Why spoil a healthful salad by dousing it in an oily dressing that adds little or no food value except a lot of calories from fat? Salads deserve wholesome, low-fat dressings. After all, salads provide essential nutrients and fiber in our diets, and their dressings should not only complement their flavor but add to their good nutrition as well.
We start here with a melange of crisp raw vegetables--carrots, broccoli, green beans and zucchini--marinated in a light, nutritious dressing flavored by Vitamin A-rich carrot juice, lemon juice and peel, onion and just a small amount of oil. A serving, including the dressing, adds up to 90 calories, yet is a powerhouse source of vitamins A and C.
Carrot juice is also the basis for Savory Carrot Dressing. Thickened with cornstarch and spiked with vinegar, green onion and garlic, no one will believe this dressing has only 36 calories in a 2-tablespoon serving. Use it to complement any vegetable or green salad.
For a nonfat fruit salad, try the one here with a dressing of honey and lime juice. While the salad is literally fat-free, the nutritional return on its 151 calories is high only in Vitamin C, one nutrient that is easy to find in our food supply. However, it does contribute small but important amounts of some other nutrients, and the dressing could be made with a reduced amount of honey, according to taste, in order to cut a few of the calories. This recipe makes an excellent choice for those on low-sodium diets as well.
Since most salads, without their dressings, add up to only a few calories, go ahead and toss up a big bowl of greens, crisp vegetables or fruit (avoid high-fat ingredients such as avocados, cheeses, bacon and luncheon meats), then dress them with one of the other salad dressing ideas here, such as the refreshing Watercress Dressing or Tangy Thousand Island Dressing made with yogurt.
IN CARROT-LEMON DRESSING
2/3 cup canned carrot juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup (1/4-inch) carrot slices
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup (1-inch) green bean pieces
2 cups (1/2-inch) zucchini slices
Combine carrot and lemon juices, oil, onion, lemon peel, salt and pepper in small bowl. Set aside.
Bring 1/2-inch water to boil in large saucepan. Add carrots, broccoli, green beans and zucchini. Return to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are barely tender, about 3 minutes. Spoon hot vegetables into serving bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Makes 6 servings.
PER SERVING: 90 calories; 3 gm protein; 11 gm carbohydrate; 5 gm fat; 331 mg sodium; 415 mg potassium.
Protein 04% Riboflavin 10% Vitamin A 167% Niacin 05% Vitamin C 103% Calcium 08% Thiamine 06% Iron 06% SAVORY CARROT DRESSING
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup canned carrot juice
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup carrot juice in small saucepan. Stir until well blended. Add remaining carrot juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in green onions, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cool, then refrigerate until needed. Makes 1 1/4 cups, 10 servings.
PER SERVING: 36 calories; 0 gm protein; 3 gm carbohydrate; 3 gm fat; 127 mg sodium; 36 mg potassium.
Protein 00% Riboflavin 00% Vitamin A 61% Niacin 00% Vitamin C 02% Calcium 00% Thiamine 00% Iron 01% FRUIT SALAD WITH
6 cups torn iceberg lettuce
1 cup honeydew melon balls
1 cup pineapple cubes
1 cup orange sections
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
Place lettuce in salad bowl. Arrange melon, pineapple, orange, strawberries and blueberries in pattern over lettuce. Serve with Honey-Lime Dressing. Makes 6 servings.
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
Combine honey and lime juice in small bowl. Beat with fork until well blended.
PER SERVING: 151 calories; 2 gm protein; 39 gm carbohydrate; 0 gm fat; 13 mg sodium; 370 mg potassium.
Protein 03% Riboflavin 06% Vitamin A 07% Niacin 04% Vitamin C 81% Calcium 04% Thiamine 08% Iron 07% WATERCRESS DRESSING
2 bunches watercress
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
Pull off leaves of watercress, discarding stems. Mince watercress leaves. Combine lemon juice, tarragon vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to taste in jar. Cover and shake until well mixed. Just before serving, add watercress. Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing, 12 servings.
PER SERVING: 83 calories; 0 gm protein; 1 gm carbohydrate; 9 gm fat; 179 mg sodium; 18 mg potassium.
Protein 00% Riboflavin 06% Vitamin A 03% Niacin 00% Vitamin C 09% Calcium 01% Thiamine 00% Iron 00% TANGY THOUSAND ISLAND
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup catsup
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup nonfat milk
Mix yogurt, catsup, pickle relish and milk and chill. Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing, 12 servings.
PER SERVING: 27 calories; 1 gm protein; 5 gm carbohydrate; 0 gm fat; 149 mg sodium; 81 mg potassium.
Protein 02% Riboflavin 03% Vitamin A 04% Niacin 01% Vitamin C 03% Calcium 03% Thiamine 01% Iron 01%