One of my favorite restaurants on the planet is Casa de Luz in Austin, Texas. It is so delicious, and I can feel the cells of my body grow more resilient with every bite of their macrobiotic, plant-based, gluten free menu. Often I think, “I would be so healthy if I ate this way every day,” but then forget to actually try until the next time I eat there. However…
Last week I needed to bring a salad to a potluck, and I didn’t have a lot of time or energy to put it together. Then I considered how yummy yet simple the daily salads are at Casa de Luz. They are often just mixed greens tossed in some kind of delicious tahini or nut-based dressing. I scanned my Casa de Luz cookbook and set to work trying to make something delicious (and hopefully not embarrassing). Their basic salad dressing recipe required only things I already had on hand. I modified it slightly for a few of our family’s dietary needs, and found it to be a success.
Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing (5 minutes)
- 1/4 cup of organic onion
- one medium organic carrot
- one stalk of organic celery
- 1/4 cup of organic Coconut Aminos (gluten free soy sauce substitute)
- 1/4 cup of organic raw tahini butter (available most stores near nut butters)
- the juice from 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup of filtered water (or more if you desire a thinner dressing)
I used a Vitamix and threw everything together and blended on high for a 10-15 seconds until well combined into a creamy golden dressing. Chopped apples are a delicious addition to this dressing’s yummy tangy flavors. You can toss ahead of serving to coat the leaves well, or just let everyone add their own.
This recipe took about 5 minutes total to make and serve. I kept the remaining in a jar in the refrigerator and am guessing it would stay fresh around 3-5 days. I’ve enjoyed it and am struck by how much more appealing salads have seemed when I have a great dressing made in advance.
Let me know if you try it and what you discover pairs well. It’s funny how homemade, clean recipes that feel like too much effort any given day sometimes truly take only five minutes.
This simple recipe is full of nutrients. The onion provides vitamins C, B6, phosphorus, folate, potassium, manganese . The carrot provides beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Potassium, B6 and fiber . Celery offers vitamin K, Vitamin A, potassium, calcium and folate.  Coconut Aminos are high in antioxidants and offer a variety of potential health protective qualities . Tahini is a source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, iron, and methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. It’s also high in Vitamin E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B15, as well as “good” fats. 
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.
So why make stuff that is often easier (and sometimes even cheaper) to buy? I like to do homestead projects because, for me, making stuff is just plain fun – at times it’s even meditative. But equally as important to me is the fact that there are often far fewer chemicals, pesticides, waste and plastics involved with things that are homemade. I also tend to appreciate the things I take time to bring to life by hand more than anything I quickly purchase on impulse.
I believe humans are wired to create. I find it interesting that when I take time to “make”, I am always more deeply satisfied at the end of the day. Additionally I love the bonus of community-building that can occur when I share or trade the things I make with others.
Try making something this week, however simple, and see if it doesn’t enrich your life and health too!
If you’d like support creating your own rituals, yardsteading and nature connection practices, check out The Handmade Life! There I offer nature-based coaching sessions, share herbal traditions, handcrafted goods, DIY workshops and herbal consultations.