One means of turning a simple paleo salad dressing into something extraordinary is to use vinaigrette. This spices up the dressing and brings out that “zing” factor to your salad.
However, sometimes, with so much pressure to stick to your Paleo diet salad dressing, we often repeat the same type of paleo vinaigrette dressing over and over, making us forget that there are a lot of options we could choose from that are still in line with the paleo approved salad dressing. The secret is to just always make your own salad dressing for paleo meals because those that we find in the supermarkets usually include unhealthy sweeteners and oils.
Salads are made tastier with paleo dressings and more than that, they are made more nutritional. It becomes healthier because vegetables are much better absorbed with fat and we all know that the paleo diet promotes the intake of at least 75 percent of calories as fat. Hence, paleo-friendly salad dressing is such a perfect nutritional meal.
Some people do not love salads because they are bland in taste. Well, if you do not know how to mix it up a little bit, then you would really miss out on the yum that different paleo salad dressing recipes have to offer.
There are different dressings to choose from besides vinaigrette-based dressings – paleo Caesar dressing, paleo Italian dressing, paleo ginger dressing, paleo Asian salad dressing, and so many more. There will be sample paleo dressing recipes later in the article that you can browse through and try.
With these options for easy paleo salad dressings, one can expect that each dressing type will give a different flavor. For instance, using virgin olive oil has a different flavor from using avocado oil. You can make homemade paleo mayonnaise too, or you can use macadamia oil, and get different depths of salad goodness. As for vinaigrettes, you have plenty of options to choose from: lime juice, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, wine vinegar, tomato juice, balsamic vinegar and rice vinegar. Each kind is a different flavor but all are as healthy as a paleo diet needs to be.
You can also mix and match your spices of ginger, basil, dill, black pepper, garlic, oregano, mustard and mint and arrive at a flavor that you love most.
How to prepare salad dressing for paleo diet meals
With so much to choose from, the simplest way to learn how to make different salad dressings is to learn the general rule in preparing them all.
The process is simple. What’s a bit more difficult is acquiring the ingredients. But that should not stop paleo diet enthusiasts. Once you have all ingredients ready, you can go ahead and mix them all up just like you would do any regular salad. However, here are some pointers you have to remember when mixing them:
- Add the salt before the oil so that the vinegar will have the chance to dissolve the salt. Putting oil first will lessen the dissolving powers of the vinegar and the salt would remain in rock formation.
- Dijon mustard is mistakenly thought to be a “must” ingredient for vinaigrette recipes especially because it helps in the emulsion of oil and vinegar. However, if you are not a fan of mustard, it is okay to omit Dijon mustard.
- Use 1 part vinegar and 3 parts oil
- Dress your salad just before you serve the salad. Dressing it earlier will make the vegetables soggy.
- Of course, make sure you serve only the freshest vegetables. No dressing can save a withering vegetable.
And as promised, here are a few paleo dressing recipes that you can enjoy.
The classic Lemon Vinaigrette
You will need:
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil;
- 3 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice;
- Salt and black pepper to taste;
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, optional;
For this dressing, you only have to mind the general guideline mentioned above. It’s all mix and combine, while making the oil the last ingredient in, making sure to continuously whisk the dressing as the oil is added. Remember to shake the dressing well before you add on top of the salad.
Crushed tomato vinaigrette
This dressing can be achieved if you first create 1 serving of the classic lemon vinaigrette described above. This dressing is great for all types of salad, but most especially delicious as salmon salad dressing.
- 1 crushed clove of garlic;
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes;
Just add the classic lemon vinaigrette and these additional ingredients in a blender and blend well. Taste the dressing and add water if you want to reduce the sour taste.
This is a classic Paleo Italian dressing recipe.
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar;
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil;
- 1 tsp dried oregano;
- 1 crushed clove of garlic;
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard, optional;
- Salt and black pepper to taste;
For this dressing, all you have to do is put all the ingredients inside a jar with a tight lid. After which, shake it well, making certain that all ingredients are properly combined.
