When I began changing my eating habits from the oh-so-popular low-fat, nutrient lacking Western diet to a nutrient dense diet full of healthy fats and proteins and plenty of delicious vegetables and fruits, a very difficult part for me was choosing salad dressings. I’m not going to lie, I am a ranch lover. I grew up on good ol’ Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.

Let’s be honest here people, commercial salad dressings are just plain scary. Have you ever read the ingredient list, or shall I say, small novel on the back of your favorite dressing? There are processed oils, stabilizers, soy, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, corn solids…must I go on?

Another issue is that we often hear the low-fat, no-fat recommendation spewed from the lips of Dietitians and physicians everywhere; Dr. Oz, your primary care physician, your well-meaning friend after reading an article in some popular health magazine. So we look for “low-fat” options of our favorites which we don’t realize get filled with more sugars and unreadable ingredients just to make them tolerable. The idea of fat being “evil” has spread like wildfire through the minds of millions, yet fat is one of the most important nutrients for some very essential processes and organs of the body. We’ll get into that further another time…

Justine! Then how am I suppose to eat salads, you say? It is your lucky dressing day! These recipes are full of healthy fats and tasty, fresh ingredients and take less than 5 minutes to make. If you are having a dinner party and want to show off your awesome super nourishing cooking skills, I recommend making them fresh before the meal and serving in a fancy bowl with a spoon. On the other hand, I find that when the dressings sit in the refrigerator for a day or so the flavors begin to deepen and turn salads into delicious meals rather than big bowls of “ugh, I’m only eating this because I have to!”

The first dressing is adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and the second recipe is from my beautiful sister in Christ Season J (check out more of her awesome blog here).

***Make sure your oils are cold-pressed and organic, if possible.

Garlicky Oil and Vinegar Dressing

1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon expeller-expressed flax oil

1 clove of garlic

Measure about 1 teaspoon of mustard into a small bowl. Add vinegar and mix well. Add olive oil in a thin stream while stirring with a fork until oil is well mixed. Add flax oil immediately. Peel garlic, mash in a garlic press and stir into dressing.

OR

Put all ingredients minus the flax oil into a food processor and pulse until well mixed and garlic is finely chopped. Add flax oil and pulse a couple of times. Enjoy!

Creamy Ranch Dressing

1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4 of a white onion (red works too)
pinch of white pepper (I used black because I couldn’t find white pepper!)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup mayo (either homemade or the HAIN brand is the best)
4 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt (Look for Straus, Mountain High or other organic yogurts)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor and enjoy!

Both dressings will stay for a week+ if kept in a sealed container or Mason jar.

Shine Bright readers!

P.S. Sorry there are no photos for this post. I will add them soon.