As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and lover of all things fresh food-related, sometimes people assume that I am over here eating steamed broccoli and chicken breast day in and day out. That’s healthy, right? Well, sure, it is healthy, but great nutrition comes from eating a variety of foods, cooked and raw. So how do you take that steamed broccoli to the next level? With a great dressing!! (And maybe roasting rather than steaming, but we can talk about that later 🙂 )
When I am putting meals together, especially if my meal is a salad of some sort, I usually start by deciding what kind of dressing I want to make. Do I feel like something light and super easy that will whip up in a few seconds? Or maybe I want to pull out the food processor to incorporate more nuts, seeds, and herbs for a pesto consistency! Anyway you go, having a few dressings up your sleeve will revolutionize your meals without much added cost or time.
I want to share with you my top 7 dairy-free salad dressing recipes, so that you can get the flavor party started ASAP! (I have included links to recipes that are not my own, but none are affiliates of any kind.)
Use this when you don’t have more than a minute to spare, but you want something super flavorful! This recipe is great because it is endlessly adaptable to your tastes. Don’t like mustard? Leave it out! Love to mix up the vinegars you use? Go for it! I love white wine, red wine, and balsamic vinegars here, too. Want to use fresh lemon? Awesome! Use it in place of some or all of the vinegar. Happen to have some fancy walnut or avocado oils on hand? Lucky you, and please feel free to use them instead of olive oil!
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar of choice (I like raw apple cider vinegar here)
- 1 Teaspoon (plus more to taste) Dijon mustard
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
Shake (or stir with a fork) everything together in a small jar until the oil no longer separates from the vinegar (about 30 seconds of shaking or stirring). If the dressing is too bitter, add more olive oil. If it tastes too oily, add more mustard or vinegar, adjusting until it tastes just right. Store in the refrigerator for one week.
Even though some people might consider tahini more of a dip (which is delicious), it can easily be thinned out with a bit of water or olive oil to use as a heartier salad dressing. I love tahini especially on cabbage or kale, as those tougher greens can really hold their own to this heavier dressing.
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon water + extra to thin
- 1/4 cup tahini paste (this can be found in most grocery stores, usually by the other nut/seed butters; tahini is just ground sesame seeds!)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Optional but highly recommended: 1 clove crushed garlic
In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, water, salt and garlic clove (if using). Add the tahini paste and stir until the mixture thickens. To thin the dressing, start by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil, mixing until combined. Continue to add up to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and/or additional water until the dressing is the consistency of runny honey. Taste for salt and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Lemon Pepita Pesto from Not Without Salt: This pesto is so easy to throw together and is completely dairy-free! I love tossing this with massaged kale or roasted broccoli.
- Orange Avocado Dressing from Autoimmune Paleo: I love the use of avocado in this dressing to create a really creamy texture, with all the added benefits of those healthy fats.
- Roasted Garlic Caesar from Feed Me Phoebe: You will not believe what a head of roasted garlic can do until you try it in this recipe. Don’t worry, the finished dressing is not at all “garlicky” in the same way that raw garlic would be. Roasted garlic cloves get melty-tender and blend together to make an incredible (dairy and egg free!) Caesar dressing.
- Thai Peanut Dressing from Cookie and Kate: I especially love a good peanut dressing on cabbage or kelp noodle (or noodle of choice) salads. Feel free to swap almond butter for the peanut butter, if you prefer!
- “Everything” Vinaigrette with warming spices from My New Roots: Don’t be frightened by the ingredient list for this dressing! Most of the items listed are spices and I promise you the finished product is unlike anything you have ever tasted before. Each bite seems to highlight a different spice, with the flavors really growing over a day or so in the fridge. I think this would make a great marinade, too!
Do you have any favorite go-to dairy-free dressings? I would love to hear, since I know we all (myself included!) get into our routines and end up making the same recipes over and over again!
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
Facebook community: http://bit.ly/nutritionbeyondnumbers
Devyn works with women who are ready to say NO the traditional restrictive rules in nutrition and are ready to embrace a full, nourished life (with lots of delicious food!). She empowers her clients with the knowledge to make informed choices and to let go of the guilt that so often goes hand-in-hand with food. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more or connect with Devyn in her Facebook community, Nutrition Beyond Numbers!