For me, a good salad dressing is an essential part of making sure I eat enough raw food, and especially fresh leafy greens. I make a point of eating salad every day, as well as my daily green smoothie, since I believe that eating fresh greens is one of the best things a person can do for their diet. But honestly, salad can get a little boring sometimes, unless you know how to make a variety of different dressings to keep things interesting.
Of course, one can buy many different types of vegan salad dressing in the health food store, or even in the supermarket. But ready-made dressing can be expensive if you use it regularly, and it really isn’t difficult to make your own. If you include vinegar or lemon in your dressings, they stay pretty well in the refrigerator, so you can always make more than you need so that you’re set for a few days ahead.
A good salad dressing can be made many different ways, and once you’ve figured out a basic formula that you like, you can make any number of variations using your favorite herbs and seasonings. Fresh or dried dill, basil or parsley make great additions, as do curry powder, fresh garlic and cumin.
I’m a big fan of creamy dressings, but generally that style is created by using a lot of oil and even dairy products. Using silken tofu is a great way of creating a ‘ranch-style’ consistency, without the fat. One of my favorite methods is to create a creamy base by blending soft or silken tofu (organic of course) with water, a little tahini and olive oil. Then I add vinegar, mustard, a tablespoon of miso, some nutritional yeast and sometimes a dash of tamari. In fact, that exact dressing can be used to create a creamy coleslaw, potato salad or a delicious pasta salad, with just a little sweet onion and red pepper… Yum.
Personally, I could eat that exact same dressing every day, but just to mix things up a bit, here’s a collection of recipes that will keep you returning to the salad bowl!
Note: If you don’t have a blender, a simple dressing can be made in a glass jar with a lid, including a basic tahini dressing (see page 6), but having a blender really increases your options. In addition, if you don’t have rice syrup, you can substitute any vegan sweetener.