Make Your Own Fast and Easy Salad Dressings and Sauces


What is “salad dressing”, really?  It’s a sauce. Dressings are great to add flavor – not just to cold veggies – but to hot ones, as well. And meats. Even tofu and other meat substitutes. You don’t have to restrict yourself to those expensive bottles lining the shelves of your grocery store, either. With a minimum of effort (and I really mean a minimum), you can literally throw your own together.  And you know what’s in it!

I can’t take credit for this handy infographic (I’m artistically-impaired), but it beautifully illustrates the point that some things, like salad dressings, are easily made yourself in just a couple of minutes.  All you need is a jar and a quick look around your pantry:

Simple Vinaigrette Infographic Thanks to CookSmarts for creating this awesome infographic!

For even more variety, try some unsweetened fruit juice, like pomegranate or orange juice, as your acid instead of vinegar.

Of course, I recommend the Freakin’ Flamingo jam flavor of your choice to create your own unique dressings. 😉   For example, whisk a spoonful of Freakin’ Flamingo Piña Colada jam into that Asian dressing recipe in the graphic for instant sweet and sour chicken or tofu.

This is just vinaigrettes. You can make your own creamy dressings using the same formula. Think of mayonnaise as your “oil”, and buttermilk, ketchup, even pickle juice, as your “acid”:

Ranch dressing can be made by stirring or whisking together mayonnaise and buttermilk, plus a bit of sweetener (sugar or xylitol) to taste. Toss in a bit of finely chopped (or dehydrated) chives or other herb you like.

Blue Cheese Dressing: Mayo, buttermilk, some crumbled blue cheese, to taste.

Thousand Island (or Russian) Dressing:  Mayo, ketchup (or Freakin’ Flamingo Spicy Tomato jam) – just enough to make it your desired shade of pink – plus a couple of tablespoons of pickle relish (include the juices).

Tartar Sauce for fish:  Mayo, pickle relish & a pinch of paprika.

This is just a jumping-off point to create your own signature dressings and sauces with little effort, but tons of flavor!

What’s your favorite?

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  1. Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    This is a great post especially for the cooking impaired like me… Michelle

  2. Karen, UOP/SW mkt
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    The simple recipe I learned from my German grama, who passed it to my mother and then me, was more in thirds: one third acid, one third oil, one third water or perhaps a light sweet juice, plus any and all flavorings that you want. Using water balances the acid and keeps the oiliness (and calories) down, but the oil still is enough to be a “spreader-sticker” for the flavorings and acid. When making a small salad for 2 at home, I just mix the greens etc. in a bowl, sprinkle on a Tbsp or so of OO or other oil, then sprinkle on seasoned salt, pepper, herb de provence or whatever, then add a Tbsp or so of vinegar or whatever acid, and a good spritz of water. Toss it and done!

    • RJ Flamingo
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      All great ideas, Karen, especially if you want to cut back on fat. Thanks for sharing. :-)

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