I am currently attempting to eat healthier and lose some weight, and we all know that the best way to do that is to eat more veggies. In recent years, I have become a big fan of salads, but my favorite dressing is blue cheese, which is definitely not good for weight loss. I use some low fat, reduced calorie dressings, but sometimes I’m just not interested in dressings. So I have found some salad dressing alternatives that I really enjoy to beak up the monotony and provide a different taste.
Low fat or fat free cottage cheese is a great way to add a little protein and calcium along with flavor to your greens. I love a spinach or mixed green salad with cucumbers, red peppers, a chopped hard boiled egg, and the cottage cheese. It tastes great and is a refreshing change. If you can afford the extra fat and calories, add some sunflower seeds or sliced almonds for crunch.
Salsa is fat free and super low in calories, so it is a great way to add flavor to food with little down side. Add a southwest flare to food by making a salad out of iceburg lettuce, black beans, red bell peppers, and sliced grilled chicken topped with salsa. For extra flavor add some shredded cheese. Sargento makes a great Reduced fat, four cheese Mexican blend.
I am half Mexican and was raised in southern California, so I grew up eating avocados. I can’t get enough of them. Avocados are somewhat high in fat, but it is the healthy kind. As long as you use some self control and don’t eat too much, avocados are very healthy for you. Luckily, they are full of flavor, so a little goes a long way. A ripe avocado has super dark green or black, wrinkly skin. When cut in half, the flesh is a bright yellow-green near the skin, and gets more yellow toward the nut. Ripe avocado is soft and buttery, with a fresh, slight nutty flavor. The easiest way to remove the nut is to hit is with a knife and then (carefully) twist it loose. You can always slice or chop them to add to your salad, but my preferred way to eat them is to mash up the avocado with a fork and add a tiny bit of salt. (Never puree it.) Use the avocado spread instead of mayo or salad dressing on chicken or veggie wraps. It tastes awesome!
Not exactly ground breaking I know, but hummus is a great dip instead of ranch or blue cheese. If you don’t know what hummus is, it’s basically ground up chick peas. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors, but my favorite is roasted red pepper. I tend to eat more veggies, simply as a vessel for the hummus. It’s especially good with baby carrots. Hummus is also very good on wraps if you can’t get a hold of avocados.
This list is obviously not exhaustive, but these are my favorite alternatives to salad dressing. With the different flavors that they provide, I never feel like I’m having “just another salad”. I hope that you give them a try.