Sunday, January 22, 2012

Salad Dressings - Planning to Succeed


That's Dr. Fuhrman's mantra. Eat the salad first. I have it on my refrigerator. But if you ask me the only way I'm even going to CONSIDER eating the salad first is if it tastes as good or better than what comes next. So what's the trick? Well obviously, when I watch the students go through the lunch line with their one piece of lettuce and about a tablespoon of dressing, the answer is: GREAT DRESSING! And toppings. But great dressing is the trump card. 

Ever try to find a dressing, in the grocery store or cookbook, that doesn't have oil, sugar or salt? Close to impossible (though there is one particular brand at Whole Foods in the produce section). So to plan for success (my mantra) I set out to make three new dressings today: One from Julieanna Hever's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition,  one I modified from Lindsay Nixon's Everyday Happy Herbivore, and one from Rip Esselstyn's The Engine 2 Diet. All three books have yummy recipes. And they can all be purchased on Amazon! That's where I got mine!

Sharing the recipes with all of you. On my pics I put post it notes on the bottles so I could actually REMEMBER which dressing is which. My mind does not cooperate in that area. Not only do I need to put the name of the dressing but I need to put what book and page I got it from! Yay for finally figuring out a good system. Of course cutie stickers would probably work better but hey, I'm into simplifying.

Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette (based on the recipe from Everyday Happy Herbivore)
The recipe only makes a small amount so I had to quadruple the recipe and it STILL made the least amount. I am providing the quadrupled recipe below.

8 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 tsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp water
2-3 dates to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

Creamy Miso Dressing (from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. tahini
3 pitted dates
1 tbsp low sodium miso paste
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp unsweetened rice vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/3 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder (optional)

In a high powered blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend or process for 1 minute or until dressing is smooth and creamy.
(My notes; While I did grate the ginger, I didn't mince the garlic. I figured since I was using the food processor that would suffice. My dates were a bit dried out so I should have soaked them for a while before making this dressing, that's just an fyi in case you have the same issue. I used the 5 spice. I really like the flavor. If you don't have it in your pantry, don't bother. It doesn't add THAT much to the flavor).
This is Tahini. And cheaper than those that actually say Tahini.

I love my microplaner for grating ginger

Should have soaked the dates in warm water

Orange Hummus Dressing (from The Engine 2 Diet)
3 tbsp hummus
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp ginger, peeled and grated

Whisk or blend all ingredients together.
(My notes: I only had those little Cuties. So I used two of them and it made a perfect 3 tablespoons when I used my juicer tool. You could also use tangerines or maybe even some orange juice concentrate. I also used Dijon mustard because that's what I had.)

All three dressings were nice and tasty. I used some Starbucks bottles that were given to me by my daughter.  We'll definitely be using all three dressings this week for our dinner salads. 

With three dressings ready to go, I started making my salads to take to work for lunch.
salad dressing first, then beans, and anything else on top! I even sprinkled on ground flax seed and almond slivers on top.

Planning for success.


  1. LOVE IT!!! Your fridge is so beautifully organized! I love the idea of using the mason jars to pack the salads! Will do that tonight!

    1. It only looks organized right now. Gotta get it in shape for Chinese New Year. Ha! I adore mason jars. My pantry is full of them. I store my beans in them, oats, flours, and more!

  2. Made everything but the balsamic vinaigrette this afternoon. Variety.

    1. Yup. The more the merrier! Let me know which you like best.

  3. Wow - I love this. I keep everything chopped up ready to prepare a salad, but had never thought of putting it all together. The dressing on the bottom is genius.

    1. It wasn't really my idea - but it's definitely one I'm going to run with! Thanks for the comment!

  4. Thank you so much for the salad recipes. I subscribed to your blog too;)

    1. Thanks for the comment and SUBSCRIBING! Wow. I feel almost famous :-)
      I better get blogging!

  5. Thanks Liana for the idea! Took mine to work today and took up to eat with the students. They were curious about it and I explained. Maybe it will rub off on them.

  6. Thanks Liana. Am trying the creamy miso dressing. It is delicious and easy to make. So did you go vegan for a year?? OMG!! Noticed you said you were drinking a lot of water. No wine? No martinis? Again, OMG!! Was it hard? Can't wait to see you in Jun! You are looking wonderful. Truly an inspiration for all of us!



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