Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Low-Fat Italian Dressing

Salad is a staple in my home and my diet.  I love to get a nice spring mix or baby romaine with spinach. Sometimes I like just plain romaine or artisan mix lettuce.  I top my salads with apples and walnuts or cheddar cheese; chicken;  black beans and corn; almonds and dried cranberries; and lots of veggies.  But salad isn't salad to me without the dressing.

Growing up...and while pregnant for one of my kids...French was my favorite.  That changed to Ranch or Italian when I grew up.  I gave up Ranch for the most part because of how bad it is for you...not just the fat content, but the other yucky stuff in it like MSG.  I don't care for the natural Ranches because I don't like mayo and they seem to have a mayo taste.  Then I switched to Balsamic.  I love the sweetness of balsamic.  Being on a hypoglycemic diet I am supposed to reduce my sugar so that counts that out.  My new favorite has been Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar.  The vinegar flavor is mild...which I like...it is natural...I can clearly read all the ingredients...and there is no added sugar...a plus for me as I avoid white sugar.  It does have a higher fat content, so that really limits how much I can use.

Recently, I have become very diligent (again!) about what I eat.  I am really trying to get the weight off.  So far I have lost about 8-10 pounds.  I also feel terrible when I eat too much and things I am not supposed to eat...Duh!  I found a low fat Italian dressing on Taste of Home.com.  Of course, I can't ever make a recipe without changing it.  So here you will find my modification to the recipe. 

Low Fat Italian Dressing
5 Tbl. thawed apple juice concentrate
1/8 cup Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp each onion powder, ground mustard, dried oregano, dried basil, salt

Combine all ingredients in an jar with a tight fitting lid (an old vinegar bottle works great!!).  Chill several hours or overnight.  Shake well before serving. Yield 3/4 cup.

This was really yummy!!!!  It is a great substitute for Balsamic Vinaigrette...probably could use balsamic instead of cider vinegar.  Next time I may reduce the apple juice to 3 TBL and use 2 TBL water.  It was a little sweet, but I like it...my sweet tooth coming out.  The recipe doesn't call for oil, but oil definitely can be added.  I am going low fat and am not a big olive oil fan, so I will keep it how it is.  I am excited because now I can have as much salad as I want WITH dressing and not have to worry too much about it.  

If anyone has any other HEALTHY low fat/low sugar dressing recipes I would love to hear them.


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