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Old 08-12-2010, 06:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 119
Default A few ideas...

Here are a couple of recipes from the Light Basics Cookbook by Martha Rose Schulman, which is hands down my favorite cookbook. Practically everything I cook nowadays has its roots in this cookbook.

Lowfat Yogurt or Buttermilk Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. good quality red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or champagne vinegar OR 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. vinegar of your choice.
1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely minced or pressed
1/8 to 1/4 tsp of salt to your taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt OR 5 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 Tbsp. water (or more to taste if using yogurt)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix together the vinegar or lemon juice and vinegar with the garlic, salt and mustard using a fork or small whisk. Stir in the olive oil and yogurt with water or buttermilk. Season with pepper. Thin out with more water as desired. 2 Tbsp. is about 45 calories of homemade goodness.

*You can also make a lemon version by omitting the vinegar all together and substituting 2 Tbsp. lemon juice instead.

**This is also very good with walnut oil instead of EVOO

***Schulman also recommends a cumin version where you add 1/2 tsp. ground cumin to the mixture and subtract 1/2 tsp. of mustard. Haven't tried this yet, but sounds yummy!

Another dressing (maybe more of a dip?) I make often is a version of Tzatziki, which is a Greek cucumber and yogurt sauce. This is also adapted from Schulman's book. It can be a little bit of an acquired taste, but I like it in the summer, especially with grilled meats and veggies. This recipe isn't so formal -- I just add until it tastes good, so experimentation is alright:

Greek-Style Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
(Great for dipping carrots and other veggies, on a chicken and spinach salad, or on various sandwiches)

Salt to taste
1 European cucumber peeled and grated OR 1-2 regular cucumbers seeded, peeled and grated.
1.5 cups plain nonfat yogurt (Greek yogurt is best, but the flavor is much stronger -- when I make this for my mom, I just go with ordinary plain, unsweetened yogurt because the greek is too "intense" for her.)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I sometimes use more -- the garlic will taste really spicy when paired with the mild flavor of the cukes.)
1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint or dill (optional)
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (optional)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (the original recipe recommends this amount, but sometimes I leave it out entirely; it tastes good either way.)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Generously salt the grated cucumber, toss, and let sit in a strainer in the sink for 15-30 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out the water. Toss the cucumber with the yogurt and remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Taste. Add seasonings as you see fit. Refrigerate (it keeps for a few days!). If you go all out with the EVOO and vinegar etc, it'll cost you about 120 calories for 1/3 cup (ends up being about 1/6 of recipe) -- I usually eat about half that much in a sitting.

Hope this helps!
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