Two dressings are all you need

Why waste your taste buds and money on bottled dressings when homemade varieties are a cinch to make, contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients and taste so much better?  Here are two varieties, one light and tangy and the other rich and creamy (with no dairy), that will convince you never to go back to bottled.

I rely on two dressings in my kitchen–a tangy apple cider vinaigrette and a rich tahini (sesame paste)-based dressing.  They are all I need to flavor everything from green salads, veggie side dishes, dark leafy greens, bean salads and grilled vegetables. 

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is light and tangy.  I use it to dress all variations of green salads, vegetable salads such as tomato, onion, cucumber and cilantro or avocado, tomato and sweet onion, bean salads such as black-eyed pea or garbanzo (chickpea) and as a marinade for grilled vegetables.  Below is the recipe along with my favorite green salad to dress it with.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons stone ground mustard (or dijon)

Juice from 1 whole lime

2 teaspoons sea salt (experiment with flavored if you like)

Directions:

Whisk together all ingredients until completely blended and the salt is dissolved. 

Pine Nut and Parmesan Salad

Ingredients:

Pine nuts

Parmesan cheese, sliced from block (not grated)

Mesclun greens, washed and thoroughly dried

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Directions:

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until brown.  Set aside. Thinly slice pieces of parmesan cheese from a block.  Put washed and dried greens in a mixing bowl.  Pour a light to moderate amount of dressing along the sides of the bowl and toss greens until completely coated with dressing.  Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over greens.  Incorporate parmesan slices into greens and serve.

Tahini-Tamari Dressing

Contrary to a vinaigrette this dressing is thick and creamy, yet without the use of dairy.  The flavor and texture stand up to hearty lettuces and greens.  Use it as a dressing for an iceberg lettuce salad or over fresh kale greens.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)

1/4 cup champagne vinegar (or vinegar of choice)

1/4 cup water

2 scallions, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 whole lemon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 nutritional yeast

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth (scallion pieces should still remain).

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