Diet-conscious Salad Dressings

I love salad but only if it has dressing! All my life I used vinaigrette made with olive oil – and 1 tablespoon (about 15ml) has 120 calories. Similarly mayonnaise – always home made with oil. Commercial low-calorie mayonnaise is, to my taste, disgusting – but I found that it makes a wonderful base for dressings and mayonnaise when mixed with other things – and, at 11 calories for 15ml, it’s a saving of 100 calories every time!


This is for “green goddess” herb dressing, I’ve put other variants at the end of this recipe.

Ingredients for diet-conscious herb dressing
Ingredients for diet-conscious herb dressing
  • 15ml “lighter than light” mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lime or lemon (or white wine vinegar or white spirit vinegar if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) of chopped herbs (basil, parsley, chives or any mixture)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)


Diet-conscious herb dressing
Finished dressing ready to serve
  1. Chop the herbs and stir to combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. The resulting mixture will be too thick to call salad dressing but can be used as-is as mayonnaise (goes great with poached salmon). Thin it down to turn it into pourable dressing with a little milk or, if you like it more acidic, with white vinegar – adding the liquid gently, a little at a time, to get the right consistency.
  3. Add salt to taste (I don’t, as I don’t think it needs it)
  4. Serve with your favourite salad!
If , like me, you have this with gravadlax, throw the sauce provided away! It adds lots of calories and the herb dressing is a great substitute


All of these start with a base of “Lighter than Light” mayonnaise – just stir in these additions, thinning to the consistency you want with milk or white vinegar.


  • 1 or more cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 anchovy, turned to paste either with a mortar and pestle or simply by crushing with a spoon

Caesar Dressing

  • 10g grated parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon mustard

Marie-Rose Dressing (or Thousand Island – well, pink…)

  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Puree (from a tube)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Dash of Tabasco


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