Friday, September 28, 2012

Spark up your Salads

I think one of the best things we can do for our health is to eat a daily salad. Full of raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sometimes fresh or dried fruit, you can’t beat a salad for getting your daily antioxidants and fiber. But we can sabotage our efforts to eat well by pouring on a terrible dressing. 

Bottled salad dressings are convenient, but they are also typically loaded with garbage like sugar, preservatives and artificial stuff. It doesn’t take that much effort to make your own, free of all that junk. And the possibilities are endless as to what you can put into them, thereby creating a never-ending supply of tasty ways to dress up your salads.

Which is hard for me to remember sometimes. I inevitably end up making the standard vinaigrette, but sometimes I get tired of it and crave something different. A couple of dressings that are particularly awful (as far as the store-bought variety go) are Green Goddess and Ranch Dressings. The Goddess dressing listed below is loaded with herbs and other things that will add loads of health to your salad. And even though I previously posted a super-simple Ranch dressing, this version has little to no mayo and is therefore even healthier because of the substitution of the Greek yogurt.


§  1/2 a ripe avocado
§  1/4 cup coconut milk
§  3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
§  1 garlic clove, finely chopped
§  2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)
§  1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
§  1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
§  1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon 
§  1/4 teaspoon salt 
§  1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend the first nine ingredients in the food processor until combined. With the blade running, pour in the oil and process until the dressing thickens and the herbs are finely chopped.
Once you pour over your salad, add a little crispy bacon on top. Avocado and bacon are delicious together.


§  1/2 cup full-fat Greek-style yogurt
§  1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
§  2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
§  1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh chives
§  1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
§  1/4 teaspoon dried dill
§  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
§  1/4 teaspoon tamari
§  1/8 teaspoon granulated onion powder
§  1/8 teaspoon black pepper
§  1/2 of a small garlic clove, finely minced
 *optional: 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Simply whisk together all the ingredients. The flavors tend to get bolder after a few hours or overnight, so make the dressing ahead of time if possible and refrigerate.
Delicious on Boston or Bibb lettuce with tomatoes and radishes.

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