Just because you're eating a salad doesn't mean you have to use salad dressing. If the purpose of the dressing is to add flavor and moisture to an otherwise less palatable plate of raw veggies, then you've got a lot of alternatives to dress it up! Here are a few of my favorites discovered or developed to break the monotony of eating the same salad every day and generally reduce fat and/or sugar.
Salsa â€" make your own (I'll post my Rainbow recipe soon) or, for a store-bought recommendation, Trader Joe's Papaya Mango is appearing ever more frequently in my bowl.
Wasabi and low sodium soy sauce. Mix these with one teaspoon oil and one tablespoon lemon juice for a spicy splash to your salad.
Hummus â€" comes in so many flavors and adds protein to your salad. Just watch portion size - 2 tablespoons of the store-bought brands have a fair amount of sodium. Making your own is simple and a great way to reduce sodium and fat content:
Yummy Hummy â€" drain one can garbanzo beans over a bowl, put bowl aside for a moment. In food processor, place beans, half the liquid from the can, juice from 2 freshly squeezed lemons, 1 tablespoons tahini paste (ground sesame seeds), handful unsalted cashews, two tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon freshly grated pepper, 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder. Blend. Add liquid from can as needed to puree.
Avocado â€" dice it into small cubes and toss onto your salad.
Cilantro Avocado Vinaigrette â€" toss one avocado cubed, 1/4 white vinegar, the juice of two large juicy ripe limes, 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup finely diced fresh cilantro leaves, 1-3 teaspoons freshly grated black pepper in food processor.
Lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit juice â€" for great flavor, squeeze a few fresh wedges of most any citrus fruit onto your salad, add a splash of white wine vinegar, a small drizzle of olive oil (one tablespoon) and freshly ground pepper. Pre-make your own Citrus Vinaigrette with these ingredients in a shaker bottle.
I've actually been using a combo this month. It satisfies a sweet, salty and spicy craving. Of course it starts with my basic spinach salad: spinach & broccoli slaw, topped with red and yellow peppers, drained and rinsed black beans, a tablespoon of hummus, 1/4 cup Trader Joe's Papaya Mango salsa, juice from a few wedges of freshly squeezed lime and 1/2 an avocado diced. For more quick protein: top with a can of drained white albacore tuna, or if you have grill access, pair with freshly grilled chicken breast, tuna, salmon or beef tenderloin. Hard to mess this one up, it complements practically anything... or is it the one being complemented?
WHITNEY M COLE www.whitneymcole.com/blog
Personal Trainer, Pilates Practitioner & Nutrition Counselor
Diet.com Fitness Expert, Wellsphere Health Maven
Health & Fitness Editor, Dimensions Weekly
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