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!
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.