When I was growing up, there were two salad dressings: Ranch and Italian. Other dressings existed, of course, but these are the only ones that we ever bought, so they were the only ones that mattered. My personal favorite was Ranch dressing.
My mom, in an attempt to make sure we were healthy and ate our vegetables, would sometimes serve salad. By salad, I mean iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and maybe olives, doused liberally with the aforementioned Ranch or Italian dressing. That was the only salad I knew growing up.
As I’ve grown older, my horizons have broadened. I learned about other dressings, such as Catalina, French, and even vinaigrette, which I considered to be the height of fanciness. Eventually I was introduced to the concept of homemade salad dressing, and that was a life changer!
Now that we’re eating healthier, I’m glad that my knowledge of salad dressings is so much broader than when I was a child. Having spent a few years making my own salad dressings, I was already comfortable with the idea and eager to try my hand at making homemade healthy salad dressing. This transition has actually been pretty easy.
This dressing recipe was made using a formula for homemade plant-based dressing from Straight Up Food. Very different from both the bottled dressings of my youth, and the mayonnaise-based homemade dressings of my adult years, but like Cathy says in her salad dressing post, “as long as it’s pourable and tastes good to you, it can be salad dressing.” And it can be delicious.
Pineapple Cranberry Salad Dressing
Makes 1 cup
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tbsp raw cashews
3 tbsp fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Keeps about a week refrigerated.
I served this for lunch over a simple salad, similar to my Fruitful Salad from a few days ago. Spinach, green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, apples, oranges, yellow rice (rice cooked with turmeric, garlic powder, and onion powder), and walnuts.