Since vegetables make up the largest volume of food that I eat, I’m always looking for great ways to season, sauce, and dress them up in different ways. Sure, I have plenty of my own recipes and I like to see try recipes that other people have created. When I find recipes I like, I adopt them as they are or tweak them to suit my tastes and preferences. Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings by Mark Sisson with Jennifer Meier offers 120 easy to prepare ways to take simple produce and protein dishes to a new level of enjoyment. This 7 1/4 x 9 1/2-inch 250-page, full color paleo, primal, low-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, mostly dairy-free cookbook also includes dips, marinades, condiments and other creative ways to transform simple foods into Primal masterpieces.
6a00e552ad01da8834019101d7314c970c-320wiWhether you’re looking to make an almost traditional turkey gravy without grain-based flour, a spicy poblano sauce without cream, a savory spice rub, or thousand island dressing with homemade mayo, or a fruit-sweetened dark chocolate pudding sauce to pour over strawberries, this book can help. I’ll tell you more about what I like about this book in my next post.
Over the course of about two months I made 10 recipes from the book––five salad dressings, two dips, a spice blend, a marinade, and a sauce.
Here are my favorites and the ones I want to make again soon:

  • Stir Fry Sauce page 92–used to marinated chicken drumsticks
  • Tahini-Olive Dressing page 154
  • Sumac Dressing page 158
  • Sweet Potato Bacon Dip page 204
  • Artichoke Dip page 208 (w/more sea salt & garlic)—served over a fritatta

6a00e552ad01da883401901be130c7970b-300wiI used the Stir Fry Sauce to marinate chicken drumsticks (photo right) that I served with roasted shiitake mushrooms with onions, baked Kabocha Squash, and steamed red chard. It would also make a great marinade for white meat fish. This was one of the few (or maybe only) recipes in the book that called for tamari soy sauce. If you avoid all traces of soy, you can sub Coconut Aminos, a low-sodium, coconut-based soy sauce alternative. You might want to add one to three teaspoons of unrefined sea salt, which I prefer over kosher salt because it contains a broader range of trace minerals if you choose Celtic, Himalayan, Redmond Lima, or Redmond Real Salt.
The Tahini Olive Dressing and the Sumac Dressing (both contain sesame tahini, an ingredients I used a lot during my vegetarian days) were great on tossed green side salads, main dish salads, and over blanched vegetables. Note: Do not use sesame butter, a thicker paste that contains the bitter hulls of the sesame seeds. I liked the slightly briny flavor of the black olives against the olive oil and lemon juice and other seasonings.
6a00e552ad01da883401901be13120970b-320wiThe Sweet Potato Bacon Dip offers a great way to vary baked, mashed sweet potatoes, one of my favorite go-to dishes. The addition of bacon and smoked paprika add a rich,  smoky flavor that makes this recipe a winner as a dip for jicama or paleo or primal crackers, or as a side dish or topping for chicken or turkey breast or pork chops. It might also be good over grilled white meat fish. Do bake the sweet potatoes since microwaving adversely affects the nutritional value of food and never yields the caramelization and sweetness that comes from baking whole sweet potatoes in their jackets. Boiling is also inferior.
I plan to make more recipes Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings. I still have flagged a Fennel Blend, Mushroom Powder, Sun Dried Tomato Dip, Tartar Sauce, Sweet and Smoky Paprika Dressing, and Arugula-Watercress Pesto.
Keep reading. I’ll be doing a giveaway of Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings later this week. If you can’t wait and you want to order this book right away (or any of the other Primal Blueprint books), click the underlined text above or on the icons below.