Plant Based Cashew Ranch Dressing + What I Say When People Ask Me What I Do

Whole Food Plant Based Ranch Salad Dressing

Over the weekend I was getting my legs waxed and my esthetician asked me what I do for a living.

What I do isn’t cut and dry like it is for some professions. School teacher, nurse, mechanic – these are all pretty standard answers that don’t require extra creativity in the explantation. So I decided a while back to come up with an elevator pitch for what I do.

Before I tell it to you, have I ever told you how hairy I am?

I’m like a blonde Italian person. If I let the hair grow out on my legs it would look like a blonde jungle. There would be monkeys.

My armpit hair is also very coarse and thick. I have to shave every other day just to keep up with it. And the weird thing about my armpit hair is that it’s dark brown.

I have a mix and match of colors going on with my body hair, but the thickness and huge quantity is consistent throughout.

Shaving my legs just doesn’t make sense. I would be in the shower ALL THE TIME.

So, here I am at the wax center, my nice hair remover lady ripping my hair from their follicles when the inevitable question, “what do you do for a living?” came up.

My elevator pitch goes something like this:

“I help people eat more plants.” 

After I gave my hair ripper my line, she said:

“Oh cool, what types of products do you use?”


“What do you mean?”

Nice hair ripper lady:

“What meal replacement product or protein powder do you sell. Or is it a pill?”

And there it was, the perfect example of why I fucking love what I do.

I get to explain to people in a nice, non-preachy, friendly and all encompassing way that the body thrives when we eat a variety of whole plant foods and that actually, vitamins and minerals which are extracted and put into pills, shakes and powders don’t do very much good for the body. In fact, they can even have damaging effects.

Whereas eating broccoli, chard, sweet potatoes, blueberries, etc. has no negative side effects or consequences.

Plus, getting our nutrients from food is much cheaper than from pills, shakes and powders.

I love that I get to have this conversation with people.

It has never made sense to me to eat stuff that has been formulated in a lab by scientists. It makes sense to eat things that come from the ground.

This isn’t about learning. This is about unlearning and allowing food to be your medicine. Our weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans show you how to do exactly that.

Here’s a super easy salad dressing that will make you literally crave big green salads.

Whole Food Plant Based Ranch Salad Dressing

Plant Based Cashew Ranch Dressing

Makes 1¼ cups
Author: Molly Patrick


  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 10 minutes (65 g)
  • 1 tablespoon dried dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (10 g / can be soaked with cashews)
  • cup water (155 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, cloves peeled and left whole (1 g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Drain the cashews and dates and discard the soaking water.
  • Place the cashews and dates into your blender, along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend until super creamy and smooth. If your dressing is too thick, thin with a bit of water to reach your desired thickness.
  • Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

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


  1. pm on October 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I will not be back to your page because of your language. You have a right to talk how you like, just like I have a right to not return.

    • Chu on April 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Your loss. (What did you think Dirty Girl meant? Porn?)

      • Michael on March 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm


    • Molly Patrick on April 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Amen to that!

    • Ann on July 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

      LOL Good grief. I skipped over the essay because I just wanted the recipe. Then I HAD TO go back and see what was so nasty. Sigh. With the world on fire, you’d think people would have more to get their panties in a wad over, wouldn’t you?

      Terrific recipe, by the way!

      • Molly Patrick on July 19, 2015 at 6:07 pm

        Ha! You would think! Glad you liked the recipe. xoxoxoox


      • Lori Cohen Malin on May 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm

        I guess I missed something; but the recipe looks awesome. I just need together some dates.

    • Luanne Teoh on August 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Self-elimination is a thing of beauty.

    • Bonnie on January 31, 2018 at 3:54 am

      5 stars
      Did you not actually read anything about the site? lol

    • Trish on March 25, 2018 at 6:09 am

      5 stars

    • Catherine McKinney on April 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      5 stars
      You really must live a sheltered life if one swear word in a very funny blog has upset you so much that you will not return to it!

    • Beth on February 22, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Thank god you will not be returning I’m mean really thank every god you will not be returning

    • Ronee on July 1, 2020 at 10:24 pm

      I fucking love reading it. I also fucking love my job.. Kudos to you..

    • Vanessa on July 16, 2020 at 3:46 am

      Oh my gosh. People can’t seem to exist in this world without having a problem with every little thing. I love your writing style. I’m excited to have found your page. Very excited and motivated to try some of these recipes! Keep doing you ❤

  2. Linda on May 4, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I am trying to use up some older items I have in my pantry (before I am forced to just toss them). I stumbled on your recipe for cashew cheese the other day and made it!


