Change A Dressing, Change A Lot!

Nelba Bonilla and Maria Cruz making homemade salad dressing at Cypress Hills LDC

Nelba Bonilla and Maria Cruz making homemade salad dressing at Cypress Hills LDC

By: lynn Loflin

On a recent visit to Cypress Hills L.D.C. in Brooklyn, Nelba Bonilla and Maria Cruz asked me to help them make a salad dressing for lunch.  When we looked at the nutritional label on their processed salad dressing we saw the first ingredient was water, and the last six ingredients were added chemical preservatives and emulsifiers. None of those represent the fresh, local ingredients that are around us and that they wanted to use.  Since everything is better and healthier when it’s made from scratch, we made our own!  

We whipped this up in less than 5 minutes.  It is not only much cheaper than the pre-made salad dressing that most organizations buy, but it is also much tastier, healthier and more appropriate for children’s taste buds! 

Simple Vinaigrette

In the summer we use fresh herbs from our vegetable garden.  Have your kids grow and harvest the herbs for their salad or buy them from a farmer’s market!

2 cups vegetable oil (canola, olive or a blend)

1 cup Vinegar (cider, white, red wine or your choice)

1 cup Water

1 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley or dried herb

2 to 3 tbsp Honey

½ tbsp Salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tbsp prepared mustard, optional

 

Measure and put all ingredients in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine.

Alternately, use a small immersion blender to combine the ingredients.  The immersion blender keeps the ingredients emulsified for several days.