Quick, Homemade Salad Dressings

My schedule is quite erratic with clients and classes at all hours of the day. I’m especially busy in the evenings, so CONVENIENCE is key when it comes to making my dinners. But as most of you know, convenience doesn’t always mean healthy. So in order to follow a clean diet, I’ve got a list of easy-to-make, go-to salad dressings that I can use on any salad I throw together for a quick, nutritious meal. Why don’t I just use a bottled dressing that’s “low-fat” or “sugar-free” or “low-cal” you ask? Well have you looked at the ingredients in those pre-made dressings? There’s most likely a lot of words you can’t pronounce not to mention loaded with added table salt, sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors (which can lead to ADHD in children) as well as unhealthy oils.

For example, here are the ingredients for Kraft’s “Fat Free Ranch” salad dressing:

Ingredients: WATER, CORN SYRUP, VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEY (FROM MILK)*, SALT, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF GARLIC JUICE, ONION JUICE, SOYBEAN OIL*, XANTHAN GUM, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA AS PRESERVATIVES, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, PROPYLENE GLYCOL ALGINATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, DRIED PARSLEY, DRIED GREEN ONIONS, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, SPICE, CARAMEL COLOR, YELLOW 5. *TRIVIAL SOURCE OF FAT AND CHOLESTEROL. CONTAINS: MILK.

Hmmm…Disodium Guanylate and Yellow 5 sounds pretty yummy! Seriously, those pictures of bell peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce on the bottle are clever ploys to make you think it’s good for you! I guarantee when you try some of the recipes below, you will see how much more flavorful and fresh-tasting homemade dressings are. Little changes in your diet like this are what will keep you healthier, happier and slimmer for years to come!

Sweet Basil-Lime Dressing (Adapted from Kimberly Snyder’s “The Beauty Detox Solution”) YIELD: about 1/2 cup

This is great with Romaine or Red Leaf lettuce & loads of veggies! I seriously make this dressing at least 3 times a week! 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 small garlic clove
2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 Cup+ fresh basil leaves
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp powdered stevia

 

DIRECTIONS: Blend the ingredients together until smooth and serve fresh.

Sherry Vinaigrette: (Adapted from Bon Appetit) YIELDS: About 3/4 Cup

My husband loves this on Arugula or a Mixed Greens salad. You can even pour it on some quinoa & chopped veggies!

INGREDIENTS:

9 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Celtic sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS: Place all ingredients in a jar or airtight container with a lid. Shake until combined. The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. To freshen the flavor of the dressing after a few days, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette: (Adapted from Epicurious) YIELDS: About 3/4 Cup

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS: Place all ingredients in a jar or airtight container with a lid. Shake until combined. The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Healthy Ranch Dressing: (Adapted from Mangia Blog) YIELDS: About 1.5 Cups

I’m not a huge Ranch fan, but I found this healthier version for those of you that do. You can use it in salads or to dip chopped veggies in!
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh dill, removed from the sprigs
1 Tbs. fresh chives, chopped
1.5 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
1 whole clove of garlic
1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
pinch of Celtic sea salt

DIRECTIONS: Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process on high until smooth. If you would like it smoother, add a bit more water.

Happy Eating Everyone!

Santa Barbara Yoga Retreat!

This past weekend me and fellow Yogi, Danielle Cuccio, hosted our first Yoga Retreat together in Santa Barbara. It was such an amazing weekend filled with inspiring people, good laughs and amazing food. We literally could not have planned for a better turnout! Check out some of the photos below and I will keep you updated on when and where our next Yoga Retreat will be 🙂

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