RSS Feed

My Favorite Salad Dressings and Veggie Dips

One way to get kids to eat more veggies is to serve them with dressings and dips.  But, look at a bottle of the stuff at the grocery store and it is usually a long list of chemicals.  So, you need easy and fast kid-friendly recipes for dressing and dips and here are a few of mine.  I already posted my ranch dressing recipe, but I am giving it here again for simplicity along with ones for vinaigrette, caesar, and poppyseed.

If you have some vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey on hand, you can always whip up the vinaigrette in moments.  If the taste is too intense for your kids, use a less flavorful vinegar than balsamic and up the ratio of oil to vinegar.

The recipes below use storebought mayonnaise.  But, if you do want to make your mayo from scratch, here is a recipe for whole-egg mayo.  Just be sure to buy the highest quality of preferrably local pastured eggs.  You are running a slight risk if you choose to eat raw eggs as you do in homemade mayo.

Ranch Dressing
(based on this one from
Yields 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Shake before serving.

Note: If you don’t keep buttermilk around regularly, you can make a substitute by taking 1 cup whole milk and adding 1 Tbsp of while vinegar or lemon juice.  Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes and use as you would buttermilk.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Yields about 1/2 cup

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or more, if needed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and honey together.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until it’s incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Shake before serving.

Caesar Dressing
(from Smitten Kitchen)
Yields about 1/2 cup

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp of the jarred stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, plus a little more if you like
  • 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional, I never use this)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional, you can just add it to the salad directly)

Whisk all except olive oil and cheese together.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until it’s incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper. Add parmesan cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Dressing can be made 1 day ahead.

Note: Since you use prepared mayonnaise for this instead of the traditional raw egg, you don’t have to worry about serving raw egg to kids.  If you are a traditonalist, you can use one raw egg in place of the mayonnaise.

Poppy Seed Dressing
(from “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” by Paula Deen)
Yields 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp Paula’s house seasoning (or 2/3 tsp salt, 1/6 tsp black pepper, 1/6 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender.  Process on low, gradually adding oil.  Chill; shake or stir before serving.  Note: Her directions call for a blender, but if you whisk vigorously, you can make it in a bowl as well.

This is great sweet dressing to serve with fruit such as strawberries or on a green salad that features fruit.

– Stacey


About feedingmytribe

Mom to four 10-year-olds. Trying to find my way through the confusing world of food and nutrition to provide my girls with a healthy start in life.

Please leave a reply for Feeding My Tribe.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: