I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: most popular ready-made salad dressings out there almost completely undo the good that you can do by eating a nutritious salad. You think you’re doing something good for your health by ordering a caesar salad for lunch and then find that it is loaded with a unhealthy caesar dressing, or if it’s ‘fat-free’ dressing – then you’ve opted for a sugar-laden concoction instead (’cause remember: fat out, sugar in!). That’s besides the shredded cheese (probably from conventionally-raised cows) that comes in heaps atop most salads offered in restaurant chains. Also, you shouldn’t forget that you’d likely be paying close to $10 for pesticide-cured and GMO iceberg lettuce (the least nutritious variety), heavy and artificial dressing, and hormone-infused cheese … hardly what I call a nutritious meal!
You’d think that making a salad at home with organic and pesticide-free ingredients would be much more expensive or not as tasty … Actually, it will cost you substantially under $10 for a salad with diverse greens and interesting veggies. Sherif and I spent 10 minutes a few weeks ago trying to calculate it – and it came out to about $6 per organic salad … which was bursting with nutritious benefit and fresh taste. So why wouldn’t you make the switch? You simply have to invest 10 minutes per day into chopping the salad, and you’d be saving yourself money and health in the process
So today … I would like to share with you a simple and amazingly healthy recipe of raw cauliflower dressing! Not only will it give your salad a spicy and refreshing taste, but it will also infuse your body with so many vitamins … you won’t know what to do with all of them. You might get some super powers you hadn’t expected
I know I have written about the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower on the blog before, so I don’t want to revisit them too much here, but let me just remind you that these veggies have proven anti-cancerous properties. Eating cauliflower raw ensures that you are receiving the full benefit because none of the vitamins have been lost as a result of cooking!
I have found that this raw salad dressing works best with mustard greens in the salad but you can put it on pretty much any salad that doesn’t have any sweet fruits (unless you like to mix mustard and garlic with sweet stuff … I think not!)
Ingredients for Raw Cauliflower Salad Dressing
- 1 and 1/2 cups raw cauliflower, washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup cold filtered water
- juice of 2 limes, to taste
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard (e.g. I used German Mustard)
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
Ingredients for Salad (this is what I used, but feel free to add/subtract ingredients based on what you have on hand)
- Mustard greens – tried these for the first time a few months ago and really grew to like their spicy taste
- Baby spinach
- Green leaf lettuce
- Fresh parsley
- Green onion
- Blend dressing ingredients: Simply add all dressing ingredients to blender and blend. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Keep dressing cool in fridge until salad is chopped.
- Chop salad: Wash and cut salad ingredients. Don’t add any seasonings on salad until you pour dressing over it. This dressing is super healthy, so you can add a generous amount to it.
- Add nuts for crunch: If you like the crunch factor in your salads, you can add sunflower seeds, walnuts, or pine nuts to your salad for added nutrition as well.
If you’re not used to making salads at home, it takes a bit to get used to, but it really pays off when you feel that you have put together a nutritious dish that will surely nourish your body!
Here are some tips for making affordable and nutritious salads at home:
- Make it a main meal of the day: Make a decision to have salad every day for lunch or every day for dinner. Try not to skip any days. If you have no time in the morning to chop a salad and take it to work, make a little bit extra the evening before to have on hand before dashing out the door in the morning.
- Buy organic – but compare prices: If farmer’s markets are open nearby, make use of their fresh (and often local) produce by buying regularly from there and supplementing with produce from other grocery stores. In Chicago, there is a great little store called Stanley’s that sells organic produce that is often significantly cheaper than Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I also buy whatever organic produce is available at Costco – usually spinach, baby carrots, mixed greens, Braeburn apples, and often ‘pesticide-free’ tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Vary it up: Experiment with different greens, even those that might be unfamiliar to you. Eating a wide variety of vegetables will ensure that you’re receiving adequate nutrition. Try to make salads more ‘interesting’ by adding nuts, seeds, homemade dressings, and the occasional fruit (like mandarins or apples). Try making tabbouleh from scratch or another fun salad with a distinct flavor. Here’s a fun example of a salad combination that Sherif discovered a while back and is still raving about.