Salad Dressing 101 & Asian Inspired Coleslaw

IMG_20130314_181918_654-990x350 Salad dressing can take a salad from a snore to wanting to eat your lunch at 10:30am because you are dreaming about the flavour. Making your own salad dressing is super easy and far more nutritious than buying it in bottles. Most commercial salad dressings use over processed, inflammatory oils like soybean and canola and the amount of and source of the sugars is a wee bit overdone.

Salad dressing is not just for lettuce. Salads can be made from grains like wheat berries, spelt and pasta or pseudo grains like quinoa, rice, wild rice or of course just veggies - either roasted or raw. You can chop up almost anything and toss it with a dressing and call that salad. Think of the possibilities!

With this basic recipe you are able to make a number of dressings to your liking. The oil to vinegar ratio always stays at about 3:2.

Basic 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 2 TBSP vinegar (cider, wine vinegars, etc - not balsamic - see modifications below) sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk with a fork. Done. To this you can add a pinch of fresh or dried herbs, a dash of sweet (maple syrup or honey work nicely) or you can switch out a bit of the vinegar for a variety of mustard. The combinations are endless.

Basic Balsamic Balsamic vinegar is stronger than the other vinegar options and the ratio changes to 3:1 when using it. 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar sea salt and freshly ground pepper

This one is great with some fresh garlic, a touch of sweet and maybe substitute a bit of the vinegar with mustard as suggested above.


Asian Inspired Coleslaw Let's take what we have learned and make a coleslaw for those picnics or packed lunches...

Dressing: 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (not traditional but the strong flavours of the salad will cover the olive oil flavour)

1 TBSP toasted sesame oil

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 tsp yellow mustard (equivalent to 1 TBSP of vinegar in flavour)

1 TBSP miso (we used chickpea miso from Feeding Change or if you don't have miso, you can just up the tamari by another 1/2 tsp or try adding a tsp of tahini)

2 tsp tamari

1 tsp honey

1 packed tsp freshly grated ginger (powdered ginger is NOT a good substitute here)

1 clove garlic, finely diced

Salad: 1 cup finely shaved red cabbage

1 cup finely shaved green cabbage

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup finely shaved kale

1/4 cup green onions (whites and greens), thinly sliced

1/4 cup sesame seeds, white or black or a combination

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

optional: pea shoots, fresh parsley, red peppers, hot peppers, cucumber etc

For the dressing: Put everything in a jar and shake it up really well. Let it sit so that the flavours can combine. Whatever you don't use can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

For the salad: Prepare all of the salad ingredients, pour the dressing over and combine. Enjoy!

For other ideas on salad dressings, check out our post on a Caesar Salad Makeover.

Posted by Amy Buckman, Community Ambassador, Amaranth Stores