In the hot days of summer, no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen over a hot stove, especially if you have spent the day in a stuffy office or dealing with small children made whiny by the heat. Keep things cool for dinner by preparing a salad. We all think that salad is generally good for you – all those leafy dark green leaves and fresh vegetables are full of nutrition, right? Absolutely. The problem is that many of the commercially prepared salad dressings have more than their fair share of fat. Save money and keep your fat content low by making a delicious yogurt salad dressing. With just a few simple ingredients and a blender you will be able to create a fabulous dressing that will rival any of the store-bought products. Yogurt salad dressing recipes are very versatile -don’t be afraid to try them as dips or spreads over grilled chicken or pork.
Herbed Citrus Yogurt Vinaigrette
1/4 cup low-fat homemade yogurt or organic yogurt
2 tbsp fresh grapefruit juice (orange juice is also good)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly squeezed black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Use a blender to combine all ingredients. Do not over-blend. Serve immediately over mixed dark greens such as watercress, romaine lettuce, endive, and radicchio. Add mandarin orange slices and slivered almonds. This recipe makes about 1/3 cup of dressing.
Blue Cheese Yogurt Salad Dressing Recipe
1/2 cup homemade low-fat yogurt or organic yogurt
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp 2% or skim milk
1 clove garlic, crushed, or 1 tsp chopped garlic in oil
Use a blender or food processor to blend yogurt, blue cheese, milk and garlic until there are no lumps left. Refrigerate immediately and keep chilled until ready to serve. Use this dressing on a tossed salad with boston or iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and baby carrots. It can also be used as a yogurt dip for vegetables, and as an alternative dressing for fresh fruit. This recipe makes about 3/4 cups of dressing.
Orange Walnut Salad with Yogurt Dressing
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup low fat peach yogurt (you can use plain yogurt if you prefer, or any flavor you like really, but the peach is really good)
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
mixed leafy greens – 4 to 6 handfuls at least
1 1/2 cups shredded or grated carrot
1/2 cup peeled and seeded oranges
Use a large bowl to mix shredded carrots and orange pieces. In a separate small bowl, cover raisins with boiling water and let them sit for about five minutes to plump up and soften. Then drain off the water and add them to the orange mixture. Add walnuts, yogurt, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Combine gently. Place a handful of leafy greens on each plate (this recipe makes enough for four to six side servings) and spoon onto the lettuce leaves. Garnish with a few more walnuts. Yum!