I don’t know about you, but I struggle to find delicious dressings and sauces at the grocery store that aren’t chalk full of calories and bad ingredients. Since having a baby in January, I haven’t had a ton of time (go figure) to come up with creative lunches and dinners each day, which usually leaves me to doing my meal prepping once a week and eating a lot of leftovers of the large batches of roasted veggies, grains, and proteins I prepped earlier in the week. To avoid getting bored with my leftovers, I’ve been trying to spice them up with flavorful sauces and dressings that make them seem like new dishes. This inspired me to start thinking about some healthy, versatile dressings that I could use for salads, power bowls, meats, and everything in between. Hence, that has been my project in the “test kitchen” over the last week or two. With the weather here in Raleigh quickly turning from mild spring to blazing hot summer temperatures, I have been craving more refreshing and cooler ingredients like lemon, lime, fresh herbs, and avocado, but I’m also a sucker for the heat of jalapenos and sriracha, so you’ll find a variety of flavors with these 5 dressings/sauces, with something for everyone in your family!
GREEN GOODNESS DRESSING
The first dressing is a healthier version of a green goddess dressing, which I have renamed Green Goodness Dressing. This refreshing dressing is full of fresh herbs, zesty lemon, the coolness of greek yogurt. It’s delicious on chicken dishes, on salads, mixed in grain bowls or a cold quinoa salad, drizzled on fish or shrimp tacos, spread on a veggie sandwich, tossed with angel hair for a lighter pasta dish, etc. The recipe can be found here.
This next dressing, the Tahini dressing and dip is one of my personal favorites. Tahini, or ground sesame paste, is a staple in Mediterranean cooking, and it’s often recognized now thanks to it being a major component of the wildly popular hummus dip. What people may not know is how healthy it can be for you. Tahini provides both healthy fats and certain essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Additionally, Tahini has B vitamins like thiamine, along with magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron and zinc. It’s wonderful on almost any meat, goes great with roasted veggies, drizzled on my morning avocado toast, in my power bowls, and I love to thin it out a little and put it on a Mediterranean-style salad. The recipe can be found here.
LEMON PARMESAN DRESSING
We were out to eat at one of our favorite casual restaurants recently when I stumbled upon this AMAZING Lemon Parmesan dressing that they served with my side salad. I asked (begged, really) for the recipe but they refused to give up the goods, so I had no choice but to boycott ever eating there again and figure out how to make the dressing myself. While admittedly my version doesn’t quite stack up, it’s still darn delicious and I’ve been using it on everything from simple salads (I like it with arugula or massaged into a kale salad) to pasta salads. It’s also great on a shrimp and orzo bowl or drizzled on sauteed vegetables. The recipe can be found here.
SRIRACHA LIME RANCH DRESSING
This dressing is the most simple of them all, with only a few ingredients. Simply take your favorite natural ranch dressing (I used Simply Truth organic greek yogurt ranch), mix in sriracha sauce to your desired spiciness, and add the juice of 1/2 of a lime. While simple, it breathes life into your normal ranch dressing. I use this on southwest-style salads, as a dip for quesadillas and chopped veggies, on tacos and sandwiches, baked potatoes, etc. If you’re a ranch addict, this one is a no brainer. The recipe can be found here.
AVOCADO JALAPENO LIME DRESSING
This one is my husband’s personal favorite. Once I got this recipe perfected, we used a large jar of it over the course of a week! We put it on fish tacos, veggie quesadillas, our fried eggs in the morning, on chicken, shrimp skewers, etc. You can even leave the jalapenos out if you want to make this a kid-friendly dressing that the entire family will love! The recipe can be found here.
I hope you enjoy these dressings as much as we have and I would love to hear the creative ways that you and your family have put them to use with other dishes!