Sweet and Salty Avocado Dressing

by Gena on November 25, 2010

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Hey guys!

Happy almost Thanksgiving. I’m sure that many of you are in your kitchens now, prepping what’ll be a magnificent—and hopefully a compassionate—feast! I’m really excited to catch up on blogs on Friday and checking out everyone’s creations. Yesterday, I mentioned that one of my favorite Thanksgiving habits is to take it easy on myself the Wednesday prior. I try to avoid eating the food I’m prepping—after all, it’s for the big day itself—and I also don’t stress out about creating a fancy dinner on Thanksgiving eve, even if I have friends or family around. Instead, I’ll just throw a sandwich or salad party for myself and/or others.

Nutrient dense salads—or smorgasbord salads, as a coworker of mine likes to call my meal-sized lunch creations—are a quick and easy way to get a nourishing dinner on the table and in your belly. And it can be nice to eat something particularly green and wholesome the night before a big, rich meal.

“But Gena,” you’re thinking. “I’m in a kitchen surrounded by sweet potato casserole, four kinds of stuffing, braised tofurkey, pumpkin pie filling, cookies, cakes, tartes, and trifles. How the heck am I supposed to get psyched about salad”?

My answer: if you don’t get psyched about salad by now, I’m probably failing at my job. But let me sweeten the deal for you. Salads are always much more enticing when we’ve got a really fun new dressing to smother dress them with. Anyone who reads CR regularly knows that I’m a salad dressing aficionado. Dressings may not be the stuff of most foodie’s dreams, but they’re actually one of my favorite things to create in the kitchen, and I never get bored of trying new ones. Here are just some of my faves:

Avocado Cumin Dressing

avo cumin

Orange Vinaigrette

orange

Carrot Miso Dressing

carrot miso

Asian Dressing

Asian

Raw Green Goddess Dressing

raw green goddess

And now, here’s a new addition to my dressing collection. It’s sweet and salty, as the title suggests: also a little tangy. And it involves a few of my favorite raw ingredients: fresh OJ, avocado, and tahini. My impulse would usually be to add lime to that mix of ingredients, but instead I added white balsamic, and boy, am I glad I did. It gives the dressing a depth and sweetness that I absolutely love. This is a new obsession!

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Sweet and Salty Avocado Dressing (makes 1 3/4 cups)

1/2 large (or 1 small) avocado
4 level tbsp tahini
1 1/2 cups orange juice (fresh is best)
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender, and mix till smooth. Serve!

I actually only had roasted tahini on hand (I typically by Artisana’s raw variety) but the saltiness worked nicely here. Either sort is fine. I served the dressing over—you guessed it—a nutrient dense salad: greens, veggies, and sweet potato rounds topped with homemade hummus.

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If you don’t get to try this dressing tonight, this is a great weekend to give it a whirl. It’s fresh, it’s full of healthy fats, and the orange hints are actually terrific for holiday recipes. Enjoy!

So, what are my thanksgiving plans, you ask? I’m currently pulling into D.C., thrilled to be spending a long weekend at M’s. We’ll be attending a vegan potluck tomorrow, which ought to be lovely, and depending on how the hosts feel I’ll try to get some photos for you! In the meantime, have a good Thanksgiving morning—New Yorkers, please watch the parade for me, since I’m going to miss it sorely—and I’ll be back soon.

xo

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Christin@purplebirdblog November 25, 2010 at 12:51 am

I love all of your dressings! I used to make a lot of my own but got out of the habit… I definitely need to get back into it, and this is an excellent inspiration!

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Casey November 25, 2010 at 1:52 am

Gena,

I made your optimal digestion hummus tonight for tomorrow’s festivities.
My friends and I (vegans and a raw foodist) are doing a Thanksgiving version of our weekly make-you-own-salad night.
I made orange-sweetened whole cranberry sauce and your hummus tonight for tomorrow’s big salads (only I didn’t add olive oil to the hummus but did add garlic).
I’m baking sweet potatoes tomorrow too.
All to be incorporated into the salads with kale, mushrooms, celery, grated beet and carrot, roasted green beans, radishes and more…

I know it will be good and fun and I’m glad I’m hosting the get together but I’m feeling very stressed out about this holiday that is so much about food and eating a lot of it. I don’t feel like I’m at a weight or healthy emotional state that would allow me the wiggle room to ‘celebrate’. My thoughts leading up to these pressure-filled, food-centric holidays, away from my family who know my history and complexities, have been very negative, even self-loathing at times.
Despite my insecurities, I am hopeful and am outwardly happy and acting positively but privately struggling.

It’s amazing how I can be making a “choosing raw” feast for the ages. One to be so excited about, but at the same time, feel that the feast would be more fitting for a thinner gal.

