As the summer heats up, quick salads and meals inspire my favorite international-style dressings, while maximizing the benefits of FoodTrients. Most of these dressings can also be used to marinate meat, chicken or seafood. You’ll notice that many of these dressings/marinades contain a small amount of mustard. Mustard serves as an excellent emulsifier to fully incorporate the oil and the acid. It also tenderizes the protein you are using in the dish.
Scallops are such wonderful nuggets of protein with a sweet, nutty taste. Scallops are also low in calories, high in protein (19.5 g for a 3-oz serving), High in Omega3-3 fatty acids, vitamins B-12, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. And they cook quickly!
1/3 cup avocado or sesame oil for marinade; 1 Tbs. for sauté pan
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled smashed and chopped
1 tsp. Dijon or hot mustard
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 lb. fresh or frozen sea scallops
This recipe is also Asian inspired and makes an excellent marinade as well as a dressing. It appears in my Age Gracefully cookbook. Ginger gives this dressing its flavor as well as amazing anti-inflammatory benefits and pain-reducing effects. It also relaxes body muscles, increases circulation, and aids digestion. Buy the whole gingerroot, then peel or cut off about an inch of the rough skin. Grate only as much ginger as you need, and put the root back into the refrigerator, ready to be peeled and grated for the next dish. I use this dressing with my Green Tea Noodles with Edamame and over my Spinach and Grapefruit Salad. It works well with any mixed green salad.
Yield about ¼ cup
1 Tbs. grated gingerroot
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. mirin (seasoned rice wine)
1 Tbs. sesame oil
Dash of ground pepper
Tarragon is an herb with long, dark leaves that has an almost anise flavor. It’s used a lot in French cooking and the classic French herb blend, fines herbes. The recipe below is great on a green salad or as a dip for fresh vegetables. If you double the fresh tarragon, add a quarter cup of walnuts or pine nuts and pulse in a food processor– voila! Pesto to spread on bread or toss into pasta.
Makes about 2/3 cup
1 clove garlic – smashed, then chopped
1 Tbs. shallot, chopped
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
Juice of 1 large lemon
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mexican food doesn’t have to be those heavy, red, cheesy (though delicious) dishes like chile rellenos and enchiladas. This dressing (a slight variation of the Creamy Avocado Dressing that appears in the Age Gracefully cookbook) would be ideal on a salad of greens, black beans, baked cubes of sweet potato, and a healthy grain like quinoa. Or it could grace grilled shrimp or chicken tacos. The avocado provides healthy non-saturated fat and the cilantro is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. It’s rich in potassium, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease by regulating blood pressure and it contains antioxidants, which protect cells from free radicals.
1 whole, ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 cup chopped cilantro 1 large clove fresh garlic, peeled 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice 2 Tbs. olive oil ½ tsp. cane sugar or honey (if not vegan) ¼ tsp. sea salt ¼ tsp .freshly ground black pepper ¼ tsp. ground cumin.
4 garlic cloves peeled, crushed and roughly chopped
½ tsp. coarse kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 1/2 lemons
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. zaatar seasoning (available at Mid-Eastern markets or make your own)
½ tsp. dried sumac
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. vegetable or avocado oil for frying
2 small (4-inch) pita breads, torn into pieces
3 Persian cucumbers, finely diced
3 cups halved grape tomatoes
½ red onion, finely diced
¾ cup chopped Italian parsley
¾ cup chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. ground sumac for garnish
2 oz. sheep’s milk Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled