Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No matter your salad, I've got your go-to salad dressing...

You think it's the fat content in your salad dressing that's bad for you...actually, it's the bad fats (like vegetable oils), the sugars, the chemicals and the preservatives. Good fats--like coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, grass-fed ghee and butter, even milk fat from organic milk--those are not only good for you, but they're necessary in a salad. You need fat to absorb all of those fat-soluble vitamins in your bowl of salad.

It's hard to find a bottled salad dressing, though, made out of good fats. Most of them contain canola or vegetable oil.

I think the only good salad dressing is a homemade one. Why the trouble? It's good for you, yes, but it's also just really good when you make it homemade.

I love to eat and I've got lots of friends who love to eat, and I've never had one of them not like my go-to salad dressing. When a fat girl likes a salad dressing, you know it's good.

No matter what type of salad you are making, my dressing goes with it and makes it amazing. Especially if your salad has tomatoes or grilled chicken in it, the combination is scrumpdillyishus. 

You'll drink the juice at the bottom of your salad bowl when your salad is gone.

What's so healthy about it? This dressing gives you that all important raw lemon and raw garlic I'm always trying to get into you. And it doesn't have all the preservatives, bad fats, high fructose corn syrup and the variety of chemicals and fillers that go into typical salad dressings.

Donnagail's Go-To Salad Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise (see discussion below and don't assume the worst)
1 cup organic Greek yogurt or pureed organic cottage cheese
2 tbsp ground black pepper (or whole peppercorns you grind yourself)
1-3 raw garlic cloves crushed then chopped into tiny almost invisible slivers
juice of one-half to one whole lemon
pink himalayan sea salt to taste

Start off using 1 clove garlic and half a lemon, juiced, and taste it. If it's not too sour and not too garlicky for you, add another clove, add more fresh lemon juice. Keep going until you like it.

You'll be keeping it in the fridge and it will get better every day. This homemade dressing assumes you will be eating some form of salad EVERY DAY. Even if it's sliced cucumbers or sliced tomatoes or a couple raw carrots.

There are two versions of this recipe--the hard version and the easy version. In the hard version you make your own mayonnaise. The easy version lets you use store-bought mayonnaise--but then you get into unhealthy fats if you choose a regular, everyday mayonnaise like Duke's or Hellmann's. Most likely you'll find GMO soybean oil (aka vegetable oil) in most commercial mayonnaises.

I know you're probably going to choose store-bought so go ahead. At least this dressing has raw garlic and fresh lemon juice in it, so it's got something live, unlike the dead salad dressings we normally buy. 

At least choose a healthy alternative mayonnaise, please, if you choose to use store-bought. Do some research. Find a good one. Whatever you choose, make sure it's a savory (not sweet) mayonnaise. Sweet mayonnaise would not do in this recipe. Please do not make my go-to dressing with Miracle Whip. I will die and haunt you.

In fact, if you want to nominate a healthy mayonnaise for this recipe, please email me at and I'll research it and blog about mayonnaise one day soon.

But if you want to make this dressing truly healthy, one day, when your gumption is up, try making this dressing with homemade mayonnaise and you will never go back.

Let's talk about raw egg yolks before you squeamishly turn away. Most people don't make fresh homemade mayonnaise not because it's hard to do but because it involves raw egg yolks and we've been terrorized into thinking raw eggs are always bad for us. Dr. Mercola is the source to read about raw egg yolks if you're game to try them. He goes on and on about the health benefits.

You can put them in smoothies, like he does, but I still worry about raw egg in smoothies (especially for the elderly, small children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems).

Dr. Mercola says "almost raw" or "slightly cooked" egg yolks offer almost the same benefit, so I get my raw egg benefits when I slightly cook egg yolks in making my homemade Hollandaise sauce. Enough cooking to make it safe, but almost raw enough to give you the benefits of raw egg yolk. Or I eat over easy eggs for breakfast sometimes.

The only way I eat truly raw eggs is in this salad dressing. There's so much raw garlic and coconut oil (both anti-bacterials), I don't think bacteria would thrive in my Go-To Salad Dressing. I also only do this with pastured organic eggs.

To make the one cup of mayonnaise you will need for the above recipe:


2 large egg yolks

3/4 cup unrefined virgin avocado oil
1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil (allowed to become liquid)
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or plain vinegar
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp water
1 tsp salt to taste

Do not use cold eggs straight from the fridge. They don't work as well. Bring your eggs to room temperature then separate your yolks from your whites. Because I make a lot of this dressing and also Hollandaise sauce for my asparagus, I keep an ice cube tray for my egg whites so when I get ready to make meringue I have tons of frozen eggwhites to use. When the ice tray fills up, pop your frozen egg whites into a paper bag or carton in the freezer labelled "egg whites."

Most recipes tell you to use canola or vegetable oil (which are not good for you). Others tell you olive oil, but that is not a good use for olive oil. Tastes overwhelmingly like olive oil, not mayonnaise. Some say to use coconut oil but then it tastes too coconutty.

I find that mixing unrefined avocado oil (a healthy oil) combined with coconut oil that I've allowed to melt into a liquid is the best combination. When it goes into the fridge, the coconut oil solidifies giving my mayonnaise a firmness it doesn't have with other oils. Also, coconut oil is antibacterial so that helps with the raw egg concern in my mind. The avocado oil balances out the coconutty taste of the coconut oil. That's why I don't just use coconut oil alone.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together your 2 egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar, dijon mustard and 1/2 tsp salt. Once it is completely mixed put a tablespoon of avocado oil and start slowly, drop by drop, turning into a slow drizzle, adding the oil to the egg yolk mixture while whisking ferociously. Keep adding the oil to the yolk mixture in a drizzle until it starts to emulsify and look like mayonnaise. Keep whisking until all of your oil has been added. Now taste it. If it doesn't taste right, add more salt and keep adding until it tastes right to you. It 's your mayonnaise.

Now, there is an art to the whisking version. If you have a hand blender, it's much more fool-proof. You can put all my ingredients in a jar and zip in the hand blender, blending at the bottom and letting the blender pull down the oil.

Here's a link to a video from Serious Eats you can watch: Making mayonnaise the easy way--with a hand blender

Normally, homemade mayonnaise would only be good a couple of days, but in my salad dressing, there is so much raw garlic, I use it for 3-4 days. If it's only me at home, I cut the recipe in half.

When you use your homemade mayonnaise to make the dressing up above, if it's too thick, just add a little cold water to thin it and shake. I keep my dressing in a glass stoppered bottle so it's easy to add liquid and shake.

This recipes makes two cups or 16 oz of dressing. Cut it in half if you live alone and just want 8 oz at a time.

Here's a link to a bottle perfect for salad dressing on Amazon that you can get in 8.5 oz or 17 oz or even 34 oz:

Remember, raw eggs are not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

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