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!