One of the questions we are most often asked is, “What kind of salad dressing can I use?” To which we reply oil and vinegar. And then people look at us like we’re crazy and we hear, “You mean there is nothing I can use out of the entire salad dressing aisle?” The problem is that most commercially made salad dressings are full of stuff that we don’t recommend you eat like soy and/or canola oil, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar and/or artificial sweeteners and lots of preservatives. Don’t be fooled by advertising on the bottle saying “made with olive oil”. Upon reading the label you will see that soybean or canola oil come first on the list and maybe somewhere at the bottom they’ve added a little olive oil so they can make their claim. Unfortunately, they also add a ton of preservatives to give it a long shelf life. The same is true of sauces and marinades. What are you supposed to do? Are you doomed to only have oil and vinegar for salad dressing for the rest of your life? It’s really not that bad, you know!
Alas, we have an option for you to make your own salad dressing and a sauce. It only takes a minute and is as varied as the options at the grocery store provided you use a little imagination to alternate the ingredients. Plus, you know exactly what’s in it so you’re not getting a bunch of unhealthy preservatives. It’s a great idea for people who are following a gluten-free or soy free diet. Additionally, we have patients who keep a little bottle of their own salad dressing in their purse when they go out to dinner!
If you eat a lot of salad every week, I suggest making a large batch to have on hand. Otherwise you can make a small amount for your meal.
INGREDIENTS (not a complete list, use your imagination!):
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar or White Wine or lemon or lime (you’re seeing the variety!)
Finely chopped garlic cloves
Finely chopped shallot
Finely chopped onion
Rosemary/Basil/Parsley/Thyme/Cilantro/Dill/Oregano (again whatever herbs you like either fresh or dried)
Salt and Pepper
Here is an example of one of our favorites to have on hand for a week.
1 cup of EVOO
¼ balsamic vinegar
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 Tbsp of finely chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Shake and serve! Voila!!
The great thing is you can taste it and see if it needs more of one ingredient or another and add it. If I’m using fresh ingredients I usually refrigerate it for the week.
This recipe is again from Linda, our receptionist. It’s incredibly easy and really fresh and light tasting. It can be used on vegetables or chicken or fish or you can use it as a salad dressing too.
1 1/2 c firmly packed fresh basil (optional: add a few springs of parsley leaves)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
2 T Dijon mustard
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
Dash coarse salt & ground pepper
Blend basil/parsley, lemon juice, 1/4 c water and mustard on high-speed till smooth. Add oil with blender running.
Now that it’s warmer outside we love to grill a bunch of meat to have on hand for healthy lunches and quick dinners. The problem is that chicken is great the first night but gets a little dry if you have to warm it up. This sauce is a great option to use if you chicken is a little dry the second day and even if it’s not dry. It tastes great!
Do you have a great salad dressing or healthy sauce recipe to share with us?