Life’s Guarantees + Plant Based Lemon Tahini Dressing


Here’s what I know for sure.

Life can be good and happy and life can be terribly hard and sad. Sometimes back to back, double feature style.

It’s kind of like watching Bridesmaids and laughing your ass off until there are tears and then BAM, Schindler’s List comes on and the tears just keep rolling down your face, leaving salty trails behind them.

Life is a rollercoaster of emotions. Ups and downs, awesome days and stupid days, laughing, crying and sometimes everything all at the same exact moment.

Through it all, there are some guarantees in life that are important to remember.

Some of these guarantees we all experience, some are unique to each of us, and others are only guarantees if we make the choice to allow them to show up in our life.

Let’s break all this down and get some clarity in today’s fuckery – are you with me?

First, let’s look at some guarantees that we all have in common and that none of us have any control over. Maybe it’s the consistency that makes these guarantees comforting, or maybe it’s that they aren’t up for debate. Whatever it is, we can rest easy knowing the following truths with absolute certainty:

  • The sun and moon will rise and set.
  • Gravity always does its job.
  • We will always inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, until we die.
  • We will all die.

So no matter how much of a shit show your day turns out to be, as long as you’re still alive, the sun will shine, you won’t accidentally be uprooted into outer space, and your lungs will fill with oxygen. If nothing else is going your way, hold on to that.

The next set of guarantees are personal. These are different from person to person and unlike gravity, they morph and change throughout our life because of a little thing called impermanence, but we will always have them in one form or another. And this is good because humans like consistency and routine, so our own personal guarantees – no matter how strange – act as an anchor. And regardless of how much someone has their shit together, we all need anchors because life is so unpredictable by nature.

At this current moment in my life, here are some of my guarantees:

  • Everyday at 1:30 pm my cat, Panda will start acting like an asshole and freak out because he knows that at 2 pm he’ll get wet food and he can’t handle the excitement.
  • Every Wednesday I write my Saturday fuckery to you and for the first 30-60 minutes, I stare at my screen and think to myself: What the fuck am I going to write this week? And then I write a really bad first draft, and I tweak it throughout the the week until I’ve edited something that’s worth your time to read.
  • If I eat an apple I will burp, and it’s not a dainty little cutsie girly burp. The sound that comes out of me after I eat an apple sounds like it should come out of a biker bar bouncer named Hammer. Hammer is 6 feet 5 inches tall, 300 pounds, has self inflicted no front teeth, has a thing for knives and snacks on small children. The frequency and pitch of my burp should be coming from that guy. Why and how it comes out of me is a mystery.

No matter how shitty or unpredictable my week is going, I know that I’ll be entertained everyday at 1:30pm by my cat. I know that on Wednesday my ass will be in my writing chair questioning my ability to entertain, educate and inspire through words, but by Saturday morning at 9am Pacific time, I’ll have sorted it out.

And lastly, I know that if I want to freak someone out, all I have to do is eat an apple. It might not seem like a lot, but when I combine it with the whole sun / moon, gravity and oxygen thing, it brings me comfort.

Then we have the guarantees that work in our favor, but only if we make the choice to have these guarantees show up in our life. The action steps to lock down these guarantees are often out of people’s comfort zones, so they frequently get ignored, put off for later or they become the brunt of misinterpretation.

Here are a few of them:

  • If we eat healthy food every day (by healthy I mean whole plant foods and less of everything else) we will have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, a lower BMI, a stronger immune system, a healthier heart and protection and often even reversal of type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancers, autoimmune disorders and other degenerative and chronic diseases.
  • If we engage in physical activity every day for at least 30 minutes, our mood will improve and our outlook on life will become more positive.
  • If we sleep a solid 7-8 hours per night, our body and mind will be better equipped to glide through the day even when bullshit happens.

Unlike gravity, engaging in things that guarantee a healthy body and mind is a choice that you have to make every single day.

Some days that’s easy.

Making your green smoothie is like brushing your teeth – effortless and part of your routine. You look forward to that brisk morning walk and can’t wait to get out the door. And your bed looks like a warm cocoon that sweetly calls your name, with lights out by 10 pm.

Other days it’s not so easy.

You don’t want anything in your mouth if doesn’t belong to the donut family. Exercise doesn’t even enter your mind as a possibility. And binge watching Narcos until 3am doesn’t seem like a choice as much as a requirement.

Wherever you’re at with the choices you make for your beautiful bod, it’s okay.

As long as you understand that you can have the same health guarantees as the rest of us by making the choice more often than not to eat healthy food, be active and get enough sleep over and over again, than you’re on your way and headed in the right direction.

Donut Narcos binges might happen in the midst of working towards these guarantees. It’s called life. But don’t let it stop you from moving forward and making a different choice tomorrow.

