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Beet, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion Salad with Dijon-Honey Dressing

Beet, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion Salad with Dijon-Honey Dressing


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Ingredients

  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 sweet onion (such as Maui or Vidalia), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet in foil, enclosing completely. Place on rack in oven and bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool in foil. Peel beets, then cut each into 6 slices.

  • Arrange beets, slightly overlapping, on half of large platter. Arrange cucumber slices on other half. Scatter onion in center. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead; chill.

  • Whisk honey, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables.

Recipe by Michael McLaughlinReviews Section

The Best Shallot Dressing Recipe

We love salads at our house. We make them almost daily, but we also find they can get a little boring after a while. So rather than changing up our salad recipe every day, we've decided to focus on our dressings.

If you've followed along for a while then you know I love tahini dressings. I have a go-to recipe that is absolutely delicious, and while I love it, Matt's not a fan of creamy dressings all the time. He usually makes his Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette recipe that we shared in our salad dressing post, BUT… he's come up with a new one that is absolutely DELISH!

It's this amazing shallot dressing recipe and it couldn't be easier to make. It uses just a few simple ingredients, takes about 3 minutes to make and goes well with pretty much everything. And I've got some ideas linked down at the end for you to try if you're ready to make it right now!


4 Easy Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes You Need to Try!

Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links.

These easy homemade healthy salad dressing recipes are all super simple to make, packed with whole real ingredients and are all dairy-free! They come together in minutes and are perfect for meal-prep. A fantastic finish to any healthy salad.

These 4 easy healthy salad dressing recipes are my go-to to have on hand whenever I am craving a salad, which is pretty much a daily occurrence.

I just love a big hearty salad. I love all of that nutrition you can pack all into one big bowl.

Salad’s daily or even a few times a week can get pretty boring unless you have a creative way to jazz them up. Enter in, these crazy good dressings that will take any salad from boring to yummy.

I have been into making my own salad dressing for years since store-bought salad dressings have a crazy list of scary-unpronounceable ingredients and are typically also packed with added sugar.

So here are my absolute favorites as well as a few of my weekly salad prepping tips that you must try as well!

Easy Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes – 4 ways

When it comes to salad dressing these are my top 4 that I make all the time.

Ready to go whenever I need to make a quick salad or even need a marinade or topping for buddha bowls or sandwiches. These are also show-stoppers when I am entertaining my large family, which is pretty much weekly.

These dressings have been known to convert even the most skeptical non-veggie/non-salad lover into a salad eating enthusiast.

  • Creamy Dijon Honey MustardVinaigrette
  • Tangy Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • BrightOrange Vinaigrette
  • BoldBalsamic Vinaigrette

Why you will love these healthy salad dressing recipes

  • All made from Simple, whole, real ingredients
  • Less than 5 minutes to make each
  • Packed with crazy good flavors to add excitement to any boring salad
  • Great for meal prepping since all 4 can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Variety, variety, variety.

These salad dressing recipes all contain real, feel-good ingredients that we all know and love and will have you eating salad every day, they are that good!

Expert tips for making great salad dressings

Start with a good base like oil or tahini paste if you are craving a super creamy dressing. Here are some suggestions for a base you can start with.

Add an acid like vinegar or citrus to add a little bit of tang to the dressing. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Orange Juice

Then add a flavor enhancer to bump up the taste a bit. Here are some suggestions.

Finally, adding a bit of sweetness to cut through the acid and the oil really will give any salad dressing that rounded out flavor that we all love. Here are some of my fav’s.

  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Stevia
  • Dates
  • Munkfruit

Now onto the good stuff….how to make these incredible healthy salad dressing recipes.

Creamy Dijon Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing

Creamy, slightly tangy with a hint of dijon and a touch of sweetness. My favorite salad dressing for kale salads.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a mason jar, tightly seal with the lid and shake well to emulsify. You can also add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend or pulse on high for 30 seconds.
  2. Serve cold as a healthy salad dressing on salads.
  3. Store in a mason jar fitted tightly with a lid in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Tangy Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Fresh vibrant red raspberry notes mixed with a bit of tanginess and a hint of sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds.
  2. Serve cold on salads or spread on sandwiches or wraps.
  3. Store in a mason jar fitted with a lid in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

Creamy, slightly tangy with a hint of orange and a touch of sweetness. A great addition to any salad or use as a marinade for chicken or fish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a mason jar, fitted with a lid and shake well for 30 seconds to emulsify. You can also add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse for 30 seconds.
  2. Serve cold on salads or use as a marinade for chicken or fish.
  3. Store in a mason jar fitted tightly with a lid in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Bold Balsamic Vinaigrette

Incredible savory flavors of balsamic and garlic with a perfectly smooth luscious texture that is great for salads or marinades.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds until fully emulsified into a smooth, creamy dressing.
  2. Pour onto salads to add a vibrant taste to your veggies or use a marinade.
  3. Store in a mason jar fitted tightly with a lid in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Salad Prepping Tips

  • Prep your greens (usual kale for me), rinse them, salad spin, wrap them in a paper towel, seal them in a ziplock bag, and store them in the fridge in your crisper drawer. They will last for at least 5-7 days.
  • Chop up some fresh veggies like carrots, red onion, cucumber, and bell peppers and store those in airtight containers in the fridge as well. Also great for healthy snacking.
  • Prepare some proteins like chickpeas, crispy baked tofu, or some grilled or baked chicken breast and store that as well.
  • Of course, make a couple of these healthy salad dressings and you are all set for a quick salad for any meal all week long!

Did you try these recipes? If you did then please leave a comment and rating below. I would love to hear from you!


