Salads · Side Dishes

Chia Pomegranate Salad Dressing

I’m finally back into the blog grind!  After the holidays, I needed a break from everything.  Although I didn’t stop making delicious food, I just didn’t have the energy to post.  Fortunately, I have some more free time and the will to eat healthy foods for the new year.

I always thought of myself as a generally healthy eater, but when the weather gets cold I tend to get lazy.  I always fall back on easy, warm meals.  Lately, I’ve been noticing that I’ve been eating more processed vegan foods than I really want to.  Although they’re delicious and easy, they aren’t a good “all the time” food.  So, to remedy my poor choices, I’ve started eating more whole plant foods.  I’ve been making sure to stock my kitchen with as much produce as I can.  In the winter months (it’s almost spring, but still pretty chilly here), I usually choose produce that has a longer shelf life.  My favorites as of late have been root veggies, onions, apples and pears, and so on.  When I buy more delicate vegetables like greens, I try to eat them as quickly as possible so they don’t go to waste.  Salads for days, in other words.

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Anyway, I’ve made my own salad dressing for a very long time.  For the most part, I always hated buying dressing from the store because it was always too much.  Am I every going to really use all of that ranch?  No.  And now, I don’t even like ranch.

There were always at least 3 bottles of old, opened salad dressing in my fridge growing up.  My mom would buy some when we needed it, and then we would eat salad for a while and it would sit.  Forever.  When I moved, I swear I threw away 8+ year old dressing.  😷😖

After that, I made a promise to myself that I would just make dressing if I ever needed it.  The great thing about salad dressing is that it literally takes 2-3 ingredients to make (plus salt and pepper if you’re doing it right).  Those ingredients are staples every kitchen should have: fat (oil/nut butter/”mayo”/non-dairy product) + acid (vinegar/citrus juice) + binder (mustard/seeds/nuts/pureed fruit or veg).

You can even get away with leaving the binder out.  I like it because it thickens the dressing and helps it bind to whatever your putting it over.  In this recipe’s case, I used chia seeds because they’re delicious, healthful, and add some texture to the salad.  They helped thicken the dressing really well after sitting for only 10 minutes.  If you don’t have them, ground up flax would also work.  You can also omit them if you want.  They’re pretty optional.

These are the basics of my dressing: apple cider vinegar (which I lovingly refer to as ACV, the miracle liquid), pomegranate juice (you can sub any other juice if you wish), and Just Mayo (or any preferred vegan mayo option/non-dairy yogurt).  Then, the chia!

If you sub the vegan mayo for non-dairy yogurt, you may want to scale back the vinegar.  The vinegar makes this dressing taste like yogurt when it’s completed, so if you add the entire amount, it may be too “tangy” for your liking.  If you like tang, dump that ACV in there!  💃

I used this dressing for a simple apple salad with mixed organic greens topped with cranberries and nuts.  It was perfect for a light lunch.  The dressing made it look adorably pink.  Feel free to use it on any salad you desire and enjoy!  ​💝

Chia Pomegranate Salad Dressing

Yield: 1 serving
Free from: Gluten, Nuts, Refined Sugar, Soy*
*Use a soy-free product

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, I used Bragg’s (or high quality vinegar of choice. this may effect the taste)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate juice
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (I used whole, but go ahead and use crushed)
  • 1 Tb vegan mayo*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, pour the vinegar, juice, chia and salt + pepper together.  Whisk with a fork and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, make sure the chia has gelled and plumped up.  The mixture should be noticeably thicker.
  3. Add the vegan mayo to the mixture and whisk well until no lumps remain and the dressing has a smooth, even texture.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  4. Serve with whatever needs to be dressed!  🍎🥗

 

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