Homemade Low Calorie Salad Dressing

by Pamela Henman

Items you will need

  • 1 garlic bulb, cloved and peeled
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Small saucepan
  • Water
  • Strainer
  • Small bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Dressing carafe or serving bottle
  • 1/2 lb tofu
  • 1/2 c plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tbsp wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil, savory, dill or other herbs
  • 3 oz blue cheese
  • Food processor or blender

According to the USDA’s Food Pyramid guidelines, a healthy diet consists of a calorie budget comprised of "essentials” and “extra”, or discretionary calories. Your daily diet should consist of between 100 and 300 discretionary calories, and salad dressing is one of many extras considered discretionary. Instead of allotting a large portion of your discretionary calorie budget to regular salad dressing, you can make some low calorie versions of your own at home.

Vinaigrette Dressing

Step 1

Put the garlic cloves in a small saucepan and pour about 1/2 cup of water in to cover them.

Step 2

Boil the water and then reduce the heat. Allow the cloves to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the cloves are tender.

Step 3

Reduce the liquid in the saucepan to about two tablespoons and increase the heat for three minutes.

Step 4

Use a sieve to strain the contents of the saucepan over a small bowl. Mash the garlic using a wooden spoon.

Step 5

Whisk vinegar into the garlic mixture, and then add honey, seasoning and oil. Pour the dressing into a serving bottle. Recipe yields four servings, with each serving equal to two teaspoons.

Tofu Blue Cheese Dressing

Step 1

Process the tofu, vinegar or lemon juice and yogurt in a blender or food processor until it is smooth and creamy.

Step 2

Add herbs, safflower oil and two thirds of the blue cheese and process again. Add water as needed to thin the dressing to a consistency that you like.

Step 3

Stir in the remaining crumbles of blue cheese and serve. This recipe yields two cups of dressing.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Pamela Henman has been writing marketing- and advertising-related articles since 2006. Previously, she covered arts and entertainment news for "AUC Magazine," "The Signal" and "The Urbanite." She received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Georgia State University.