And if you get lost, confused, off track, don’t know where to start or just need a friend in the process, you have me.

A couple of weeks ago I did a teleseminar about healing your relationship with food. It was fun to do a fuckery in person (or should we call it a puckery?)

I answered a couple of questions after the talk but there were a lot more that I didn’t have time to answer. Over the next few weeks, I’ll work on answering all of the questions that came in.

Here’s the first one.


I was hoping to get some ideas for food to pack for my 4 days on the road when I move from Maine to Texas next month. I want to eat healthy & inexpensively, packing whatever I can in my cooler. What I want to avoid is running out of food or getting bored with what I’ve packed.


For starters, this person is already on the right track because they’re bringing a cooler along with them. When you go on a road trip, take after this smart cookie and make room for a cooler. It’ll allow for more variety when planning your meals on the road.

When deciding what food to pack, ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Is it nutrient dense and consists of whole plant foods?
  2. Is it easy to prepare on the go?
  3. Is it easy to eat on the go?
  4. Is it yummy eaten cold?

If you answered yes to all four of these, than you have a winner and it should be on your road trip menu (along with your best of the 80’s mix, a couple of audio books and back to back episodes of the WTF podcast).

Here’s what I’d pack if it were me venturing out on this trip:

  1. Cold soup like vichyssoise or gazpacho.
  2. Cold salads like potato salad, quinoa salad, lentil salad, or grain salads.
  3. Wraps. The trick with wraps is to use tortillas that won’t get soggy over time. Sprouted corn tortillas work really well for this. This type of tortilla is typically small, so you would need to make a few of them. This is great because it will give you variety. Maybe fill a couple with hummus and Kalamata olives, tofu scramble with lots of greens, and carrot cashew pate with cucumber. The possibilities are endless on this one.
  4. Use a spiralizer to spiral some cucumbers and carrots and put them in one container. Make a couple of sauces and pack those separately. Pesto sauce and peanut sauce are yummy options. When it’s time to eat, just place some spiralized veggies into a bowl, add some sauce and stir so that the veggie noodles get all saucy. Top with some walnut parm to seal the deal.
  5. Sandwich kits. Pack some bread, a few avocados, some sliced veggies and a yummy dressing, like my cashew ranch, my Caesar dressing, or the tahini dressing recipe that I’m giving you today. Pack all of these things separately and then assemble your sandwich when you get hungry. This way the bread won’t get soggy and you can make each one fresh.
  6. Easy to eat fruit. Wash some grapes and put them in a container, wash some apples, cut up a melon, bring bananas – anything that isn’t messy.
  7. Travel size almond butter packets. These are great for whipping up an almond butter and banana sandwich or just eating as is or with an apple.

The last thing to remember is to bring any kitchen tools that you’ll need. A little plastic cutting board is useful, a little sharp knife, a plate and a bowl, silverware and some napkins.

Hopefully this is enough to turn your engine on and get your wheels turning (had to do it).

Okay – we’ve covered some good ground here, don’t you think?

Get ready to get your panties in a twist, because today’s recipe is prize winning.

Here’s the ultimate sauce to put over anything and everything.

Use this sauce as a salad dressing, use it to top veggies and grains, use it as sandwich spread, put it on sweet potatoes, use it in place of sour cream – seriously, just put it on every damn thing you eat.

If you make a batch at the beginning of the week, it’ll make simple, easy meals 100% satisfying and delicious throughout your entire week.

Or you could just let me do the meal planning for you and all you have to do is follow along.

Enjoy this recipe for Lemon Tahini Dressing, sometimes called “Tahini Crack” or “T Crack” in our private Facebook group.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Author: Molly Patrick


  • ½ cup tahini 110g
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 average sized lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 6 dates if your dates are huge or you like it less sweet, use 4 dates, pitted and simmered in water for 10 minutes
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup water


  • Place all of the ingredients in your blender and blend until creamy and smooth, about one full minute (make sure to drain the water from the dates before you add them to the blender).
  • Use this as salad dressing, pour it over veggies, use it to roast butternut squash, use it as mayo and use it to drizzle over tacos and burritos. You can use this sauce for any damn thing and it will be delicious.


If making this for one or two people, feel free to cut this recipe in half. This dressing will last for about a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and it freezes well.
This dressing is sometimes called “Tahini Crack” or “T Crack” in our private Facebook group.

I hope that you have a happy week. May it be filled with guarantees that work in your favor.

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Susannah (Lemon and Coconut) on October 18, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Wonderful post Molly. You just can’t go wrong with tahini and lemon, GORGEOUS! 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on October 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Thank you Susannah!
      You’re right – the two go hand in hand.

  2. M on November 18, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Hi! Great recipe! Does this keep well in the refrigerator? How long do you think it would last? Thanks 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on November 18, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Hi there! This keeps brilliantly in the refrigerator for up to a week – maybe longer, but I always eat the whole batch before a week is up.

