Author Topic: low calorie salad dressing  (Read 792 times)

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MOM21SON

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low calorie salad dressing
« on: May 20, 2014, 07:13:40 PM »
Ok, I seriously need to lose a few pounds.  I love salads with creamy dressings.  Any suggestions for either store bought or homemade low calorie dressing?

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Dazi

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 07:51:11 PM »
I know a lot of people that mix those salad dressing packets with fat free Greek yogurt instead of the mayonnaise or oil that one would normally use.

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Zizi-K

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 08:03:47 PM »
For ranch dip, I know you can take the seasoning packet and blend it with cottage cheese. You use a food processor or immersion blender and the curds blend up into a creamy treat. I suppose that could be thinned with something to make it more dressing-like.

I too like creamy dressings (I have been known to sing odes to ranch!) but I've recently switched to the asian sesame ginger type dressings because they pack a lot of flavor, I like them, and they are lower in calories.

Edited to add: I will be watching this thread with interest, because I would love to know if there's a secret to making a decent lower-cal ranch!

Acadianna

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 08:25:07 PM »
Maple Grove Farms has several flavors of delicious fat-free dressings.  My favorites are Balsamic Vinaigrette and Lime Basil.  They usually have around 25 calories for 2 tablespoons.

http://www.maplegrove.com/

blarg314

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 12:27:18 AM »

For creamy dressings, you've got a number of options for your base. If you compare calories of different bases, for one cup of ingredient you get

Mayo, Regular         960
Sour Cream, Regular          445
Greek Yoghurt, whole milk  260
Mayo, Light            240
Cottage Cheese, Regular   221
Sour Cream, Fat Free      189
Silken tofu                 188
Cottage Cheese, Low Fat   163
Yoghurt, Whole Milk      140
Yoghurt, Skim Milk      137

To compare, a cup of Kraft Ranch dressing is 1184 calories.

So you can see there is a *huge* variation. For the above ingredients, some are thicker than others, so the actual calorie content of the dressing at the right consistency will be lower for thick things like cottage cheese or the silken tofu that need to be watered down a bit.

You can use dressing mixes, or make your own. For example, blend in grated parmesan, lemon juice, salt and fresh ground pepper, Wochestershire sauce and/or anchovy paste for a Caesar like dressing. Or puree yoghurt with cucumber, dill, onion, garlic and lemon juice for a tatziki dressing.

For really low calorie dressings, I'm fond of fresh squeeze lemon juice with salt and fresh ground pepper. Or mix lemon juice and zest with miso paste, or with anchovy paste, for an intensely flavoured dressing. And indian chaat masala powder is actually pretty good on salads - it's a blend of toasted ground spices and salt designed to be sprinkled on raw vegetables.




cicero

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 12:37:03 AM »
I'm not a fan of store bought or creamy dressings, and I tend to dress my salad with a splash of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. but I say just eat less of the salad dressing that you like. that's my best advice. I find it easier to lose weight when i eat "real" foods, just less of them. count the calories, and figure out where else you can cut if you don't want to cut the dressing.

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Bethalize

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2014, 01:49:22 AM »
Really expensive (read: good) balsamic vinegar. Get the right version and it's thick and sweet-tasting.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 08:42:20 AM »
...just eat less of the salad dressing that you like. that's my best advice. I find it easier to lose weight when i eat "real" foods, just less of them. count the calories, and figure out where else you can cut if you don't want to cut the dressing.

Something I've done with a 'decadent' dressing is to leave it on the side, then dip my fork in it before picking up the forkful of greens.  I get the flavour without all the calories.

I'm not a fan of low fat products.  Often, the fat is replaced by sugar, which is more of a problem for me.  I'd rather eat less of a full fat thing than eat a sugar laden low fat version.  I've started eating more fat lately and I'm finding my appetite is decreasing and I'm losing weight.  Completely counter-intuitive but it's working.
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jpcher

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 06:17:21 PM »
I posted a thread similar to this a while back. I was asking for dressings for my tuna salad, but all of the recipes posted here work very well on fresh greens salads.

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=128392.0

I'm using mostly the greek yogurt for my base these days and mixing it with different flavors like dijon mustard or lite italian dressing or even the powdered ranch dressing mix. Lemon or Lime is really good. It took a while of trial and error to find the flavors (and amounts) that I like but the greek yogurt (or any yogurt for that matter) does give you a nice creamy dressing.

The hard part was getting used to the new taste instead of using my old favorite standby (mayo ::)).

The fun part is the mixing and matching the dressing to whatever else I'm serving . . . toss in some of the same herbs you're using for your dinner ;D



blarg314 -- thanks for posting that informative table! ;D

blarg314

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 09:56:53 PM »

I also find many commercial creamy dressings to be too thick - it's very difficult to drizzle a reasonable amount of dressing on the salad rather than have it glop out. So you can always water down a commercial dressing a bit.

And with homemade ones, I'll dilute the base a bit, and add very intense flavourings.

Things like roasted garlic or roasted onions can be pureed in with the creamy base - they are nice and thick and creamy, but pack a lot of flavour (and roasted garlic is mellower than raw). Citrus zest adds a lot of flavour without making the dressing too sour. Toasting spices and grinding them (or quickly toasting pre ground spices) will intensify the flavour. Make dressings with lots of fresh herbs pureed in (parsley, dill, etc). Prepared mustard and tomato paste are good flavour add ins, too.

A very tiny food processor, or an attachment to a hand blender, can make it easier to make smaller amounts of dressing at a time - homemade ones don't last as long as storebought ones.



Some other flavour combinations...

sweetonsno

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2014, 04:01:44 PM »
I use Outdoor Girl's dip-the-fork-then-stab-the-food technique for a lot of things. It makes it much easier to control how much of a condiment you get.

My tip for making creamy dressings is to use Greek yogurt as the base. (If you don't have Greek yogurt, just strain some regular yogurt.) Even the low fat and non-fat versions have good texture. You can mix in a lot of different things. I like garlic, lemon juice, and dill.

ETA: If you have a pretty good food processor or blender, you can also get a rich/creamy texture by using cooked white beans or potatoes. However, the taste will definitely be there, so season with something on the strong side.

MOM21SON

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Re: low calorie salad dressing
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2014, 04:24:05 PM »
Thank you everyone.  Great tips!