3 Fast, Fab, Fit Salad Dressings: Balsamic, Asian and Creamy

Why buy salad dressing when you can make fresh, delicious salad dressings in a couple of minutes? They will taste better and be better for you. Commercial dressings are full of fillers and preservatives and don't taste nearly as good as these three dressings do. Sixty seconds is all it takes to whip up a dressing that lasts for weeks. When using balsamic vinegar, you can get away with using a ratio of one part oil to one part vinegar, so it's easier too! Don't bother to measure the rest of the ingredients. Use a little mustard or tahini sauce for a thickener, and crushed garlic and some salt and pepper for flavor. In fact, it only takes me thirty seconds to make this dressing now. Try different combinations of infused oils and vinegars purchased at your local olive oil store. I have so much fun with Tuscan herb and lime infused olive oils mixed with a variety of infused vinegars. The next two dressings need to be measured more carefully but are still super quick. The Asian dressing makes a wonderful vegetable, noodle or rice-based Asian salad. It has a nice lime and sesame flavor thickened with almond butter. Add spice if you want. Shredded Napa cabbage, carrots, red bell peppers, shelled edamame, and cooked cubed chicken (or not) with toasted slivered almonds makes a tasty Asian chicken salad. This scrumptious creamy dressing can also be used as a base for other types of creamy dressings by adding different kinds of herbs and spices to it. If you have a Trader Joe's store nearby, it's a great place to by raw cashews. In fact, you can make cream for other recipes from water-soaked raw cashews, using a blender or food processor. It may sound a bit odd if you haven't tasted cream made from raw cashews, but don't knock it until you've tried it. It's delicious and healthy! This dressing is honestly better tasting than most creamy dressings so don't view it as a subpar substitute for the real thing. If you're used to store-bought dressings, you may need to add more salt as first.
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60-Second Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 to 1 tsp mustard or tahini sauce (eyeball it) Crushed garlic to taste (optional) Salt and pepper to taste

60-Second Balsamic Vinaigrette Directions

1) Add equal amounts of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add an emulsifier such as mustard, tahini paste, plain yogurt, ground flax, or mashed avocado to thicken and to help keep the oil and acid from separating (no need to measure, just eyeball it). Add crushed (not minced) garlic to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Put all the ingredients in a jar, screw on the lid and shake vigorously to emulsify. My Pomegranate Green Salad with Tuscan Pomegranate Vinaigrette and Beet Avocado Green Salad are both good examples of salads using this dressing.

Asian Dressing Ingredients

1/2 cup neutral oil 2 tsp sesame oil 3 Tbsp lime juice 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce 1 Tbsp almond butter 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (more if you like sweeter dressing)

Asian Dressing Directions

1) Place all of the ingredients in a jar, screw on the lid and shake to emulsify. You may need to mash the almond butter down with the back of a spoon to help it mix in. If you want some heat, add Sriracha sauce or crushed red peppers to taste. Makes 3/4 of a cup.

Guilt-free Creamy Salad Dressing Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews 3/4 cup water 3 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp garlic 1 - 2 Tbsp fresh dill, thyme, basil etc. or 1 tsp dried seasonings 1/2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste) and pepper to taste 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Guilt-free Creamy Salad Dressing Directions

1) Soak cashews in water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put other ingredients in a high-powered blender. Drain cashews and add to blender. If you don't have a high-powered blender, soak cashews for an extra 30 minutes or more. Blend all ingredients together until creamy and chill.
2) Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.