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Low Calorie Creamy Caesar Dressing

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Its rainy here but I'm not letting that make me feel gloomy. Its pretty amazing how gorgeous and mild this fall has been. Like I rode my bike to work on Monday and didn't even need gloves. In fact, I was sweating by the time I got there! I am still enjoying salads and have not needed to transition to entirely hot foods yet. I am sure that time is coming, it always does here in Toronto! As my brother says, where else does the temperature range from +30 Celsius to -30 Celsius on a regular basis??

Speaking of salad, I have a great recipe for you today.

I know fat is all the rage right now, and while long gone are the days where any health experts recommend a fat-free diet, the researchers I trust agree that fat should still be eaten sparingly.  Why? no matter how healthy the fat you eat, it is extremely calorically dense and most North Americans don't burn enough calories to justify eating much of it.  Sorry, there is no evidence that you can eat even the most 'miraculous' oil in unlimited amounts without packing on weight!

Also, despite what many high fat diet proponents preach, the research I have read indicates that protein and fibre help you feel full, not fat.  Certainly I have found that to be the case for me.  If I dress a green salad with a fat free dressing or a high fat dressing, there is no difference in how long it will keep me full (not long unless there is a big fat serving of protein in it!).  Besides, I prefer to get my fats from food (nuts, nut butters, fish, avocado, cheese, etc.) instead of from oils.  I just find that solid food always makes me feel more satisfied than liquids, including oils (which are often highly processed, by the way!). They also tend to add more flavour.  The only oil I use for flavour is toasted sesame oil, which, because it is so potent, has to be used in small quantities anyways.

So I generally prefer to make oil-free dressings and then add a healthy fat to my salad like nuts or avocado, or as my protein.  Caesar dressings are usually calorie bombs full of olive oil.  This one is super low in calories but also really flavourful.  When I make Caesar salad, I skip the croutons - I hate them - and often add some extra veggies in like grape tomatoes and cucumbers.  You can add a few tbsp. of parmesan cheese into the dressing, but I just sprinkle it on top before serving.

You can veganize this recipe by using non-dairy yogurt and umeboshi plum paste in lieu of the anchovy paste.

Low Calorie Creamy Caesar Dressing

1 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together yogurt, mustard, anchovy paste and garlic.  Add vinegar, lemon juice and whisk again until smooth.  Season to taste.  If you find it too thick for your liking, thin out with a few extra tbsp. of vinegar.  Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

I have shared this recipe with Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday.


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