You can save a lot of money and be healthier this year by making your own dressings. These will be fresh and healthy alternatives to the preservative-packed versions on your grocery store shelf.
Tzatziki is a creamy, tangy Greek sauce and dip made from fresh cucumber, dill, and yogurt. It makes a refreshing topping for meats seasoned with Mediterranean spices like oregano, in the same way that you would top a Mexican dish with sour cream. Beyond that, it’s also an incredibly low-calorie dip that is excellent with baked pita chips or fresh-cut vegetables.
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 18 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Slice cucumber in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds, making sure to get all of the translucent flesh around the seeds and discarding it.
- Chop the seeded cucumbers, and place in a colander. Cover with a paper towel, and press down to squeeze as much water as possible from the cucumber.
- Sprinkle the cucumber with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and toss in the colander to mix. Let drain in sink for 15 minutes, as the salt brings out the liquid in the cucumbers. Press cucumbers through a paper towel once more before proceeding.
- Add the drained cucumbers and all the remaining ingredients, including the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse in short bursts for 1 minute to finely grate the cucumbers and combine everything into a sauce.
- For the best flavor, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors marry before serving.
HELPFUL TIP: Some brands sell nonfat plain Greek yogurt in 18-ounce tubs (Fage brand is 17.6 ounces, which is close enough), but if you are having any issue finding that size, the easiest thing to do is purchase 3 (6-ounce) cups.
Avocado Caesar Dressing
Mona’s Family Favorites: I LOVE avocado. It’s one of those healthy ingredients that creates creaminess with less fat than mayonnaise. In this recipe, we used puréed fresh avocado instead of the egg yolk and Parmesan cheese. Not only does the avocado make this dressing thick and creamy, it also adds nutrients, great flavor, and only unsaturated fat! This delicious Avocado Caesar Dressing knocks it out of the park.
- 1 medium Haas avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and chopped
- ½ cup 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Place the avocado in a food processor, and process until mostly smooth.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, except the Parmesan cheese, and process until smooth and combined.
- Fold the Parmesan cheese into the dressing, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
HELPFUL TIP: Anchovy paste can often be found in the Italian food aisle, although 2 whole canned anchovies can be used in its place.