Category Archives: Sauces and Dressings

Homemade Hot Sauce

3-4 chilies, any variety, stems removed, each cut into thirds
2 carrot sticks, diced
1 T. butter
1/2 c. basil leaves
1 c. water
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp. sea salt
1 c. distilled white vinegar

In a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Add carrot and a pinch of sea salt, saute for a couple minutes.  Add chilies, a pinch of sea salt and the water.  Place lid on pan and cook until carrots and chilies are tender, about 20 minutes.  Turn off heat, add basil to pan, and let cool slightly before moving onto the next step.  In a Vitamix or blender, add remaining sea salt, garlic, vinegar, and chilies’ mixture.  Blend on high until very smooth.  Yields about 2 cups.  This is excellent on chicken wings, roasted vegetables, eggs, potatoes, pretty much anything you want to add flavor to.  Depending on the chilies you choose, this hot sauce will range from mild to hot.


Mediterranean Dressing

I topped a salad of mixed greens, cucumber, and radish with this dressing.  It was such a deliciously unexpected summer lunch that I felt like I was treating myself.

1 c. chickpeas, preferably cooked from fresh
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
1 large garlic clove grated
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin
dash ground black pepper
1/4 c. parsley

Put everything, but the parsley in a Vitamix or high powered blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add parsley and pulse a couple of times to coarsely chop parsley into the dressing.  Use as a salad dressing, or dip for veggies, chicken, or lamb.

Stacey’s Salad Dressing

Over thesalad dressing years, I have acquired certain tips from good cooks to hone my own skills in the kitchen.  From my dad, I learned that the best salad dressings, are the ones you make yourself.  He always makes his own salad dressing, one reason is: he can control the ingredients that go into it.  His salad dressing contains extra virgin olive oil and no added sugar.  Extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed, first pressed oil that comes from olives.  Mediterranean cultures have been using this oil for centuries, meaning it is a traditional food that humans have thrived on for longer than time since the industrial revolution.  Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat, it is full of monounsaturated oils and vitamin E.  It is best used as a finishing oil or salad dressing because it is sensitive to heat.

In following suit of my dad, who is health conscious, I started making my own salad dressing about ten years ago.  My versions have evolved over the years, but has always been delicious (at least that is what my husband says.  He drinks the dressing that collects at the bottom of his bowl after he has finished his salad).  Here is my latest version.

1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Salt, Pepper, Garlic

Reuse an old oil or vinegar bottle and add the ingredients to it using a funnel.  Shake vigorously until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.

Cilantro-Walnut Pesto

6 c. cilantro, woody/tough stems removed, lightly packed into blender
1 c. walnuts
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 T. honey
1/2 of a lemon, juice and zest
2 T. raw apple cider vinegar
3 tsp sea salt
dash of ground black pepper

Put all ingredients in a Vitamix.  Pack it down so that the cilantro is engulfing the blades.  Start on low speed.  As the cilantro begins to be shredded, gradually turn the speed higher.  If the cilantro creeps up the blender carafe, leaving the blades to blend air, then turn off the Vitamix, open the lid, and pack it down again.  Continue this process until the entire mixture is moving freely in the Vitamix.  Do not over blend.  The pesto should be creamy, but have a little texture to it.

There are endless possibilities for serving this garlicky, zesty, fragrant pesto.  Try it with chicken, meatballs, as a veggie dip, toss with pasta, on a sandwich, or thin it slightly with a little more vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and use as salad dressing.

Asian Ginger Salad Dressing

2 T. raw sugar
1/4 c. Braggs apple cider vinegar
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 T. Braggs Amino Acids
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 T. ketchup
1 garlic clove grated
3 inches grated ginger root
pinch of red pepper flakes

Whisk ingredients until sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined.

Use this to dress Asian Chicken Salad.

Alternatively, create an Asian Pasta Salad by combining cooked black bean pasta (available at health food stores), julienne bamboo shoots, julienne carrots, and chiffonade bok choi leaves.  Toss everything together, let marinate for about an hour and serve.


Guac1 avocado, cut in half, pit removed

1 clove garlic put through a garlic press or grated

1 slice yellow onion, finely chopped

1 T. chopped cilantro

half of a lime, juiced

sea salt to taste

To get the avocado out of the skin, take the tip of a knife and run it lengthwise through the avocado flesh being careful not to cut into the skin.  Now, run the knife perpendicular in the avocado to make little squares.  To remove this nicely sectioned avocado from it’s skin, use your fingers and run them between the skin and flesh of the avocado.  Let the cut avocado fall into a small bowl.  Add all other ingredients.  Mix and mash the avocado as you stir until the desired consistency is achieved.  I like it creamy, yet chunky.  Taste.  Add more sea salt if desired.  Serve with sliced jicama.