3 Easy Salad Dressing Recipes

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Dressing Everything is always better homemade (at least in my opinion), and salad dressing is no exception. A homemade dressing is the difference between a salad that’s just a salad, and a salad that’s delicious and explodes with flavor in your mouth. And of course, without all the added preservatives, you won’t feel quite so badly when you want to slather one of these dressings on your vegetables, or marinate your meat in it, dip your bread in it, or just plain eat it off the spoon (What?? Who?? Me?? Never!). 

Two of these salad dressing recipes (the Italian and the Shaker), have been made in my family for years (Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Mom). In fact, my Grandmother always has a bottle of each in her fridge, and when I was younger, and she would prepare mashed potatoes for dinner, I would always sneak a couple of the potato skins and dip them in the shaker dressing (so yum!). The roasted garlic dressing I recently made up solely based off my obsession with roasted garlic. The creamy texture you get without having to add mayonnaise has quickly made it a favorite of mine not only for salads, but also for dipping bread.

I hope you enjoy these easy salad dressing recipes to jazz up your next salad, and I’d love to know- what’s your favorite salad dressing?

Shaker Salad Dressing Creamy Balsamic Italian Dressing

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Dressing
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of roasted garlic (about 12 cloves)
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  4. Juice of half a lemon
  5. 2 tablespoons of water
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. Dash of pepper
  8. 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Cuisinart or immersion blender. Pulse for a few seconds, until all ingredients are blended together. Store in a glass jar (or other airtight container) in the refrigerator for up to one month. Shake before using.
Notes
  1. To roast garlic- cut the top off a head of garlic. Place it, cut side up, on a foil lined baking sheet, then drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on top. Wrap the foil loosely around the top, then bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Shaker Salad Dressing
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup olive oil
  2. 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 2 teaspoons salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  6. Pinch of thyme
  7. 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  8. 4 cloves of garlic
  9. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  10. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  11. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  12. 1 tablespoon parsley, fresh (or 1 tsp. if dried)
  13. 2 tablespoons onion, minced
  14. 2 tablespoons green pepper, minced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Cuisinart or immersion blender. Pulse for a few seconds, until all ingredients are blended together. Store in a glass jar (or other airtight container) in the refrigerator for up to one month. Shake before using.
Notes
  1. This will solidify in the refrigerator so make sure to remove it about 30 minutes prior to using, or run the bottle under hot water for a few seconds.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Creamy Balsamic Italian Dressing
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I've also done this with 1/4 c. Greek yogurt, 1/4 c. mayo)
  3. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (you can also use apple cider or red wine vinegar)
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar
  5. 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I've also used a handful of fresh basil)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (regular salt will work too)
  7. A dash of pepper
  8. 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Cuisinart or immersion blender. Pulse for a few seconds, until all ingredients are blended together. Store in a glass jar (or other airtight container) in the refrigerator for up to one month. Shake before using.
Notes
  1. This will solidify in the refrigerator so make sure to remove it about 30 minutes prior to using, or run the bottle under hot water for a few seconds.
Adapted from My Great-Grandmother
Adapted from My Great-Grandmother
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

Christmas Salad

easy, healthy Christmas salad

When it comes to diet I am a firm believer of “everything in moderation” (3 glasses of wine, french fries, and an ice-cream sundae is totally moderation, right?!). Despite my well-balanced diet (I swear I have one), it would appear otherwise if you looked through the recipes I feature here on RC. Since the holidays are especially notorious for being difficult on your waistline, I thought it was the perfect time to share one of my healthier recipes, an easy Christmas salad. Also, I may have consumed an entire recipe of english toffee (it was “burnt” so I couldn’t let it go to waste!) so my life kind of needed some healthiness in it. Annnnnd, I’m going to be shoving more ridiculously rich and buttery holiday recipes down your throat very soon so basically this salad is my way of helping you balance everything out in advance.

Also, it should be noted, this salad, while called a Christmas salad, is not just for Christmas (we eat similar versions of it year round). I simply call it a Christmas salad because of its festive red and green colors and because of how well it goes with a Christmas dinner menu.

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Christmas Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette
Serves 4

For the salad:
1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (for a unhealthier version use candied pecans)
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
1 apple, sliced (I like to use a Granny Smith, but use whatever variety you prefer)

For the dressing:
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 a teaspoon of salt

 

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in the cuisinart. Puree until the cranberries are finely chopped up and everything is combined. This is a thick dressing that is a touch on the sour/spicy side. To make a thinner dressing- add more orange juice. To make a sweeter dressing- eliminate the vinegar and use only 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard.

