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Make Your Own Low Calorie Dressings

By: Meg Russell - Updated: 25 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Low Calorie Recipes Recipes Salad

It takes very little time to make delicious, low calorie recipes at home for dressings and sauces to accompany all kinds of food. They have the benefit of being totally fresh, free from additives, versatile and good additions to a healthy diet.

Keep a supply of popular ingredients in your store cupboard and you will have the basis of a variety of recipes to encourage healthy eating.

Salad Dressings

There are a huge variety of prepared salad dressings in the shops, many of them low calorie recipes. However, it can be satisfying, not to mention convenient, to put your own dressings together from time to time, adjusting ingredients to accompany different foods and ensuring that nothing in them is going to interfere with a healthy diet.

Potato Salad Dressing

This low calorie recipe which will make a healthy eating potato salad uses crème fraiche as its main ingredient.

For four people, combine in a bowl 285 ml crème fraiche; one-and-a-quarter tbsp white wine vinegar; one-and-a-quarter tbsp lemon juice; salt and freshly ground black pepper.

This dressing is used for a salad of 225 grams waxy new potatoes, one cubed apple and 50 grams walnut halves to provide a low calorie, low cholesterol recipe worth 160 calories per serving.

Red Pepper and Mustard Sauces

Salad vegetables and crudités are a valuable part of a healthy diet and one way of adding interest and taste to them is to serve them with dipping sauces. Two examples are red pepper and mustard sauces , both of them low in calories, fat and cholesterol.

For the red pepper sauce: 2 large red peppers; half tsp caster sugar; salt and freshly ground black pepper; few drops tabasco.

Remove skin from the peppers with a vegetable peeler; remove seeds and liquidise the flesh, or pass through a sieve, to make a puree. Stir in the sugar, add a little salt and pepper and a few drops of tabasco.

For the mustard sauce: 2 tsp Dijon mustard; a quarter pint yogurt; salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Make the mustard sauce by blending mustard and yogurt together. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Sweet Salad Dressing

This is a sweet-tasting, but healthy, dressing which can appeal to children and encourage the eating of salad vegetables.

Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1 tsp mild mustard; 1 tbsp clear honey; 2 tbsp fruit vinegar; 3 tbsp olive oil; 1 tbsp nut oil.

Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.

Mustard and Orange Salad Dressing

This low calorie dressing is particularly good with a rocket and apple salad and French bread.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp virgin olive oil; juice of half an orange; 2 tsp white wine vinegar; 1 tsp smooth French mustard; half a tsp horseradish sauce; salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste. The salad is low in cholesterol and high in fibre from the rocket and apple.

Other foods can benefit from low calorie recipes for sauces and dressings and often encourage us to include less usual foods in a healthy diet.

Tangy Yogurt and Orange Dressing

Fish makes for healthy eating and this yogurt and orange sauce makes an unusual addition to a smoked fish dish.

Ingredients: grated rind and juice of 1 small orange; 2 tbsp of orange juice; 6 level tbsp natural yogurt; 2 level tsp creamed horseradish sauce; salt and pepper.

Whisk all the ingredients together and adjust the seasoning. Serve as an accompaniment to smoked mackerel.

Avocado Sauce

Avocados are nutritious but fairly high in calories so this sauce might be an ideal way to enjoy a modest portion.

Ingredients: 1 ripe avocado; 1 green chilli; half a small onion; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1 squeeze lemon juice; 3 tbsp virgin olive oil; salt and freshly ground pepper; one tomato, skinned and chopped.

Peel the avocado and remove the stone. Using a blender liquidise the avocado flesh with the other vegetables and the lemon juice. Add the oil slowly to the mixture in the liquidiser while it is running. Taste and season. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chopped tomato.

This recipe is a good topping for savoury tacos filled with beef or beans.

Low Calorie Curry Dressing

Left over chicken makes a healthy filling for baps or rolls and this dressing is a delicious recipe.

Ingredients: one-and-a-half tsp garam masala; half a tsp curry powder; 2 tsp lemon juice; 1 tbsp yogurt; 1 tbsp low calorie mayonnaise.

Combine all the ingredients. Place lettuce and chicken on rolls and cover with the dressing.

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