I will be working on feeling better tomorrow and throughout the month!
Thanks for the recipe!

Casey

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Danielle November 25, 2010 at 9:59 am

Looks so good, I can’t wait to try this dressing. Sweet+Salty+Avocado = this pregnant woman’s dream come true! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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GirlonRaw November 25, 2010 at 10:37 am

I’ve been meaning to try your carrot miso dressing for ever so thank you for the lovely reminder and your asian dressing is what dreams are made of, so I am very keen to try this new one, especially on some sweet potato like you suggest. Perhaps you need to come out with your own range of dressings someday soon ;)

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Faith @ lovelyascharged November 25, 2010 at 11:52 am

I love avocados in dressing to make salads a heartier, fattier (and more satiating!) meal. Huge yum to the adding in OJ!

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melissa November 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

i’ve had the carrot miso and loved it but i think this one will take it for me. 2 of my faves tahini + avocado!! yes please! i’m watching the macy’s now

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Shady November 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I’m a new vegan and my next goal is to stop buying expensive, unhealthy salad dressings. So this is awesome! I’m so excited to try some of these. Thanks.

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Child Growth November 26, 2010 at 9:03 am

Looks very yummy! tempting to taste it.

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Veronica (lifewithnature) November 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Dressing is what makes a salad come alive. It’s what turns a simple pile of veggies into a delicious meal. And I’m sure the “creamyness” of the avocado, with the touch of balsamic makes this one finger-licking good! Not to mention that avocado is one of the best foods to support your natural detox system.

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Gillian November 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I want to try all of these! I’m a huge fan of making raw tahini dressings but never thought to add avocado–genius! Think it’s okay if I substitute balsamic with rice vinegar?

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VeggieGirl November 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I have the same question! :)

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Gena November 27, 2010 at 2:00 am

Sure! It won’t have quite the same sweetness, but it’ll be good.

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Christine (The Raw Project) November 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Yay, another dressing and this one looks great! Thanks!

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day November 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Happy belated Tday!

This morning, my body woke screaming for a green smoothie and some salad..

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Charis Brown Malloy November 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hi Gena!
I just wanted to leave a note and say that my husband and I tried your cheesy red pepper dip recipe for Thanksgiving yesterday. It turned out so good that we linked it on our blog, sending folks back to you for the directions!
Thanks for posting the recipe – here’s the link to where we blogged about it :)
http://www.rawkout.com/2010/11/our-vegetarian-thanksgiving-in-photos.html

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 26, 2010 at 9:01 pm

“Salads are always much more enticing when we’ve got a really fun new dressing to smother dress them with. “–

Amen to that!

There’s only so many ways you can eat the exact same veggies the exact same way before, well, they can (dare I say) become just a tiny bit redundant. Which is why dressing is so amazing…you can change it up and put a whole new lease on a salad’s life depending on which way you want to go w/ the dressing.

Hope you two had a lovely Thanksgiving Day!

:)

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Tanya November 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Hi Gena,

I found your blog a couple of days ago and have been reading it since then. I love the simplicity of your recipes, the fact that a lot of them don’t take much time or effort to make and that they are so tasty (I’ve already tried several:)). I’m in a transition stage myself but I love adding more and more raw and vegetarian food to my diet. Your blog is a great resource for me! Thank you very much for this!!!

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Gena November 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Well thanks Tanya! I’m so glad you like the blog.

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Ela November 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

Hope you had a great day!

I had salad for thanksgiving day – I have it almost every day, so I’m also a dressing afficionada. Love to check out all those you shared here.

Hope you’re having an R&R-filled holiday with loved ones.

love
Ela

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Brooke November 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm

this dressing is amazing! i’m eating it right now atop a huge salad of red and green cabbage, carrots and daikon. i paired it with homemade miso soup. so good!

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Gena November 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Oh, terrific! I am so glad you like it.

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Jules November 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Mmm, I love dense dressings, smother my nutrient-dense salads with them, totally belly filling and bliss. This one sounds amazing, will have to give it a try. Should get a bit more creative with my dressings, I’m stuck at tahini, miso, harissa and udo’s choice ultimate oil…it’s the things that work and come easiest that you grab for when you want a quick lunch…Love, Jules

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Paige December 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I love your dressing ideas. I’ve been slow to jump on the make-your-own-dressing boat, but I tried it for the first time and was so pleased by the taste (as well as how much more affordable it can be!). I’m totally referring to your awesome ideas in my blog post Monday. Thank you!

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Kathleen S December 15, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I tried your Sweet and Salty Avocado Dressing and I found it slightly too sour/acidic. I used golden balsamic vinegar as I couldn’t find white. Maybe that was a bad idea?

I still ate it and it was zesty and a nice surprise to my pallet! Where can I find this white balsamic vinegar? lol

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