Orange Juice in Salad Dressing

January 14th, 2014 | Posted by Alison Spath in Lunch

Oranges show up on the list of 44 affordable healthy food under $1 and I have to agree.  When it comes to saving money on produce, the best (and sort of obvious) tip I have is to buy what’s in season.  Oranges are showing up front and center in the produce section right now, coming in by the truck load from California and Florida (as there are no oranges trees in upstate NY, also sort of obvious).

We’ve been enjoying clementines in particular – they’re small, easy to peel and everybody here likes them (which is definitely not something I can say about all fruits and vegetables).  And of course, oranges are good for you.  Vitamin C, fiber and folate are the front runners in their nutritional profile, they are good for heart health, vision and disease prevention too.

I plucked a clementine from the 5 lb box yesterday and instead of peeling it to eat as a snack, I sliced this sucker in half with a salad for lunch in mind.

My Darling Clementine

Squeezed into a bowl with a dollop of olive oil,

Orange Juice and Olive Oil for Salad Dressing

and whisked together with my fork with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder at the bottom of my favorite big blue mixing bowl, right before loading in my salad ingredients.

I transferred everything to this salad plate for photo purposes only,

Salmon on Tossed Salad with Orange Juice Dressing

most days I’m eating straight out of the blue bowl.

This salad was comprised of red leaf lettuce, canned salmon (also on the list of affordable healthy food items, but we’ll revisit this one in a future post) with some red pepper and cubed avocado.

I stopped buying bottled salad dressings about a year ago after reading Deep Nutrition and came to understand why it’s important to avoid vegetable oils as often as we can.  Just about EVERY bottled salad dressing (even the “organic” ones!) have some vegetable oil in them, and I’ve come to find it’s much easier on my psyche to just make my own (I haven’t run the numbers, but I would guess it’s cheaper this way too).

This was the first time I’ve ever used fresh squeezed orange juice in a salad dressing (usually it’s apple cider vinegar or balsamic, lemon, lime or Dijon mustard for the “acid”, typically paired with olive oil and seasoned simply with some garlic powder, salt and pepper) and I have to say, orange juice as salad dressing was a winner!

Salmon Salad with Orange Juice Dressing

It was delightfully sweet and a nice change from my usual salad dressing ingredients.  I went looking for more orange juice salad dressing recipes after I enjoyed this so much, I plan to make this again today but am inspired to add a little balsamic into the mix as well after looking at this Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette Dressing.  Lots of possibilities here, I’m excited to play around with this orange juice as salad dressing idea.

Simple, easy, good for you and delicious – thanks Oranges!  Let’s be friends.

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8 Responses

  • jen says:

    Going to try this! I hate my own salad dressing creations thus far and finally decided if bottled stuff is going to make me keep eating a lot of salad then it’s a small concession haha. I keep eyeing the red leaf lettuce at the store, but I don’t know. I buy the 5 pack of romaine and I eat it in less than a week, this red leaf stuff will kill me if I got that much haha. Though I suppose I could get 2 and just mix it. la la. I bought myself a giant bag of giant navel oranges and have been enjoying them… no one else will eat oranges lately.. it’s like a phase with them.. sometimes they can’t get enough and other times they won’t be in the same room with them. Kids.

    • Same thing here, we too are moving through this second 5 lb box of clementines a bit slower than the first one… I seem to be eating the most of them after the initial excitement wore off.

      I totally agree with the salad dressing thing, if it means you are eating more veggies, stick with what works! Too many changes at once often derails the whole train. One thing at a time.

      Red leaf doesn’t taste any different, I just think it’s pretty! I often buy a head of red leaf and a head of green leaf and mix them too… often with a container of pre-washed spinach as well and make my own “mixed greens”.

  • Annie says:

    WOW so much reading to do and catch up on!
    I go back and forth with salad dressing… LOVE it when I make my own… cringe when Im lazy and use a bottle of MEH…(admittedly I don’t even have a bottle of good stuff around) so double MEH

    I DO however use a lot of OJ in my dressings (and ginger) because I LOVE the flavor.
    I’ve missed ya girlie!

  • Elizabeth says:

    This may be a silly question but my curiosity is getting the best of me…what is that orange/white thing the clementine is on? Some sort of juicing thing? A cutting board? Help! :-)

  • Courtney says:

    This reminds me of my favorite spinach salad comprised of baby spinach, clementine segments, cashews, red onion and a dressing made of orange juice, honey and olive oil. Give it a try sometime. Yum. Even my kids will eat it (sometimes).

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