Paleo Caesar dressing
- 1 tbsp lemon juice;
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil;
- 2 tbsp Paleo mayonnaise;
- 6 garlic cloves, minced;
- Minced anchovy fillets;
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard;
- Salt and black pepper to taste;
Still keeping the general rules in mind, this dressing can be achieved with the help of a blender. Put all ingredients in then add the Paleo mayonnaise and blend again. Adjust the taste according to your preference by adding or decreasing the lemon juice and minced anchovy fillets.
There are a lot more homemade paleo salad dressing to choose from, but the above are the most common.
Food Item List Acceptable For Paleo Diet
In order to widen your variety of paleo diet meals, here is a food list of all food items that are allowed on a paleo diet. This is a collection of items approved by different paleo experts and researches. Learning this list by heart or putting one in your kitchen will help guide you on your way to great health – the paleo diet way.
One thing to note is to always buy these items as free from inorganic materials as possible. This includes making sure that you get your sources from fresh farms and those that do not use pesticides.
- Coconut water
- Filtered or spring water
- fruits and vegetables juices
FISH, SHELLFISH, FISH EGGS
Fishes are your main meat for paleo diet because any type of fish is fine. However, most prefer Salmon and smaller fishes like anchovies because they have smaller biohazard contents like metals and toxins. These fishes are also rich with omega 3 and fatty acids. All you have to be wary about when choosing fish for your paleo meal are the source of your fish. Make sure you buy from stores that do not promote illegal means of obtaining fish. You also have to make sure that the fish you are buying do not have heavy mercury levels.
Any fruit is fine as well, as long as you buy organic and local fruits. If you are an active person, you can take as many fruits as you feel your body needs. But if you have a sedentary lifestyle or a person with less daily physical activities, then you should limit fruit intake to one or two servings a day.
MEATS and EGGS
There is no problem with meat and eggs as long as you eat those that are herbivores or those that only eat grass. This assures you that they have cleaner bodies, thus, cleaner meats. Do not go for meat products that have been given flavor enhancers, and preservatives because this is something that the paleo diet greatly dissuades people to eat.
NUTS & SEEDS
There is no inhibition in whatever nuts or seeds you wish to eat. Just limit the intake to 1 to 2 ounces a day, especially if you are on paleo diet not just to stay healthy but to lose some weight as well. Be aware, however, that peanuts are not nuts. As a matter of fact, they are legumes. Peanuts are not something the paleo diet encourages people to eat.
- Eggs – from chickens, ducks, emu, quail, etc.
Sea vegetables are great for people on a paleo diet. This includes all sea vegetables like algaes, wakame and kombu.
- avocado oil
- coconut oil/milk/manna
- extra virgin olive oil
- hazelnut oil
- lard (rendered pork fat)
- macadamia oil
- tallow (rendered beef fat)
- walnut oil
Unlike other diets, the paleo diet actually encourages fat intake as long as it is in a balanced way. Fats are essential to the body in breaking down other essential minerals and nutrients thus a diet without fat will still lead to something unhealthy.
It is also worth noting that unrefined palm oil is a great and good source for fat, however, with studies popping out that the production of said oil contributes to the dwindling number of orangutans, we have decided to stop promoting it. Paleo diet is more than just about giving humans the chance to live a healthier life, it is also about promoting environmental wellness and this includes the existence of other species.
All veggies are acceptable. Again, go for organic and local products. Promotion of local products is not just to encourage people to help the local market, it is also a means of assurance that the vegetables are more nutritious since there is less travel from the farm to your table. To have access to locally grown fresh vegetables, you can always coordinate with your local farmers and have them deliver fresh products to your home.
Vegetables are best served as salads and you can ask locals as well on where you can have paleo salad dressings to buy. There are a lot of paleo dressing for salad that you can choose from; including those discussed earlier in this article – paleo avocado salad dressing and paleo Caesar salad dressing (Paleo Caesar salad dressing recipe is mentioned earlier too).
FOOD ITEMS YOU CAN EAT OR DRINK IN MODERATION
- Caffeinated teas
- Dried fruit
- coconut sap
- maple syrup
- Raw honey
FOODS TO AVOID
Of course, as there are plenty of things that you can eat while on this type of diet, there are also a lot of things that you should consciously avoid in order to make your diet a successful and meaningful one. Here is a list of the food items that you should avoid when on a paleo diet, or when you simply want to achieve a healthier body.
