I had a request from a friend (hollaaaa KS) to put together a post about creating your own salad dressings at home. When I started the SCD last year, and really began dissecting every piece of the ingredient labels on everything, I was blown away by all of the unnecessary additives that were in some of my favorite salad dressings. At that point I began mixing up my own little concoctions. (Note: I don’t follow the SCD anymore, but now follow a mostly gluten-free and low refined sugar diet).
I don’t really use recipes too often, I mostly just throw some things together and see how they turn out, but I was able to find a few measured recipes from my collection along with other dressings that were just thrown together (no measurements documented) but you can still get the idea. You will start to notice a trend: simplicity.
Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t use store-bought salad dressings from time to time, because I do, but mostly I try and stick to the au natural homemade style.
So, get ready for a Salad Dressing Round-Up!
One of my go-to’s is a mustard dressing which is simply deli style mustard (about 2 tablespoons), apple cider vinegar (about 1 tablespoon), a sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder, and a little water. I gave it all a good stir and then drizzled it over the salads. Often I will crack some black pepper into the dressing too.
Next up, Peanut Chicken Salad<——click on link for salad and dressing recipe. I don’t make this one too often but when I do I am floored. It’s AMAZING. I can’t take credit for this one though!
Next is an actual recipe-recipe with measurements and all, for Greek dressing. I poured this dressing over a tomato, zucchini, olive, and feta Greek salad and it got rave reviews! For this salad recipe, head on over here: Greek Tomato Salad
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (heaping)
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 Tbsp. ground mustard
cracked black pepper
Add ingredients to a container, cover with a lid, give it a shake
Next up is a thick and simple avocado dressing that is perfect on top of a taco salad and could be used on many salad creations. For this salad recipe click here: Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 1/2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. tomatillo salsa*
- salt and pepper
*I wanted to add lime juice to this dressing instead of salsa but didn’t have any on hand so substituted with green tomatillo salsa. It turned out great! Lime juice would definitely work too, though.
- In food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.
Sometimes I will use cottage cheese as my “dressing”: a bowl of fat-free cottage cheese with peas, tomato, avocado, pepper, and chia seeds and it was VERY good.
Sometimes I will use hummus or a spritz of olive oil to dress my salads… In this salad below was mixed spring greens, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, celery, a spritz of olive oil, hummus, and sunflower seeds. Wowza it was GOOD.
Salsa also makes a perfect dressing and it’s a very healthy choice…
An over-easy egg on top of a big veggie salad packs an extra punch of protein and the yolk serves as a dressing.
Another dressing I will make sometimes is a strawberry puree: I will take about 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries, thaw them in the microwave, and use a food processor or a fork to mash them up into a thick puree, and then that’s it! I pour it over a salad with mixed greens, avocado, berries, black beans, and feta cheese, and call it a perfectly simple meal.
As you can see, I try to keep it simple as much as possible. It is so easy to get creative with salad dressings. You can mix a dash of olive oil with a bit of balsamic vinegar and have a very simple dressing. Another one I like to make is mix honey with dijon mustard and a touch of warm water and mix it up and you have honey mustard in seconds.
If you are going to use store-bought dressings, that is OK, just take a second to peak at the ingredient label and make sure you can recognize the ingredients listed. The best one I’ve found so far is Annie’s Light Goddess dressing. The ingredient label passes my test.
Besides that, I haven’t looked too hard for other substitutes because I don’t mind making my own. I still like to enjoy my Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard on occasion though. It is still so tasty!
The possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to start mixing your own salad dressings! Chances are good that they will turn out GREAT!