Kitchen Basics: Finding the Right Sauce, Dressing or Marinade

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Salads are a great way to have a light, refreshing and relatively healthy meal throughout the summer.  Most times, our refrigerators are full of fresh veggies (more so in the summer than in the winter, since fruits and veggies are so abundant!).  But throwing together a beautiful salad and then pouring store bought dressing just doesn’t seem right (especially when you spend hard earned $$ on beautiful produce!).

So, here are a few dressing and sauces to keep in your fridge to use for salad dressing (balsamic vinaigrette), to splash on some chucks of parmagiano (pomegranate glaze), to drizzle in a sandwich (tahini dressing), to pour over grilled lamb chops (thai peanut sauce)…you get the picture, right?

When you’re done making your dressings/sauces, put them in a bottle like these and store them in the fridge.  When company comes by at a moments notice, you will look like a star because anything drizzled with a great sauce makes you look super-awesome in the kitchen!!

Thai Peanut Sauce:

1 c smooth peanut butter

juice of 2 limes

1/4 c chopped cilantro

3 tbsp honey (or agave)

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp hot sauce

1 -2 tsp fish sauce (optional but gives it “umami”)

3-4 tbsp water (or coconut milk if you have it)

-Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Really good with rice paper rolls, lettuce wraps or on lamb chops!  Place in a bottle and keep refrigerated.

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 c good quality olive oil

1/4 c balsamic vinegar (I like it tart…if you prefer, reduce the balsamic to 3 tbsp)

2-3 tsp Dijon mustard (acts as an emulsifier so it will help to keep the oil and vinegar from separating)

1 garlic clove, finely minced or 2 tsp garlic paste

Salt and pepper to taste

-Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree; keep refrigerated

 

Pomegranate Glaze:

1 small bottle of POM juice

-In a small saucepan, heat the POM to boiling; reduce the heat and cook until reduce to about 1/4 (should be syrupy).  Really good drizzled on chunks of hard cheese or drizzled on an autumn apple salad!  Keep refrigerated.

 

Tahini Sauce:

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 c tahini

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/4 c olive oil

1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (adds a nutty component and gives it “saltiness” without the salt…good for diabetics!)

2-3 tbsp water (to think it out)

– start with garlic in a blender and pulse; add rest of ingredients and puree until smooth (really good on grilled fish or on falafels!)

 

Chipotle Mayo:

1 c good quality mayonnaise (can be store bought)

3 tbsp “sauce” from a can of chipotle in adobe sauce (found at the grocery store where you would buy nacho chips and salsa!)…freeze the rest in small snack bags for future use!

– In a blender, combine ingredients and puree.  Works great as a sandwich spread!  Keep refrigerated!

 

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