Monday, September 26, 2011

Saucy Veggies

I've always enjoyed my vegetables more if they were served with a good ranch dip or cheese sauce, and dressing can really make a salad amazing. Unfortunately, the calories from the dips, sauces, and dressings can add up really quickly, and it kinda' cancels out any benefit you get when you choose veggies instead of junk food. These are a couple of tricks I use to keep my sauces without blowing my diet:

1- If you have to have a cheese sauce, use parmesan instead of cheddar. It's more flavorful, so you will probably end up using less.

2- If you enjoy cream cheese, try reduced fat, or even laughing cow cheese wedges. They both make a good base for your dips, and there are a lot less calories.

3- I enjoy mixing a tablespoon of sour cream with some apple cider vinegar and pouring it on my steamed broccoli. It gives it a little bit of a kick and makes it creamier, too. (I haven't tried it yet, but I bet it would be good to substitute lemon juice for the vinegar, too.)

4-We've gotten a lot of celery lately, and I love it with peanut butter. Unfortunately, that's about 100 Calories per Tablespoon. I thin it out with a little bit of milk before I spread it on the celery. It doesn't change the taste at all, but it does make it easier to spread, so I can have more for less calories.

5-I like creamy dressings, but they usually have too much fat and sodium.  Making your own dressing is easy, and much healthier, and you can make it with the stuff from your basket that is maybe a little too ripe.  A quick search will give you recipes for dressings made with Avocados, Mangos, Bananas, Lemons,  or Strawberries (to name a few. . .I've only tried the mango, but it was pretty good!). Plus, it's easy to make a homemade viniagrette.  ***One warning though: These don't have all the sodium that bottled dressings do, which means they can't sit in your fridge forever, or they'll mold. . .That's probably pretty obvious, but I just thought I'd put it in there.

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