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Well the party is over I guess, the kids have been sent back to school and it’s time to come back from “christmas vacation world” where I have spent the past two weeks. I wrapped up my final class right before the break so I was free to do nothing for the first time in a long while. At one point I was lying in the middle of our living room floor whining about how bored I was, it was like being 8 again, fun stuff. Anyhow now that I can no longer consider myself a student I guess now I’m just plain old unemployed. So what does the new no longer a student me spend my first day of my new life doing, well making salad dressing of course!

I haven’t bought a salad dressing in years, why waste your money on something you can easily make yourself? Here are a few that go beyond your basic vinaigrette but are versatile enough to use everyday.

Aside from my bread machine, this clever little thing is my absolute favorite kitchen gadget. I found myself at a Pampered Chef party about 11 years ago and of course felt pressured to buy something so I randomly chose this and it turned out to be one of my smartest investments. This recipe is from said gadget and is a staple in our house:

Asian Dressing

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. fresh minced or grated ginger root, or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tsp. sugar

Mix all ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitted lid and shake.

Here is another one that I got from the food section in our newspaper recently. It is really good and the curry goes well with most any main dish accompaniment.

Curry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives, dried works fine too just use a little less

1 Tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp. soy sauce

Mix all ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitted lid and shake.

Here is one I came up with recently after seeing a bottle of hummus dressing at Trader Joe’s. My salad had avocado and it was fabulous!

Hummus Dressing

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

3/4 cup water, you could use the cooking water from the beans if you cooked them from dry

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. parley

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 clove of garlic

salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until well combined, transfer to a container. By the way we had a great dinner last night and so simple! This was inspired by a recipe from the most recent Vegetarian Times magazine, I used the essential alfredo recipe from the VeganYumYum book instead for the sauce, added some sauteed asparagus, red pepper and spinach with some fettuccine noodles. YumYum indeed! Vegan or not, if you have never used this alfredo recipe you are missing out!