Ginger Sesame Dressing

From a young age my son, who’s now 13, has been a picky eater. He enjoyed the standards like pizza and burgers, but to get him to eat vegetables, I had to serve them with a Thai peanut sauce from our local grocery store. He was eating veggies, but I had created a monster.

Once I began packing lunches to go to kindergarten, I couldn’t send peanut sauce due to allergy concerns. So I started making my own version using tahini or sesame butter. (And you can make this kid-approved sauce with really any nut or seed butter, including sunflower seed butter, which is usually school-lunch-safe.) These days, my kids are better at eating veggies, but they still prefer them dipped in this tangy, rich sauce that’s packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. That’s fine by me.

2 mins



  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing rice wine vinegar or other mild vinegar (or lime juice for more tang)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (or whatever nut or seed butter you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves (optional)
  • Salt to taste


Throw everything in the blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add a little water if you’d like to use it as a dressing for greens.


Kids Can:

  • Smell the different ingredients (they might be new to them!)
  • Measure and help blend

Grown-ups Can:

  • Start a discussion about trying new foods. Keep it positive! Tell a story about something you didn’t prefer as a child but now you love.
  • Talk about how we can politely say “no” to foods we don’t wish to eat.
    A photo of Cheryl.

    Cheryl Knecht Muñoz

    Cheryl is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a cooking school for kids and their families in River Forest, IL. As a chef, instructor, and working mom, she is passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing good food together.



    What is one profession that you’re appreciating now more than ever before?

    (Shout-out to the grocery store restockers!)