The light floral and citrus of white balsamic vinaigrette is a fresh alternative to the pungent flavor of traditional balsamic vinegar dressings.
I didn’t need the scale to tell me I gained weight on vacation. I knew my daily activities were not going to balance the extra treats I enjoyed. While packing my suitcase I decided I would stick to my usual eating habits for the first half of vacation then add in a few daily treats for the remaining days. Not that I went crazy. It doesn’t take much to go from a calorie deficit to calorie excess. My treats came in the form of a few glasses of wine, some cocktails, extra bites of dessert, a trio of gourmet tacos, and a few beer tastings. See, normal vacation stuff.
I have no regrets about my choices, I planned them and had a great time. However, those choices mean I came home feeling sluggish with extra weight around my middle. As of today, vacation is over and I am ready to reset.
In my world, a reset means piling on the vegetables and reducing processed carbs. My favorite way to boost vegetables is making big colorful salads for lunch. To make a salad hearty enough to be a meal I make sure to include a variety of textures as well as a serving of protein. When it is just me, I start with a medium sized mixing bowl, layer in a few handfuls of leafy greens, add some crunchy veggies like dices bell pepper, carrots, or cucumber, top the vegetables with a bit of lean meat or beans, then finish with my favorite pickled peppers to give it some sass.
To make any salad really satisfying I always keep ingredients for quick homemade salad dressing on hand. A few spoons of homemade vinaigrette bring the whole salad together so it feels indulgent even though I am being saintly with my choices.
Homemade salad dressing is laughably easy to make. All you need is some basic ingredients and a few minutes. Once you get the hang of the ratios of oil to vinegar and salt to spice the flavor options are as vast as your imagination.
Lately my favorite salad dressing is a super simple white balsamic vinaigrette featuring white balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard and agave. White balsamic vinegar has a much lighter flavor compared to traditional balsamic vinegar. It has hints of light floral and citrus that add a bright freshness to recipes, especially salad dressing. Additionally, stone ground mustard is a little spicier than yellow mustard while agave has a milder sweetness compared to honey. These ingredients together make an excellent base for salad dressing. Mix up a double batch of white balsamic vinaigrette dressing so there is plenty on hand for all your fresh summer salads.
- 4 tbsp White balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp agave
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Measure all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake to combine.
- Alternately whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. Store in a non-reactive container with a tight fitting lid.
May substitute honey for the agave