- flour and anything made out of flour and white flour
- wild rice
- oats (even when its gluten free)
- whey protein powders
- sour cream
- cottage cheese
- black beans
- red beans
- soy of any form
- peanuts (peanut butter is a big no for paleo diet)
- white beans
- garbanzo beans
VEGETABLE OILS RICH WITH OMEGA-6
Vegetable oils do not actually come from vegetables but from beans. Since beans are contra-paleo diet food items as listed above, then it also means that vegetable oils are forbidden.
Also, hearing omega-6 may make you think that it’s something healthy but as a matter of fact, it’s not. Omega 6 means it promotes inflammation, contrary to omega-3 that is anti-inflammatory. Omega-6 (vegetable oil) is one of the major causes of heart diseases.
REFINED SWEETENERS AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
- high fructose corn syrup
- malt syrup
- corn sugar
- corn syrup
- Anything that is a man-made sweetener
- Juices from stores
Too much sugar promotes unhealthy fats and makes a person grumpy and sluggish. We desire to be healthy to be more proactive and too much sugary items in the body promotes the opposite. This is one of the most difficult food items to fight off when entering paleo diet. However, just focus your mind on the goal and enjoy more vegetable salads in different paleo salad dressings that are provided earlier in this article and you can get rid of the sugary bad habit slowly but surely.
FACTORY FARMED MEAT, EGGS, AND SEAFOOD
It has been repeatedly mentioned that paleo diet discourages people from anything inorganic, and this includes factory produced food items. Anything that is not provided naturally will have chemicals in them that disrupt the natural way our body works, therefore promoting an unhealthy body. Like vegetables, you can contact local farmers or animal raisers and ask them about the meats they produce. If they have services that offer home deliveries of fresh and organic meat, you can have them deliver to you, too. If not, just find out which markets they sell their meats to and buy from those local shops. Again, keep it local because this means that the products are fresh and free from chemicals and preservatives.
REFINED, IODIZED SALT
Just don’t use refined iodized salt. Use unrefined, instead.
Aside from being aware of the food items that you can and cannot eat, in order to achieve a healthy body through paleo diet, here are a few tips that you should include in your paleo diet routine:
- Paleo diet breakfast meals are best and easiest with omelet. Just toss in whatever you want to go with it – mushrooms, onions, broccoli, etc. You can also add chicken breast if you feel like it.
- For lunch, salads are your best choice. Vegetable combination of radishes, greens, carrots, almonds, pears, and whatever you want in a salad, is a great way to maintain your paleo diet. You can choose whatever paleo dressing you want, as long as it also only includes ingredients that paleo diet allows. You can have paleo ranch dressing, paleo honey mustard dressing, paleo Caesar salad dressing, and pretty much any paleo dressings and sauces you wish to use.
- General food items for dinner include spaghetti squash recipes filled with meatballs, pesto and marinara sauce. You can also have Salmon or other fresh fish, topped with vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus.
- Complete your meals with desserts of succulent fruits like berries and dried fruits like raw nuts.
Hopefully these pieces of information about the Paleo diet can help both those who are planning to start the diet and those that are already starting and finding reasons to stick to the diet.
If you look closely, there are still a lot of delicious food items that the diet allows, especially the salads that are available in different paleo salad dressing recipe and paleo salad dressing brands. Other diets are so strict that it discourages people from following through because they are too difficult stick to. With paleo diet, you have a lot of food items to choose from and you are also promoting local market.
The paleo diet is also very flexible. There will be cases when you have to strictly stick to it – when you are sick or when you are trying to lose weight or when you are preparing your body for a strenuous activity like a marathon or an athletic competition. However, if you are an active person, you can make a few tweaks to the diet and you will still maintain a very healthy body.
The Paleo diet is fun if you start and follow it with an open mind and a genuine desire to live a healthier life.
Below is a video that teach you how to make lots of Paleo Salad dressings. Bookmark this page and learn these dressings and you will never have any dull moments with your Paleo salads: