Healthful Home-Made Dressings

Here’s the thing, dressings really don’t have to be overcomplicated.  The majority of my salads these days are topped with a drizzle of fruit-infused aged balsamic vinegar with a touch of extra virgin olive oil or my favorite salsa and some cubed avocado.  Still, if you need a little more dimension, be sure to give some of these a try.

Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 tsp Sweet Yellow Onion OR 1 Small Shallot, finely chopped

4 tsp Maple Syrup

2 tsp White Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

1/8 tsp Sea Salt

Dash of Black Pepper

4 tbsp (Extra Virgin) Olive Oil



Blend all ingredients except the olive oil.  By hand, stir/whisk in the oil.  If separation occurs, shake or stir to combine immediately prior to pouring onto the salad.

Classic Italian Dressing

This makes a little less than 2 cups.  I know the ingredient list looks big and scary but this recipe really is so easy and comes together so fast.  Even raw Italian dressings are good about lasting for a while if kept refrigerated, making it one of those wonderful old standbys to have on hand.


1½ tsp Garlic Powder

1 tbsp Onion Powder

2 tbsp Dried Oregano

1 tbsp Dried Parsley

1 tsp Dried Basil

1/4 tsp Dried Thyme

1/2 tsp Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp Celery Salt

1 tbsp + 2 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

1/8 tsp Stevia

1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar (or other vinegar of choice, just make it a good one!)

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Water


Combine all wet ingredients.  Add all dry ingredients occasionally stirring while mixing.  As with any other Italian dressing, separation is normal.  Shake or stir immediately prior to use.


Hemp Heart Ranch Dressing


1/2 cup Water, more if needed to blend

1/4 cup Hemp Hearts

1/4 cup Cashews

1 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Minced Onion

1 tsp Sea Salt

1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp Dried Dill, reserved

1 tbsp Dried Parsley, reserved


Combine all ingredients except parsley and dill in a mini blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add dill and parsley and pulse to blend.  You just want it dispersed throughout.  Blending too long won’t completely ruin it but will turn it a light shade of green.

Simply Honey Mustardhoney -spoon-honey-jar


1 tbsp Honey

1 tbsp Prepared Mustard

1½ tsp Healthy Oil (Grapeseed, Flax, Extra Virgin Olive, etc.), optional


Combine all ingredients and stir together in a small bowl.  Sample and adjust to taste.

Dill-icious Dressing


1 cup Cashews, soaked

3/4 cup Water

2-3 ½ tbsp. Lemon Juice (as desired)

1/2 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt

1½ tsp Dried Basil

2½ tsp Dried Dill

1/8 tsp Garlic Salt


Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Place in a sealed container and chill.

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrettegarlic


3 Whole Garlic Bulbs, roasted (instructions follow)

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 tbsp White Wine Vinegar

2 tbsp Water

1 tbsp Agave

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp Dijon or Stone Ground Mustard

1½ tsp Italian Seasoning

Pinch of Tarragon, optional

1/2 tsp Salt

1/8 tsp Black Pepper


Mash roasted garlic with a fork and place in a bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine well.  Alternatively, you may place all except the oil in a mini blender for a smooth dressing.  Once all ingredients are well blended, add the oil and pulse to blend.

For the Roasted Garlic

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Peel away outer layers of garlic bulb skin, leaving skins of the individual cloves intact.  Cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

 Place garlic heads on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Lightly drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and pull foil up around the garlic, twisting at the top to fully enclose.

 Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

 Allow the garlic to cool so you can touch it without burning yourself. You should be able to gently squeeze the cloves from the head or you may use a small knife to slightly cut the skin around each clove. Use a small fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

Zesty Mediterranean Dressing


1/4 cup Water

1/4 + 1/8 cup Pine Nuts

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)

1/8 – 1/4 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Tuscan Seasoning (may sub Italian plus a small pinch of red pepper)

1/4 tsp Lemon Juice

Pinch of Stevia (Optional but preferable)


Blend all ingredients in a mini blender until smooth and creamy.

Caesar Dressing (Vegan Substitute)


1/2 cup Cashews

1/4 cup Hemp Hearts (may sub for all cashews)

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Large Celery Stalks

3 Pitted Dates, chopped

1 Garlic Clove

1½  Lemons, juice only

3/4 cup Water

3 tsp Dulse Flakes (may sub for kelp but start with less as flavor is stronger)

1/8-1/4 tsp Probiotics

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper


Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Allow to ferment at room temperature 8-12 hours (optional).  Store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator.  Serve over chiffonaded or chopped romaine.

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