Italian Dressing Mix – Plus!

I’ve been experimenting with this mix over time, and frankly am pretty pleased with this version.  It’s a way to make Italian dressing – but you can do a lot more with it (thus the Plus).  Best of all, you can mix it with spices and ingredients you probably have lying around the house.

First you need these ingredients.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried, ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tsp salt

Take all the ingredients and mix them together in a jar or other container (preferably the one you’ll keep it in).  If you have a mortar and pestle it’s even better as you can crush things together, but I just mix them together and crush them a bit with the back of a spoon.  I probably need a mortar and pestle to be a cool cook.

To make dressing, just blend 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil (or another oil), 1 teaspoon of White Wine or Rice Wine Vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon of the mix.  It’s best when you put it in a container, shake it, and let it sit in a refrigerator for awhile so the flavors blend.  Shake again before you serve.

This is a bit high in fat (olive oil, after all), but delicious.  It also goes far – it’s usually enough for a good 2 or so cups of vegetables.  I particularly like it on baby spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli – and diced tomatoes on spinach.

If you want more, merely scale it up.  You can try other vinegars, but I like these ones.

However there’s more you can do . . .

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Spicy Lemon-Soy Dip

This is one of my new “secret weapons.”  It’s a nice tasty dip that mixes savory, sour, sweet, salt, and spicy-hot all together, something like those dips you see in various Asian restaurants for spring rolls, etc.  However it also works on any vegetables – and that’s where it becomes my “secret weapon” for meals.  If I don’t want to get fancy, I just cook/steam a bunch of vegetables, whip this up, and dip away – instant tasty and healthy meal with a kick.

  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 1/2  Tbsp brown sugar
    1/2 tsp red chili flakes.

Mix all of the ingreedients together.  It makes enough for about 2 people.  Fair warning – the whole mix has about 48% of your daily sodium requirements so don’t overuse it!

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at