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My FAVORITE Vegan, Oil-Free, Original Dressings & Sauces

How I dress a salad without oil is one of the most common questions I get in my free Plant-Empowered Woman Facebook Group and from my one-on-one clients as well as everyone in my Whole Food Plant-Based No-Oil Weight Loss Groups and Classes. That's because once someone learns that oil (with its 120 calories per tablespoon of pure fat and zero nutrition) is largely responsible for why they couldn't lose weight even though they thought they were living a whole food plant-based lifestyle, they are determined to it off their plate.

So, I thought I would put my original recipes for my oil-free sauces and dressings all in one place for easy reference, separated in two categories:

One category for completely fat-free dressings and one category for those dressings that include nuts or nut/seed butter.

The great thing about all of these vegan sauces and dressings is that they are as equally wonderful on cold salads and noodles as they are on hot roasted vegetables and rice or noodle dishes!

Oil-free, fat-free dressings & sauces

For all of these, add all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Spicy Ginger Burst

2 cloves garlic, grated fine

1 inch nub ginger, peeled and grated fine

1/3 cup tamari (any kind soy sauce or liquid aminos)

1/4 cup fresh lime, squeezed

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 tsp. or more sriracha sauce

This one has an Asian flair and can be as hot as you like it and totally elevates any hot or cold noodles without any fat whatsoever like this:

Citrus Splash

½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. maple syrup

Salt & pepper to taste.

This one is great for maximizing iron absorption when eating leafy greens such as spinach because of the vitamin C in the citrus and is also so tasty and tangy on shaved Brussel Sprouts like this:

Salsa Dancing

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup (or more) of salsa or picante sauce

Half a lime, fresh-squeezed

1/8 tsp. of sriracha or hot sauce

Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: Finely chopped cilantro, to taste

This one is amazing when adding any cold rice, beans and corn to your salads like this:

Lemony Greek Island

1/4 cup (or more) red wine vinegar

1/4 cup spicy brown or Dijon mustard

1 fresh-squeezed Lemon

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 shredded garlic clove

1 tsp. dried or fresh oregano

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

1/4 tsp. pepper

optional: 1/4 tsp cayenne

I love this on salads with chickpeas, quinoa, olives, tomatoes & cucumbers like this:

Naomi's 3-2-1 Knock-Off

This is a knock-off of Ann Esselstyn's famous 3-2-1 dressing but I've added a few extra ingredients.

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. mustard

1 tsp. maple syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

1 shredded garlic clove

juice of half lemon (or more to taste)

lots of fresh ground black pepper OR hit of cayenne to taste

Lemony Delight

From my client, Don, who came up with this on his own:

3 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. mustard

1 tbsp. maple syrup

optional add: 1 shredded garlic clove

1/4 tsp. salt

fresh ground pepper

Oil-Free Cilantro Lime "Dresto"

1/2 cup packed Cilantro

1/2 cup packed Parsley

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. dark balsamic vinegar

juice of one lime

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup (or more) water to desired consistency

For this one, you'll need a mini processor or blender. Add all the ingredients to your mini food processor and process pulsing until a dark green liquid is flowing freely in the bowl. Add more water to make more of a dressing consistency (start with less water first because you can always add more!)

Leave thicker for more of a pesto consistency, thinner for dressing, hence the term "Dresto!"

I LOVE eating it on Grilled Potatoes & Tomatoes like this...

The best, most versatile oil-free nut or seed butter dressing/sauces ever

Ginger Goddess Tahini (or Peanut) Sauce

1/3 cup tahini (or peanut butter)

1/3 cup tamari (soy sauce)

¼ cup lime juice

2 garlic cloves, grated

1-inch nub ginger, grated

¼ tsp. cayenne

1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

Add ingredients to a measuring cup and whisk. Then store in a jar with a tight fitting lid for up to a week.

A rich & creamy sauce for any hot or cold Asian noodles, veggies or rice dishes or salads. I LOVE this sauce with my air-fried tofu, rice & any steamed veggies.

Middle East Tahini Delight

1/3 tahini

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 shredded clove garlic

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp cayenne

Add ingredients to a measuring cup and whisk or in a jar and shake. Then store in a jar with a tight fitting lid for up to a week.

I love this sauce on warm roasted veggies on bed a quinoa!

Oil-Free Vegan Basil Pesto

1 packed cup basil leaves, about 2 ounces

2 cloves of garlic

1/3 cup walnuts

1/3 cup of nooch (nutritional yeast)

Scant 1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from the can of chickpeas or homemade chickpeas)

juice of a whole lemon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Add everything to a mini-chopper, mini food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture spins freely and the nuts are incorporated. Add a little more aquafaba for your perfect consistency if desire and scrape down sides if necessary.

If you want to see all the ways you can mix this up and all the ways I like to put this oil-free pesto on everything, check the original blog post!

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