Summer Salads with Flavored Vinegars
Are you looking for something new to freshen up your salad recipes? Tired of the same old heavy dishes like coleslaw, potato or macaroni salads at every party you attend this summer?
It’s time to lighten up your salads and all your dishes by getting rid of all the processed fatty dressings and oils and replacing them with other flavors. Don’t get me wrong as I am all in favor of including the right fats in your diet. Fat from real foods that are not processed will not only help with weight loss but are also essential for good health. What’s important to remember is that how we get our fat in our diet is what is important. Using processed oils and dressings are not only the wrong types of fats but they mask rather than enhance the natural flavors in your food. I promise if you will reduce or eliminate the processed fats in your food and replace it with condiments like lemon, vinegar, herbs and spices you will not only enjoy your dish but you’ll have room to add the healthy fats that your body needs such as avocados and nuts.
One way to add loads of flavor and eliminate the fatty dressings is flavored vinegars. Stores are opening up all over the place that sell imported vinegars that are infused with natural flavors. These tasty blends of herbs or fruits are the perfect addition to not just salads but are also great to use on your meats, poultry or fish. If you have the time to get to a local store that sells these vinegars then it’s worth the trip although I promise that you won’t be able to decide which ones to buy. They allow you to taste them so you can sample as many as you want before buying. Aged for 18 years these balsamic vinegars are infused with flavors such as blueberry, raspberry or herbs such as basil and oregano. They will truly change the way you cook and prepare your salads as you will find that the flavors are so intense and they bring out the flavor of your salad rather than mask it with a coating of oily dressing.
No worries if you don’t have the flavored vinegars however because you can still skip the heavy oils and fatty dressing in most recipes and replace them with a good balsamic with the addition of your own spices and fruits. Look on my website for my Clean Bean Salsa recipe which is a perfect example of how taking the oil out of a recipe made it taste better and saved on the calories. The original recipe called for 1 cup of oil and the clean version has no oil and is so much tastier.
The recipe below is an oil free version of your classic Italian Tomato Salad that uses vinegar flavored with oregano but skips the oil. This recipe can be made with a flavored Oregano Vinegar but no worries as we did the recipe using regular vinegar and spices and it comes out just as good. Keep your salads light this summer with flavor rather than processed dressings and not only will your salad be a hit but you’ll be sticking to your clean eating plan.
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 T white balsamic vinegar
1 oz low fat mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp oregano if not using oregano infused vinegar
Mix together. Refrigerate if desired or eat at room temperature. To serve more people simply multiply the recipe by number of guests you choose to serve.
Fat: 5 g
Carbs: 11 g
Protein: 8 g
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!