  3. Belinda on November 29, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Hi Molly, thanks for being awesome! That’s all ??

    • Molly Patrick on November 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Belinda!

  4. Kandy on December 31, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    What is the least amount of dates that could be used? Diabetic here and would like to use a bit less if possible. If not dates could a little stevia be used or coconut sugar?

  5. Gary on February 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I just tried to make Lemon Tahini dressing for a salad. I wasn’t thinking and left it on high in my VitaMix. In just a minute or so, smooth and creamy was left far behind and it became quite stiff and airy. It was more like tahini mousse. It was quite odd, but still delicious. I was able to thin some down to make a salad dressing again, but I am thinking about ways to use this stiffer concoction as It is most interesting. Perhaps as an appetizer with/on sliced or veggies like roasted red pepper chunks or cucumber slices. What do you think?

    • Molly Patrick on February 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Gary –
      I think all of those ideas are awesome!
      Keep me posted 😉

  6. Lisa Rose Faga on March 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Hi!! Thanks to a friend of mine and yours I have found this recipe and your site…..I have always wondered about tahini this will give me a reason to try.
    I love fresh foods, clean eating I will see if you have a Facebook page, I have given my email hoping to find in it some exciting healthy ideas.

    Thank You and my friend Denise Stroh.

    Lisa Rose Faga

    • Molly Patrick on March 25, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Hey Lisa – that’s so awesome! Welcome aboard 🙂

  7. Linda Siegert on April 4, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Can you use Almond Butter in place of Tahini? Just wondering.

    • Molly Patrick on April 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Sunflower butter and pumpkin seed butter work well. I’ve never tried almond butter 😉

      • MamaTree on October 15, 2017 at 11:37 am

        5 stars
        Thank you for these substitution ideas! I need to avoid sesame & cashews in our cooking because of a family member’s allergies. Your yummy recipes & the incredible Facebook group’s community are giving us so much hope & life. Keep on keepin’ on. xoxo

  8. Holly on May 3, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I’ve been making all my life as I am Lebanese and still love my grandmothers recipe. But this stuff is AWESOME!!! I can’t stop eating it. Great recipe!

    • Molly Patrick on May 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

      So glad you like it, Holly!

  9. Holly on May 3, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I left out the word tahini ^^^ above…I NEED TO MAKE MORE OF THIS ASAP!! Mmmmm ?

  10. Michelle on May 17, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Molly my dates are quite moist similar to semi dried…should I still soak them? X

  11. Amalya on May 18, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Hi Molly,

    Is there a certain tahini brand you recommend? I’ve bought some in the past that have been unbearably bitter.


    • Molly Patrick on May 18, 2016 at 6:30 am

      Hi Amalya –
      All tahini has a slightly bitter taste. Roasted tahini is less bitter.
      Joya brand is good as is the 365 brand from Whole Foods.

      Happy Cracking!

  12. Anne on July 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

    One of the best dressings I have ever tasted. So yummy. Thanks!

    • Molly Patrick on July 19, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      So glad you love it!

  13. Laura B. on September 11, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Making for the first time and I’m wondering in you use the water that the dates simmered in or fresh water. Thank you!

    • Luanne Teoh on September 11, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Laura. Go ahead and use fresh water so that the water measurement is accurate.

      • Donna Chappell on November 13, 2016 at 8:26 am

        Thank you…..I was a bit confused on the same question…wondered if the 3/4 cup water was used to simmer dates in or not. Can’t wait to try the recipe. I have it in the download recipes you sent, but was not sure of whether water amount was used to just simmer…and none added. Thank you again.

  14. Saundra on January 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I just made this and it’s quite tasty. Mine didn’t turn out lemony at all. My lemon was a couple of weeks old. I think I’ll add more when I use it tomorrow. Is it meant to be lemony?

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 20, 2017 at 5:02 am

      Sandra, you should be able to taste the lemon in it, but not overpowering. It’s probably just because your lemon wasn’t as fresh as it could’ve been. 😉

      Team Dirty Girl

      • Saundra on January 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        Thanks, I added about 1/4 of a fresh lemon today and I think it’s perfect. I’ve been dipping romaine leaves in is as a snack. It hit’s the spot. Thanks for posting!

