Confession time…

I. Love. Salads.

 

Simple Salad

Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and make your dietitian jokes – I’ll wait. But I’m serious. I’m one of those people who actually craves a good salad (and ice cream and pizza from time to time, but that’s beside the point…) 

In all fairness, can you blame me? Salads not only taste amazing, but also make you feel amazing. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at all of the stock photos floating around the internet of women eating salads. Um.. I’ll have what she’s having, please and thank you.

Salad jokes{Source}

All jokes aside, I really do love salads.. especially for their ease and versatility. I mean, they’re essentially blank canvases for any and all types of cuisines (and not to mention one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers). Whether you’re craving Mexican, BBQ, American, or Greek, there’s an app a salad for that. But with so many different options out there, what is it that takes a salad from good to great? Well, it all boils down to one simple formula…

Quality Salad = Quality Ingredients + Quality Dressing

I told you it was simple. So simple, in fact, that I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it took me years to figure it out. You see, up until about a year ago, I only focused on the first half of that equation. I would pour time and energy into creating a beautiful salad featuring fresh, tasty ingredients.. only for them to be hidden under a pool of store-bought dressing. I knew deep down that this was probably contradictory of me, but I couldn’t help it. Bottled salad dressing was just so darn easy. I mean, sure it’s possible to make your own homemade salad dressing, but C’MON.. ain’t nobody got time for that (or so I thought).

My “ah-ha” salad dressing moment didn’t come until about a year ago when I moved apartments and found myself having to restock my entire fridge from top to bottom. Perhaps it was the freakishly long ingredient lists, or the fact that I had to be extremely frugal with my finances, but suddenly the idea of spending $4 on a bottle of “salad dressing” that I would probably grow tired of halfway through just didn’t appeal to me. (But for real, have you taken a look at those ingredient statements lately? Most of them contain more ingredients than one of my salads.. and that’s coming from the girl who’s infamous for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads. Yikes!) Either way, I set out to find quick and easy salad dressing recipes that required only a few simple ingredients that I already had in my pantry.

salad dressing ingredients

The salad dressings I’m sharing with you today are among the first homemade salad dressings that I ever made. And although I’ve since dabbled with a few other recipes, I always find myself coming back to these two. They’re easy, they’re quick, and they’re totally customizable. PLUS, you can make as much or as little as you want at a time, which means minimal waste. YAY!

salad dressings

So whether you’re looking for a more wholesome alternative to store-bought dressings or just looking to save some space in your fridge (and your wallet), I hope you’ll consider giving one of these recipes a try. After all, they got me to put down the bottle, so I like to think they must have something going for them.

 

Basic Italian-Style Vinaigrette Dressing
An Italian-style salad dressing made with less than 5 ingredients!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  3. 1 tsp Italian seasoning (salt-free)
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. salt & pepper to taste*
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well until combined.
  2. Store leftovers at room temperature and shake well before using. Recipe makes about 1/2 cup dressing.
Notes
  1. * I typically use about 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper.
Adapted from Basic Vinaigrette Dressing with 8 Variations
Byte Sized Nutrition http://bytesizednutrition.com/
Maple Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette
A subtly sweet Maple Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette made with simple, wholesome ingredients.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  3. 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  4. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. salt and pepper to taste*
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well until combined.
  2. Store leftovers at room temperature and shake well before using. Recipe makes about 1/2 cup dressing.
Notes
  1. * I typically use about 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper.
Adapted from Maple-Balsamic Dressing
Byte Sized Nutrition http://bytesizednutrition.com/

PS – Keep an eye out for a fresh, summery salad recipe coming your way later this week! **Spoiler alert: it features one of these dressings…

7 Comments on Quitting the Bottle (+ 2 Recipes!)

  1. Yum yum! This post came at a perfect time as I’m looking around for some new ones. I love it that you’ve boiled down the recipe so that you don’t have an overwhelming amount. Thanks for sharing!

    • Glad you like it, Ruth! And I agree – smaller batches are the way to go! More room for variety 🙂

  2. Can’t wait to try these Kara! I eat a ton of salads and dressings can really add up, both cost and calories! Thanks for doing all of the dirty work and narrowing down the results for us. Gonna whip up some today!

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Quitting the Bottle (+ 2 Recipes!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *