Super Natural Vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes ~ Natures Super Foods

These are some of our favorite and versatile dressings and dips.

Not only are they healthy because of the good oils, like the Extra Virgin Olive or the Macadamia, but they're naturally, ultra low fat, certainly in comparison to their creamy style counter-parts.

They're also excellent as a crusty type bread dipping sauce for an appetizer.

Very flavorful and wakes up the taste buds in readiness for your main course.

A good vinaigrette is basically just the result of good oil (1 to 2 parts) meeting good vinegar or citrus juice (1 part), plus a little seasoning.

We believe it’s best to balance bitter greens with sweet dressings and vice versa, but there are few hard rules to follow when it comes to blending your own dressing.

Experiment with quality ingredients using the guidelines below, or try one of the delicious recipes for homemade salad dressings below.

Ingredients:

Oil

Use extra virgin olive oil with a bright, fruity flavor.

Often, the darker green the oil is, the better its flavor.

Test a few and pick your favorite.

If the oil tastes good on plain bread, it’ll be great on greens.

The bold flavors of sesame and nut oils also stand out in homemade dressings.

Vinegar

Wine vinegars are classic in vinaigrettes, but ciders and balsamics work well, too.

We recommend an aged balsamic if you want a rich, sweet dressing.

Salts

Sea salt is much more flavorful than table salt, and a coarse grind adds texture to dressings.

Try various flavored or smoked salts for different effects.

Peppers

You can experiment with any of the many kinds of peppercorns, but the key to delicious seasoning is always freshness.

Buy whole peppercorns and use a grinder.

Garlic & Herbs

Be generous with seasonally available fresh herbs, and add finely diced fresh or roasted garlic to taste.

Added Seasonings

Play around to find the combo that’s destined to become your signature household recipe.

Classic standbys include mustard, sugar, olives, anchovies, crushed berries and various cheeses.

Add a little of something that entices you, taste and adjust.

You might consider substituting citrus juice for vinegar.

So let's just start off with your basic Balsamic vinaigrette and expand our horizons from there, okay?

Vinaigrettes

Balsamic Vinaigrettes

1/3 c. balsamic vinegar.

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar.

1/4 c. water.

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard.

1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic.

1/2 tsp. apple juice concentrate or 1-2 Tbs. orange juice.

Optional; 1 tsp. minced fresh parsley

1 tsp. honey (this does add "clingability")

Simply mix or blend together.

As with most things containing raw garlic, the longer it keeps, the stronger the garlic.

Now we'll kick it up a notch.

Spicy Mediterranean Vinaigrettes

Sweet raisins, honey and carrot juice balance the heat of crushed red pepper in this brightly colored vinaigrette.

Makes about 3/4 c.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Degree of Preparation: Easy

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/8 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 c. carrot juice

2 Tbs. golden raisins

2 Tbs. red-wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 Tbs. nonfat plain yogurt

1 tsp. honey

1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation;

1. Heat mustard seeds, coriander and cumin in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add carrot juice and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

2. Place raisins in a blender and add the hot juice.

You'll want to let stand for 5 minutes to plump the raisins.

Then add vinegar, cilantro, yogurt, honey, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and blend until combined.

Pour in oil and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

Nutrition:

Per vinaigrettes Tbs.:

55 Calories;

5 g. Fat (1 g. Saturated, 4 g. Mono-unsaturated);

0 mg. Cholesterol;

3 g. Carbohydrates;

0 g. Protein;

0 g. Fiber;

53 mg. Sodium;

50 mg. Potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin-A (40% daily value).

Make Ahead Vinaigrette Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Marilyn takes a small bottle (I think it holds about 4 oz.) of her favorite vinaigrette with her when we know we're going to dine out.

It looks kinda cool too, when she pulls it out of her purse.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley.

2 Tbs. Chablis or other dry white wine.

2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

1 Tbs. raspberry-flavored vinegar.

1-1/2 tsp. honey.

1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard.

1/8 tsp. sea salt.

1/8 tsp. pepper.

1 c. fresh raspberries.

Preparation;

Combine ingredients in a bowl.

Stir with a wire whisk until vinaigrette is blended.

Cover and chill.

Nutrition:

53 Calories;

3 g. Total Fat; (40% calories from fat);

1 g. Protein;

8 g. Carbohydrate;

0 mg. Cholesterol;

97 mg. Sodium

Champagne Vinaigrette

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Level: Easy

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 8

Whirring this champagne vinaigrette in the blender gives it a creamy consistency.

