Salad Dressings



Salad dressings are generally based on oil, vinegar (or lemon) and sugar. Oil-free dressings are generally very high in sugar and sodium.  They do little to enhance the nutritional value of salad. These dressings are whole-food based so much more nutrient-dense than store-bought dressing. The fat comes from seeds or nuts and the sweetness from dried fruit. Enjoy!



Golden Hemp Dressing

 Makes about 3 cups of dressing.

One-quarter cup of Golden Hemp Dressing provides omega-3 fatty acids and is packed with riboflavin and other B vitamins, including vitamin B12. If you prefer, use yellow zucchini, complete with peel.


1/2 cup hemp seeds

1 cup water

2 cups zucchini, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

3 Tbsp light miso

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp ground cumin or turmeric

1/2 tsp garlic, crushed (optional)

1 tbsp golden raisins (or other light-colored dried fruit such as pears or apples) (optional)


Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Store in a sealed glass jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks.



Green Goddess Dressing: Replace mustard and cumin with 1 cup of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, and parsley work very well), and double the amount of garlic to 1 tsp. Keep the skin on the zucchini.


Lemon Tahini Dressing

Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 ml)


Tahini is a delicious sesame seed butter used that became well known in the West with the introduction of Hummus. Tahini may be used to flavor sauces and soups, or to give creamy texture in a dressing like this one. Stir tahini before using as oil may separate.  Try this dressing on salads, steamed broccoli, and baked potatoes.


1/2 cup (125 ml) tahini

1/2 cup (125 ml) water

1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice

1-2 Tbsp (30 ml) tamari or 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

2 cloves garlic, (optional) (not necessary to chop if going in a blender)

1 tsp (5 ml) cumin powder (optional)

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


Put the tahini, water, lemon juice, tamari, garlic, and cayenne in a blender and process for 30 seconds or until smooth. This dressing will keep, in a covered container and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.


Creamy Cashew Dressing

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of dressing.


1 cup cashews, rinsed

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or other light-colored vinegar)

2 Tbsp light miso

2 cloves garlic

3-4 dates (optional)

1 tsp horseradish (optional)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

Fresh ground pepper to taste


Blend ingredients on high speed until smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

My Favorite Supper Salad

2014 008Wild garden salad

Makes about 16 cups (4 l) 


My favorite meal is salad. Seriously.  To me, a beautiful salad is a materpiece of colour, texture and flavor.  Of course, we are not talking iceberg lettuce with a few tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkle on top; we are talking about a full, satisfying meal.  I make a giant salad that lasts up to 4 days.  Greens are torn and dressing is always on the side so the salad does  not brown or wilt. Nutritionally, it doesn’t get much better than this!


This salad is a full meal deal. It provides a rainbow of color and a feast of phytochemicals. Choose organic produce, if possible. By eating it with some fat-containing food such as a seed-based salad dressing, nutrient absorption is maximized.


The Greens

Choose any dark greens you have on hand. Throw in some red or purple leafy vegetable for variety and color. Use about 8 cups in total – mix and match as you like. Here is a suggested combination:


4 cups wild, mixed greens

2 cups kale, stem removed and sliced matchstick thin

2 cups chopped radicchio or thinly sliced red or purple cabbage


The Veggies and Fruits

The key is to cover the rainbow in your selection. Aim for 5 color families – green, yellow-orange, pink- red, purple- blue and white-beige. Use a total of about 5 cups veggies (1 cup from each color family). Mix and match as you like or simply select 1-2 options from each color category. Here are a few suggestions:



1 cup broccolini or broccoli florets and stems, sliced diagonally

1 cup asparagus (raw or steamed), sliced diagonally

1 cup zucchini, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally

1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas

1 cup sprouts, tightly packed (e.g. sunflower, pea or other)

1 cup fresh herbs, tightly packed (e.g. mint, basil or dill)

2 kiwi fruit, chopped



1-2 yellow or orange carrots, sliced or grated

1 yellow or orange pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips

1 pint heirloom colored grape or other tomatoes

1 cup golden cauliflower florets

1 cup yellow beets (steamed or boiled), cubed

1-2 oranges or 1 grapefruit, bite sized pieces

1 mango, chopped



1 cup watermelon radish, cut into small cubes

1 red pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion, sliced thinly

1 cup beets (steamed or boiled), cubed

1 cup pomegranate seeds (or seeds from one pomegranate)

