Most salad dressings you buy in a bottle from your big box grocery store contain large amounts of sugar, sodium, fat, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. They are made to last a long time on the grocery store shelf, in your pantry, and then in your refrigerator upon opening. Those long-lasting compounds and chemicals are hard for your body to digest, and that just negates many of the positive nutrients in the rest of your salad.
With a well-stocked kitchen (even just a semi well-stocked kitchen!), you can make your own healtier, tastier salad dressing. Making your own means you can control the amount of sodium and fat that goes into your salad. You can make it exactly to your taste, and you can tweak your batch of dressing as you use it.
Tonight I made a quick and healthy balsamic vinaigrette to use with my lunches this week. This would go well on greens, grains such as quinoa or wheat berries, roasted vegetables, or pasta. I made a small batch since I only needed it for a few meals, but you can apply this recipe to make any amount of dressing you need.
I played around with the taste, but mine ended up being:
3 parts balsamic vinegar
3 parts extra virgin olive oil
2 parts water
1 part Dijon mustard
½ part yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste
I combined my ingredients in an old applesauce jar (repurposed jars make great salad dressing containers) and gave it a hard shake.
This tastes really rich and clean – definitely better than bottled. The only thing I’ll change next time is using organic mustards. The mustards I used here have an expiration date for sometime in 2013 – the same long shelf life of the salad dressings I try to avoid. That’s not ideal, and I will be switching those out soon. Otherwise, this recipe one to keep.