Healthy is as healthy does. Some dressings will fatten, others will help you reduce, and yet others will do neither. Let’s look at the last two types, since they will put the pep back into your body and a zing in your step.
If all the things that make up your dressing come from your own kitchen rather than cans, so much the better. The curds, first. Warm a bowl of skimmed milk – it needs to be luke warm. Smoothen two teaspoon full of unflavored yogurt and blend into the milk. Cover and set aside in a warm (not hot) place. Your own yogurt is ready in anything from 2-6 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.
First gently beat and smoothen yogurt. Add salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of sugar and a teaspoon of fresh garlic paste. This dressing is great with blanched salted cauliflower, as also with roasted croutons, boiled potatoes, blanched corn, shredded cabbage or a combination of all. To dress the dressing further, we add a few bruised mint leaves. Set aside for a while to let it steep. Use it for the same vegetables as above. Enhance the flavor of your dressing with roasted peanut powder (again, roast your own peanuts and remove the thin skin before grinding). Fresh grated carrots can be the chief vegetable for this dressing.
And the piece de resistance – a honey-yogurt-lemon juice-ginger juice (a wee bit) -salt –pepper dressing! Buy all possible salad suitable veggies, and select a combination according to taste. Bruise, grate, shred, blanch – anything to bring out the flavor of the vegetable in question. Get out your largest salad bowl and mix everything in. Add chopped walnuts, pineapple chunks if you wish, or the utterly healthful boiled egg or potato; a pinch of roasted cinnamon powder or chopped parsley will also work wonders. This is a salad fit for kings and a meal in itself.
The best dressing for a fruit salad or a fruit-and veggie salad is the natural juice of the fruit. Dice a number of fruits and vegetable that you think will blend well together – pineapple, apple, zucchini, melon, cottage cheese (made of skimmed milk), even a few sprigs of spring onion can make an interesting combination. Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator. After a couple of hours, the juices would have blended. Season with just a wee bit of salt, pepper and lemon juice.
If you simply cannot do without your meats, then boiled and shredded chicken can be added to any of these. Also, for a more solid dressing, roast and cool a wee amount of whole wheat flour. Add skimmed milk, salt and pepper to the cooled flour, heat and reduce to the desired consistency, add a tiny amount of grated cheese for bite without calories. This dressing is a good substitute for mayonnaise or white sauce.
The thumb rule in salad dressings is to use yogurt, milk or juices instead of oil and to flavor it with fresh herbs.