Dunk Your Lunch: The Joy of Tahini Dressing

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On a personal note: Since the day I took this photo, there have only been two afternoons when I did not eat a huge bunch of kale with the tahini dressing in “dunk fashion.” It has changed my life, too! Perfect for any hectic schedule.

Sometimes assembling vegetables into a salad bowl is just too arduous. Maybe you’re getting ready for work or just starving and know there’s a bunch of fresh greens in the refrigerator but you have no time or energy to do it. If, on the other hand, you have a jar of dressing made up over the weekend, your problem is solved. Slice or grab another vegetable or two for interest and pack them up. Or set them on the counter like I do when working from home during lunch, and start eating. Hard-boiled eggs are tasty with a drizzle of dressing on them, too.

Here’s where the benefits of tahini come in. Not only is there a smooth satisfying umami element to counteract the vinegar due to the wonderful fat, it also gives body and a big nutrition boost to your dressing.  A tahini dressing tastes more like food, and it doesn’t drip like a normal vinaigrette. Balsamic and tahini are a classic combo. Add a little garlic, lemon, mustard, oil and wine vinegar to create a delicious mix.

Dunk Your Lunch insetIt takes no more time to make a big batch or dressing (our recipe makes two cups), so you can bring a jar to leave in the refrigerator at work, and have one at home. The dressing will keep for weeks so long as it’s refrigerated.

Dunk Your Lunch EggsRecently, there was a feature article in the New York Times entitled, “Failure To Lunch.” Turns out almost all of us eat lunch at our desks. The “Dunk Your Lunch” strategy makes that very doable, with no mess or hassle of tossing a salad, or washing a bowl. And unlike those cute mason jar salads that you supposedly just shake to combine everything perfectly (yeah, right), our technique actually coats all the ingredients with dressing. I leave the stems long for ease of dipping, and added crunch.

This is also a great method for upping your kale or greens consumption. Think of it as an adult variation of the little carrots and ranch dressing that was a standard offering to children on school lunch trays.

Finally, don’t overlook its usefulness as a late night snack–my friend likes to have it as an alternative to those vinegar and salt potato chips she loves. When combined with lacinato kale (also called Tuscan or dino kale) you get the requisite crunch as well as the salt and vinegar. And because it’s packed with bold flavors, fiber, and some healthy fat, a few munches can take the edge off late-night cravings and leave you satisfied.