    While I was looking at your recipes the other day I remembered seeing this one and decided that I would make this when I was out of my vinegar-based dressing (which is so over-powering most of the time). I am sitting here devouring a salad with the most delicious plant-based dressing I have ever tasted in my life!

    I haven’t read through much of your blog, so I don’t know if you’re a professional chef, but, you’ve got a gift with flavors, and textures, and I just wanted to thank you for such a fantastic dressing!

    I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

    • Molly Patrick on May 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Hey Linda –
      I’m so happy you like this recipe!
      I am not a professional chef, but I have an extensive background in vegan food. I give out new recipes every Saturday morning via email. Jump in on that action for free here:

  3. Cindi on May 23, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Cut and dry teachers burst with creativity on a daily basis. This creative teacher creates delicious food all the time without cursing or putting other professionals down. Your food might be average but you put off many with your language.

    • Molly Patrick on May 26, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      I’m not for everyone – ain’t it the truth!

      • Janet Kirtland on October 14, 2022 at 7:00 am

        So thankful to Molly whose delicious recipes got my daughter, son-in—law, and me through transitioning from unhealthy to plant-based food. You’re a star, Molly.

    • Luanne Teoh on August 20, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Isn’t freedom of speech freaking amazing? At any point, anyone can set up a blog, say whatever they want while creating a business out of it and work for themselves. You can do that too if you so wish 🙂

  4. Marie on January 14, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Molly….why would you do this?? Why would you put out a recipe for crack-sauce??? Really, really good!! My daughter (who is a horrible vegetarian, btw, we call her what she is: a carbophile) announced she was tired of our basic balsamic dressing…tired of the tang of vinegar…so I remembered seeing this recipe on your site and decided to try it. It is love! I can see this going on sauteed greens in my near future.
    I still have four kids at home (two in college, two in high school) plus a husband, an occasional step-child, and the random comings and goings of the oldest son and his fiance. I know it’s not your forte on account of your cozy situation of two, but do you have any tips or posts for large families? I would go broke keeping the whole gang in cashew dressings on a regular basis! Four of us our veg, but I don’t cook with meat, eggs, or milk, so the rest get veg cooking too.


  5. Anna on January 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    At the risk of offending She Who Will Never Return, this Ranch Dressing is FUCKING DELICIOUS. Shame on you for making such a small recipe, though. I doubled it and don’t anticipate it last through the weekend.

    The first oil free salad dressing that tastes like the real thing! Thanks so much.

    • Molly Patrick on January 15, 2016 at 2:52 am

      Whooot! I do what I do for people like YOU!
      Thanks for the love.

  6. Julie on February 6, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Your recipes are great ! Live your life ! Love the language, I’ll be back to your page over and over!

    I like this dressing I’m going to put it on kale and dehydrate see if it’s like ranch chips!!

    • Molly Patrick on February 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Hey Julie –
      This sounds awesome!
      Keep me posted.

  7. Trudi on March 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    To the uptight and clearly clueless people who feel compelled to comment that they are not following CleanFoodDirtyGirl due to language – nobody cares! Go away! Good riddance! If you have the time to post such nonsense, you REALLY need to get a life. Love your writing, Molly, love your recipes, and love this community.

    • Molly Patrick on March 10, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Ha! I love it!
      Thank you Trudi.

  8. Ave on May 3, 2016 at 5:54 am

    I tried this with raw onion as I didn’t have any onion powder at home – it was fucking amazing as well, added fresh herbs (ramson and a bit of basil). It’s obviously a bit stronger in flavour. The only issue with using raw onion, I would suppose, is that it probably doesn’t keep very long. However, that’s not really an issue, because it’s So. Friggin. Good.

    • Molly Patrick on May 3, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Whoot! So glad you like it!

  9. Charolette on August 10, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I just made this. It was *holy hell* delicious! I am a ranch dressing lover from way back and this was super satisfying in that drenched in ranch way that I loved.

    • Molly Patrick on August 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Sweet! So glad you liked it.
      There’s nothing like drenching stuff in Ranch!

  10. Anne on August 13, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Was reviewing the top 15 after your fuckery today, and I have to say, after I read the offended woman’s post, I had to go back and read because I couldn’t remember any bad language, ha ha.

    Can’t wait to try the ranch.

