Okay, admit it — you’ve thrown away one too many spinach bags after they’ve sat for too long in your fridge. I keep buying big bags of spinach and keep letting them rot away while I snack on my Bojangles for the third night in a row.
Making salads can be hard because they seem more ‘necessary’ than ‘fun’ to eat. Sometimes the only way I will eat a salad is if I know the ingredients are about to go bad or if I’ve eaten fast food for too many days (’m looking at you, Bojangles). While there are a million fun and exciting salad recipes, it’s generally easier to stay with the basic salad ingredients. My salads almost always have bell peppers, spinach, and onions in them. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll add in apples or homemade croutons.
So how do you make something so mundane fresh and fun to eat for you and your family? The trick is in the dressing. Your salad will transform into something new if you change up your dressing. That being said, don’t go straight to your grocery store and stock up on bottled dressings. Store bought dressings usually aren’t healthy for you – most will overload you on saturated fat, calories, sodium, and added sugar.
One way to avoid all that mess while still changing up your salads is to make your own salad dressing. If you make your own, you’ll know exactly what is in your mix and you can alter it to fit your needs and diet. Here is a quick list of some yummy (and healthy) salad dressings for you to make tonight to completely revamp your salad!
Avocado Ranch Dressing
Thank you Cooking Classy for this recipe!
– 1 cup of plain fat free or low-fat Greek yogurt
– 1 medium avocado, peeled and cored
– 1 ½ tbsp fresh lime juice
– 1 clove of garlic
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
– 1-2 tsp chopped fresh dill (or ½ dried)
– 2 tsp chopped fresh chives (or ¾ dried)
– ½ tsp onion powder
– Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
– Up to 6 tbsp of milk as needed (or 2 tbsp of olive oil for slightly richer dressing)
1. Put all the ingredients except the milk into the food processor and pulse until well blended.
2. Add in the milk 1 tbsp and a time until the dressing reaches the desired thickness.
3. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Thai Peanut Dressing
Thank you Closet Cooking for this recipe!
– ¼ cup peanut butter
– ½ cup water (or coconut milk)
– 2 tbsp soy sauce (or fish sauce)
– 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or lime juice)
– 2 tbsp brown sugar (or honey or palm sugar)
– 1 tbsp chili sauce
– 2 tsp garlic (grated)
– 2 tsp ginger (grated)
– 2 tbsp peanuts roasted and chopped
– 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
– 1 tbsp cilantro
1. Put everything into a blender or food processor and puree it!
Creamy Southwest Dressing
Thank you Berly’s Kitchen for this recipe!
– 1 cup of mayonnaise
– ¼ cup of lime juice
– 2 tsp chili powder
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– ½ tsp dill
– ½ tsp smoked paprika
– ¼ tsp chipotle powder
– ¼ tsp salt
– ⅛ tsp cayenne powder
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Use immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Thank you Unbound Wellness for this recipe!
– 1 ½ cup of carrots (peeled and chopped)
– 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
– ¼ yellow onion (chopped)
– 2 tbsp ginger (peeled and grated)
– ½ cup + 2 tbsp avocado oil
– ¼ cup coconut aminos
– 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 2 tsp coconut sugar
– ¾ tsp sea salt
– ¼ tsp black pepper
1. Add all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until fully incorporated. The dressing should be thick and fully combined.
2. Season based on taste.
3. Store in the fridge or serve immediately.
Honey Mustard Dressing Recipe
Thank you Eating Bird Food for this recipe!
– 1 lemon juiced (or 2-3 tbsp)
– 2 tbsp honey
– 2 tbsp dijon mustard
– 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– ½ tsp minced garlic or shallots
– ¼ tsp sea salt
– Ground pepper to taste
– ¼ cup olive or avocado oil
1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until fully combined. If you don’t have a blender, add ingredients into the bowl and whisk until completely combined.
2. Dressing can be stored for up to a week.
Thank you Food Faith Fitness for this recipe!
– ⅔ cups roughly chopped strawberries
– 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 2 tbsp honey
– 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
– 1 tsp lime zest (equivalent to 1 large lime)
– ½ tsp salt
– ⅓ cup olive oil
1. Place all of the ingredients except the oil into a small food processor and process until the strawberries are broken down. You may need to stop and scrape off the sides.
2. Once the ingredients are blended together, pour the olive oil in while the processor is still running.
Greek Salad Dressing
Thank you Foodie Crush for this recipe!
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– ¼ cup red wine vinegar
– 1 small clove garlic, pressed or minced
– 1 tsp dry mustard
– 1 tsp dried thyme
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– ¼ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk or shake the dressing well.
2. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
We can’t wait to try all of these recipes to change our salads up! Which is your favorite? Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments!
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