If you asked me what my favourite food was, and I was actually honest about it, I would probably have to say refined sugar. And pizza.

This being said, I am a person who is pretty into nutrition—I am relatively educated about it and take the relationship between food and well-being (both physical and emotional) very seriously.

Consequently, this paradoxical nightmare I live in means I am constantly regretting my food choices or overcompensating by justifying a tray of brownies with a week of only eating salad which actually makes me feel even sicker as my body misses the sugar and can’t process that much fibre.

In a perfect world we would all eat a balanced diet of whole foods and get enough exercise and not crave ketchup chips when we’re hungover, but this is reality and all we can do is our best.

Since I am not able to stop myself from eating half a bag of chocolate chips while I wait for my steel-cut oats to cook in the morning, my best is to try to cut out processed foods as much as humanly possible.

We all have enough information about food these days to agree on the fact that anything pre-made is usually composed of less than 100 percent actual food ingredients, which is not a good thing.

I love Kraft Dinner more than anything, but I try my best not to buy it.

Where I really draw the line, though, is salad dressing. I am amazed at how many people still buy bottled salad dressings, not only because they are usually full of chemicals and hydrogenated oils, but because they’re gross.

A restaurant can get away with serving me some pretty bad food and I will still eat it and not complain, but nothing makes me more mad than a salad of romaine lettuce, shredded carrots and sliced cucumber, drizzled with one of those stupid bottled dressings—Italian, French, Ranch, whatever.

There are delicious processed foods out there, but these don’t even taste good.

What really bugs me is seeing bottles of this crap in people’s refrigerators at home. It seems that people don’t realize how easy it is to make your own dressings and that they actually taste awesome (and are made with real food ingredients).

So here is the gospel, and please spread it!

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is my go-to dressing, because I love balsamic vinegar. But you could just use red wine vinegar if you wanted something lighter tasting or even white wine vinegar.

For an Asian-style dressing, omit the balsamic and add a teaspoon of sesame oil, a splash of soya sauce and a teaspoon of grated ginger. Use honey or maple syrup or birch syrup. Add a teaspoon of dried herbs, such as oregano.

Whisk together:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

This recipe is just a basic blueprint—you can adjust all of the measurements to suit whatever tastes best to you

Good-Enough Caesar Dressing:

This is not a true Caesar dressing in the classical sense, but it is really good and comes together easily. I personally am put off by raw eggs, finding them to taste kind of the way wet dogs smell, but we won’t go into that.

Whisk together:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar (red will make it darker)
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • I lemon, juiced
  • 2 (or so) dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Ground black pepper

You can make a virtually fat-free version by omitting the olive oil. It will kind of have a weird consistency, but will still taste good. The Dijon mustard stands in as the emulsifier, so to make it thicker by adding more Dijon.

I have even added horseradish, which sounds crazy, but it works.

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