Make Your Salads Exciting with Fresh Homemade Vinaigrette!

Make Your Salads Exciting with Fresh Homemade Vinaigrette!

This Summer has been a scorcher!!  Which means we’re all trying to avoid turning on our ovens, and firing up the grill instead.  Dinner doesn’t get easier than grilling up some chicken, fish or tofu, and pairing it with a refreshing crisp salad.

But, repeating the same salad over and over can get a little tiresome.  Try adding a little excitement to your salads by changing up the dressings.  Fresh home-made dressings are easy to make and healthier.  With a variety of recipe combinations, you can create any kind of dressing that you enjoy, without the extra salt, sugar, and additives.  To make the preparation even easier, put all the ingredients into a mason jar and shake, shake, shake! 

This is my formula for a simple vinaigrette:

2 parts oil (extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, nut oils)
+
1 part acid (vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice)
+
1 part flavor booster (garlic, shallots, ginger, fresh/dried herbs, whole grain mustard, honey, jams, juices, soy sauce, tahini)

Strawberry dressing

Here are a few of my favourite recipe combinations:

Sweet

¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup (60 mL) NPJ Pineapple Express (or freshly squeezed orange juice)
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt

This dressing is best enjoyed on a leafy green salad with fresh fruit (orange slices, blueberries, nectarines, or apricots).  Add a few sliced almonds and a sprinkle of goat cheese for a full body of flavor.

Asian

3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) sesame oil
¼ cup (60 mL) white vinegar
¼ cup (60 mL) soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp (22.5 mL) honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds

This dressing is best enjoyed on a cabbage slaw with crispy noodles and shredded chicken.  Add in snap peas and matchstick carrots for extra crunch.

Creamy

1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp (7.5 mL) whole grain mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground black pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp (30 mL) NPJ Almond Mylk – or more, to thin out the consistency of the dressing until desired

This dressing is best enjoyed on a shredded kale salad with grilled chicken or tofu.  Also makes for a great dip with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.

Enjoy!

- Jessica, RD


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