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Okay, let's talk about dressing.  Dressing, as is evident on all the aisles in the grocery stores, can be light and low in fat. They're very easy to make and the flavor options are endless!

Most recipes recommend using a 2 to 1 ratio of oil to acid.  This really isn't necessary.  Switch out some of the oil for a bit of chicken or vegetable broth.  It's flavorful and you lose a lot of calories.  

Try different acids-lemon juice, lime juice, tomato or vegetable juice and orange marmalade; use some rice wine vinegar and soy sauce as a combination.  Try using fresh herbs:  mint, thyme, basil and oregano!  

And even though fat is not a great thing in keeping calories down, it is important for taste and keeping our skin soft.  Check out the oils-walnut, sesame, almond, peanut and various flavored olive oils.  Give them a try in your next salad.

Here area few of the ones my family seems to favor:
For the Asian style slaw:

¼ C Each lemon juice, oil and soy sauce
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly grated pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil and if you'd like 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds.
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender and pour over 2 pounds of shredded cabbage.

This next one is a favorite of ours in a cauliflower, spinach and white bean salad, but the dressing is great on any salad.

1/3 C olive oil-warmed first with 1 tsp of fresh rosemary.  Let it cool.
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper

Again, combine in the blender and you've got dressing!
This last one is great in a pasta-ish salad with sun-dried tomatoes and Greek olives.  I love adding leftover grilled asparagus, mushrooms and halved cherry tomatoes.  My son loves this one with orzo, but rotini or mini-pennes or bowties make a nice change!

¼ C fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp each minced shallots and white wine vinegar
1 tsp each freshly ground pepper and kosher salt
½ C olive oil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes is optional, but nice if you have a group that loves a bit of heat!

Hope these inspire you to celebrate Earth Day with a bowl of various greens!



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