Salad is usually really healthy, a reliable source of raw nutrients and bright colors, but common salad dressings are loaded with sugar and oil. Pasta, conversely, can always use the helping hand to be both healthier and less bland. Of course, you can always use these sauces with amaranth or raw noodles instead. (If you’re not in the mood to pretend summer is still happening, there are some seasonally appropriate salads to try.) Here’s what you need to get started: five minutes, a blender or food processor, and a salad or pasta that you want to adorn. In moderation, fat provides essential fatty acids and the fat-soluble vitamins A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, but the quantities in which fat is consumed in the modern world is dangerous. While these sauces are oil-free, some do contain the good kind of fat. With a pasta or salad, though, the avocados and nuts in these will be the only source of fat, and in very small quantities. Still, if your doctor told you to watch your fat intake, talk to them first or stick to the tomato sauces and vinaigrette.
“Krishna Lunch” Dressing
This addictive dressing is made at a lot of Hare Krishna temples, and the signature dish for the college campus food programs. If you’ve had it, you know what we’re talking about. If not, trust us when we say it’s addictive. While there are versions that use olive oil and parmesan cheese, those aren’t the predominant flavors. To make this almond dressing, put a handful of almonds, a few heaping spoons of nutritional yeast and Bragg’s liquid aminos in a blender with just enough water to get it to blend, and space out in the general direction of your blender until the almonds look about the consistency of hummus.
Pesto Tomato Sauce
While good for anything, this simple sauce of basil, sun dried and fresh tomatoes is especially good for raw pasta. Tomatoes have a lot of water in them, so no other liquids are needed. Just blend the basil and raw tomatoes first before adding the sun dried tomatoes to be kind to your blender. Italian seasoning, or fresh oregano and marjoram, and black pepper will complete this dish.
Get Inspired by Coconut Chutney
All this takes is a bunch of cilantro with the ends of the stems chopped off, light coconut milk, lemon and cayenne. Two nice optional variations are unsweetened shredded coconut and fresh mint leaves. For cilantro super-tasters, this sauce is also good with parsley or basil, if completely different. (And of course, you can always try going for a real coconut chutney.)
Fresh tomatoes and strawberries. See if you can find some of those funky-colored heirloom tomatoes and don’t blend all the way, or leave some out to garnish, for bits of purple and yellow. Alternately, stick to red tomatoes if you don’t want the end product to look muddy. You don’t even have to spice or salt this, but some salt can be good, and try blending in grapes or sprinkling on pomegranate seeds to balance the tartness of the sauce.
Avocado, lemon, salt and a little water for a pourable consistency is a great solution if you’ve ever been immensely disappointed that there is only avocado in some bites of your salad. This is basically just spreading the avocado out more evenly, and adding lemon to keep it from going brown, but it’s delicious and a hit with guests. You don’t have to tell them how simple it was. Cayenne, black pepper, garlic, onion, and peppers can all jump in to fancy it up, too.
Raspberry Vinaigrette As It Should Be
The stuff that comes in bottles is frankly disappointing. Blend fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of agave for a fresh, raw take on raspberry vinaigrette. If you’re not enthused about the raspberries, For general vinaigrettes, balsamic with agave is a dressing we love – no olive oil needed! – but experiment with apple cider and rice wine vinegars, too.
Take a Leaf from Gazpacho
Cold cucumber soup, with either green tomatoes or avocados, green onion, parsley, salt and black pepper can be repurposed come fall into stunning, surprising sauces.
Fresh turmeric and ginger with your favorite plant milk and an optional spoon of tahini will be the color of cheese sauce, and the special kind of spicy that only ginger achieves. Ginger and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory, and ginger is used to treat nausea and bloating. To make the salad or pasta taste like a curry, sprinkle in curry powder, coriander and cumin. Bon appétit!
Image Source: Raw Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado-Cucumber Sauce