At Ivanco Fitness we believe that getting enough vegetables in your day is one of the most important aspects of a healthy diet. Salads are a fantastic way of a packing enough vegetables into your day. A cup of leafy greens and half a cup of chopped vegetables is considered two servings of vegetables, so a big salad for lunch and dinner can easily add many servings of vegetables to your diet.
Many people do not like salads, because they think salads are bland, boring, and not satisfying. One of the reasons people feel this way is because they do not want to use salad dressing–which is understandable, since many commercial salad dressings are calorie-laden and contain overly refined ingredients, preservatives, and, in some cases, even high amounts of sugar. Making dressings at home is a great way to avoid using dressings that are high in calories, fat, and sugar, and homemade dressings are actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. Making your own dressings is a cheap alternative to buying dressing from the store and is fantastic way to control the fat, sugar, and salt content of the dressing.
We want you to enjoy your vegetables. It is important that people enjoy the foods they are eating, because when people are eating healthy foods that they enjoy, they are more likely to continue eating healthy for a long time to come. Although some people are able to enjoy salad without a drop of salad dressing, others find salad to be bland on its on. So, whether you enjoy salad without dressing or you need dressing to get those vegetables down, here are two awesome salad dressing recipes that we encourage you to try. Each dressing recipe has suggested pairings, but get creative and add your own twists to the salads.
Some tips for making salad dressings:
- If you know you will be rushed during the week, make a double batch of salad dressing to store in the fridge so its ready to go in a hurry.
- If you store homemade salad dressing in the fridge, the oil will sometimes crystallize and become hard. If this happens, let the dressing sit on the counter for a few minutes. If it is in a glass container, zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to turn the oil back to its fluid liquid state.
- When making salad dressings, you are creating something called an emulsion, which is the mixing of two liquids that cannot normally mix. In traditional salad dressings, these two liquids are the vinegar and the oil. To help these two liquids mix and stay together, we need to use an emulsifying agent such as mustard.
- For some of the dressing below, there are instructions for how to properly mix the dressings to help promote the suspension of the two liquids. If you follow the instructions you should be able to create a stable emulsion.
The Perfect Summer Dressing
– Bowl large enough to allow whisking/beating
– Small whisk or fork
– Sealed container to store leftovers
– Garlic Press
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon mustard (any flavour; note: if you find mustard flavour to be overpowering, then try 1 teaspoon of mustard)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tablespoon honey
salt, to taste
Pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice into a bowl. Add mustard, and whisk until combined. Drizzle in the olive oil very slowly, whisking steadily the entire time. This will help create an emulsion and keep the lemon juice and oil olive suspended together. Add garlic, honey, and salt. Stir until combined. To make this dressing into a creamy dressing, blend in a blender with 1 slice of lemon (rind included).
Pair this dressing with:
– Cherry tomatoes, halved
– Feta cheese
– Roasted sunflower seeds
– Crispy prosciutto
– Parmesan flakes
Ally’s Asian Dressing
– Mason jar or well-sealed container
– Garlic Press
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil all work)
2 cloves garlic
optional: 1/2 tablespoon red chili and garlic paste
Mix together all ingredients in a sealable container. Shake well and serve. Will last in there fridge for 2 weeks.
Pair this dressing with:
– Shredded purple or green cabbage
– Pistachios or cashews
– Grated carrot
– Green onions
– Chopped celery
– Sliced mushrooms
– Peppers, celery, peas
– Edamame beans