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 shallot
  • Optional: 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. If you're using the dressing right away, make the dressing right in the bottom of the large salad bowl.

Peel and mince the shallot. Add it to the dressing. If you want to add the additional kick of garlic, peel that, mince it, and add it as well. Whisk them into the dressing. Add the salt and pepper and whisk those in, too. Let the dressing sit 5 to 10 minutes for the flavors to blend a bit.

Taste the dressing—the best way to do this is to dip a lettuce leaf into the dressing so you taste how the dressing will work on the salad.


Frequently asked questions:

You should be able to keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

It’s not recommended as the apple cider vinegar would be too strong. I would try rice vinegar and use half the amount of lemon juice and add from there to taste.

It could be used as a honey mustard dip for chicken tenders or used as a dip for roasted sweet potatoes.

If you’re looking for other salad dressing options I’d encourage you to check out would be my Lemon Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette or Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing.


Spring Roll Lettuce Wraps


A twist on a spring roll, this recipe was inspired by a Spring Roll Salad in Kowalski’s Market most recent magazine. Fresh herbs, summer veggies, cold rice noodles and spicy peanut sauce all rolled up in a crisp lettuce leaf—the perfect appetizer or first course with cocktails on the patio as the weather proclaims it’s just about June! Gluten-free and vegan too, and totally delicious. Enjoy!

Spring Roll Lettuce Wraps

½ cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons, smooth, natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic paste
A dash of salt

¾ cup salted peanuts, salted
8-10 romaine lettuce leaves

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and drain again.

In large bowl, combine carrot, cucumber, green onions, cilantro, mint and basil. Add well-drained noodles and use a tongs to mix the noodles into the veggie-herb mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, lime juice, peanut butter, Thai sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, chili-garlic paste, and salt. Pour half the sauce over the noodle mixture and gently use the tongs to incorporate it. Add about half the peanuts and toss again.

To assemble, place a romaine leaf on a plate and, using the tongs, set some of the noodle mixture in the middle. Drizzle with a little more sauce and top with chopped peanuts. Fold leaf over the filling. If the leaf is extra-large, you may want to cut the wrap in half to make it easier to pick up and eat. Makes 8-10 wraps.


Black Bean and Corn Salad

All those folks who were lamenting mid-August that our Minnesota summer was over certainly should have known better. Any Minnesotan worth their Lutefisk (Google it) expects a heat wave during the State Fair that runs the last week of August through Labor Day. And that heat wave has arrived, along with oppressive humidity that gives Hotlanta a run for the title—how about Minnes-Hota?

Just in time for the State Fair and just in time for our vacation. Fortunately, the last half of our vacation will be spent up on the North Shore of Lake Superior, where all summer long it’s at least 20 degrees cooler than it is at home. What a welcome respite it will be!

Even though we have central air conditioning, I found out this morning when baking a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread to take to the cabin, when it’s this hot out, using the oven in the middle of the day just isn’t a good idea. Our AC is really struggling to keep up. So a no-cook dinner was a must!

Another Sunday morning foray to the farmers’ market restocked our sweet corn supply so I decided to make that center stage in a salad. Lots of corn, fresh off the cob, earthy black beans, and a medley of fresh veggies in a dressing with a smoky spice from the addition of cumin and chili powder—hot weather perfection! Add a couple glasses of chilled Rosé, and we’ve got ourselves a vacation dinner! Cheers!

Corn and Black Bean Salad
adapted from Food to Live By

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
Fresh kernels sliced from two ears sweet corn
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ a small red bell pepper, diced
½ a small green bell pepper, diced
A handful of cherry tomatoes of various colors, diced (about 1 cup)
½ to ¾ cup diced sweet onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leafed parsley

Dressing:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder (homemade is best)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon organic sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine black beans, corn, cucumber, red and green bell pepper, tomato, onion, and parsley in a large bowl.

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing over the bean & corn mixture and toss to coat. Serves 4 to 6. Enjoy!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 small shallot, peeled, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together shallot, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in oregano, if desired.


Let’s Make Chickpea Quinoa Salad!

  1. Cook the quinoa: This can be done up to three days in advance. First of all, rinse your quinoa! It’s really important to rinse your quinoa thoroughly or it can be kind of bitter. Cook the quinoa according the package directions. Usually this means add the quinoa to water, bringing it to a boil and then letting it simmer.
  2. Tip! One trick I use to make quinoa a little bit more flavorful is to swap out the water with a low-sodium chicken stock. Also, I cook the quinoa just until the water is absorbed, fluff it with a fork and then cover it again, remove it from the heat and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes. This helps to absorb any remaining moisture and make the quinoa extra fluffy.
  3. Storing: If you don’t make the quinoa in advance, you can spread the quinoa on a baking sheet and pop it into the fridge until it’s chilled.
  4. Prep the veggies: While the quinoa cooks, chop all the vegetable so they’re ready to go.
  5. Make the dressing: Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon, and honey together. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper again.
  6. Assemble! Add the quinoa to a large bowl, drizzle with dressing. Toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss. Season with salt and pepper again. Sprinkle with extra basil. Dig in!


Rainbow slaw with beets, carrots, and radishes

This recipe for a rainbow slaw is in the most recent issue of The Grafton News. It is based off of a recipe in Jerusalem that I’ve simplified. It really holds up well over a few days, and the cold water soak makes for supremely crunchy vegetables. The mild weather does not have me rushing to cook lots of soups and braised things, plus I always crave some vegetables to balance the Christmas cookies so there have been quite a few salads like this in my kitchen recently. The roots for this recipe came from my favorite nearby farm, so there is still local produce to be found!



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