Dressings for Greens and Grains

Warm weather months are especially good times to explore new combinations of fresh greens, sprouts, vegetables, and grains. Dressings can make all the difference to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Greens, vegetables, and grains can be mixed in a variety of combinations to provide a host of antioxidants and quick energy. They also combine well to enhance digestion and assimilation of nutrients.


Creamy Wasabi Dressing …from the Candle Café

This is delicious as a dipping sauce for sushi, steamed greens, or with grains and greens.
1/3 cup wasabi powder
1 cup sesame tahini
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
1/3 cup tamari soy sauce


In a small bowl, dissolve the wasabi powder in 2 cups filtered water. Transfer to a blender, add the tahini, vinegar, and tamari and blend until smooth. The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 3 cups.


Dulse Dressing …from Cooking with Sea Vegetables.

3 scallions, finely chopped
½ cup dulse flakes
2-3 T. tahini
1 T. umeboshi paste
½ cup water

Warm the water and add tahini…stir until creamy. Stir or blend in the umeboshi
Stir in dulse or scallions. Makes 1 cup.


Watercress Dressing
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. raw, organic apple cider vinegar
½ t. dried tarragon
¼ cup organic, unrefined oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch watercress, finely chopped


Mix all ingredients but watercress until well blended. Stir in the finely chopped watercress.
Source: Donna Gates


Creamy Avocado Dressing
1 t. ground cumin
3 T. fresh lime juice
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado
½ t. salt
¼ t. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ water (+1/4 more if necessary)
Freshly ground black and cayenne pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients through water to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary. Add seasonings and a pinch of salt. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
Makes one cup.
Source: Myra Kornfeld

Carrot-Ginger Dressing
½ cup roughly chopped carrots
2 T. roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 T. roughly chopped shallots
¼ cup brown rice vinegar
2 T. apple juice or mirin
1 t. shoyu or tamari
1 t. toasted sesame oil
½ cup sesame oil
Freshly ground pepper


Place first 7 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, add the sesame oil in a thin stream. Then add ¼ t. salt and a sprinkling of black pepper. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Source: Myra Kornfeld

Mint-Garlic Dressing …..Good served with tabouli.

¼-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, to taste (start with less)
½ cup organic unrefined oil, such as ev olive
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
1 T. fresh mint leaves, minced


Add lemon juice, mint, and garlic in a blender.
Slowly add oil to emulsify. Source: Donna Gates

Tofu-Ginger Dressing
½ t. fresh grated ginger
1 8 oz. cake soft organic tofu
1 t. sea salt
¼ cup water
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. brown rice vinegar

Grate ginger very fine. Combine the ingredients in a blender and puree until creamy.
Source: Book of Whole Meals.

Copyright 2008 Pathways4Health.org

Spring Green

Spring is Nature’s birth cycle…of fresh greens, shoots, sprouts, and blossoms. Spring greens are full of chlorophyll, which acts as a natural detoxifier to the rich, heavy foods of winter. Greens reach upward to the sun. Their lighter, uplifting energy helps us transition from the slower, more contracted lifestyle of winter.


Spring is a wonderful season to incorporate more cleansing greens into meals and to rotate with warmer and longer days into lighter meals and greater physical activity. It is a wonderful season for fresh starts and new resolutions….perhaps to cook early in the day and to move more, walk more in the early evening to take advantage of the longer days, extended now by daylight-saving time.


Watercress Bisque
1 onion, chopped fine
1 parsnip, chopped fine
8 cups filtered water or rich vegetable or chicken stock
2 bunches watercress with stems, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons light miso or umeboshi vinegar, to taste


Simmer onion and parsnip in stock 20-30 minutes, covered, until very tender. Add watercress and simmer 3-5 minutes, uncovered. Add miso and puree with a immersion wand or in a blender. Serve with favorite garnishes…delicious topped with a broiled or poached fillet of fish.
(For a thicker soup, add some cooked grain with the miso and puree. Or, add 4 T. agar flakes when cooking, for increased mineral nutrition.)
Source: Pathways4Health, derived from Elson Haas.


Creamy Parsley Dressing
2 ounces soft tofu Place all ingredients in blender.
2 tablespoons tahini Puree until creamy.
½ cup water
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar (or lemon juice)
½ t. sea salt, or to tast
1 handful washed parsley
Source: Book of Whole Meals, Annemarie Colbin.

