On the Standard American Diet, our foods are often buried under an avalanche of salty, creamy, fat-laden dressings or sauces—wiping out any of the nutritional benefits of our meal.  When you switch to a whole food, plant-based diet and go “oil-free” – dressings or sauces can be tricky.  We need to rethink our bowl toppers—instead of traditional bottled dressings or sauces, consider your leftover soups or chili as a different way to top your bowl.  Or look at the condiments in your fridge.  You can thin some hummus or barbecue sauce with a little water—maybe stir in some sriracha or spicy mustard to change the flavor profile.  Salsa or pico de gallo are wonderful ways to finish off a bowl of greens, beans, and rice.  If you live near a specialty oil and vinegar shop, flavored balsamics are the ticket to inspired cooking (just ignore all those oils).  When you look at dressings and sauces differently – there are endless possibilities to make your meals interesting and delicious.

Veteran Engine 2 coach, Ami Mackey, is always inspiring people to rethink their meal choices.  Here are her three favorite dressings—feel free to experiment with them!

Lemonade Dressing

In a mason jar or other container with a lid, shake until well blended:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoon maple syrup to taste

Coach’s Ranch Dressing

  • 1 package low fat silken soft tofu
1⁄2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 green onions chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives or 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Directions
    Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate for one hour before serving to allow the flavors to fully develop.

Maple Clove Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chia seed
  • 1/2 tsp cloves

Whisk in a bowl until combined just before serving. If you want to make it ahead – skip adding the chia seed until just before serving.

Want more recipes like these to inspire you on your plant-strong journey?  The Plant-Strong Meal Planner has hundreds of recipes customized to your preferences and is integrated with your shopping list to make meal prep a breeze.  Sign up today!  It’s only $1.90 a week when you sign up for the annual plan and our friendly team of coaches is on hand to answer your questions every day!