pebble Beach in beautiful Monterey, California last month.

I hope these quick and easy recipes encourage you to ditch highly processed store dressings in exchange for a much healthier, delicious salad experience!


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