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Salad Dressing without Vinegar or Mayo??

Hi! I am new here, so If I am posting this in the wrong section please let me know!
Ok, Well, here is my question. I cook quite often, and my BF is NOT a picky eater. A couple thing's he doesn't like but he can eat.
But the one thing he HATES is salad dressing. He likes almost all the veggies/fruits/nuts/meats that go into salads, but HATES vinegar and mayonnaise. Even the tiniest amount hidden in something and he can taste it and gags.

SO what are some good ideas for a flavorful, yummy salad dressing with no vinegar or mayo? I know lemon juice and olive oil are good, but they are so boring after about the 5th time... we both like to eat healthy and he really wants to like salads, but veggies in a bowl are very boring! Lol.
Thank everyone for their help.

Extra info
-No food allergies.
-BF doesn't like eggs, or cheese.(But can eat them)
-We try to eat as little pork as possible, but other meat or meat fats are fine.
-He likes mustard in small amounts. (Go figure. Weird.)

Thanks again!

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  1. I make a Green Goddess dressing without the mayo. I don't miss it. Annie's makes a version, but I don't really care for it. The tahini overpowers the other flavors.


    1. Avocado pureed in blender with lime and spices?
      Creme fraiche as a base instead of mayo?

      1. Tahini and lemon juice thinned with water

        Buttermilk and herbs

        1. Japanese roasted sesame dressing.

          Two homemade ones I quite like

          - Mix together lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and a bit of miso paste.
          - Lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste and freshly ground black pepper.

          Indian chaat masala is a powdered mix of roasted spices which is meant to be sprinkled on food (no cooking needed). It goes quite well on salads.

          1. Welcome! I make a salad dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, Parmesan (or Romano) cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. It comes out almost creamy and you don't really know that it's cheese in there. The ratio is 1/4 cup lemon, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup cheese, with 1 garlic clove. My husband does not like Parmesan or Romano cheese but likes this dressing.

            Another option is to use salsa, maybe thinned with a little olive oil, as a dressing or how about honey mustard?

            1. My biggest suggestion is buttermilk-based dressings. You can make ranch without the mayo, by subbing sour cream or greek yogurt, for example. Blue cheese is also a classic buttermilk-based dressing, but since he doesn't like cheese, that might be a no-go.

                1. You could use buttermilk and yogurt as a sub for mayo. Add herbs you like and/or garlic.

                  I woulda suggested Caesar dressing, but since your BF doesn't like eggs or cheese, I guess that's not a good idea.

                  1. Does he like yogurt? I use full fat yogurt to replace mayo most of the time.

                    1. he hates ALL vinegars? for example, i really dislike balsamic, but will often use rice vinegar in dressings.

                      you can use any other citrus in addition to lemon -- be sure to include the zest for added oomph.

                      yogurt makes a good mayo alternative.

                      depending on the veggies, nut butters thinned with water and mixed with citrus are also good as dressings.

                      1. Here's a recipe for a green apple salad dressing with no vinegar or mayo:

                        1 green apple, cored (Granny Smith)
                        1/2 cup water
                        1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
                        3 to 4 cloves garlic
                        1 to 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
                        Herbamare, another seasoned salt or just plain sea salt, to taste

                        Blend everything in a blender, check salt and blend again.

                        I also sometimes make a peanut dressing with peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice and some chili paste, all thinned with water. It's very nice on a salad with some shredded red cabbage, sprouts, red pepper and roasted peanuts. I usually add some Chinese black vinegar, too (it's also called Chinkiang vinegar). It's aged so long it has almost no vinegar tang left, and I think if your boyfirend doesn't mind the amount of vinegar in prepared mustard he probably won't even be able to taste the vinegariness of black vinegar when it's mixed with peanut butter. But if he can't stand that either, the acid from the lime juice and chili paste is enough.

                        A similarly nutty-tasting dressing can be made by combining miso, tahini and some water. If you put those things in a blender with some shredded carrots and a little fresh ginger and puree completely, it makes something like that carrot dressing they serve in Japanese restaurants. Only add salt after it's blended and you taste it, because the miso itself is very salty.

                        One last thought is to just use salsa as a salad dressing, maybe with a little sour cream stirred in if you want it to be creamy.

