Salads and SidesBy all means make potato salad. Picnics and cookouts just wouldn't be the same without it. Substitute low fat or fat free mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream for the full fat versions. Low-fat buttermilk is another great option, too. If you add eggs to your potato salads, lose some or even all of the yolks. If you make coleslaw dressing, use low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise as the base. For rice, bean, corn or tomato salads, reverse the oil to vinegar ratio. It’s usually three parts oil to one part vinegar. If the dressing is too tart, it's fine to dilute it a little with a tablespoon of water or broth. Toss green salads with a citrus-based vinaigrette. You really won’t miss the fat so long as you compensate with flavor. Top your salads with baked croutons or a small amount of heart-healthy walnuts or almonds. Add dried fruit, too: cranberries, cherries, raisins and apricots are delicious additions.
So lose the fat and bring out the herbs, spices, vinegars and mustards for your salads instead. Your taste buds, and your waistline, will thank you.
Here are some ideas for low fat main course or side salads.
FruitMake a big summer fruit salad with as many colorful fruits as you can.
Make fruit kebabs—these are very popular with kids. Skewer chunks of banana, strawberries, mangoes and pineapple. Make a dipping sauce from chocolate syrup or low-fat vanilla yogurt. Grill some pineapple, peach or nectarine halves and add a little brown sugar and low fat whipped topping. Make fruit smoothies or slushies using your favorite combination of fruit, low-fat milk or yogurt, and ice.
Other Low Fat DessertsServe blueberries and strawberries with angel food cake and low fat or fat free whipped topping. Make an apple or fruit pie using phyllo dough instead of regular pastry. Serve with frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Offer sorbets instead of ice cream, too, or homemade fruit juice popsicles.
For more dessert options, take a look at my photo gallery of low fat summer desserts.
See Next Page for summer food safety >>>>