1-2 cups strawberries, sliced or raspberries

1/2 cup gogi berries



1 purple pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips

1-2 purple carrots, sliced or grated

1 cup purple cauliflower florets

1 cup roasted eggplant

1 cup blueberries or blackberries



1 cup cauliflower florets

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 salad turnips, sliced

1 small kohlrabi, cut in thin strips

1 small jicama, cut in thin strips


Plant Protein

Choose at least 1-2 protein sources for your salad. Some great options are:

6-8 oz. smoked tofu, cubed

6-8 oz. tofu, cubed and sautéed with tamari, turmeric, herbs and spices

6-8 oz tempeh, cooked

1-2 cups chickpeas or other beans

1-2 cups lentils

1 cup hummus

4-8 falafel balls or other veggie balls


Healthy Fats

Choose one or two healthy fat sources to help enhance nutrient absorption from your meal.

1/4 cup peanuts

1/4 cup tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)

1/4 cup seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower or hemp)

1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup olives, whole pitted or sliced


Great Starches

Choose one starchy vegetable or grain to add calories and make the meal more satisfying.

1 sweet potato, steamed and cubed

1 purple or white potato, steamed and cubed

1 cup butternut squash (or other winter squash), steamed and cubed

1 cup corn

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked kamut or spelt

1 cup cooked wild rice



Add herbs for a boost of flavor and phytochemicals.

1/4 to 1/2 cup dill, parsley, basil or other fresh herbs



  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables as outlined above.
  2. Place the leafy vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. Top with other colorful vegetables.
  4. Add the plant protein source and starchy choices if eating the whole salad. If saving some of the salad for another day, keep the protein source, starchy choice and avocado separate and add just before serving.
  5. Serve with a nut or seed-based dressing.

Quinoa Salad



Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a pseudograin. Grains are the edible seeds of grasses, while pseudograins are seeds that are used as grains but come from non-grass plants.  Amaranth and buckwheat are also pseudograins.  Pseudograins tend to be higher in protein and micronutrients than grass grains.  Quinoa is often referred to as an ancient grain and is native to the high Andes regions of South America. Many years ago I made this salad for a teacher appreciation day and one of the teachers called me and said she had never had food that tasted so alive.  She said it was all she wanted to eat.  She asked for the recipe.  To be honest, I had to invent one because I just through it together.  I often now make the salad with sprouted quinoa.  Directions on how to sprout quinoa are below. The cooked quinoa can simply been replaced by sprouted quinoa (sprout 1 cup of quinoa).


1 cup (250 ml) quinoa
2 cups (500 ml) water
Pinch salt


Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove the naturally occurring bitter resin which coats the grain.  Add 1 cup (250 ml) of quinoa to 2 cups (500 ml) of boiling water and salt.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is all absorbed.  Let cool completely.


Salad Ingredients
1  cup (250 ml) edamame, red beans or black beans (or a mix)
1/2 cup (125 ml) olives, sliced (optional)
1  colore
d pepper, diced (if using red cherry tomatoes, select yellow or orange)

2  cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes (multicultured in available), sliced in half or larger tomatoes, chopped
1  cucumber, chopped 
3  green onions
1  bunch generous bunch of parsley, diced
1  cup (250 ml) basil leaves, finely chopped 
1/2 cup (125 ml) mint, finely chopped (optional)


Prepare vegetables and toss in a large bowl with cooked and cooled quinoa.



2 Tbsp (30 ml) flaxseed, avocado or olive oil  or 2 Tbsp (30 ml) tahini
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 Tbsp (22.5 ml) tamari
3  garlic cloves, pressed
Pepper, to taste


Mix dressing in a jar.  Toss salad with dressing and serve. 


Growing Quinoa Sprouts (Jar Method)



Using a in a fine sieve, rinse 1 cup (250 ml) of quinoa thoroughly to get rid of any soapy tasting saponin in the seed coat. Place the quinoa in a jar with a sprouting lid (or mesh held on with an elastic) and 2 cups (500 ml) of water. Allow seeds to soak for 12 hours. Drain off the soak water, rinse thoroughly several times, and drain again. Tilt the jar upside down and at a 45 degree angle so that it can drain into a saucer or sink. Room temperature; 70 F (21 C) is ideal. Rinse and drain the quinoa every 8 to 12 hours for 1 to 2 days until most of the seeds have sprouted tiny (1/4 inch/0.6 cm) roots. Drain well, and use in place of cooked quinoa in the salad. Decorate the salad with whatever you have on hand. In the picture above, I used home-grown sunflower sprouts, tomatoes and pine nuts.