The best way to ruin a perfectly healthy salad is to dump highly caloric dressing over it. Unfortunately, many people only enjoy fresh vegetables when they’re covered with creamy concoctions of bacon, cheese, and other high fat ingredients.
If your goal is to reduce daily caloric intake, making your own salad dressing is an easy way to both cut calories and to save money by using ingredients from your own refrigerator and pantry. Following are a few low calorie dressings you can try with a variety of greens.
* Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette. Vinaigrette is always a less caloric option than creamier dressings. To make this lime cilantro version, place in a blender or food processor the following: ¾ cup tomato juice, ½ cup cilantro sprigs, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, and one small jalapeno pepper that has been halved and seeded. Mix in blender or food processor until blended. Cover and chill.
* Garlic Basil Vinaigrette. Combine the following in a blender: 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth, 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil, one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon fresh lemon juice, one tablespoon red wine vinegar, one teaspoon Dijon mustard, three halved garlic cloves, and freshly ground black pepper. Process in blender until smooth.
* Orange Soy Vinaigrette. Combine the following in a small bowl: ½ cup orange juice, ½ cup pineapple juice, one tablespoon minced fresh parsley, two tablespoons fresh lime juice, two tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon dark sesame oil, two teaspoons sugar, and one teaspoon lemon pepper. Cover and chill.
* Creamy Tarragon Dressing. Combine ¼ cup fat free mayonnaise, ¼ cup plain fat free yogurt, one tablespoon white wine vinegar, ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and ½ teaspoon dried tarragon in a bowl. Cover and chill.
* Creamy Cucumber Dressing. Combine the following in a bowl: one cup plain low fat yogurt, ½ cup chopped, seeded and peeled cucumber, ¼ cup light mayonnaise, two tablespoons chopped green onions, two tablespoons lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon dried dill, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and chill.
* Blue Cheese Buttermilk Dressing. Combine ½ cup low fat or non fat buttermilk, ½ cup plain fat free yogurt, three tablespoons white wine vinegar, one teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper in a bowl; whisk until blended. Stir in ½ cup thinly sliced green onions and ½ cup (two ounces) crumbled blue cheese.
It isn’t difficult to reduce calories on your dinner table with a plethora of low calorie homemade salad dressing recipes at your fingertips.
Source: The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook