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

  • 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)


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