YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Three Delicious Salad Dressings

Have you ever noticed how so many different cuisines include a dish that pairs some type of greens with some type of fat? Whether it’s lettuce and olive oil, cabbage and mayonnaise (cole slaw), sauteed greens + pignola nuts, spinach with bacon dressing, or deep-sea fatty fish and seaweed (sushi), parsley salad with tahini dressing, you are apt to find green leaves combined with fats over and over again.

This cannot be a coincidence. I predict that someday we will discover that eating greens with fat increases the availability, perhaps through gut absorption, of certain nutrients in the greens. Remember that we are the survivors. We, the ones who inherited our own families’ food traditions through thousands of generations, are the ones with the genetic edge that brought us here, to this time and place. Independent of their deliciousness or their ability to impart tastebud happiness, I believe that our inherited patterns of food preparation have some very special health, wellness and survivability benefits all their own. The broad offerings, over so many different cuisines, of recipes consisting of greens with fats speak to their value in our arsenal of approaches for being well nourished. 

Otherwise known as salad dressings, here are a few recipes for mixing your own greens and fats. The directions are all the same: Combine the ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Mix, shake or whisk well. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. These dressings are flavorful and nutritious. Re: salt, if you are salt-sensitive just skip it, because there is plenty of intense flavor with or without the salt.

1) Balsamic Vinaigrette
/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. tamari (optional)
3 garlic cloves mashed to a pulp with 1/2 tsp. coarse salt (with a sharp knife, fork, or mortar & pestle)
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

2) Tahini Salad Dressing (one of my long-time favorites)
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste, available everywhere)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt 

This tahini dressing is incredibly delicious on Lebanese salad, which I like to make with:
2 small cucumbers, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
3 radishes, diced
1 green onion, sliced thinly
10 mint leaves, chopped
1/3 bunch parsley, chopped

3) Real French Vinaigrette
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. prepared Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bon appetit!

2 thoughts on “YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Three Delicious Salad Dressings

  1. We do know that eating greens with fats increases absorption of nutrients! 🙂 Vitamin K, abundant in greens, is fat-soluble and can not be absorbed without fat. So are many of the other phytonutrients in the greens, including Vitamin E.

    • So it really is true! Long before we understood the chemistry of food, there was some larger wisdom that was already available to us — it’s all right there in front of us. And I would venture a guess that there are more benefits to eating greens with fat that we have yet to discover. Thanks for reading YHIOYP! RBS

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