Summer Salads {Creamy Vegan Avocado Dressing recipe}

by JL Fields on July 6, 2017

Happy July!

It’s been hot, hot, hot around here and, since we live in a 30-year old condo with no air conditioning, our meals have been pretty simple: huge salads with raw veggies topped with air fried or pressure cooked goodies.


Because using an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, GoWISE, Fagor, etc.) generates basically zero heat in the house and the air fryer cooks foods up quickly with very little heat, as well. Best of both worlds with raw and cooked foods! (I should note that the very first air fryer I purchased – and still use – is only $75 on Amazon right now! Nab it here.

Here’s a massaged kale salad with air fried chickpeas.

Method: I massaged a bunch of kale with one ripe avocado and the juice of one lime. Meanwhile, I roasted seasoned chickpeas in the air fryer on 400°F for 15 minutes. I sprinkled some nutritional yeast on the kale, tossed with grape tomatoes and served with the chickpeas.

This is a simple soy curl fry salad.

Method: I prepared the soy curl fries recipe from my book The Vegan Air Fryer and served them over lettuce tossed with chopped veggies. I made a simple ranch dressing combining homemade soy yogurt with nutritional yeast, dill, lemon juice, and garlic powder.

A double-trouble air fryer salad, I added both air fried tempeh + air fried potato chip “croutons.”

Method: I know some of you know this but for newbies to tempeh, did you know that steaming it can really help with the texture as well as preparing the tempeh for better marinade absorption? Using the pressure cooker is a really great way to do this. I often will simply place the tempeh in a steam basket with about 1/4 cup water under the trivet and bring it to pressure for 0 minutes. When I’m patient, I allow for a natural release. Then I transfer it to a bowl for a marinade and refrigerate for the day. But in this case, I added a little veggie broth to the pressure cooker (about 1/4 cup). I sliced the tempeh into six strips and placed the strips in the pressure cooker (Instant Pot, Fagor LUX or GoWISE) and drizzled a little BBQ sauce over them. I cooked at low pressure for 1 minute and then used a natural release. I transferred the tempeh to the air fryer and cooked it for 13 minutes on 370°F. (If you don’t have an air fryer, you could sear it in a skillet, bake it or even eat right out of the pressure cooker.) In a second air fryer, I cooked thinly sliced potatoes for about 20 minutes at 390°F. I chopped them up and used them as croutons over the salad.

As may of you know, I love to bulk cook over the weekend. Sunday I cooked up several grains and beans, including black lentils and rye berries. I tossed those cold legumes and grains with chopped lettuce and a myriad of vegetables for a refreshing salad.

And I served it with this super-simple and flavorful creamy vegan avocado dressing. 



Creamy Avocado Dressing {Vegan}

Course Sauce / Dip
Servings 4
©JLFields JL Fields


  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse to a creamy consistency.

The next day I enjoyed the remaining dressing with a platter of vegetables for a hearty snack after a hot bike ride.

If you’re struggling with meal ideas and trying to find a way to beat the heat, definitely consider starting your meal with a raw vegetable base (fiber! protein! nutrients! refreshing!) and then build on it with cooked or canned beans or air fried goodies like potatoes, soy curls, tempeh, and tofu.


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