When switching to a low fat, no oil whole food plant based diet the salad dressings, sauces, and condiments can sometimes be a challenge. When oil is often a dominating element of the recipe, how do you substitute it? It's easy to end up with a dressing that is too citrus or vinegar forward, or isn't thick enough. But with some patience and trial and error, it's easy to update your favorites to oil-free alternatives. This dressing didn't disappoint. It was a result of "what was in the fridge and pantry" and worked well for our buddah bowl last night: white balsamic vinegar and lemon form the base, while some sweet notes are added with maple syrup and a hit of mint adds more flavor.
I also love pomegranate molasses for flavor. If you can't find it, or don't have it in your pantry, it's not necessary for this recipe. However this ingredient is so delicious and useful (and usually not too expensive), you may want to go online or find a middle eastern grocery store to find this staple found in many middle eastern recipes. You can also find it online, linked at the bottom of this post.
Mint and lemon oil free vinaigrette salad dressing
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar Sub regular balsamic
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp pomegranate molasses Optional, sub additional citrus and sweetener if desired.
- 3 Tbsp mint Dried or fresh, chopped
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup or apple syrup or sweetener of choice*, to taste
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest from rind
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in jar and whisk or shake vigorously.
Buddah bowl or Salad pairing
We paired this dressing with both a buddah bowl and with a simple salad (pictured) the following day. This dressing works very well with a salad containing fruit: we used mango, and the buddah bowl also contained strawberry.
The buddah bowl contained many different types of vegetable (salad greens, snap peas, tomato, carrots, and so on), basil, strawberries and mango, farro, and roasted beets. This dressing paired perfectly with all of these elements.
The simple salad that's pictured contains hearty greens (baby kale, arugula, and a variety of salad greens), herbs (parsley), and sunflower sprouts. I added some mango and this dressing and it made a nice little side salad for lunch.