Avocado-Olive Spread
1 ripe avocado
2 T. lemon juice
6 black Greek olives
Sea salt to taste
Sliced radishes
Scoop the avocado pulp into a bowl; add the lemon juice and mash with a fork. Pit and finely chop the the olives; stir into the avocado. Add salt to taste. Garnish with sliced radishes and serve with whole grain toast or crackers.
Source: Book of Whole Meals, Annemarie Colbin

Hearty, Comforting Pea Soup—Laurel’s Kitchen, adapted by Ellen Arian
1 onion, diced Makes 8-9 cups.
2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. celery seed

1 cup green split peas
1/4 cup barley (I like pearled for this)
1/2 cup lima beans (I have used both big and baby. Both are good)
2 quarts water

2 tsp sea salt
Dash pepper
1 carrot, sliced into half moons
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 potato, diced
1/2 tsp each, dried basil and thyme


Soak overnight or for 6-8 hours: peas, barley and lima beans.
Saute onion in oil until very soft, along with bay leaf and celery seed. Stir in peas, barley and lima beans. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer, partly covered, for about an hour.
Add remaining ingredients. Turn heat very low and simmer for another hour or so. Taste to see if it’s done and thin with water or stock if needed. Correct seasonings.


Cream of Asparagus SoupWith Dill
2 T. butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 t. cumin
1 T. fresh or 1 t. dried dill
1 bunch asparagus, washed and cut into 2” pieces
2 cups vegetable of chicken stock
2-3 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ cup rolled oats

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup sour cream for garnish


Heat oil in a pot and sauté onion, celery, cumin, dill until vegetables are soft.

Add asparagus and sauté a few more minutes.

Add stock, water, bay leaf, oats, and salt.

Bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes.

Let cool. Puree in a blender or with an immersion wand.

Add fresh lemon juice to taste.

Garnish with sour cream with desired

Any seasonal vegetable can be used in place of or in addition to asparagus.

Can be served cold in hot weather.
Source: Feeding the Whole Family, Cynthia Lair.

Green Jade Soup

3 dried Chinese mushrooms

4 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup carrots, peeled and cut in 1” matchsticks

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms

10-12 spinach leaves

3 T. soy sauce

(serves: 4, source: Sally Pasley, The Tao of Cooking)

Soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Drain and reserve stock. Slice in thin strips.

Bring reserved mushroom stock and vegetable stock to a boil in a saucepan. Add carrots, green onion, and both kinds of mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes. Add spinach leaves and soy sauce for a few more minutes, until spinach is just wilted. Adjust seasoning.

Serve this simple clear soup with nori rolls or tempura. Thin Japanese noodles can be added for a more filling soup.


Watercress Bisque (serves: 6; source: Haas, Cookbook for All Seasons)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 cup dry white wine (optional)

8 cups water

2 bunches watercress (about 8 cups), coarsely chopped, including stems

2 T. light miso

Lemon wedges to garnish


Simmer onion and carrot in wine (or ½ cup water) until onion is limp and transparent. Add water and chopped watercress; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor with miso. Serve garnished with a lemon wedge.

Pesto Sauce

1 bunch fresh basil, washed with stems removed

1 T. light miso

1 clove garlic

¼ cup pine nuts and/or walnuts

3 T. olive oil


(Makes about 1 cup; source: Elson Haas, Cookbook for All Seasons)

Puree all ingredients well in a blender or food processor. If too thick, dilute with a little water. This is a nondairy pesto that can be used for pastas, grain and vegetable dishes where grated Romano cheese and more olive oil can be added if desired.

Avocado Dressing

2 medium avocados

1 lemon, juiced

1 t. salt, to taste

½ cup water

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic

(makes 1 ½ cups; source: Haas, Cookbook for All Seasons)

Blend all ingredients well and toss with salad.

Green Pea Soup

2 cups whole or split peas, presoaked Layer vegetables in a pot in order given.

¼ onion, diced (optional) Add peas, water, and bay leaf

1 cup celery, diced Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1+

1 cup carrots, diced hours until peas are soft and mushy.

1 bay leaf Add dulse, mustard, and salt and simmer 10

5-6 cups water minutes more.

½ cup dulse Add vinegar before serving.

¼ t. dry mustard

1 t. sea salt

1 T. vinegar (optional)

(serves: 6; source: Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods)

Marinated Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus spears Steam asparagus for 10 minutes

1-1 ½ cups vinaigrette dressing* Toss with dressing;* marinate 2-3 hours


*(3 parts olive oil to 1 part umeboshi vinegar

+ herbs of your choice)

(serves 4-6; source: Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods)

Simple Sprout Salad

2 cups alfalfa sprouts Arrange an outside ring of sprouts on a plate

2 cups mung sprouts Add a ring of mung sprouts

1 cup sunflower sprouts Place sunflower sprouts in the center

Serve with your favorite dressing.

(source: Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods)

Green Spring Soup

6 cups water or broth Bring liquid to boil

4 medium potatoes, chopped Add potatoes, onion, and salt. Cover

¼ medium onion or leek Reduce heat and simmer until tender

2-3 cups kale (or spring greens) Add kale and garlic…simmer until kale is

2 cloves garlic bright green.

1 t. sea salt Puree all ingredients.

1 t. olive oil Add olive oil before serving

(serves: 6; source: Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods)

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