Lorraine Kearney Nutrition 

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Dressings & Dips!

Today's post is all about the best accompaniment to almost all dishes - dressings and dips! Salad dressing, crudités dip and pasta sauce - we've got you covered!


Dressings and dips can be a vital part of maintaining a nutritious lifestyle. People may assume that being healthy means you have to eat boring, lifeless salad leaves with no flavor, but that's not true! We have to be able to enjoy the foods we eat, otherwise this massive part of our lives (eating) is just boring! Having a zingy dressing on a well-made salad, a nutty sauce on whole-grain pasta, or a creamy dip for veggies makes eating healthy more fun and delicious!

The avo-lime dressing is the perfect zingy, creamy dressing for any salad! Avocados have gotten immensely popular in the last few years, and for good reason! They're super versatile - they can be eaten on toast, in desserts, and in delicious salad dressings like this one. They take on seasoning really well, which is perfect for this dressing. Avocados also have a ton of health benefits. They contain lots of potassium and fatty acids, both of which are important for cardiovascular health, neurotransmission and cell metabolism. Avocados contain vitamin K, which improves insulin sensitivity, as well as vitamin C, which protects the immune system. They also contain magnesium, which regulates muscle contractions and glucose levels. Avocados can also protect you from osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone density, because of their calcium content.

The dressing also contains ginger, which has an array of health benefits, and it makes this dressing punchy! It contains vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. It also can help soothe the intestinal tract and release intestinal gas. Additionally, ginger can settle an upset stomach, relieve vomiting, inhibit nausea and ease diarrhea, as well as remedy morning sickness. These health benefits come about because of the gingerol in ginger, which is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea. Ginger can also protect against several types of cancer, and relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.


I posted the tzatziki a few weeks ago for Superbowl Sunday, but I'm resharing it because it's just so good! It's another really good choice for crudités.



The homemade pesto is a great sauce to keep in your fridge for when you want to add flavor to some whole grain, gluten free pasta! It's simple to throw together and tastes super delicious. Pesto is typically made with basil, but you can always add in some spinach to add some extra iron to the sauce! Basil is a super healthy and fresh herb, containing vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, maintaining cardiovascular health and bone development. It also contains beta-carotenes, which are an antioxidant that can lower the risk for many diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.


It's typical for pesto to include pine nuts, but you can substitute these with walnuts if you'd prefer. Pine nuts have a ton of nutrients. They contain monounsaturated fats, protein, iron and magnesium, all of which can help boots energy. These nutrients, as well as vitamin K, vitamin E and manganese, can support heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Pine nuts also have anti-aging antioxidants, such as vitamins A, B, C, D and E. They can also help maintain healthy vision through lutein, which is a carotenoid.

The homemade ranch is a recipe I came up after getting a craving for a dip my mom invented years ago that she served with a bunch of veggies. I hadn't had it for so long and decided to recreate it from memory - I realised it had all the flavors of a ranch dressing, but just in yogurt form! I actually preferred it to regular ranch - it was a lot thicker but it tasted lighter because it was yogurt instead of mayo. I urge you to try it - you might be converted!


The ranch uses greek yogurt, which is a fantastic source of probiotics. These are a healthy bacteria that boosts the immune system and are great for optimal gut health. It's also a great source of protein, which we need for regenerate our cells. Make sure you're buying whole milk, organic yogurt so you can get the most health benefits out of the dip!


If you recreate these recipes, be sure to post them on Instagram and tag us @lorrainekearneynutrition; we love to see you eating delicious, nutritious foods!

Avo-lime dressing

Preparation: 5 mins


Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1 inch ginger

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 6 mint leaves

  • 1 medium orange, juiced

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons cilantro (small handful)

  • Another 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (for topping)

  • Water as needed

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and mix on high until incorporated.

  2. Add water as needed until it resembles a flowing salad dressing.

  3. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro; add to your favorite salad.

Tzatziki dip

Preparation: 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber

  • 1 cup greek yogurt

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1-2 tablespoons dried mint

Directions

  1. Dice or grate the cucumber into the yogurt

  2. Grate the garlic clove into the yogurt

  3. Add the dried mint and mix together. Serve immediately!

Pesto

Preparation: 5 mins

Makes about 1 cup of sauce

Recipe by SimplyRecipes


Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times.

  2. Add the garlic and Parmesan and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

  3. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.

  4. Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for up to two weeks.

Homemade Ranch

Preparation: 5 mins


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt

  • 2 tbsp sour cream

  • splash milk/buttermilk

  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp chives, finely minced

  • Squeeze of lemon juice

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve, or leave in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to develop. Serve with crudités!

Remember, eating healthy doesn't have to look boring!

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