Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

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People tell me that I’m a good cook. My husband talks about how flavorful my foods are, but things weren’t always that way. I used to be a pretty basic cook. I found recipes with five ingredients or less and made those, following the recipe to the letter.

A couple years ago a shift happened. It came from watching cooking shows, reading recipes (mostly on the internet), watching other people when I was at their home, and experimenting with different ingredients and spices. Experimenting was a huge leap for me. That was probably the thing that changed my cooking most.

I had mixed up oil and vinegar for a salad, but I had never made a dressing and certainly not on a daily basis. I thought it was too much work to mix it up every time we had a salad, so I didn’t bother. One day, while at a friends with my daughter for a playdate, she was preparing a salad. She pulled out a salad bowl and started mixing up a homemade salad dressing. I watched her like a hawk, memorizing everything she did.

I took that process home in my head and decided to alter it and make it my own. Here is my process.

  • A few tablespoons (eyeball it) of extra virgin olive oil
  • A tablespoon or two of vinegar – I change this up all the time, using red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or any vinegar I might have on hand and feel inspired to use.
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Herbs & spices: I choose herbs/spices based on what I’m making for dinner, selecting ones that either match or compliment the herbs/spices I’m using in the main dish. Try parsley, basil, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, or anything that you think will work well. Get creative!
  • Then I add the secret ingredient . . . homemade, cultured sour cream. YUM. You can find the culture here. I drop in a dollop, probably about a teaspoon or two. This allows the oil and vinegar to combine and adds a wonderful flavor.

My husband raves about my dressing and thinks it’s about the best ever. He makes a pretty mean blue cheese dressing, too. And I think it’s about the best blue cheese dressing ever.  For this, you can use our Blue Cheese Starter Kit to make your own blue cheese. You will also need homemade cultured sour cream. Here is his process.

  • 1/2 pint cultured sour cream
  • 1/2 pint (homemade) mayo
  • Garlic powder and onion powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 cups blue cheese, depending on your taste – mix in half, then fold in the other half
  • Let sit in fridge overnight to allow flavor to develop
  • Add water to thin if necessary

Enjoy!

Bonni

Bonni

Bonni started on the cultured foods path quite few years ago, beginning with sauerkraut. Since then, she has cultured yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, a variety of veggies, sour cream and gluten-free sourdough. She is a busy homeschool mom to her daughter, so is always looking for the most efficient and least time consuming ways to manage all of her culturing.

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I like Kombucha. No. I love Kombucha!! A lot! All summer long I was culturing my Kombucha in the cupboard above the refrigerator. Then winter arrived. With the colder weather and my insistence that we keep the thermostat down, our house is cold. Brrrr… The cupboard above the fridge will no longer do. I found the perfect solution. It turns out that in my oven with the light on just happens to be the perfect temperature for culturing. How cool is that? (Be sure to check your temperature before attempting this.) It’s a balmy 73º in there and as winter progresses I just might be tempted to crawl in there for a little vacation. ;)

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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Fromage Blanc Enchiladas

Ending up with a lot of some random cultured food is an occupational hazard with this job. Case in point. On Saturday I needed to test a new starter culture we are going to be carrying so I made Fromage Blanc. Normally I make Fromage Blanc or a similar soft cheese before a big party (goes great with crackers and sundried tomatoes) but in this case, I didn’t really need the resulting cheese, just to test the culture.

After I got over the shock of remembering how much soft cheese a gallon of milk makes, I was left trying to figure out what the to do with all of it. I tried to pawn it off on the babysitter (no luck), thought about freezing it (still might), and finally had an idea. What if I used it to make the enchiladas tonight? With a baby on the way this summer I’ve been trying to be better about cooking more casserole type dishes and getting in the habit of making two of everything with one pan going in the freezer. I figure if I practice, maybe I’ll get better at the cooking ahead thing and have a freezer full of meals in time for the baby. Tonight’s agenda called for two big pans of beef enchiladas.

Here’s what I did: I spread each organic sprouted corn tortilla with a layer of Fromage Blanc, topped with refried beans, and seasoned grassfed ground beef. I rolled up the tortillas and topped with a generous amount of gluten-free enchilada sauce (which I’d randomly thrown together). Finished it off with cheddar cheese and ta da! Beautiful creamy cheesy enchiladas! I’m not sure whether to be proud or concerned I may have to plan a batch of Fromage Blanc prior to making enchiladas in the future. Something to worry about another day.

Want to try this? Click here for our step-by-step instructions for making Fromage Blanc (it’s really easy—perfect for a beginner!).

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

More Posts - Website