Greens n’ Grains Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a thick, creamy dressing on a salad. It’s a bonus when that same dressing can be used as a dip.

A double bonus? This recipe is super healthy, oil-free and dairy free! Try the dressing/dip for this salad recipe and tweak it a bit to make it precisely to your liking.

Note: although a list of specific grains and vegetables were used for this salad, use whatever veggies and grains you have around.

Pour this dressing on anything you want! It’s a thick one, so thin it out if you prefer it that way. Add it to pasta, any vegetables (raw or cooked), potatoes (steamed, baked or for a guilt-free potato salad), crackers, pita slices, as a sandwich spread etc. You get the idea.

Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked, tri-coloured quinoa (or any grain you like, such as regular quinoa, cous cous, barley, rice, millet, and so on)

2 cups chopped greens; I like to chop them into small pieces (any combination/ratio of your choice: arugula, romaine, spinach, kale, chard, Italian parsley, cilantro, etc.)

1 cup diced cooked potato

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

1 cup chopped snap peas

1 diced yellow pepper

1 diced orange pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.

Makes 9 cups of salad. Put to the side.*

*Alternatively, you could make the dressing first and refrigerate it before preparing the salad.

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Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip

Ingredients:

1-19 fl. oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-19 fl. oz (540 mL) can white navy beans (also called cannellini beans), drained and rinsed

1.5 to 2 cups of plant-based milk of your liking (I used Eden soy beverage, which contains only organic soy beans and water. If you use a sweetened or flavored liquid, the taste will be different). If you don’t want to use any type of milk beverage, use water or vegetable broth instead. Start with 1.5 cups and add more to thin out to your liking.

4 dates (smaller variety), or 2 dates of the larger type

½ cup of lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp of garlic powder (adjust to less or more, according to your tastes)

1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Add all liquid ingredients and dates to a blender. Do not blend yet. A high-speed blender is not necessary, but the dressing will be smoother if you use one. I used a Vitamix.
  2. Add the chickpeas.
  3. Blend slowly at first, and then build up the speed until all chickpeas appear blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients.
  5. Begin blending again. Slowly add the white navy beans. It is at this point you’ll need to determine how thick/thin you want your dressing/dip. Add more soy beverage or water/vegetable broth, as needed. Add a little at a time, to ensure you don’t make your dressing thinner than you like it.
  6. Stop blending when smooth.
  7. Taste the dressing. If you want more garlic, add it. If you want more lemon juice, add it. Same with the salt. Tweak it to your liking. Blend and tweak again, if needed.*

Makes 4.5 cups of dressing. **

*I find the flavors in the dressing will taste stronger when tasting the dressing by itself. When the dressing is mixed in the salad, I find the taste milder. Adjust your seasonings as you desire.

**I used about 3 cups of the dressing on the salad, as I wanted it extra thick and creamy. Depending on how thick/thin you make it, and depending on how much you use on your salad, you’ll likely have a cup or two of leftover dressing/dip.

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