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.

 

 

 

Radicchio Salad with Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette

Raddichio SaladIn 1988, I moved to Napa Valley with dreams of launching a catering career. I had no job and no local industry contacts to help me get one. But, I had my college friend Heidi. A native of the Valley, Heidi introduced me to Jamie, the executive chef for Inglenook winery. It was a good start. Continue reading

Nicoise-Style Salad

Nicoise-Style SaladIn his blog, David Lebovitz, American food writer extraordinaire in Paris, kindly sets us straight about Salad Nicoise. According to the rules of French cuisine, our American practice of topping the salad with a crown of seared tuna, is a no-no. Canned tuna is acceptable. Canned anchovies are acceptable. But, using both is not okay. Further, according to some camps, the “classic” boiled potatoes and cooked green bean accompaniments are also forbidden. Cooked vegetables are not allowed, only raw. There are a lot of rules and a lot of debate over the rules. I’m ignoring most of them with this Nicoise-style salad. Continue reading

Grapefruit Avocado Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit SaladThe heat wave persists. So, avoiding the stove is priority #1. Unfortunately, grilling and barbecuing are verboten on Manhattan balconies.

Salads to the rescue, particularly this one, which I am living on lately. Last week,  I prepared this recipe multiple times, including final assembly in Central Park during the free concerts.

Continue reading

Raw Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Summer Kale Salad“Eat more kale”. I wish it had been MY idea to print this clever slogan on T-shirts. But, at least I can live the slogan. This is my new favorite way for its flavor and ease. The lemon vinaigrette actually softens the raw kale, which usually requires a separate step.

My mother made this salad for me during a recent trip home to SeattIe. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that what seems a modern combination of flavors was not, inspired by her latest Food Network marathon. Rather, the credit actually goes to her mother. I hope you will enjoy Virgie’s Raw Kale Salad as much as I do. It is irresistibly light and zesty. It is also rates high on the convenience factor. Feel free to make it in advance, as it will not wilt as quickly as other salads. Great job grandma!  Serves 2-4. Continue reading