Its day 4 of our Spring Salad Series and today we’re mixing it up with a salad dressing!
Salad dressing is without a doubt the hardest part about making a salad when you’re eating a whole food, plant-based diet. It’s almost impossible to find a dairy-free, oil-free dressing and if you’re lucky enough to come across this rare find, the last few ingredients are probably sugar and some funky man-made chemicals… pass!
Making your own salad dressing doesn’t have to be a major ordeal. In fact, this recipe has 2 steps: 1) Mix all ingredients thoroughly. 2) Drizzle over salad. That’s probably quicker than looking for a healthy alternative at the store!
Everyone needs a go-to salad dressing that can be mixed up within minutes.. this is mine! It’s great drizzled over nearly any salad.
Some favorites are:
- Spinach, broccoli, strawberries and slivered almonds
- Leafy greens, chopped apples and walnuts
- Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red onions and grape tomatoes
- Mixed greens, chopped pears, goji berries and pepitas
- Over any roasted or grilled veggies (especially asparagus, yum!)
Notice that our dressings are all oil-free. Oil isn’t a whole food. It’s been processed and many nutrients have been removed. You can learn more at our Why No Oil post. You can see just how processed olive oil is by looking at an olive and then olive oil. Very different!
Although some oils are advertised as “heart healthy,” within a couple of hours of eating oil (including olive oil) the arteries stiffen and then they can’t dilate as well. As you can probably imagine, stiff arteries don’t equal heart health. And just think about how stiff the arteries would become after having oil multiple times a day!
From a calorie standpoint, just 1 tablespoon of oil has 120 calories. This tablespoon of oil offers tons of calories of fat and it won’t even leave the oil-eater feeling satisfied. Compare this to the 6 cups of raw broccoli you would have to eat to get 120 calories. The high calorie and low satisfaction that comes with eating oil can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp mustard
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
- dash salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Drizzle over salad.