In reading one of Original Fast Foods' reading recommendations, The 80/10/10 Diet, I was motivated to try the menu plans. While I am really impressed with the way I feel after eating all the fruit, I am not happy with the bland salad dressings. I wonder if any of you have good low-fat or no-fat ideas for salad dressings besides just plain vinegar.
TIP: Make a small batch and then tweak the recipe. Make notes so you'll remember how to recreate (or what not to repeat). I don't feel so bad throwing out smaller batches of new dressing recipes that taste bad. It's really hard when you've made a quart of dressing that tastes awful! I've learned to start small and then increase to a larger full-size batch. And don't lose your notes! Nothing worse than an awesome creation you can never recreate because you've lost your notes. Most often, I go right to the computer to type my notes in. Has really helped me stay on top of my recipes.
--Research Original Fast Foods for some of their low-fat dressing recipes. The Lime Dressing is very good and has very little oil. I vary it by adding 1/2 tsp. ground cumin and 1 tsp. (or more) agave nectar or honey (as needed). (Each batch of limes are different. I always have to tweak the recipe to get it to taste just right, usually by adding some sweetness, although diluting it with broth or water might be a good substitute.) I sometimes substitute sunflower oil, as the olive oil can be too heavy a taste for the recipe. For a creamy version, add 1 tsp. Veganaise or a few raw cashews or macadamia nuts. (Not no- or low-fat, but healthier with the nuts used for creaminess.)
--Dr. Joel Fuhrman has a couple of no-fat dressings in his Eat to Live book. (Available at most libraries.)
--Dr. Dean Ornish has low-fat dressing recipes in his several books. (Available at most libraries.)
--Dr. John McDougall has low-fat dressing recipes in his many books. (Available at most libraries.)
--For recipes using vinegar, try replacing with fresh lemon juice.
--Blend fresh or frozen raspberries and freshly squeezed clementine, tangerine, or orange juice. (This is really good when fresh raspberries are in season. If the berries are sweet, the flavor is outstanding! Clementines, tangerines, or even minneolas carry a lot more flavor than oranges, which really add another dimension to this dish.)
--Blend 1 mango (or 3/4 to 1 cup frozen mango chunks), 4 oz. unsweetened canned pineapple (or 6 oz. pineapple juice), 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, and 3 oz. silken tofu (optional). If you like vinegar, add 2 Tbsp. red raspberry vinegar or more lemon juice. (Adapted from Joel Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" book.)
--Blend 1 tsp. tahini, 6 raw cashews, and 1/2 cup freshly squeezed clementine or orange juice. Optional: Add 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or rice wine vinegar. (Adapted from Joel Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" book.)
--Blend 2 peeled apples, 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, to taste. (Apple pie or pumpkin pie spice could be substituted for the cinnamon and nutmeg.) (Adapted from Joel Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" book.) Best used on fruit and tender greens without vegetables.
--Whisk together freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper. (Dilute with vegetable broth or water, if desired.) NOTE: I sometimes have to add a wee bit of olive oil to get this one to taste right.
--Fresh lime juice
--Freshly squeezed lemon, lime, and orange juice. (The sweeter, more diluted orange juice helps offset the tartness of the lemon and lime. Dilute further with water or more orange juice, if necessary.)
--Fresh salsa. (Diced tomatoes, lime juice, minced jalapenos, sliced green onions, garlic salt, minced garlic, minced cilantro, seasoned black pepper.) [I'll post a recipe.]
--Tweak the 80/10/10 Diet dressing recipes to taste. There's some good ideas to springboard off of. If they're too bland, jazz them up a bit more with fresh herbs, seasonings, juices, etc., until it's more to your liking.
--Use Spice Hunter seasoning blends with fresh juice. For instance, freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice with Mesquite Seasoning Blend. (This was demonstrated at a raw food class I attended. It was surprisingly good.)
--Add freshly minced herbs to citrus juice. Ex: minced chives, parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, etc. Fresh herbs can really jazz up a bland dressing. Or, just add the herbs to your salads.
--Use your favorite recipes, but reduce the oil, diluting with vegetable broth or water, if need be. (Most dressings use so much oil, there is very little flavor left. Reducing the oil adds back the flavor and reduces the calories.)
To me, fruit dressings seem to clash with vegetable salads, so I tend to keep the sweeter fruit dressings for very tender greens served with fruit, as Dr. Doug Graham suggests. While not a big fan of most vinegar dressings, I do like lemon juice-based dressings (with or without fresh herbs) for heartier lettuces, like romaine, or salads with lots of veggies in them.