Cooking with CSUMB: healthy and heavenly salad dressings

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Basic Needs Initiative program paired together for their monthly Cooking with CSUMB Zoom event on Feb. 3. Cooking with CSUMB is a live Zoom series, featuring recipes demonstrated by faculty and staff. 

This month’s Cooking With CSUMB was hosted by Care Manager Joanna Snawder-Manzo and Basic Needs intern Misha Arnold. Students were given the opportunity to learn healthy and delicious salad dressing recipes. 

The first dressing, Holly’s Dressing, was inspired by Robin Galas, a seed-to-plate educator located in the Bay Area. Students could follow along with a video instruction where Galas demonstrated how to make the dressing and shared helpful cooking tips along the way.

The ingredients to Holly’s Dressing follows:

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup stone ground or Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • juice from ¼ of a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Galas recommends putting all of the ingredients into a mason jar and shaking until it is fully combined and using empty spice bottles to store the dressing for on-the-go use to prevent the salad from wilting. 

The salad includes:

  • Crisp greens like romaine lettuce
  • Roasted vegetables (brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell pepper, etc.)
  • Feta or goat cheese
  • Toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds
  • A protein: grilled chicken, steak, hard boiled eggs (optional)
  • Holly’s dressing or any of your choosing

Mix all of the salad ingredients together then top with the dressing and enjoy!

The second half of the event was headed by Arnold, who led a live demonstration on a dressing recipe that does not contain any oils, salt, or added sugars. 

Arnold stresses the importance of healthy eating by dropping advice in the chat and throughout her own demonstration.

The recipe for Arnold’s dressing is as follows: 

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 6 drops lemon juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 0.5 – 1 tsp dill (I recommend freeze-dried)
  • 0.5 – 1 tsp chili powder
  • 0.5 – 1 tsp black pepper

Once you have all of the ingredients, whisk them all together with a fork to mix it. Arnold recommends tasting the dressing periodically and adding additional seasonings to taste. Once everything tastes to your liking, pour the dressing into a tupperware or jar with a lid to store in a refrigerator.
The next Cooking with CSUMB event will be held on March 3. Basic Needs Initiative encourages students to check out the Basic Needs Hub, an on-campus food pantry. To learn more about what food-based assistance programs are available to CSUMB students, head to

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