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The craveability of a salad often hinges on the dip, sauce, and dressing paired with it. These vessels of flavor have the power to seduce you into eating 4-6 cups of leafy greens a day or leave you uninspired to prioritize a healthful lunch. Then there's the added layer of dodgy dressings, either store-bought or found at most restaurants. Many of these are fraught with rancid vegetable oils, low-quality fats that hike up inflammation, preservatives, added sugars—even high fructose corn syrup. And this negates the beautiful intention of flooding the body with plant fiber, phytonutrients, and whole foods. 

At Sakara, we take dressings very seriously. We recognize these secret sauces for what they are; a chance to inject joy and pleasure, plus skin- and brain-loving quality fats onto a plate of plants. It's important to seek quality above all else, and let nutrient density and deliciousness carry equal weight in the recipe process. With that in mind, we are sharing three dressings and dips for squeezing in enough colorful, life-affirming vegetables in your daily routine, straight from the brilliance of the Sakara chefs.

Spiced Citrus Dressing 

This bright, tangy dressing dances with a bevy of spices, each with its own standout nutrient profile. Turmeric and ginger champion anti-inflammatory effects, cinnamon stokes metabolism and balances blood sugar, and apple cider vinegar adds enzymes, proteins, and immune-balancing benefits. The healthy fats that reside in the organic coconut yogurt help to transport the vitamins and minerals to your cells, while you bask in the creamy, satiating texture. The result is a mustard-orange bite that will wow a salad made of bitter greens, nut cheese, and wintertime citrus like grapefruit or blood oranges



Makes about 1½ cups

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut yogurt
  • 2½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ginger juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt, or more to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2/3 cup sunflower oil



  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the sunflower oil. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly stream in the oil until the dressing is emulsified. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.



Butternut Squash Hummus

The issue with store-bought hummus is that accompanying the plant protein and fibrous chickpeas, you may be ingesting herbicides like glyphosate and low-quality, rancid oils. Forgo the inflammatory ingredient list and make this whipped, fluffy hummus your new go-to. This straightforward recipe offers a nice balance of sweet and spicy, thanks to cumin. Cumin also contains the compound,  thymol, which helps stimulate enzymes and stomach acid for better digestion, while the butternut squash adds its own nutrient profile that’s hard to beat: fiber, magnesium, and sexually-stimulating zinc. Pair it with matchstick veggies, slathered on a sandwich, or anywhere hummus is welcome.  



Makes about 1 cup

  • 2 cups diced organic butternut squash, whole or pre-cut
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon plus a pinch Himalayan salt 
  • ¼ cup cooked or canned organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Pinch of cinnamon 



  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. 
  2. Peel butternut squash and dice into half-inch cubes. In a bowl, toss the squash with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked through. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a food processor, combine the roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, garlic, remaining olive oil, cumin, tahini, lemon juice, water, salt and a pinch of cinnamon and blend until smooth. (If you have one, an immersion blender would work as well.) Taste and add more salt, if desired. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.



Cashew-Herb Dressing

This extra-herbaceous mix skyrockets a simple salad’s flavor potential. Creamy, courtesy of the cashew base, the parsley and dill make this special on a few handfuls of mixed greens, on a hearty sandwich with artichokes or—if you’re not 100 percent plant-based—pasture-raised eggs. Go ahead and squeeze in chlorophyll-rich greens anywhere you can. 




  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3 fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon packed fresh dill fronds
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt or more, to taste



  1. In a blender, puree all the ingredients with two tablespoons of water until smooth and creamy. Season with more flaky sea salt, if desired. 


More Ways to Elevate Simple, At-Home Meals




Filed Under: Recipes

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