When I discovered Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks, a couple of months ago, I eagerly assigned several of her recipes to my menu plans. One of the first dishes I tried was a quinoa salad with grilled zucchini. While I must confess that I didn’t love the overall meal (I have something against the texture of grilled summer squash), I fell hard for the creamy avocado cilantro dressing. Not only is it fantastic on green salads, it serves beautifully as a vegetable dip. We brought some along on a picnic a few weeks ago and happily dunked raw carrots, celery, green beans, bell peppers, cucumber slices, and cherry tomatoes in all of its cool, creamy goodness. I bet jicama would be a real winner too.
I know that a lot of people think of making salad dressings from scratch as a huge ordeal, but I think this recipe is a great example of how that doesn’t have to be true. Here, you simply throw a few unchopped ingredients in the blender and whirl. It couldn’t be simpler. Not only do you get superior nutrition and flavor while avoiding preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and soybean oil, you can save a lot of money by making your salad dressings at home.
For more ideas on healthy salad dressings, check out three recipes here.
Creamy Avocado Cilantro Salad Dressing/Vegetable Dip
(Adapted from a recipe by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks)
1 large ripe avocado
juice from 1 large lime
1/4 cup tightly packed cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup plain yogurt or kefir (I use my homemade raw goat milk kefir, and it works great!)
3/4 cup water (adjust this amount up or down to make it thinner or thicker)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Puree all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately or chill for later. (In my experience, the dressing did not turn brown, most likely because of the lime juice.) Enjoy!