2 Oil-free, Stress-free Salad Dressing Recipes

Posted by on May 26, 2009

Recently, I threw a very successful barbecue and all the guests O.D.’ed on the abundance of meat. In addition, I’ve received numerous invitations to dine out for various occasions and causes lately and still have events in queue for the next few weeks. (This partially relates to some awesome news that I must keep a secret until revelation next week.)

While I shouldn’t complain because I enjoy every unique opportunity, my body is really hating me. I try to make healthy choices in restaurants but sometimes, it is just not an option. Guilt also increases with each dine-out because it pushes back my physical goals. On top of it all, my back-to-back schedule is tiring me out mentally. So, I’m relieved when I can finally stay in and when I do, I just want to plop myself in front of a huge plate of roasted veggies and nothing else. Ok, and maybe a glass of wine or two. So I did. Want to see?
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I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere.
*the crowd groans*

Nope, nothing remarkable here. I simply toss my veggies in some olive oil + s&p, spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pop them into a 350°F oven until they’re toasty but retains textural interest. Since the vegetables are already coated with oil, there’s no need for additional oil in either of the two dressings. At this point, my yearning for simple and light food overpowers any desire to get creative so the preparations are almost identical.

Grill the vegetables on a patio if you have the luxury to.


Citrus

Ingredients

Vegetables of your choice
2 citrus fruits
1 cup orange juice
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1-2 tbs honey
1 tsp ginger, grated
nuts (optional)
Olive oil
s&p

Directions
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Roast or grill veggies.
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I used sweet potato, asparagus (with peeled stems), and leeks.
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Here, I used an orange and a grapefruit. Reserve the citrus zest. Peel and segment fruits.
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Strain and reserve the juice.
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Reduce the citrus juice and additional orange juice by half over medium heat. Add citrus zest, mustard, honey, ginger, and simmer for a few minutes until syrupy.

Dress salad and garnish with nuts
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I will eat them in a box.

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I will eat them with a fox.


Balsamic

Ingredients

Vegetables of your choice
3/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs honey
Freshly cracked black pepper
Parsley, chopped
Olive oil
s&p

Directions
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Roast or grill vegetables. Here, I used zucchini, asparagus (with peeled stems), leeks, and bell peppers.

Reduce vinegar by 1/3 over medium heat. The vapors are quite strong so open some windows. Add garlic, mustard, honey, and pepper.

Dress salad and garnish with parsley
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I would eat them in a boat.

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I would eat them with a goat
In general, vegetables that hold their shape, do not have high water content, and have moderate sugar content roast and caramelize well. Liven your combination with a variety of textures, colours, and flavours.

Other vegetables that grill or roast well:
- squash, pumpkin
- eggplant
- fennel bulb
- root vegetables (beets, parsnips, celery root…)
- yams, blue potatoes, waxy potatoes (skin on!)
- string beans

What are your favourites?

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  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    Humm, this is an excellent alternative to traditional dressings, I shall remember it, thanks for sharing!

  • Nic

    Looks good Mel!

  • http://www.cafelynnylu.blogspot.com Lynne

    As much as I love BBQ, your roasted vegetables and dressings look so colorful and healthy.

  • http://breadplusbutter.blogspot.com jenn

    mmmm….Lovely. That’s what I need right now. Oil-free is good. I’ll definitely have to give this a try.

  • http://iloveflavourme.blogspot.com/ Ruth

    Goats and foxes? lol lovely colours though!

  • http://jeffersonstable.typepad.com/ s. stockwell

    Oh my, this is a gorgeous post! Perfect timing and the photos are outrageous. Thanks we will use these ideas for sure. best, s

  • http://shizuokagourmet.wordpress.com/ Robert-Gilles Martineau

    Dear Mel!
    Greetings!
    When are thebig news going to be official?
    I suspect you will need more calories!
    Cheers and all that!
    Robert-Gilles

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    I love a meal of all vegetables, especially in hot weather. Both dressings sound great for the veggies! Reduced balsamic is such a lovely thing.

  • http://simplyscrumptiousfoodie.com Jessie

    looks refreshing and healthful! I can’t wait to hear the exciting news

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    That is a seriously good looking bowl of vegetables. I hear you, it’s hard to say no to all the good food in Vancouver; it’s both a blessing and a curse.

  • http://neenacreates.blogspot.com neena creates

    sometimes the best cooking is simple cooking! i’m a fan!

  • http://meatlessmama.blogspot.com/ meatless mama

    I love all roasted veggies, and yours look spectacular! Thanks for sharing the new dressing ideas!

  • http://www.shesimmers.com Leela@shesimmers

    Now *that* is one vegetable plate that I may very well choose over a piece of steak.

  • http://www.barbarabakes.blogspot.com/ Barbara

    I’m so impressed with your vegetables. I often just throw some vegetables together as an after thought. These would be the star of the meal!

  • http://hungrynovelist.wordpress.com/ Hungrynovelist

    These look beautiful and like they’d taste amazing. I especially like the idea of combining honey and mustard with the citrus juice and balsamic vinegar. Delicious-sounding.

  • http://www.sarahmelamed.com sarah

    I would love them anywhere!