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Dressing

Wellness Blog

How To Make A Salad Dressing Without A Recipe

Who says you need a recipe to create a stunner salad dressing? As it turns out, it’s shockingly simple to mix up your own tasty dressings from scratch. All it takes is a few pantry staples and pinch of creativity.

Intimidated? Don’t be! Every vinaigrette only takes a few ingredients and the same basic principles. Plus, once you get the hang of the basics, you can start freestyling your own custom dressings for every variety of salad imaginable.

 As the name suggests, a vinaigrette starts with vinegar. The variety you select depends on the flavor profile you’re targeting. For a light, neutral base, rice wine vinegar is a great option—it’s also perfect for many Asian dressings. Looking to go a little on the sweeter side? Try red or white wine vinegar for a satisfying tang. Of course, a great option is always balsamic. A rich balsamic vinaigrette is so simple, but it’s always a crowd pleaser, and it suits tons of different salads. 

Next, slowly whisk in vegetable oil. A rule of thumb for any vinaigrette is three parts oil, one part vinegar, but you can also experiment with the ratio to suit your tastes. For oils, a good go-to is always olive. However, if you are looking for a lighter flavor, consider subbing in a more neutral option such as grapeseed, avocado, or sunflower. During this step, you’ll also want to add in salt—we recommend about ¼ tsp for every tablespoon of vinegar.

That’s it! You just made your first vinaigrette without a recipe. It really is that simple.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the (optional) next step is to add more flavor. Add-ins fall into a few basic categories:

Alliums such as garlic, onions, or shallots blend perfectly with vinegar to create more complex, full-bodied flavor. Just be sure to mince them very finely and mix well for the best effect.

Mustards thicken your dressing and add an unmistakable tang to any mixture. Dijon, for example, is the perfect addition to elevate a basic balsamic and olive oil combo.

Sweeteners can transform the flavor profile of the dressing. In addition to classic options such as white or brown sugar, consider natural choices—honey, agave, or maple syrup. Just remember, with sweeteners, a little goes a long way.

Spices take your dressing to the next level. Paprika is always an excellent choice to add a little depth to your flavor, and cumin is known to create a delightful savory feel to your recipe. You can also try spicier options such as dried peppers, cayenne pepper, or chilli powder to add an extra kick to your vinaigrette.

Herbs add a fresh, elevated finish to any dressing. Consider sprinkling in finely chopped dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or any other choice that strikes your fancy. Remember, there are no rules here.

And that’s it. Simple, right? Give it a try! Your first freestyle salad dressing is just a few flicks of a whisk away.

Wellness Blog

Buddha Bowls With Tahini Dressing

I make Buddha Bowls a lot. Almost weekly. I make them for myself for cooking demos, and they are almost mandatory when I'm cooking at yoga retreats. They are always a hit! Everybody loves them. Plus, they are a great way to get rid of scraps of food that are still in the fridge.

The best thing about Buddha Bowls is that you can cater yours to your liking. There really is no set-in-stone recipe. However, the key is definitely to have a really, really great dressing. Below, I've shared the recipe for one of my favourite dressings, but you could choose to top your bowl with whichever dressing you like.

Most recently, I was cooking for a yoga retreat organized by Anne Tessier near Tremblant, Quebec.  Below is a photo of the Buddha Bowl I prepared for the yogis. It had wild rice, chickpeas, grated raw beets and carrots, avocado, thinly sliced kale, roasted delicata squash, green onions, kimchi, pea shoots, black sesame seeds, and my all-time favourite tahini dressing.  And yes, it's as delicious as it looks! But no, it's not complicated at all. It's just a matter of chopping up a bunch of delicious things and throwing them into a bowl, and then pouring a really decadent (yet nutritious) dressing on top. Scroll down for my Buddha Bowl "recipe.”

Let's get started! Here's what you'll need to make your own Buddha Bowl:

Base ingredients:

Your choice of cooked grains (quinoa, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, wild rice, sorghum, teff or amaranth)

Your choice of protein (beans, lentils, chickpeas, edamame, tofu, tempeh, etc.)

Plus any combo of veggies:

steamed or roasted sweet potato, squash, or potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces

broccoli or cauliflower (cut in tiny florets), steamed, roasted or raw

finely chopped greens (kale, romaine, arugula, spinach, etc.)

thinly sliced cabbage

onion or scallions

grated carrot

grated raw beets or cooked/steamed beets

cucumber, cut up into small pieces

chopped celery

sliced avocados

sauerkraut or kimchi

Plus garnish options:

sprouts or pea shoots

sunflower seeds

hemp seeds

sesame seeds

dulse or kelp flakes (or any other seaweed for that matter)

ground flax seeds

Plus a dressing of your choice OR my all-time favourite tahini dressing:

 

1/2 cups tahini (sesame paste)

1/2 cups olive oil

1/2 cups water

1/4 cup tamari

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Small piece (half thumb size) fresh ginger root, minced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Black pepper to taste

Directions: Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add water to loosen if it’s too thick. Dressing will keep in the fridge for one week.

Finally, to assemble your Buddha Bowl:

Combine 1/4 cup cooked grains and 1/4 cup protein of your choice, along with any combination of vegetables and garnishes. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of dressing on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

You can also batch prepare your Buddha Bowls by storing single servings in containers. Reserve your dressing and add it just before you're about to eat.

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