• 79°

Small changes matter — like making your own salad dressings

LOUISE L. HINSLEY

Making small changes in our diets can improve our health and reduce our risk of chronic diseases. Research show that consuming olive oil instead of saturated fats is a great choice!

There are three things to consider when purchasing olive oil: choose oil that is packaged in a dark bottle or can, as it will stay fresher longer; choose extra virgin olive oil as it is the highest quality and is versatile for salads and cooking; and look for the best-by date, as once opened, it is recommended that it is used within 30-60 days or it will become rancid. The Mediterranean-style eating pattern suggest the we consume three to four tablespoons of healthy oil such as olive oil every day! One way to reach this goal is to make your own salad dressing. This basic recipe is very simple: equal parts of acid to olive oil plus seasoning. Here are two delicious salad dressing recipes:

 

Citrus Salad Dressing

This dressing brings freshness and zip and is a top pick in the current Beaufort County Med Instead of Meds class!

Serves 6
Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Juice from 3 limes or lemons; 6 tablespoons olive oil; salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Combine juice, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Serve immediately with your favorite salad or chill until serving.

Nutrition information per serving: (Based on juice from 3 limes, ½ teaspoon, 1 T. olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper) serving size, 2 tablespoons; vegetables, 0 cups; fruit, 0 cups; calories, 125 calories; carbohydrates, 2 grams; fiber, 0 grams; protein, 0 grams; fat, 12 grams; and sodium, 195 mg

 

Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette

This classic dressing can be paired with many different salads.

Serves 8
Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar; 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; 6 tablespoons olive oil; salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in jar with tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously. Serve immediately with your favorite salad or chill until serving. Note: if you chill the dressing, remove from the refrigerator a few minutes prior to serving to bring to room temperature — shake to combine ingredients.

Nutrition Information per serving: (Based on 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper) serving size: 2 tablespoons; vegetables, 0 cups; fruits, 0 cups; calories, 102 calories; carbohydrates, 2 grams; fiber, 0 grams; protein, 0 grams; fat, 10 grams; and sodium, 315 mg

 

Amp up your traditional tuna salad with this delicious recipe, which is made with olive oil instead of mayonnaise. Full of vegetables and flavor, it makes a delectable meal the whole family will love any time of day. If serving as a sandwich, use your favorite whole-grain bread and try topping it with a couple leaves of kale and a few tomato slices. Fun tip: Substitute the vegetables suggested in this recipe with your favorites to find your perfect flavor combination.

 

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Serves 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 2 (5-ounce) cans of tuna packed in water or olive oil, drained and flaked; 1/2 cup minced carrots (approximately 2 carrots); 1/2 cup minced celery (approximately 2 celery sticks); 1/2 cup minced yellow bell pepper (approximately 1 small bell pepper – substitute with orange, red or green bell pepper if preferred); 1/4 cup minced red onion (substitute with yellow or green onion if preferred); 1/4 cup minced olives (substitute with pickles if preferred); 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional); salt to taste (optional)

 

Directions

In a medium size bowl combine the carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion, olives, tuna and olive oil. Season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix well. Serve as a sandwich on whole-grain bread, on top of salad greens, or with whole wheat crackers.

Nutrition information: (Based on tuna packed in water, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt) serving size, 1 cup; vegetables, 3/4 cup; fruits, 0 cups; calories, 124 calories; carbohydrates, 6 grams; fiber, 2 grams; protein, 15 grams; fat, 5 grams; and sodium, 559 mg

 

Sources for this article N.C. Cooperative Extension Meds Instead of Meds educational program. For more information about the foods and nutrition, contact Louise L. Hinsley at 252-946-0111. Be sure to like the Beaufort County FCS Facebook page for upcoming classes.

Louise Hinsley is the Family Consumer Science extension agent at the Beaufort County Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension, 155 Airport Road, Washington.