Sometimes it is the simple things in the kitchen that defeat me. Cooking rice on the stove, making coffee, creating a simple oil and vinegar salad dressing.
The fact that I eat salads is a big change from when I was younger, as salads was never high up on my list of go-to items. But I realized that it’s boring lettuce that turns me off, and I experimented with salads until I found out what I like – which happens to be less acidic dressings and lots of textures.
Like most people, I try and be mindful of what I am eating – I balance out bad days with good ones, I cook with whole, unprocessed ingredients, I force myself to eat green things and I try to use ingredients that have a health boost in them. Which usually means a salad with extras tossed in.
Loblaws would refer to me as a “mindful foodie”, which means that I place an emphasis on what I eat to improve my physical and mental health. Sometimes this means I throw in hemp seeds into my salad, or drink kale smoothies, or I try and slow down and appreciate the process of nourishing myself (and my family).
And while I don’t really love the words mindful or foodie, I think the approach has meaning. Grocery stores such as Loblaw are making it a lot easier to cook in a mindful way, stocking up on ingredients like seaweed, miso and fermented items. They have cooking classes to show you how to create healthy meals from familiar, and unfamiliar ingredients that are good for you, and are just good.
This addictive dressing is made from healthy grocery store ingredients and tastes like special occasion food. It is going to take your salads from boring to colourful. I got the inspiration from the blog What’s Cooking Good Looking, but I have simplified it over time. It is a flavourful dressing best over sturdy lettuces like kale, or even arugula. If I am making it for company, I will roast some colourful heirloom carrots to go in the salad, and add cooked quinoa or lentils to soak up the vibrant flavour. My 11-year old daughter loves this dressing so much that she uses it as a dip.
I make it in my Nutribullet (as seen on TV!), but a powerful blender or food processor works as well. The recipe makes quite a bit, leftovers last for a week or two and are great on salads with leftover steak or chicken.
Carrot & Ginger Dressing
½ large carrot (use whole carrots, not pre-cut baby carrots)
1 inch knob of ginger
1 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil or any flavourless oil
1-3 tbsp water
Squeeze of lemon juice
Add carrot, ginger, soy sauce, honey, mustard, vinegar, water and oil and blend. Add water to thin it slightly. Add a squeeze of lemon to finish. If you are using kale, dress and massage (yes, with your hands) the greens and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Toss in roasted or shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, quinoa or lentils, leftover roasted vegetables or just leave it plain.
*this post was sponsored by Loblaws
Loblaws Inc. has provided promotional consideration, all product(s) and product information in exchange for my comments or review.