When someone new to the McDougall forums asks for salad dressing suggestions, this one from the Esselstyns is usually the first one posted.
Jane's 3-2-1 Salad Dressing
makes 1/3 cup
Every time we eat our daughter Jane's salads, we ask, "What is this delicious dressing?" It is easy to make and adjust to our person taste. - Ann Esselstyn
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard of choice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
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The beauty of this dressing is in its versatility. I think every time it's posted, not only are the proportions different but so are the ingredients, and it's still a super tasty, super healthy dressing. As long as you keep the proportions the same - 3 parts one item, 2 parts another, 1 part the last - you can't go wrong. I usually go with ounces to make a total of 6 ounces of dressing, which lasts for a few meals around here. It's always gone before it goes bad.
You can use any kind of vinegar, any style mustard, any liquid sweetener.
You can make it sweeter by using 2 parts honey and 1 part mustard; make it spicier by making it 3 parts whole seed mustard and only 2 parts vinegar. You can use agave, molasses, honey (I know, not vegan, but neither is Dr. McDougall or Dr. Esselstyn).
Give it an oriental twang by using rice wine vinegar, wasabi or wasabi-infused mustard, and honey. My husband likes it with balsamic, wasabi mustard and either honey or maple syrup as a substitute for soy sauce in our plain old veggies and rice stir fry dishes. When I stick it in the smoothie cup and pop it on the Ninja to blend, it comes out a little thicker and frothier than just plain whisking would do.
With all the flavored vinegars, flavored mustards, even flavored honey styles out there, you can make this different every time and never be bored with it.