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Looking for very low fat salad dressing recipes

chamoudi Mar 1, 2011 12:16 PM

I'm on WW and don't really care for most of the store-bought fat-free and extremely low-fat dressings available. They are usually way too sweet. On WW, fats take up a lot of points so I'd like to find a dressing I can enjoy without being penalized

  1. p
    PotatoPuff Mar 1, 2011 12:19 PM

    I mix balsamic vinegar (good quality is important), minced red onions, freshly ground pepper and sea salt, lemon juice

    1. m
      MiriamWoodstock Mar 1, 2011 12:25 PM

      I've enjoyed homemade buttermilk-based dressings, sans mayo. I can't say that following a recipe is my strong suit (I get a little too creative for my own good), but I wish you luck in finding a good one.

      1. ursy_ten Mar 1, 2011 12:27 PM

        The lowest fat sour light cream you can find, with a little lemon juice and some garlic powder, plus some fresh chopped parsley. I'm a sucker for creamy dressings...

        This one is also lovely -
        ¼ cup Paul Newman's light balsamic viniagrette
        ¼ cup frozen raspberries
        ½ teasp wholegrain mustard
        ¼ cup white vinegar
        1 splenda tablet, crushed

        1 Reply
        1. re: ursy_ten
          vday Mar 1, 2011 12:37 PM

          I've made this recently and really think it's super tasty:

          *Ranch Dressing

          1/3 cup nonfat Greek style yogurt, or strained yogurt
          1/3 cup (or less) lowfat buttermilk – use to desired consistency
          3 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or omit for lower fat)
          1 teaspoon or more lemon juice
          1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
          1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 T. fresh green onion, minced
          1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh garlic
          ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
          plenty of chopped fresh parsley, fresh dill , celery leaves, chives as desired
          * Salt or Thai style fish sauce to taste (it’s much better with the fish sauce!)


          In a medium bowl, combine the strained or Greek-style yogurt and the rest of the ingredients. Add salt, or fish sauce, whisk thoroughly to taste. Let stand for at least a couple of hours if possible to meld flavors.

        2. v
          Val Mar 1, 2011 12:30 PM

          Here's a dressing using non-fat Greek yogurt as a base...includes 1/2 TB of evoo but you could probably omit that entirely....


          1. s
            saturdaysmouse Mar 1, 2011 01:03 PM

            I slice onions very thin and put them in my prepared salad in the fridge - the flavor gets distribute and I only need dressing if my actual veg are very dry, then I just use a little balsamic or red wine vinegar.

            1 Reply
            1. re: saturdaysmouse
              joan828 Mar 1, 2011 07:19 PM

              I do something similar. I sometimes save the juice from cans of diced tomatoes that I use in other recipes and put it on my salad, except in the summer when I can get tomatoes off the vine. My family likes creamy dressings but I don't need much beyond some ripe tomatoes and onions for flavor. I don't need (or like) vinegar at all unless it's like 5 tbs oil to 1/2 tbs vinegar so I don't have to taste the vinegar.

            2. c
              chamoudi Mar 1, 2011 01:12 PM

              I think I should have noted that I can't stand mayonnaise, buttermilk or ranch dressings which makes this even more of a challenge

              6 Replies
              1. re: chamoudi
                AdinaA Mar 1, 2011 01:22 PM

                Lemon juice, chopped avocados, a dash of tobasco and salt. (The fat in the avocadoes lubricates the salad.)

                Basalmic vinegar and Dijon mustard. Use no oil at all. This is excellent with many salads, and is a wonderful fat free dressing for many vegetables, try it over lightly steamed green beans at room temperature.

                1. re: AdinaA
                  Val Mar 1, 2011 02:54 PM

                  Yes, the Dijon really is a great no-fat substitute...but if OP is looking for umami from fat in her salad dressing, something "creamier" might work which is why I offered the non-fat Greek yogurt dressing. I like dijon with balsamic, work in some fresh lime juice and then a little honey...works pretty nicely!

                2. re: chamoudi
                  gimlis1mum Mar 1, 2011 05:38 PM

                  Equal parts hummous and plain yogurt, with a little lemon juice, pepper and salt (if needed).

                  1. re: gimlis1mum
                    lexpatti Mar 1, 2011 05:58 PM

                    omg, I love hummus dressing, I love a lil splash of soy sauce too, I don't use yogurt, just thin w/ lil water. When I did WW I loved simple lemon juice + very lil oil

                    1. re: lexpatti
                      cheesecake17 Mar 2, 2011 07:55 AM

                      I use tahini thinned with water and a splash or two of soy sauce. I love the taste and a small amount coats a large amount of salad with a minute or two of tossing.

                      1. re: lexpatti
                        gimlis1mum Mar 2, 2011 10:33 AM

                        mmm soy sauce..will have to try that one.

                        Also just remembered this recipe. It ocurred to me one night, when we were having bulgogi, that the mixed bean paste that you serve with it would make a good base for salad dressing, too. We like it best on salad with lots of sturdy greens, shredded carrots & radish, etc.

                        2T white miso
                        1/2 t Korean soybean paste (denjang)
                        1/2 t Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
                        3 T beef stock (or water)
                        1t sugar
                        1 t sesame oil
                        1/2 minced garlic

                        Mix all together and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. To use for salad dressing, take a spoonful of the paste and thin it with a little rice vinegar, sesame oil, and water to the desired consistency.

