Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eat More Greens - Make Delicious Dressings

One of the keys to good health is eating lots of greens. Greens like romaine (and other) lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, collards and mustard greens are rich in vitamins like C and A and minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium. They are full of vitamins, minerals, enymes, fiber and even protein, but are very low in calories.

A key to eating lots of greens is in making yummy healthy salad dressings. I bring my own dressing when I go out; dressings at restaurants are often full of strange gums and unhealthy things like corn syrup. Next time you go to a "healthy" sandwich shop ask to see their ingredient binder: I think you'll be surprised at how many things there (all the dressings for sure) have high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient! It's the same with dressings everywhere...don't be fooled into thinking a restaurant's "honey mustard" dressing is really made with honey! It may have a drop of honey in there, but really it's sugar and corn syrup just like everything else.

Here are recipes for two of my favorite easy and super delicious salad dressings that I always have on hand (and if I don't, they just take a few minutes to make) and I take with me to restaurants.

Both dressings are gluten-free and dairy-free. The honey can be replaced by agave nectar for vegan versions.

Real Honey Mustard Dressing

This only makes enough for a couple servings. It's so easy to make I just make it every couple times I have salad...the extra I store in the fridge.

  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard (brown mustard is better as it usually contains no added sugar, make sure you check the ingredients of the mustards you keep in your fridge and consider a natural sugar free brand.)
  • Juice from one Lemon, about 2 Tbsp (you can use vinegar, but I love the light refreshing taste the dressing has when I squeeze a lemon myself)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil (can be eliminated for a fat-free dressing, just add some water instead)
  • 1/2 tsp Wheat-free tamari (or sea salt)
  • Optional spices: pepper, dried thyme, dried basil
Whisk all ingredients together. Spoon over salad.

Dairy-free Creamy Cashew Green Goddess Dressing

I made this for a gathering of women and called it a Goddess dressing, in honor of the gathering. It was a big hit.

I use raw unsalted cashews because they are a very soft nut, which blends easily into a creamy consistency. I use a vitamix, but if you don't have a high speed blender simply soak the nuts in water for at least 30 minutes first, which will soften them even more. They will then blend smoothly in any blender.

  • 3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews (soaking them first will soften them, see above)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon (you can substitute apple cider vinegar)
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp wheat-free tamari (or sea salt)
  • 1 Tbsp mustard (brown is best, usually has no added sugar)
  • water to cover

Blend well (using a blender.) Taste, adjust seasonings...add honey if it needs to be sweeter, salt/tamari if salt is necessary.

This dressing is so good you will literally be making salads just so you can have more. And isn't eating more greens what this is all about? Win, win!

In health,

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

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