Homemade salad dressing

Let's be honest. Salads, as nutritious as they are, can get really boring if decorated with the same toppings and dressing day after day. My husband and I eat a salad and variety of vegetable sides for dinner every night, so when he started saying, what? salad again?, I looked for ways to make eating salads something to look forward to. One of the easiest ways to change up the taste is by changing up the salad dressing every night.

I cannot bring myself to buy salad dressing at the store anymore. Most are very costly, some made with cheap oils, and quite a few contain sugar or preservatives. As easy as it is to pick up dressing off the shelf, I can toss ingredients into a food processor, and in less than a minute I have a nutrient-dense dressing that is fresh and tailored to my taste buds. I also get to save a few bucks, too!

Really, all you need to make a good dressing is cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and a vinegar of choice or lemon juice. The magic ratio of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1. If you follow this, you can never really mess up a vinaigrette. If you flip this ratio, I guarantee you won't do it again after you get a mouthful of vinegar.

If I'm really pinched for time, I resort to a simple dressing that can be made with just oil, vinegar (or lemon juice) and a little salt and pepper. Otherwise, I try to whip up two dressings on Sunday when I'm making other foods for the week. Here are a couple new recipes I tried this past weekend:

Creamy Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing
Shopping List:
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber
1/2 garlic clove
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toss all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended. Pour dressing into a container appropriate for salad dressing and store in the fridge.

Sun-dried Tomato Dressing (original recipe found here):
Shopping List:
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 cloves fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toss all ingredients into a food processor and pulse
until well blended. Pour dressing into a container appropriate for salad
dressing and store in the fridge.

Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
Shopping List:
1/3 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of organic poppy seeds
2 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in small bowl or other container appropriate for salad dressing. Cover and shake well until blended. Store in fridge.

Don't limit these tasty dressings to just salads! They are equally as delicious on raw veggies, steam veggies, or a chicken wrap.

Got a tried-and-true salad dressing recipe? You can share it in the comments section below or post it on our Facebook page.