In 2013 we were on our first gluten/dairy/soy free adventure. I was pumping milk for a baby who had GERD and was experimenting with implementing this diet with my whole family. Coming from years before of fueling ourselves and our little toddler on burrito nights and baked pasta dishes… this was a big stretch. We both missed creamy meals, and it was a struggle. I decided to embark down a pintrest tunnel (back in it’s brand new days!) and found some, sparse, inspiration for dairy free dressings. I concocted one of my own, and I shared this dairy free caesar recipe, it’s been a staple in our home ever since. Over the past years, as I’ve grown in my dairy free confidence and skills I’ve morphed it into a creamier caesar. It works perfectly as a base for other sauces, or as a stand alone dressing.
Whole30 Friendly Caesar Vinaigrette
This makes a large batch (full jar, as pictured), and lasts in the fridge up to a week.
10 cloves raw garlic
Juice from two lemons
(optional) one date OR 2tbs honey
salt and pepper to taste
1tbs apple cider vinegar
2tbs almond or coconut milk
2/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
Combine all ingredients except oil into tall cup for immersion blender, or into base of blender or cuisinart. Blend till all chopped and combined. Slowly, in a single pour, add in oil while motor is running. This will allow the oil to emulsify. I have my best success using my immersion (or stick) blender.
There are also several ways to use this dressing as a base for more sauces, dips, and dressings. Here are a few ways to shake it up!
Creamy Ranch: 2 tbs of red wine vinegar, a big bunch of chopped dill (or a tbs of dried dill).
Caesar Aioli: Mix into 1/4 cup homemade or Whole30 compliant mayonnaise (this is esp amazing on sweet potato toast!)
Creamy Lemon Sauce: stir in juice of 1/2 lemon, toss with pasta or spirilized veggies!
Caesar Pesto: Add dressing to blender, add 1/4 cup chopped basil, 2tbs nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup cashews
Having a variety of sauces, dressings, and dips on hand is a sure-fire way to help veggies be more appealing. It makes tossing together a salad, or quick dinner (pour this over a protein!) easy. I always try to keep a caesar, pesto, and balsamic on my Meal Prep list, it helps keep lunch and dinner fresh, quick, and easy to feel inspired by.