Travelling gets me so exhausted! Yesterday, Sherif and I went to our friends’ wedding (which was absolutely beautiful – photos of the delectable food to come), but we didn’t get home till about 1 AM! Then, I had to pack everything for a flight at 8 AM – which meant that I didn’t get to sleep till 3 AM, and had to wake up at 5:45 AM. But, it’s worth it because it’s still really nice to be home (though I wish Sherif were with me)! Come to think of it, I’m not really sure why I’m still up now…
But, I digress: Since I’ve been writing recently quite a bit about “interesting salads,” I want to say a few words about salad dressing! A few years ago, I fell in love with the simple olive oil + lime juice combo on every salad (and on pretty much every other dish I make). That is not to say that I don’t crave a creamy dressing with more body, every once in a while. For a while, I would consider buying pre-packagaed salad dressing from the store. Then, I came across this shocking fact:
Fat-Free or Reduced Fat Salad Dressing
Why is it good? Less fat means less calories. Plus that salad dressing fat is most likely trans fat – the bad kind – like crisco. Sick.
Why is it bad? Firstly because when fat comes out, sugar goes in. Either that or artificial flavors and sweeteners. Secondly, since many vegetables are fat soluble, taking away the fat from the dressing means fewer of the salad nutrients will be absorbed into your body. This was confirmed by a study at Ohio State University wherein a higher fat salad dressing resulted in an increased uptake of the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene.
Instead choose: A salad dressing made with olive oil, or just use olive oil and vinegar as your salad dressing. If you try it you might like it. (20 Unhealthy Foods)
I hope this information will at least make you think twice about “fat-free” salad dressings! As mentioned, olive oil is indeed a great substitute! But, if you find yourself hungry for a creamier substitute, consider whipping up some authentic Greek tzatziki (best translated as ‘cucumber salad’) in about 5-7 minutes. You’ll love it so much that you’ll probably end up eating it by itself instead of using it as a dressing (like I did the other day )!
Here are the ingredients for making Tzatziki (serves 4):
- 2 cups organic whole milk yogurt from grass-fed cows, preferably raw
- 2 medium cucumbers (or one large one), peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground mint
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- few drops of lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash cucumbers, peel, and chop.
- Peel garlic and crush with mortar and pestle.
- Mix yogurt with cucumbers, lime juice, olive oil, mint and crushed garlic.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste, and mix well!
That’s it (easiest recipe ever made)! Enjoy!
Tzatziki is wonderful as a salad dressing, on its own with some whole-wheat pita bread, or as a dip that accompanies Mediterranean dishes like stuffed grape leaves and kofta (Middle Eastern meatballs). I liked RhodeyGirl‘s step-by-step directions for making vegetarian stuffed grape leaves – next time I’m craving tzatziki, I’m definitely making stuffed grape leaves too!
What is your favorite creamy (but healthy!) salad dressing?