In Plants We Trust.

Three Easy Oil-Free Dressings

On the Standard American Diet, our foods are often buried under an avalanche of salty, creamy, fat-laden dressings or sauces—wiping out any of the nutritional benefits of our meal. When you switch to a whole food, plant-based diet and go “oil-free” – dressings or sauces can be tricky.

We need to rethink our bowl toppers—instead of traditional bottled dressings or sauces, consider your leftover soups or chili as a different way to top your bowl.  Or look at the condiments in your fridge.  You can thin some hummus or barbecue sauce with a little water—maybe stir in some sriracha or spicy mustard to change the flavor profile.  Salsa or pico de gallo are wonderful ways to finish off a bowl of greens, beans, and rice.  If you live near a specialty oil and vinegar shop, flavored balsamics are the ticket to inspired cooking (just ignore all those oils).  When you look at dressings and sauces differently – there are endless possibilities to make your meals interesting and delicious.

Veteran Engine 2 coach, Ami Mackey, is always inspiring people to rethink their meal choices.  Here are her three favorite dressings—feel free to experiment with them!

Lemonade Dressing:


3/4 cup water

1/2 cup lemon juice

1-2 tablespoon maple syrup to taste

In a mason jar or other container with a lid, shake until well blended.

Coach’s Ranch Dressing:


1 package low fat silken soft tofu

1⁄2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

2 green onions chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried chives or 1/8 tsp. onion powder

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate for one hour before serving to allow the flavors to fully develop.

Maple Clove Vinaigrette:


1/2 cup water

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp vinegar

2 tbsp chia seed

1/2 tsp cloves

Whisk in a bowl until combined just before serving. If you want to make it ahead – skip adding the chia seed until just before serving.

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