    I can relate to what you said about hair (am a light blonde naturally–don’t get why my hair was like that), and I suffered waxing for a long time. Consider laser hair removal. Changed my life.

    • Molly Patrick on August 14, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Anne –
      Thanks for the laser tip!
      Def. try this ranch – it’s pretty amazing.

  11. Jen on August 25, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Saw Anne’s post about She Who Will Never Return and also had to re-read your fuckery (my fat fingers also mis-typed that as ‘fickery’ and my phone autocorrected to ‘fuckery’!); and, for the record, you only used the word ‘fuck’ once!

    I think I have a girl crush on you! (Sorry Luanne) You have a way with words and give the lowest common denominator (newbies like me) a guiding hand to hold while just making things simple!

    Oh and I fucking love this ranch!!

    • Molly Patrick on August 25, 2016 at 7:10 am

      Hey Jen –

      Smoooches to you!
      (Luanne will just have to share)



  12. Beth on November 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Add me to the list of people who had to go back and reread the post to find the offensive language. Ha ha. Fuck it.

    Re: the recipe, could/should I use the soaking water from the cashews and/or date for all or part of the water in the recipe?

    Looking forward to trying this!

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Hey Beth,

      You can use some of the soaking water if you’d like. Molly just finds it easier to explain and have people follow to use fresh water.


      Team Dirty Girl

  13. fifa 17 coins on November 6, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Truly, such a valuable webpage

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 6, 2016 at 6:03 am

      We’re feeling the love! Thank you! 😉

      Team Dirty Girl

  14. Anne on November 13, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Mmmmmmm…made this last night and put it on buffalo falafel wrap and had it tonight on a big ass salad. SO delicious. I doubted it could taste like ranch but it tastes like a really good ranch. Thank you for your amazing recipes.

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Glad you enjoyed it Anne! 🙂

      Team Dirty Girl

  15. Becky on December 3, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    I have always wondered who decided which words were considered “dirty”?? Good lord people get a fking life!!!
    Love your site keep on with the dirty??

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on December 4, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Couldn’t agree more Becky! 🙂

      Team Dirty Girl

  16. George on December 16, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I am very offended by the language in this post. I will have to read more of your posts to see if I am offended by the language in each of those also. And I hope not as much detailed pubic hair description. A little bit is OK though. But not in the dressing.

    • Molly Patrick on December 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Hi George,
      Don’t bother looking through other posts – you won’t like them either.
      There are lots of other Whole Food Plant Based blogs out there that won’t offend you.

  17. George on December 17, 2016 at 8:36 am

    True, there are other blogs where they wouldn’t say “sh*t” if they had a mouthful. Also they have about as much fucking sense of humor as the Paleo/ketosis/all-meat Facebook groups (and some of them are bat-sh*t) crazy!
    {I do not want to offend your followers by spelling out the S-word.}
    Keep those recipes coming – some old farts like me can’t cook worth a damn and need all the help we can get!

  18. Dave on January 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    What the fucking fuck is with all the weirdos offended by coarse language? This recipe looks awesome, cant wait to try it.

    • George Johnson on January 15, 2017 at 5:12 am

      Did you read both of my posts, Dave? It was a fuckin’ joke. Jesus, lighten up folks. Molly, you can delete my posts, block me, and take me off the Facebook group. You people are no God-damn fun at all! And … I didn’t care for the recipe that much.

  19. Cathy on January 19, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    When I grow up, I want to be just like Molly 🙂

  20. Jamie on January 22, 2017 at 3:02 am

    This is super delicious Molly! I’ve been making your Caesar dressing and T-crack every week…now I have another dressing to add to the mix. I don’t know why I waited so long to try it! Yummmmm!! Thank you!

  21. Liz on September 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    This looks amazing! Quick question. I am learning loads of recipes. Seems like EVERYTHING that is a creamy alternative uses cashews. This is cool except that they can be a little fattening and so EXPENSIVE. Are there cashew alternatives for that creamy punch?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on September 12, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for the love! While cashews are used often for their versatility, white beans are the most common / suitable substitute to give recipes that creamy punch you are looking for. Wishing you the best on your recipe learning journey!

      Team Dirty Girl

    • Trudi on September 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      5 stars
      Hi Liz and Karen,

      In addition to white beans, get this–eggplant, apparently! I am personally thrilled to come across this recipe because I’m not fond of eggplant, but this will actually get me to eat it! CFDG Will always be my number one resource, but this site has got some great info also!