  15. Ann on February 2, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Apples make me burp like a truck driver too! I actually look forward to it 🙂

  16. DrKaren on December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! Two quick questions
    1)When I make it it doesn’t look as white as yours in the pic (it’s more the color of Tahini)
    2)I’m doing a WFPB protocol to help with SLE/RA/FIBRO… we aren’t allowed to have any oil, processed and NO omega 6 or 9s. I posted this recipe on our fb page (with your link, info)and I got SLAMMED for using tahini (high in omega 6 which cause inflammation-which I have TONS of). Do you have any suggestions for a substitute? Some ppl had suggested Braggs Liquid Aminos but everything I read says it is a substitute for soy sauce so I’m assuming that’s what it tastes like. Not sure I’d like it in this…any thoughts? I use organic tahini from sprouts. Nothing in it but the seeds…confused!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on December 11, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Hi DrKaren,

      Glad that you love the recipe, it’s a Dirty Girl fav. As far as color, this could be affected by the brand of tahini and color & number of dates used. The taste would be more important than the color here.

      As far as your question on a substitute, I’m sorry you were made to feel bad for making a suggestion and hopefully I can help with some information. Bragg’s would not be a good sub here because it’s a liquid. It is most definitely akin to soy sauce, with probably less salt but still pretty salty. With the water, you’d end up with something like a marinade. Looking for another nut/seed butter might be an option; it seems that cashew butter has a closer ratio of 3:6 omegas but still has more omega 6s than 3s. You might try hulled hemp seeds (they are pricey, though) to replace the tahini as they’ll have a higher ratio of 3s to 6s. The other option would be subbing with white beans. A number of people in our community sub white beans for nut/seed based options due to allergies and other reasons with success so that might be worth trying. If you’re not already a member of our private FB community (it’s super supportive, I promise you won’t get slammed for anything – we are vigilant about moderating the group to foster kindness), please join us!

      Hope this helps.

      Team Dirty Girl

  17. Lunch Prep Hummus Wraps + VIDEO – the green mirmaid on February 6, 2018 at 4:09 am

    […] If you have extra time in the morning before work, I like to add to my work lunch with a side of salad (usually whatever’s left of my leafy greens), topped with nuts, raisins and a drizzle of Clean Food Dirty Girl’s Tahini Crack. […]

  18. Sylwia on January 15, 2019 at 11:20 am

    5 stars
    I would have never added dates if it wasn’t for your idea!! This is absolutely delicious!! I used 4 as suggested but that was still sweet for my taste. This is my go to!!!!!! Thank you!!

  19. Lisa on April 28, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Fresh dates or dried?

    Wasn’t sure from the picture?


    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 29, 2019 at 7:06 am

      Hi Lisa, Generally what’s available in U.S. supermarkets or big box stores are dates that are packaged. I’ve noticed that, for the brand I buy: Made in Nature, when I first open the bag the dates are soft. Once opened, I store them in my refrigerator and they tend to harden over time but they are still usable, especially when soaked. Soaking makes it much easier for your blender to puree the dates. If you have access to super fresh dates right off the vine, they will work too but you may not need to soak them as long if they are already super soft. ~Karen

  20. JC on February 9, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Hi! I was just wondering if Medjool dates would work? Maybe use less because they are sweeter? Also, i don’t own a Vitamix yet (just a cheap $25 blender) would this recipe still work or come out more chunky? Sorry if these are silly questions I’m new to this way of eating…

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 10, 2020 at 8:33 am

      Hi JC! These are great questions and we are glad to help! Medjool dates will work excellent in this recipe. Medjool dates are larger than say, deglet dates, so you might use less medjools – maybe the 4 called for or even less if you prefer less sweet. As far as the smoothness / blender consideration – make sure your dates are really soft (fresh) and that they are soaked in the hot water as called for to soften them as much as possible for blending. A standard blender won’t give the super smooth puree that a high powered blender will give, but it will certainly work well enough – just make sure to give a good blend time. When Molly first transitioned to WFPB, she used a regular old blender for a long time before making the switch. An alternative if you make the recipe and it’s not smooth enough for you is to see if you can find date paste, that is whole dates in a syrup form (no added sugar) and that might work better from a smoothness perspective if you are working with a standard blender. ~Karen

      • JC on February 10, 2020 at 1:57 pm

        Thank you so much for the reply! That made me feel so much better about trying to make this recipe. I’ve been dying for a wfpb dressing that i will love and this recipe seems to be a huge hit. Plus, i already have the ingredients so i might as well try! Thanks again for the feed back! 🙂

        • LDM on June 6, 2022 at 1:48 pm

          I just used my immersion blender for this and it works perfectly. Looking forward to trying it with dinner this evening. The taste test was magnificent!

  21. Nellie Goodman on January 12, 2022 at 7:50 am

    This recipe is fantastic! I love using it in everything and it is perfect for roasting veggies without oil!

  22. Anna on January 26, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Could I use date sugar instead of dates? If so what ratio?

    • Stephanie from Team Dirty on January 26, 2023 at 10:47 am

      Hi Anna,

      We haven’t tested the recipe using date sugar, but it should work. We’d start with about a teaspoon of date sugar per date called for in the recipe. Give it a taste and adjust if needed.


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