Only in the modern world can we take the world’s healthiest meal, a giant salad, and turn it into one of the unhealthiest meals possible. How do we do that? By drenching our vegetables with a processed monstrosity such as a sugar-, dairy-, oil-, and chemical-filled salad dressing.
It’s always also amazing to me that some of the only vegetables those on a Standard American Diet eat are baby carrots and celery dipped or smothered in ranch dip.
Many of you may be thinking, “Tell me something I don’t know. I already avoid those junky processed dressings,” and that’s awesome. But maybe you’re living an incredibly busy lifestyle and end up resorting to the basic olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice dressing. For one thing, that gets boring, and you also might be missing out on an opportunity to add even more micronutrients to your salads.
Here’s an easy solution to both of the above issues: make your own simple, nutrient-dense dressings and dips. It’ll only take you two minutes to combine the ingredients of the recipes below into a bowl, and it’ll save money (not to mention your health), as well. You can even make these dressings in bulk and store them in your fridge for about a week.
Here are two dressings I like to make on a regular basis that will make your salads less boring and even more nutritious.
Hummus Dressing or Dip
- 2 overloaded Tablespoons of oil-free hummus (Engine2 or Oasis are my favorites)
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (other vinegars would work fine too)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or stone-ground mustard
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together with a fork.
Smoky Tahini Dip
This recipe is particularly good as a dip, especially with steamed or grilled artichokes. Tahini is rich in minerals such as magnesium and iron. Among its other virtues, tahini also aids in liver detoxification and is a good source of calcium, healthy fats, protein, and B vitamins.
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 medium date
Purée all ingredients in a blender. You may add or subtract the amount of water used to make the consistency more of a dressing than a dip.
Photo 1 courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photos 2 and 3 courtesy of Jeff Taraday.