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

By Oliver Dowson

Over the last 40 years, I’ve built companies in many countries from the ground up. I have created, managed and sold businesses in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, China, Germany, Czech Republic and Spain. I have travelled extensively in over 120 countries, spending an average of 8 months a year over the last 20 years away from my home base.
In my early business life, I successfully created 7 new businesses in different sectors in the UK for overseas owners. I moved on to invent and build one of the world's first energy and environmental management consultancies – long before Global Warming became a headline issue. Over the following 30 years, I grew that company, EnTech, into a true international business by opening 11 offices in 9 countries - and along the way, set up many more international companies for others.

I’m fortunate and proud that EnTech became the international energy management company of choice for Fortune 100 multinationals, selling services directly to GE, GM, HSBC, Citi, Honeywell and many others. Working closely with them gave me invaluable insights both into how multinationals work and the different business cultures in countries around the world. In April 2014, I sold EnTech to EnerNOC, becoming a Vice President and overseeing a seamless M&A transition over the next 18 months.

In all my business activities I’ve also used my languages and programming/software development expertise.
I am also now a Business Angel, investing in companies with international ambitions where I can provide mentoring and support from my practical experience, especially those headed up by women and minorities.

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