Ditch the Store-bought Dressing
I am a huge proponent of the salad-as-a-meal dinners. They can be thrown together in minutes with any ingredients you already have on hand and instantly make you feel like the type of person who has it all together. I bet Anna Wintour eats salads for dinner. However, these flavorful veggie mishmashes deserve so much more than those greasy, ingredient-laden dressings that lurk in most of our fridges. YOU deserve more than that. Making your own vinaigrette sounds fancy and intimidating but in reality it takes little more time than grabbing that dressing bottle off the shelf. It's also healthier, cheaper, and better for the environment (no more plastic bottles).
The Basic Vinaigrette Formula
Here we go, to make your own vinaigrette you just have to follow ONE simple formula to make thousands--I haven't done the math but I'm sure i'm close--of dressing combinations. The formula is simply one part acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) to 2 parts oil (olive oil, canola oil, sesame seed oil...you catch my drift.) That's it. Simply whisk the oil into the acid, add a little salt and pepper and you're done. Whatever you don't use you can store in an airtight container in your fridge for two weeks.
Basic Lemon Vinaigrette:
-2 tbsp. lemon juice
-4 tbsp. olive oil.
Whisk the oil into the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This basic formula alone is so much more delicious than anything you buy in the store, and you can endlessly customize it by switching out the oils/vinegars and adding additional ingredients. Not feeling the classic lemon and olive oil? Sub in OJ mixed with sesame oil and a little grated ginger to make an Asian inspired version. Personally, I like to add just a tsp. of Dijon mustard into a basic lemon vinaigrette to give it added heat and viscosity.
Eat it on everything, or don't
Once you realize how much more flavorful homemade dressings are you're going to want to drizzle it on everything--roast veggies, pastas, chicken, fish, sandwiches--whatever floats your boat.
And if you're the type of person who absolutely loves store bought dressing, you slather that Newman's on girl, there's no shame in that. We like what we like. I, for example, love microwave pizza bagels and I will never stop loving them even though I can make a version at home. Life is full of complicated matters, eating shouldn't be one of them.