Monday, January 2, 2012

Pantry Raid Part 4: Salad Dressings (Includes Recipes)


Happy, Happy Monday!!  I am beginning to look forward to Monday's and writing these Pantry Raid posts.  It's so exciting to bump into people all around town that are reading these posts and actually getting something out of them!  It just warms my heart to hear that not only are these posts getting read, but they're helping people...that's just mind-blowing stuff to me!!!  Thank you so much for all your sweet encouragement!  Feel free to post your stories in the comment section too...I so want to hear the changes that you are making, what's working, and what's not... 

Anyways...before I get too mushy, let's go Raid our Pantry's again!  I don't know why, but I just have this "thing" about store-bought salad dressing.   It's seems to have made it's way onto my pet peeve list somehow.  Maybe it stems from the extreme couponing days where I'd have 20 bottles of the stuff lined up all nice on the pantry shelf just waiting to be poured all over my unsuspecting veggies.  I used to get all psyched up about my stockpile, and anything less than 20 bottles just wasn't good enough...I know, just say it--HOARDER!   I've come a long way... now, I just feel the need to keep a gallon of organic olive oil hanging around for all my salad dressing needs :) lol!

Actually, I buy it by the gallon, because it really is more cost efficient.  We go through it so fast that it stays off my grocery list for a few weeks at a time, and I feel like I'm not constantly buying it in small bottles and supporting more wasted packaging.  I think my main beef with store-bought dressing though is that I can make a better tasting, organic, healthy version for a fraction of the price and a lot less stress on the planet.

What's wrong with the store-bought dressing?  Let me start by saying, I'm focusing more here on the conventional store-bought dressings. These are the brands that you will find at the grocery store that don't advertise that they are organic, non-GMO, or preservative free.  Even some that do advertise to be more sustainable have funky ingredients.  A huge hesitation for buying those type is the sugar.  It will mostly be listed as "evaporated cane juice", which is just a nice way of saying sugar.   Don't get me wrong, it's a less processed version of it's evil sister white table sugar, but, nonetheless, it's still sugar.   I mentioned in my sweetener Pantry Raid  that I like to steer clear of sugar as much as possible.  So, if I'm eating salads almost everyday, I certainly don't want sugar in my dressings.

When reading the labels on the big name dressings, you will find other ingredients like cancer-causing, artificial food dyes.  Does it really matter what color your dressing is??  It does to the marketing department that wants it to look appetizing to you, so you will buy their product.  This one makes me laugh the most, because we've been so duped into thinking our food needs to look a certain way, that some of us will even overlook the health problems it causes so that we don't have to eat something with a funny color.

Another reason not to eat store-bought dressing...most are made from a soybean oil base.  Unless the bottle says that it contains non-GMO ingredients, you are eating a product of a genetically modified soybean.  I hit on this subject a little in the sweetener post as well.   Soybeans are one of the big players in the GMO game.  In fact 87% of our soy crops in the US are GMO.  Almost every packaged product on the grocery store shelf has some form of GMO soy or corn listed as an ingredient.  You would be amazed at the list.  Check out the documentary "King Corn".  It's on Netflix...another big eye opener.  I just read an article recently, that talked about the new "superworm" that's attacking corn crops.  It's become resistant to all the genetic modifications science has made to corn.  Not only are they attacking GMO corn, but they are hitting what's left of the other farmers too.  It's a huge threat to our food system.   When we eat these products, not only are we supporting the destruction of our food system, we also contaminating our bodies with substances that have no proven research supporting them.  In fact, some studies have even proven that GMO soy can cause liver problems, sterility and infant mortality.  If that's not bad enough, don't forget that the purpose of modifying these crops is so farmers can spray Round-Up and other deadly chemicals all over them...good stuff, huh?

And the last main reason for me are preservatives.  They are just unnecessary.  Why do we need a bottle of dressing to last for two years??  When I started cleaning out our pantry, I found all kinds of dressings hanging out in the refrigerator.  Some were way past the expiration date, and because I'm just a sicko, I had to taste test a few.  There was nothing wrong with them.  That's insane...I'm talking a year expired!!    There are a long list of preservatives that manufacturers add to our foods.  The FDA even requires some to be listed more prominently on the package, because they can be "hazardous to our health" like sulfites.  One you see in salad dressing a lot is Propylene Glycol.  It's a thickener and texturizer that's also used as antifreeze in cars and airplanes.  I'll just stick with my theory.  If God didn't put it in on earth for me to eat it, my body will be poisoned in one way or another by eating it. 

The solution....just make it yourself.   Salad dressing is way too easy to make, and way better tasting, to not make it yourself.  The ingredients are so simple.



Add some herbs and you're done.

Here's a few of our favorite recipes.  You will notice, I don't use lightened mayo.  But, what about fat??  You will find that these dressings, heck, all of the foods I tell you about, are so intense in flavor, that a little goes a LONG way.  Our bodies NEED the fat.  They don't need GMO soybean oil or pesticide ridden canola oil.  They need pure, good fat.  Without getting too deep into the subject, your cell walls are made of fat.  Your body will use whatever fat you feed it to create the cell walls.   Bad fat = weak walls, weak walls allow disease to attack your body.  In other words, use good oils to make it, eat the darn full-fat mayo and enjoy it!!  PS...the mayo recipe will be up tomorrow.


1/3 c. Homemade Mayo (use a good organic mayo if you don't have any homemade on hand)
1/3 c. Greek Yogurt (Organic of course :), and more protein than sour cream while it tastes the same)
1/3 c. Organic Mustard (whatever type you have on hand, I like to use spicy)
1/4 c. Local, Raw Honey
2 T Organic Balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Pepper to taste

Put it all in a jar and shake.


3/4 c. Homemade Mayo (use a good organic mayo if you don't have any homemade on hand)
3/4 c. Greek Yogurt (Organic of course :), and more protein than sour cream while it tastes the same)
1 Tbsp Green Onion (these and all of the herbs are so easy to grow in your yard)
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Chives
1 Tbsp Dill
1 garlic Clove
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Raw, Local Honey
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Pepper to taste

Put it all in a jar and shake.



1/2 c. Homemade Mayo (use a good organic mayo if you don't have any homemade on hand)
1/2 c. Greek Yogurt (Organic of course :), and more protein than sour cream while it tastes the same)
2 Tbsp Cilantro
Juice from one Keylime (also grows well in FL)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Pepper to taste

Put it all in a jar and shake.


2/3 c. Olive Oil (I use Organic, Unrefined, Extra Virgin )
1/3 c. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Grated Parm cheese
2 Tbsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Pepper to taste

Put it all in a jar and shake.

A Few Tips:

Chop your herbs fine. This...

Becomes this...

 Save any glass jars you may have bought processed food in.  They come in handy.

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