Friday, June 20, 2014

Dijon Vinaigrette

Finding a satisfactory dairy-free, oil-free salad dressing seems to be a problem for many transitioning to a whole foods plant based diet. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the different mouth feel of oil-free dressings, and there have been many recipes tried and discarded on my search for the "perfect vegan oil-free salad dressing". I do have a handful now that I really enjoy, and make over and over, but I still like to try new recipes that sound good when they come along. Today I tried the "Dijon Vinaigrette" (page 99). Like all traditional vinaigrette recipes, this one calls for oil, in this case ¾ cup. That is a lot of oil! That is 162 grams of fat. I'm not one who puts just a few drops of salad dressing on my salads. Plus, my salads are BIG! I require about ¼ cup dressing on my plate of salad. You can see how quickly and easily the fat grams can add up here. My save-the-day ingredient when making salad dressings from scratch is guar gum. I simply substitute an equal amount of water for the oil, and when the dressing is complete, the last thing I do is add about 1/2 teaspoon of guar gum per cup of dressing. This thickens up the dressing and mimics the mouth feel of a dressing made with oil, to a certain degree. This particular recipe includes white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallot, basil, and parsley. The parsley and basil give the dressing its pretty green color, a nice surprise! If you use the guar gum method I described, you can indulge in this delicious herby dressing to your heart's content, guilt free! (Guar gum is found in bulk at many natural foods stores and from Bob's Red Mill.)
Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
ΓΌ Omit the olive oil and use an equal amount of water, plus ½ teaspoon guar gum.


  1. I'm not oil free, but I hesitate with the amount of oil some dressings and pestos call for. Calories aside, I just don't enjoy eating a lot of oil. Since reading your blog, I have become a huge fan of the guar gum method for dressing. :D

    1. Hi Susan! I'm happy to know my guar gum approach has been one you have found useful too! The less I use oil, the more prominent it seems when it does show up. Nice to have other options!