Is it hot where you live? Because it’s REALLY hot and humid where we are! I didn’t really need another reason to serve salads every night with dinner. But, these long, summer days seem to make my family more willing to eat fresh crunchy greens and lettuce every night as long as they have a continuous supply of new and exciting (read homemade) dressings to jazz up said salads. This has presented me with something of a challenge because I’m still relatively new to dressing-making (if that’s a thing). And whenever I’m working on a new dressing, I always worry that I may experience a repeat of my great mayonnaise fiasco from our first #WHOLE30 journey in April. Fortunately, I’ve learned some reliable salad dressing-making tricks since then and have discovered some tasty salad topping recipes along the way (including Presto Peachy Lime Vinaigrette, the Split Second Strawberry Vinaigrette and Paleo Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette). My current favorite method for whipping up a quick and easy, thick and creamy dressing using healthy ingredients is to employ our trusty NutriBullet 900. I’ve discovered it’s practically foolproof. And I’d highly recommend investing in a NutriBullet or other high-powered blender (e.g. Vitamix) if you’re looking to transition from processed foods to making the majority your own foods (especially dressings and sauces) from scratch.
Lately, we’ve been including a series of different fresh fruits in our nightly salads – everything from sweet seedless grapes to juicy local peaches to tangy pineapple and succulent papaya. The sweet juicy fruits and crisp greens seem to beckon for a saltier more robust dressing, something with garlic, citrus, and ginger; something interesting, with a kick. We haven’t consumed any soy products since completing #WHOLE30, but I still find myself craving something akin to a sweet teriyaki but creamier. Thank goodness for Coconut Aminos Sauce – the answer to my salty soy cravings!
Not only is this dressing soy-free, it also has a hefty dose of selenium thanks to the inclusion of Brazil nuts. The garlic and fresh ginger provide anti-inflammatory protection, and the citrus juices offer a nice hit of Vitamin C. Did I mention that the oils contribute antioxidant protection in the form of Vitamin E? It’s true. Those same extra virgin oils contain useful fatty acids that will help your body better assimilate all the valuable nutrients in the salad. This dressing is a health fest! It’s about 85-95% raw (depending on the oils you use). It’s vegan; suitable for those following a #paleo lifestyle; and is #whole30-compliant as well (provided you following the instructions in the comments below and always read ingredients and food labels). Most importantly, it’s yummy, and your family will love it!
N.B. this recipe makes about 2 cups (scant) of dressing and will become thicker as it sits in the fridge (due to the coconut oil). You will find that it becomes thin and spreadable again as soon as you spoon it out onto a salad. It pairs well with avocado or guacamole, fruits and nuts, Asian or Southwestern spices and a sprinkle of fresh herbs as shown here.
• 4 dates, soaked at least 4 hours (see comment below if doing #WHOLE30)+++
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled
• 6 whole Brazil nuts
• 1 tsp. iodized sea salt
• 1 tsp. spicy mustard (do NOT Dijon if doing #WHOLE30, see comment below)+++
• 1” knob peeled fresh ginger root, diced
• ¼ cup lime juice (I only had bottled available, but freshly squeezed is best)
• ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice (or more lime juice)
• 2-3 Tbsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Sauce
(according to taste, I used about 2.5 Tbsp.)
• ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or extra virgin avocado oil
• 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
(I used dark. Choose an organic cold-pressed light sesame oil such as this one if raw)
• 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Citrus juicer
• Powerful blender (As stated above, I used Nutribullet Pro 900)
1. After soaking, drain dates and discard soaking liquid.
2. Place dates and all other dressing ingredients into canister of blender. Place lid on blender and process on HIGH until dressing is very smooth and no
visible chunks or pieces of ingredients are visible.
3. Remove lid and test for seasonings. Adjust to your taste preferences.
If you do adjust the seasonings, replace lid and blend on HIGH for a few seconds more.
4. Pour dressing into a jar or bottle. Cover with lid and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Dressing will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
+++When doing #WHOLE30, it’s very important you get into the habit of checking the ingredient lists of any foods you plan to eat, cook with or serve your family. For example, many brands of dried fruits (including some dates) are processed with sulfites which are not permitted for consumption during #WHOLE30, so be sure to check the dates before you purchase/use them. Also, most Dijon mustards contain white wine which is also not approved for consumption during WHOLE30, which is why you’ll want to use spicy mustard instead. For a complete list of #WHOLE30 program do’s and don’ts as well as answers to just about any #WHOLE30 questions you may have, I highly recommend you check out the program rules here and other resources available at WHOLE30’s website to educate yourself prior to beginning your own #WHOLE30 journey or whenever you have questions or need some support.
BTW – If you’re looking for a salad recipe to go along with this dressing, I highly recommend using this Quick & Easy Beautifying Papaya Salad recipe. It’s healthy, delicious, and is easily adapted for vegans, paleo and #whole30-ers. And it’s chalked full of good-for-you nutrients!
Wisdom for the Day:
Sometimes people ask me how I can eat vegetables all the time; don’t I get tired of the taste and so on. I explain to these folks that not only do I love the flavor of fresh vegetables, but vegetables are the original health food described in the Garden of Eden story (in Genesis 1:29) and in this cool story from the Old Testament book of Daniel:
“So Daniel spoke to the guard… ‘Why not test your servants for ten days? You could give us a diet of vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance to the appearance of the young men who eat the king’s food. Then deal with your servants according to what you see.’ The guard decided to go along with their plan and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days they looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king’s food. So the guard kept taking away their rations and the wine they were supposed to drink and gave them vegetables instead. And God gave knowledge, mastery of all literature, and wisdom to these four men.”
~Daniel 1:11-17 (Common English Bible) Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
Ever feel completely clueless when it comes to applying eyeshadow? You’re not alone. Sometimes I still look at those big beautiful (often expensive) shadow palettes that are so popular these days and feel…totally overwhelmed, like I wouldn’t even know what to do with all those color options. Luckily, great-looking eyeshadow doesn’t have to be that complicated and needn’t involve more than 2 colors! Emily Noel is here to tell us all about the “sandwich method” in this super-quick, super-informative video – complete with step-by-step tutorial, suggested shadow duos (both top-shelf and drugstore options) and listings + links for all products & tools used or mentioned in the video. The always delightful Ms. Emily really shines in this gem of a beauty Vlog!
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