If you don’t have a blender, just mince the shallots, then whisk the ingredients in a medium bowl.

Ingredients:

* 1 shallot, peeled and quartered

* 1/4 c. champagne vinegar, or white-wine vinegar

* 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

* 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

* 3/4 tsp. sea salt

* Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Preparation;

1. Combine shallot, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender.

Puree until smooth.

Nutrition:

Calories 53,

Carbohydrates 1 g.,

Dietary Fiber 0 g.,

Fat 5 g.,

Saturated Fat 1 g.,

Protein 0 g.,

Potassium 4 mg.,

Sodium 182 mg.,

Cholesterol 0 mg.

Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

Invest a little extra time in this vinaigrettes recipe to slow-roast the tomatoes and you’ll be rewarded with a rich, earthy flavor with almost zero fat.

Makes 1 c.

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Degree of Vinaigrettes Preparation: Easy

Ingredients:

12 oz. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cored

1 Tbs. chopped garlic

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Italian seasoning mix

1 tsp. kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

Preparation;

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

Coat an 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Toss tomatoes, garlic, oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Spread the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish.

Bake until the tomatoes are broken down and the juices are thick and syrupy, 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes.

3. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender.

Add vinegar and puree.

(Use caution when blending hot mixtures.)

Cool vinaigrettes completely before using.

Nutrition:

Per 2-Tbs. serving:

19 Calories;

1 g. Fat (0 g. Saturated, 1 g. Mono-unsaturated);

0 mg. Cholesterol;

1 g. Carbohydrates;

0 g. Protein;

0 g. Fiber;

99 mg. Sodium;

59 mg. Potassium.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Stir before using.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/2 c. strawberry preserves

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 c. water

1/4 c. pure Canola Oil OR canola Oil with Omega-3 DHA

Salt and black pepper, to taste (optional)

Directions:

Whisk together preserves, vinegar, mustard, pepper and water in medium bowl until thoroughly blended.

Gradually whisk in oil.

Season to taste with salt and additional black pepper, if desired.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Orange juice and cilantro yield a tangy vinaigrettes dressing that you'll want to have on hand.

Ingredients:

1 c. packed cilantro

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c. lime juice

1/4 c. orange juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Pinch of minced garlic

Preparation:

1. Puree cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, salt, pepper and garlic in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Garlicky Green Goddess Recipe

Use any of your favorite fresh herbs in this Garlicky Green Goddess Vinaigrette recipe.

This delicious recipe also tastes great as a dip for your veggie tray!

This garlicky take on the classic dressing is perfect over crisp romaine and is best prepared at least a day in advance.

Feel free to experiment with a variety of fresh herbs.

This garlicky take on the classic dressing is perfect over crisp romaine and is best prepared at least a day in advance.

Feel free to experiment with a variety of fresh herbs.

Ingredients:

Zest and juice of 1 small lemon

1 small ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 medium shallot, peeled

2 to 4 anchovies

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbs. white wine vinegar

2 Tbs. each fresh parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil

3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c. cream

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1. Purée all ingredients except oil, cream, salt and pepper.

After ingredients are mixed, slowly add oil in a stream while processing.

2. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in cream.

Season with salt and pepper.

Makes about 2 cups.

All-Purpose Vinaigrette

Use this vinaigrette to dress up any combination of mixed greens.

Ingredients:

1 med. clove garlic

1/4 tsp. salt

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

6 Tbs. fresh orange juice, plus more to taste

1/4 c. white-wine vinegar, or red-wine vinegar

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Preparation:

1. Peel garlic clove and smash with the side of a chef’s knife.

Using a fork, mash the garlic with salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste.

Whisk in oil.

Add juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended.

Taste vinaigrette and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired.

Spicy Mediterranean Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/8 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 c. carrot juice

2 Tbs. golden raisins

2 Tbs. red-wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 Tbs. nonfat plain yogurt

1 tsp. honey

1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation:

1. Heat mustard seeds, coriander and cumin in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add carrot juice and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

2. Place raisins in a blender and add the hot juice.

Let stand for 5 minutes to plump the raisins.

Add vinegar, cilantro, yogurt, honey, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and blend until combined.

Pour in oil and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

And there you have our list of favorite vinaigrettes.

We sincerely hope you and your family enjoys these wonderfully, flavorful vinaigrettes as much as we and ours do!

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