Phytonutrient-Rich Dressings to Make Any Salad Even Healthier

Phytonutrient Salad DressingsWhile any salad dressing adds a bit of moisture and palatability to a vegetable medley, the right dressing is a game changer. In fact, these four phytonutrient-rich dressings will not only give your salad a distinct flair, they will take the nutrition quotient to 11! 

How can phytonutrient-rich dressings make a salad even healthier?

First, fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as many phytonutrients need fat for absorption. So, you’ll get more nutrition out of your carrots and sweet potatoes (vitamin A), mushrooms (vitamin D), nuts and seeds (vitamin E), greens and broccoli (vitamin K). That is why friends don’t let friends use fat-free salad dressing!

Second, adding herbs and spices will significantly increase the antioxidant power of your salad to ward off inflammation-causing free radicals. A little goes a long way. For most herbs, simply go by taste and add the amount that tastes right to you. Consistency is more important than the quantity.  Continue reading

Creamy Horseradish Dressing

A bit of silken tofu gives this creamy horseradish dressing such a luscious texture you won’t believe it’s vegan. Freshly grated horseradish delivers not only another source of cruciferous goodness but also gives this dressing a very distinct flair. If you really want to make it zesty, add more horseradish. For best results, either use a

You can find fresh horseradish in the produce section of most grocery stores. For best results, either use a microplane, or finely chop the horseradish after grating, if you’re not using a blender. To prevent drying out, wrap unused horseradish in a damp towel. It will keep for at least a month refrigerated. 

Grated Horseradish Dressing

CREAMY HORSERADISH DRESSING

Adapted from Natural Gourmet Institute
Yield: approximately 1 cup

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon peeled, freshly grated horseradish
  • 1/2 pound silken tofu (squeeze out extra water)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea miso
  • 1/4 cup soy milk or other dairy alternatives
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Tabasco or hot sauce
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients except the Tabasco, salt and black pepper. Process until the dressing is creamy and smooth. Add salt, black pepper and Tabasco to taste and blend again until incorporated.

 

 

 

Mustard Seed Vinaigrette & How to Make Sulforaphane!

Make Your Own Sulfurophane!As discussed in an earlier post, there are three strategies to get the benefits of raw crucifers when cooked. This supporting recipe is not just a recipe for a mustard vinaigrette. When used to dress a salad containing cooked crucifers or to top cooked crucifers, it is a recipe for the wonder compound, sulforaphane!

This vinaigrette recipe includes mustard seed powder, which provides a source of myrosinase. Remember, mustard greens are crucifers. So, the ground seeds are a potent source of the all important enzyme. Theoretically, whole mustard seeds should work as well. However, do not roast, toast or otherwise apply heat to the seeds or you will denature the enzymes, rendering the seeds just another ingredient. Further, you can adapt any dressing recipe to make it a sulforaphane-maker simply by adding some mustard seed powder. Following is a recipe I now keep on hand and drizzle a little over steamed broccoli or cabbage. I have tried it with apple cider vinegar, but prefer the version with balsamic vinegar.

MUSTARD SEED VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8th teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey, ideally raw and organic (or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a clean jar or small bowl, add the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, prepared and powdered mustard and mix well. Add all remaining ingredients, except the oil and mix well again.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork. Or, if using a jar, shake vigorously, adding the oil in stages until emulsified.
  3. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Do you have a dressing with mustard seeds or powder you like to serve with cruciferous vegetables? Please share!

Lemon Vinaigrette

Lemon VinaigretteThis light dressing is versatile, with just a change of fresh herbs; cilantro, parsley or mint. Or, try of combination of several herbs to compliment your salad ingredients. The key here is using fresh lemon juice and balancing it with a small amount of natural sweetener.

Note: As prepared, this will be a very light dressing. If you would like to make it more substantial, simply add more olive oil, about 1/4 cup more. Or, my favorite, add 1/4-1/2 of a ripe avocado before adding the olive oil.  Continue reading