      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 30, 2020 at 8:44 am

        Trudi, I’m not sure how I missed this reply, and I stumbled it across it today. Thank you for sharing this alternative. Eggplant?! I would never have guessed this but it is a mild flavor.

  22. Lisa on October 15, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Your website is the Fucking Shit!
    This is my first time here and I love it. I too am a newbie and I can see I’ll love it here. I have no imagination, and can’t even begin to figure out what to eat without getting bored, so thank you to the tenth power!

  23. Theresa on March 7, 2018 at 8:29 am

    5 stars
    I added jalapeños! Super yummy!!

  24. Sam Harper on March 7, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Is there a replacement for the date? I don’t have any on hand at the moment!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on March 7, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Hi Sam,

      You could sub in a slice or two of fresh apple, a tablespoon or so of unsweetened applesauce, or use maybe a teaspoon or so of maple syrup or other sweetener that you have on hand.

      Team Dirty Girl

      • Sam Harper on March 7, 2018 at 10:57 am

        Maple syrup it is haha! Thank you!

  25. Jennifer Tallady on March 17, 2018 at 9:34 am

    5 stars
    This is so good I make it almost every week!

    • Molly Patrick on March 17, 2018 at 10:03 am

      So glad you love it!
      It’s one of my faves too.

  26. Jess on September 16, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Can you use dill seed instead?

    • Molly Patrick on September 16, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      Go for it and let us know how it turned out!

  27. Janice Giesinger on December 5, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    5 stars
    Haha…I’m having so much fun reading the comments that I almost forgot why I was here!
    I love your blog and your language is right up my alley.
    Can’t wait to try the dressing!
    Thanks for the entertainment and the awesome recipes!

    • Molly Patrick on December 5, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Ha! So glad we found each other.

  28. Genevieve Scott on December 17, 2018 at 8:13 am

    5 stars
    This dressing is the first recipe I’ve tried on your website and it’s amazing! I’ve used it on salads, baked potatoes, and chili so far. Now I can’t wait to try another one of your recipes. Thank You!!

    • Molly Patrick on December 17, 2018 at 10:37 am

      So glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorites as well 🙂

  29. Karen on January 9, 2019 at 6:01 am

    5 stars
    That was SOOOOO good! Even my non-WFPB fiance loved it and tried it on kale! There is hope. 🙂 I only had dill seed (I saw that mentioned in a post above), so I grounded them and the dressing is just fabulous. It’s my new fave!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 9, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Boom! So glad you both loved this recipe!! Thanks for stopping back to share ? ~Karen

  30. Tanya on February 17, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    You had me at fucking….. Can’t wait to try the recipe!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 17, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Tanya! Right on. Let us know what you think once you try the dressing. Feel free to join us over in our private Facebook group too!

  31. Rafaela on April 30, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Loved, loved this recipe and so did my friends. I added a tsp of nutritional yeast and used fresh dill and it was heavenly! Will be looking for other dressings on your website. Thanks so much for sharing.❤️

  32. Kathy on May 8, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Is there any sub for the cashews? Damn nut allergy 🙁

    • Molly Patrick on May 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      Try sunflower seeds 🙂

      • Kathy on May 8, 2019 at 9:47 pm


  33. Jocelyn on July 10, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    WOW!! This is amazing!! I’m new to the WFPB world and you just blew my mind with this dressing. I’m tempted to drink it.

  34. Lori on May 25, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    5 stars
    So good and simple! Had salad with kale, roasted cauli and carrots, homemade croutons, buffalo crispy tofu, and this dressing. Hubby said it was my best salad ever, my 19 year old said it’s his favorite dinner that I make. Thank you!!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on May 26, 2020 at 7:54 am

      Hi, Lori! We are so glad the dressing complemented what sounds like a delicious salad that your family enjoyed! ~ Karen on behalf of Team Dirty

  35. Colleen on February 7, 2021 at 10:45 am

    5 stars
    This is seriously delicious! I need to make things from scratch due to a garlic intolerance. You would not believe how many prepared vegan foods have garlic in them! Bonus of making my own (besides leaving out the garlic) is that I avoid all the other junk, like oil and preservatives. So happy to find a dressing I love. Serving this along with Buffalo Tofu “wings”, carrot and celery sticks while we watch the Super Bowl tonight! Thank you!

  36. Alyssa on January 17, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t feel like it really tastes like ranch but….. I freakin’ LOVE it! Kudos.

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