If you are staring at a rather bland plate of protein and veggies, these healthy dressings can really add some punch. They not only provide a flavour bomb but also a nutrition one too!
I generally use Sunday afternoon to ease my way into the busy week ahead. I do some batch cooking and also make up some of these dressings to add zing to packed lunches and quick dinners.
When I feel like adding zesty freshness with a touch of heat Chimichurri is my go to. It is a fresh green sauce that hails from Argentina, it is the perfect companion to grilled/baked meats, seafood and vegetables. Most people think of this as a sauce for the summer months. However, I really love it in winter to provide some welcome relief from the heavy, earthy flavours of tray baked root vegetables.
For a creamier and more nurturing flavour, I choose Tahini dressing. It works really well in nourish bowls – AKA anything that is fresh, seasonal and thrown in a bowl. It really complements slow baked pumpkin, tabouleh, quinoa and brown rice. I cannot live without this stuff! It brings life to one of my lunch staples – quinoa and leftover veggies. A sprinkling of fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley leaves, a scattering of seeds make it complete!!
As for Roast Capsicum Sauce – well this is a flavour sensation. The sweet caramelised flavour of capsicum is just lovely with meals that include chicken, chickpeas or roasted/steamed veggies. It really marries well with salads that contain peppery greens such as watercress or rocket, offsetting the sweetness. We often make a salad with goat cheese or feta crumbled over the top and a scattering of pumpkin seeds. This bright and cheerful sauce is full of antioxidants.
Get cracking and do some experimenting. Trust your palate to come up with wonderful new tweaks to these healthy dressings. Choose your own adventure!
75mL hulled tahini paste
75g Greek yoghurt or plain non-dairy yoghurt or cashew cream
A handful of coriander leaves
1 – 2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt
- Place all ingredients in a tall vessel and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. You can then adjust the taste and consistency. If you like a runnier sauce, you can add a little more of the liquids. Personally, I love lots of lemon, so I double the zest and the juice!
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 bunch of coriander
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1-2 cloves of garlic chopped (start with one, taste and then add another if you feel that you want more garlicky goodness!!)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
Fresh or dried red chilli to taste. – I tend to use 2-3 long red chillies or a heaped teaspoon of dried chilli flesh – chilli is such a subjective thing – start with a small quantity and then build up to the heat that you like
- Chop the leafy heads off the parsley and coriander and reserve the stems and roots for bone broths, stocks and ferments. Roughly chop the leaves.
- Place the chopped leafy heads into stick blender vessel or mini food processor bowl with all the other ingredients.
- Bland to a sauce-like consistency.
- Adjust to taste – more chilli for more heat, add more lemon/lime juice if you want a more liquid consistency.
Roasted Red Capsicum Sauce
4 med/large red capsicums
1 head of garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses (you can substitute with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 220C. Place capsicums on a baking tray, stems up, with plenty of room around them. Cook until the skins are charred and crisp (see photo below). Then place in a heatproof bowl with a plate on top to allow them to sweat a little and cool down enough so that you can peel them.
- When the capsicums are cool enough to peel remove the stems, skin and most of the seeds. Place the flesh and liquid in a stick blender vessel or mini food processor bowl with the other ingredients and process until you achieve a smooth sauce.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
What are your favourite healthy dressings that add extra nutrition to your everyday meals?