To assemble the salad, add the lettuce to a salad/serving bowl. Layer on the apple slices then sprinkle with the cranberries and pecans. Drizzle with the dressing. Give the salad a quick toss right before serving.

Notes:

  • This salad can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance. Simply assemble the salad ingredients (minus the dressing) then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss on the dressing.
  • Though it becomes less healthy, this salad also tastes delicious with some cheese sprinkled on it (my favorites are goat, feta or bleu).
  • You can use pear in place of the apple and walnuts in place of the pecans.

Fruit & Tuna Fish Salad

Fruit & Tuna Fish Salad

Tuna fish salad is one of my favorite easy go-to lunches. But let’s be real…tuna, mayo & relish doesn’t always quite cut it. Enter in this tasty little salad. My Mom has been making this for quite a while now & I’m kind of obsessed (read: I may or may not eat the whole bowl in one sitting…..I mean it’s got fruit so it’s totally healthy, right??!). Hope you guys enjoy this video on how to make it!

Fruit & Tuna Salad

P.S. Good thing I never wanted to be an actress….from my videography skills (or lack there of) it looks like my dreams would have quickly been squashed! But I still hope you guys are liking the videos!

P.S.S. The winners in the $50 gift certificate LASH Clothing giveaway have been announced…see if you’re a winner here!

Healthy Deli-Style Summer Pasta Salad

I’m the worst dieter ever!! I like to do things like make “diet goals” lists and then reward myself with an ice-cream sundae (because making lists is such hard work and all).

The obvious solution to my dieting woes is learning to make favorite dishes in a healthier manner. Deli-style pasta salad is one of my favorite summer foods but all that mayo had to go. Adding Greek yogurt and hard-boiled eggs not only adds protein, but also makes this salad so creamy you won’t even miss the extra mayo. Bonus-it only takes about 15 minutes to throw this together!

Now I’ve got to go tackle that sundae…

 

Healthy Deli-Style Summer Pasta 

1/2 of a 16 oz. pasta box (I like elbows) cooked al dente (should equal about 4 c. cooked)

3 scallions, chopped (or you can use a 1/4 c. finely chopped onion)

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

Optional: 1/4 c. of any or all of the following-peas, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, olives or red pepper ( My favorite combo is peas and red pepper, but here I used peas & corn)

Dressing

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 c. of apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. pickle relish

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. Greek yogurt

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

 

While you cook your pasta and hard boil your eggs, whisk together all of your dressing ingredients in a small bowl. It may seem a bit runny for pasta dressing but it sticks to the noodles quite well. However, if you prefer a thicker dressing feel free to add more mayo or yogurt.

Once your noodles are cooked and cooled, stir in the chopped eggs and onions and the veggies (optional). Pour on your dressing and stir just until combined. Can be served right away but taste bests after cooling in the fridge for at least an hour.

This is the perfect easy, creamy, healthy and light accompaniment for any bbq but we especially love it with our hot dogs and turkey burgers.

Nicoise Salad

When I showed a picture of this salad a few ‘Happy Hours’ ago, my dear friend Kelsey asked if I could share the recipe. So of course I had too :)

Real talk-who doesn’t love a healthy, light, super-duper easy recipe?! (especially with that little thing called bikini season getting underway)

My mom used to throw this together all the time (and all the time my sister and I would complain “Ewwww! Gross! Not this salad again”). Now it’s one of my favorite meals (preferably before one of my out-of-control game nights).

 

Nicoise Salad

3 c. lettuce

6 oz. can of tuna

1 c. of green beans, blanched

2 potatoes, cubed & cooked

2 hardboiled eggs, sliced

1/2 c. chopped tomatoes (I like to use cherry tomatoes)

A light vinaigrette of your choice

 

Lay the lettuce on the bottom of the plate. Arrange the remaining food in groups around the plate in whatever way looks best to you. Drizzle with dressing & serve.

*The amount of each ingredient is very flexible, but these are the amounts I use for 2 people*

*I use a basic dressing of oil, vinegar (balsamic), Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and salt & pepper. A little trick-put all the ingredients in an old jam jar, shake & you’ve got dressing! Whatever you don’t use, just put the lid back on and store in the fridge*