                        1. I often make a super quick salad dressing by whisking together lemon juice and hummus, or instead of lemon a splash of milk or almond milk. Takes seconds.

                          This carrot ginger dressing is amazing, the rice vinegar is very mild, although you could try swapping it out with a little more lemon

                          I love this recipe and make lots of the yogurt dressing to have for salads:

                          Other ideas would be to use a salsa as salad dressing, or mix olive tapenade or pesto with a thinned plain yogurt or just olive oil and lemon.

                          Try making your basic dressing with different citrus like lime, grapefruit, or orange.

                          This link has 15 great dressings (and tons of salad ideas), the curried dressing and avocado are two i've loved:


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            Wow thanks!! I will save those links!

                          2. Several people already mentioned Lemon juice. In French "Vinaigrette" tradition, lemon juice is a standard alternative to vibegar, and it even gives some unique flavors in dresdings with olive oil.

                            Goes particularly well with some chopped fresh herbs, like chives and tarragon.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: eatzalot

                              Thanks. Everyone on here has been so helpful!

                            2. Soy sauce and variations thereof like Maggi, teriyaki, tamari....combined with ponzu, lemon juice, or other acid, plus neutral oil and optional splash of roasted sesame oil.

                              1. I don't like vinegar of any sort either, so I always replace it with lemon or lime juice in any recipe. Many of the ones I make have already been mentioned: olive oil, lemon and maybe Dijon mustard and shallots; ranch with lots of fresh herbs (though I love mayonnaise, you could sub sour cream); avocado and lime with fresh green chiles or even better, with roasted tomatillos; miso dressing; tahini and lemon ones, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice/olive oil; sesame oil and soy and lime. Good luck!

                                1. Olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, a bit of sugar, and some Dijon mustard. Whisk well - the mustard is a natural emulsifier, making it come out nice and creamy.

                                  1. I just made this one a couple of days ago and it is delicious - Roasted Poblano. No vinegar. Lime juice, olive oil, buttermilk.


                                    1. Olive oil without an acid will be too rich on many palates (also, if it's a powerfully flavored one, it can benefit by being diluted with another oil) ; consider amplifying your array of oils. Walnut oil is classic for salads. Hazelnut oil is great with roasted vegetable salads, and sesame and pumpkin seed oils can be used as condiments.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        Of course, what a great suggestion! Nut oils make all the difference and are really wonderful in all kinds of combinations (maybe the BF could abide sherry vinegar or something even mellower like white balsamic -- those are wonderful with nut oils in vinaigrettes, with or without mustard).

                                      2. EVOO and salt is all I usually use. Any appropriate favorings (mustard, herbs) could be added.

                                        1. Not a drop of vinegar nor a smidgen of mayo in this tasty Green Goddess dressing: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. A pureed chimichurri (made with lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar) makes a great salad dressing - in the blender, the copious quantities of herbs give it a creamy texture without mayo.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                              Thank you, so do I just read how to make chimichurri for the amounts of herbs and what not? Is it hard?

                                              1. re: Chandler114

                                                Very easy and flexible. A classic chimichurri will have parsley, oregano, garlic, a little crushed chili flake, a bit of acid (vinegar or lemon), oil, salt and pepper - here's a basic recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/... It's not normally blended, but I like the blended texture for salad dressings.

                                                Anyway, you can add any fresh herbs you like to it, and change the proportion of acid to oil depending on your taste preference and how you want to use it. My DH is a cilantro freak, so I often just shove a bunch of cilantro and a bunch of parsley in the blender with a few garlic cloves, a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of oil and let it rip, then taste for balance/seasoning later.

                                            2. I really like the gazpacho dressing in this salad, you can definitely substitute lemon or lime juice for the vinegar.

                                              1. Pico de Gallo salsa with an extra squeeze of lime

                                                Soy sauce, dijon mustard and honey (blended together)

                                                Miso, horseradish powder and sugar

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Oh that sounds interesting! I am half hispanic and never even thought of pico. Haha He would like that!

                                                2. I've used things like tzatziki or savory spiced yoghurt (yoghurt, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, maybe some lemon juice - something along those lines) as salad dressings. I know other people who use hummus instead of mayo in their potato salads.