Salad Dressings

Those few tablespoons of salad dressing you add to your salad can be a major factor in your total fat and calorie intake. Just 2 tablespoons of regular blue cheese dressing, for instance, can add 154 calories and 16 grams of fat (93% of calories) to your daily allotment.

Commercial nonfat and low-fat dressings are certainly an alternative. But for those times when you want an honest-to-goodness homemade dressing, try our low-fat offerings.

Vinaigrettes

Peppery Balsamic Vinaigrette

Extra health benefit: Lower cholesterol
Time: Prep: 7 min.
Makes: 1 cup or 8 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 16
Fat: 0.2 g. (12% of calories)
Fiber: 0 g.
Cholesterol: 0 mg.
Sodium: 84 mg.

  • 1/2 cup defatted low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp reduced-calorie and -sodium ketchup
  • 2 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1/2 tspn dried savory
  • 1/2 tspn dried thyme
  • 1/4 tspn ground red pepper

In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine the broth, vinegar, ketchup, mustard, savory, thyme and pepper. Cover and shake until well combined. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.

Tomato Vinaigrette

Extra health benefit: Better blood pressure
Time: Prep: 7 min.
Makes: 1/3 cup or 4 servings
Per 4 teaspoons:
Calories: 7
Fat: 0.2 g. (18% of calories)
Fiber: 0.2 g.
Cholesterol: 0 mg.
Sodium: 36 mg.

  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tspn dried basil
  • 1/2 tspn dried thyme
  • 1/4 tspn Dijon mustard

In a blender or small food processor, blend or process the tomatoes, vinegar, basil, thyme and mustard on medium to high speed for about 25 seconds or until well combined. To store, transfer the vinaigrette to a jar with a tight-fitting cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Shake well before serving.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Extra health benefit: Better blood pressure, lower cholesterol, cancer protection
Time: Prep: 10 min.
Makes: 1/2 cup or 4 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 46
Fat: 0.1 g. (2% of calories)
Fiber: 0 g.
Cholesterol: 0 mg.
Sodium: 5 mg.

  • 1 tbsp powdered fruit pectin
  • 1/4 tspn lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 tspn poppy seeds
  • 2/3 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey

In a small bowl, stir together the fruit pectin, lemon-pepper seasoning and poppy seeds. Then stir in the cranberry juice, vinegar and honey. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving. To store, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir well before serving. Chef’s note: It’s the small amount of fruit pectin that gives this dressing body that you’d normally get from an oil emulsion.

Orange Vinaigrette

Extra health benefit: Better blood pressure, lower cholesterol
Time: Prep: 5 min.
Makes: 1/2 cup or 4 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 28
Fat: 0.2 g. (6% of calories)
Fiber: 0.1 g.
Cholesterol: 0 mg.
Sodium: 64 mg.

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tspn honey
  • 1/8 tspn cracked black pepper

In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper. Cover and shake until well combined. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving. Chef’s note: This vinaigrette goes particularly well with fruit salads.

Dressings

Creamy Italian Herb Dressing

Extra health benefit: Lower cholesterol
Time: Prep: 5 min.
Makes: 1/2 cup or 4 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 26
Fat: 0.1 g. (2% of calories)
Fiber: 0 g.
Cholesterol: 1 mg.
Sodium: 209 mg.

  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 tspn dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tspn garlic powder

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. To store, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

Extra health benefit: Lower cholesterol
Time: Prep: 3 min.
Makes: 1 cup or 8 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 26
Fat: 1 g. (37% of calories)
Fiber: 0 g.
Cholesterol: 4 mg.
Sodium: 101 mg.

1 cup nonfat cottage cheese 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese 2 tbsp skim milk 1 clove garlic, minced

In a blender or small food processor, blend or process the cottage cheese, blue cheese, milk and garlic on low speed for 20 seconds (the blue cheese will still be chunky). To store, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Chef’s note: It takes only a small amount of blue cheese to give big flavor to this low-fat version of a fatty favorite.

Dilled Cucumber Dressing

Extra health benefit: Lower cholesterol, better blood pressure
Time: Prep: 4 min.
Makes: 1 cup or 8 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 10
Fat: 0.1 g. (8% of calories)
Fiber: 0 g.
Cholesterol: 0 mg.
Sodium: 29 mg.

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tspn dillweed
  • 1/2 tspn cider vinegar

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, chives, mustard, dillweed and vinegar. To store, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.Chef’s note: This dressing also makes an excellent dip for raw vegetables or a sauce for fish.

Curried Chutney Dressing

Extra health benefit: Lower cholesterol, better blood pressure
Time: Prep: 8 min.
Makes: 1/2 cup or 4 servings
Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories: 34
Fat: 0.1 g. (3% of calories)
Fiber: 0.1 g.
Cholesterol: 1 mg.
Sodium: 30 mg.

  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbsp chutney, chopped
  • 1/2 tspn curry powder
  • 1/4 tspn ground ginger

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, sour cream, milk, chutney, curry powder and ginger. To store, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Note: If the dressing is too thick after being refrigerated, stir in a little more skim milk.


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