                  2. l
                    leonora1974 Mar 1, 2011 06:49 PM

                    buttermilk blended with enough avocado to make it light but not pastel green is delicious--the tang of the buttermilk and the richness of the avocado. you don't need much avocado to get the richness and flavor of it, so it barely has any more calories than buttermilk alone, which is very few calories. i just salt it, but herbs etc. would obviously be good too.

                    1. Quine Mar 1, 2011 07:13 PM

                      I don't like sweet, nor over acid on my salad. I use a good soy, and grate(very fine) some garlic and fresh ginger, then add lime juice. I never use lemon. Let sit an hour minimum, strain (ginger even grated is stringy) and sorta spritz. It stores well.

                      Roasted garlic is a great flavor add to me, but that taste needs some broad deep greens, not everyday.

                      1. MVNYC Mar 1, 2011 07:19 PM


                        1. sunshine842 Mar 1, 2011 09:22 PM

                          If you're WW, do they still teach you the WW dip?

                          Order your dressing on the side (or pour it into a small cup) -- dip your fork into the dressing and then spear your salad. Dressing flavor with only a few drops of actual dressing.

                          1. d
                            dfrostnh Mar 2, 2011 02:43 AM

                            I use the Curves diet plan dressing: 2 T orange juice, 1 T EVO, 1 T red wine vinegar and salt. This is plenty fo a salad that is mostly 4 cups of romaine. I put in 1/2 cup slice grape tomatoes, some sliced red onion, and maybe 1/2 cup or more of broccoli forets.

                            I have tried some herb vinegars and balsamic but for some reason I like my salad to be same old/same old everyday.

                            1. p
                              piccola Mar 2, 2011 05:45 AM

                              Grainy mustard, lemon juice or cider vinegar, salt and a bit of garlic powder.

                              White miso, rice vinegar or citrus juice, fresh ginger and a drop or two of toasted sesame oil (you really don't need much). You can add a little sweetener, like honey, but it's not really necessary.

                              1. h
                                Harters Mar 2, 2011 08:18 AM

                                More often than not, I'm happy to just give salads a squeeze of lemon.

                                1. PamelaD Mar 2, 2011 08:58 AM

                                  OJ with dijon mustard whisked in, S&P, garlic/shallot optional. You can add a pinch of thyme or dill or another favorite herb or spice, too.

                                  1. smaki Mar 2, 2011 10:21 AM

                                    Hello chamoudi,

                                    Two ideas that can be used alone or I often combine both on my salad.

                                    First, a favorite salad dressings is home made Italian. Inexpensive and tastes great. My basic recipe is:

                                    6oz - Distilled white vinegar
                                    9oz - water
                                    2 tsp - each of granulated garlic powder, granulated onion powder, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.

                                    Put it in a shaker in the fridge with a top with about a half inch hole or an old wine bottle works. Shake and poor over a salad. Optionally drizzle that with balsamic vinegar. Optionally topped with a few drops of an intensely fruity extra virgin olive oil. Do the final mix on top of your salad right before you eat it. Olive oil gets hard in the fridge. Sometimes I enjoy salads this way without oil and use the second idea below on top of the above vinegar mix.

                                    NOTE: It helps to eat it in a bowl with veggies on top to catch some of the liquid before it runs to the bottom (on top of a fresh lettuce mix I like celery, fresh mushrooms, radishes, carrot chunks, cucumber, chopped red onion). As it mostly goes to the bottom anyway I tilt the bowl and eat it from one side to the other dipping each forkful in the pool of liquid at the bottom. Even the liquid left over is good to dip bread in or sometimes I have another salad with it if want seconds.

                                    Eat your salads this way with no fat if you want. Optionally in moderation add good fat for your body (there are amino acids in some fats our bodies need but do not produce) or fat that tastes good.

                                    Variations on this basic Italian include adding fresh herbs like sweet basil or oregano. The water can be increased to make less tart or decreased to increase tartness. Sometimes I take a small amount of the mixture, balsamic vinegar, a bit of Dijon mustard for flavor with emulsification properties, fresh herbs from my garden, and whisk in a big bowl while drizzling olive oil until thick. This last way to make it tastes good as a treat, but is not the low fat way to make it as takes more oil than is needed for taste to thicken - sorry I digressed to talk about the vinaigrette. While digressing: Sometimes I drizzle home made blue cheese or ranch dressing and habanero drops on top even while eating to add further flavor but is definitely not necessary. Moving on ...

                                    My second idea to share is to make a sauce thickened with beans or ground nuts (sometimes both). I often eat this sauce on top of my salads with the Italian above to add another layer of flavor. Blend your bean / nut thickener(s) with water or citrus juice to make a smooth sauce. My favorite beans to use for this are Garbonzo. For nuts (if used) I like grinding fresh non-salted raw almonds into a powder in my magic bullet with the flat bade installed (almond flour can be used while I like the texture out of the magic bullet). The base sauce can be flavored with seasonings, vinegars, curry, chipotle, fresh herbs, etc. It is like hummus but better with more seasonings and especially because of large amounts of fresh citrus juice and nuts (if not allergic). Still trying to figure out my favorite ways to make it while see information on the sauce basic recipe is at:


                                    Enjoy! Play with it until you love it. And have fun,

                                    ~ SMaki

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