If you’re anything like me, you find it pretty boring to use the same old dressings on your food. Whether enjoying a nice big salad, baking a potato or two, or whipping up a quick pasta dish, with the right dressing you can turn a hum-drum recipe into a zinger that tickles your taste buds and satisfies your craving for whatever happens to be your pleasure at the time.
Interested in something sweet, perhaps? Or maybe you prefer a little spice in your life. Oh! You’re one of those who love nothing more than a rich saucy dressing, huh? No matter! One or more of the following oil-free dressings should do the trick. Oils are left out of these super easy recipes to make more room for real food, and because it simply doesn’t need to be. Let’s face it – extracted oils tend to be calorie rich and offer poor nutrition.
But I assure you that these dressings are anything but bland. If you really want the oil taste and feel in your dressings, add a teaspoon or two. But try the oil-free version first, because you might be surprised!
“Honey” Dijon Dressing
This dressing tastes just like its honey counterpart, but it is completely vegan. It’s really easy to make too! It holds up well in the fridge so you can make enough for the week ahead and store it in the fridge between uses. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- 6 medjool dates
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Just put everything into your blender and blend away until smooth and creamy! You may need to add a bit more water to the dressing depending on the texture that you prefer. Just add a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Spicy Herb Dressing
This dreamy creamy dressing is low in fat but full of flavor, and it goes great on everything from salads to sautéed mushrooms. You may have to shake the dressing before each use, but it will keep well in the fridge for a few days before you’ll have to make a new batch. You’ll need:
- 2 zucchini, peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ cup fresh mixed herbs of choice such as: basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, etc.
- ¼ cup water
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 4 medjool dates
- ¼ jalapeno
- Pinch of salt
Blend everything until it’s thick and creamy. If you need to add more liquid to get your desired consistency, use lemon juice so that the dressing doesn’t end up tasting too watery.
Roasted Sweet Pepper Dressing
This delightful dressing is awesome on potatoes, veggie loafs, and greens alike. It can be used as a sauce for pasta and casseroles too. It’s hardy, yet it won’t weigh you down like many fat-filled dressings and sauces tend to do. Here is the recipe:
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 pound red bell peppers, slice in half lengthwise and then de-seeded
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- ½ cup diced onion
- ¾ cup veggie broth
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the potatoes, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and onions in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake them until the sweet potatoes are slightly browned and tender all the way through.
Remove the baking sheet and let the veggies rest until they are cool to the touch. Transfer the veggies to your blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend the concoction until it’s nice and creamy! Serve right away, or heat on the stove before using with your favorite recipes.
All of these recipes are easy to modify – add a couple stalks of broccoli or cauliflower, incorporate spices like cumin, or include some whole fats to the mix in the form of avocado, nuts, or seeds. Have fun!