Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dressed just right!

When most of us watch our weight, we find ourselves eating salads. And let's be honest: Greens, cukes, peppers, carrots and tomatoes make terrific salad ingredients, but a steady diet of this salad would send most of us reaching for the bag of chips after a week or two.

But add some fruit -- apples, oranges, grapefruit -- nuts, scallions, red onion and ginger , and the salad becomes extraordinary. It's just missing one thing: A delicious dressing. I usually make my own, although I do love Newman's Own's low-fat dressings. There's one to match any of my moods. I avoid dressings with trans fat, and look for ones made with either olive, nut or canola oils. I'm also watching my sugar load, and have discovered that many low-fat or nonfat dressings are loaded with sugar. I avoid these.

Years ago, I devised a dressing that I use all the time. No proportions -- I just keep tasting as I prepare a batch, which I make in the food processor. The ingredients: dark sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice, garlic cloves, a bit of mustard and some ginger root.

My other favorite is a simple mix of Sherry vinegar and olive oil with a sprinkling of herbes de provence. Yummy. Or balsamic and olive oil, with or without garlic and mustard.

And one more trick: Never pour the dressing on your salad. Instead, put it into a cup, and dip your fork tines into the dressing before spearing your greens. This method will give you more than enough flavor, but so many less calories!


  1. Ooooh Val! That's what you were doing at lunch the other day -- dipping your fork tines into the dressing! SOOOOO cool. I love it. Thanks for this terrific tip.

  2. I'm in my Pompeian/Sclafani red wine vinegar or lemon, EVOO, salt and pepper stage, though your dressing sounds wonderful! Nothing better than a salad!