Last weekend, I visited my yoga-camp-roomie and dear friend, Michelle, in San Diego. We met in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand last February during our month-long 200-hour yoga teacher training. You can read more about that incredible experience here. We got along like a house on fire from the moment we realized we were bunkin' up in the same 400-square-foot room and have been great friends since. I went to visit her in San Diego to celebrate our one-year yoga anniversary (just kidding, sort of). I was keen to catch up with Michelle, check out SD and spend the weekend at the beach to mix it up from my usual weekends in the mountains.
Michelle, or "Shelley" as I endearingly call her, and I are very much on the same page when it comes to what makes a fun weekend.....do yoga, eat healthy food, walk around, peruse the shelves at the organic CO-OP, go to the beach, do some more yoga, gaze at her cute organic veggie garden, cook something clean and delicious, in bed by 10pm - you get the idea! Very low key. Some might say granny. It's pretty safe to say we talked about food / healthy eating 75% of the time and traded hilarious stories back-and-forth the rest.
Similarly to me, Shelley is very switched on when it comes to clean-eating and definitely prioritizes organic, local, scary-ingredient-free food whenever possible. But like a drug addict hiding her stash, she admitted to me that she had a salad dressing in her fridge with all sorts of questionable ingredients. When I looked at the label, it had preservatives, colorings, additives, GMOs, yucky oil, etc. I audaciously signed myself up for the challenge of re-creating Shelley's favorite dressing using only clean, health-supportive ingredients. I had no idea if I'd be able to pull it off, but I thought Chef Steph should at least give it a solid try! To our surprise, it was a huge success! I have to pat myself on the back here and say that this non-GMO, gluten-free, all-natural dressing was actually better than the store-bought stuff! My confidence in my new-and-improved version was verified by a blind-taste-tester in the form of Michelle's neighbor. It was definitely a big WIN and I wanted to not only share the recipe with you guys, but also say that re-creating clean versions of your naughty favorites is easier than you might think! If you're keen to ditch the junk from your fridge and pantry but have a vice that you're addicted/holding on to, let me know and I'll see if I can create a healthy version for you!
Back to the dressing....
Shelley and I named it the Ginger Binger:
- 1 large shallot, roasted
- ¼ cup oil of your choice (I used 1/2 extra virgin olive and ½ sesame oil)
- ¼ cup tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tsp hot sauce (I used some homemade sriracha)
- splash of water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the shallot into quarters. Place on a piece of parchment paper and drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap it up in the parchment paper. Then wrap the parchment paper wad into a piece of aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, unwrap and let cool. Add the roasted shallot to the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. The dressing will be fairly thick but it should have enough liquid to blend easily. If not, add a little more water or some extra oil / tamari / vinegar.
Use on salad as a dressing, to marinate chicken or fish, or drizzle over veggies/grains as a sauce.
Super yummy. Hope you enjoy!