Saturday, 14 May 2011

Nutritional yeast salad dressing.

Some of you may be wondering why I am so excited about salad.  As I was writing my last post I was thinking I may have to further explain that.  It has been about a year or so that Tim and I have been eating a homemade smoothie and a salad for lunch every day.  Of course there are days that we don't, but by and large, we have tried to stick with this routine.  I find that a routine in the eating department really helps to eliminate waste, particularly when you eat as many fresh fruits and veggies as we do.  The danger of eating fruits and veggies has always been that you buy then and then don't use them before they go bad.  When you eat the same thing pretty much all the time, you get a very good sense of how much of it you need.

Anyhow, the thing that firmly entrenched me in the eating of a salad every day has been the discovery of my favourite salad dressing of all time: nutritional yeast salad dressing, a.k.a. "noosh" dressing.  It is fantastic!  I went to a retreat a few months ago and they had this dressing, made by hand as an option on the salad bar and I saw the name and thought "gross" and walked on by, taking ranch instead.  When I sat down and started eating, someone that had been to the retreat before recommended the nutritional yeast dressing, so the next day, I tried it and I've never looked back.  Nutritional yeast is very nutritious (as you would guess from the name), and adds a certain creamy texture to liquids and almost a cheese flavour.  It is entirely unlike brewers yeast or bread yeast.  It is reasonably easy to find in bulk (I get mine at Drive Organics), which is definitely a bonus.  I also use it to top my pastas and on dehydrated kale chips (I definitely should do a post about those).

I make a bottle of the dressing (and store it in one of the 1/2 litre Avalon milk bottles we have stockpiled) about once every two weeks or so.  It may seem like a lot of salad dressing to go through, but I assure you, when you eat a salad every day for lunch, it's not.  Plus, the ingredients are all healthy, so, at least in my mind, it doesn't matter.  Here's what goes into it:

  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (can be bought from most health stores and natural food stores and can even be bought in bulk frequently)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp pureed garlic (or to taste)
I blend all of the ingredients in my mini blender for a minute then transfer them to the bottle I plan to store it in.

The best part (besides how good it tastes): you know exactly what is going into your body and you are not ingesting stabilizers, preservatives, additives, trans fats, etc.  You also have complete control over the quality of the ingredients you choose: most of the ingredients are easily available in organic varieties, you can use more or less soy sauce (the recipe I found recommends 1/3 cup, I just use less because I don't eat much salt), you can determine how unrefined you want the olive oil to be, and you can even experiment with other types of oil (i.e. canola) or vinegar (balsamic, white balsamic, etc.).  

The other great thing about this dressing is that it is really an easy recipe, it turns out great every time, and it is a great starter to show you how you can start experimenting with the making of other dressings.  All oil based salad dressings contain oil, vinegar and flavourings.  From the most basic balsamic dressing to the most complicated Italian dressing, they all follow the same format.  Why we pay a lot of money for dressings that have a bunch of additives, I'm not sure.  Branch out and make your own, you'll be happy with the results!


  1. That sounds yummy! I buy mine in bulk, too. I've never seen it in the containers. I prefer bulk anyway, my canisters are so much prettier on my countertop : )

    You should try this recipe for Mmmm Sauce:

    I put the Mmmm Sauce on EVERYTHING. Seriously. It has nearly replaced hummus for me and since I grew up in the middle east, that's no easy feat.

  2. Michaela - I am SO there! I love noosh! How many things are both incredibly healthy and so delicious?!

  3. Nutritional yeast is also great for mustard based dressings because it creates a nice rich creamy french-ish (if that's a word!) kind of texture. You could do that with your recipe by swapping the soy sauce for dijon mustard and maybe skipping the garlic (mustard is one of my favorite "weekday flavours" because it tastes good without giving you dragon breath!). White balsamic or white wine vinegar would work well with that as well.