Friday, September 9, 2011

Low Fat Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

One of my new cooking projects is making lower-fat, lower-carb salad dressings that use healthy, natural ingredients without sacrificing flavor and mouthfeel. After all, eating should be pleasurable as well as good for you. In my continuing quest to eat healthy foods that taste good, I discovered a wonderful recipe website called The first recipe I tried was their Low Fat Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing | Skinnytaste, shown on the salad in the photo. I'm happy to report that this home-made, healthy version of blue cheese dressing is a real winner. It passed the "husband taste test" in that Greg said it was MUCH better than any bottled dressings (I would hope so!) and almost as good as the best steakhouse dressing he's had (well, ok, I can live with that, especially since this was my first attempt at the recipe and I'm not a professional chef).

The recipe was very easy and took only a few minutes to make. Because it is so "rich" and creamy, a little goes a long way. I'm certain it would be great with Buffalo style chicken wings, and it's definitely good as a dipping sauce with raw carrots, celery, and other veggies. I made two minor ingredient modifications: First, I used fat free plain Greek yogurt instead of ordinary fat free plain yogurt, and this most likely helped to make the recipe extra-creamy. Nonfat Greek yogurt has a texture and mouthfeel that's much closer to full-fat sour cream. Second, I used a vegan (egg-free) light mayonnaise from Whole Foods, simply because that was the only mayo I had on hand. Greg didn't know that the mayo was egg-free, and neither he nor I noticed any flavor notes in the dressing to give that away.

Greg did comment that the dressing was on the tangy side, and he suggested using a tad less lemon juice and a little more mayonnaise the next time I make this recipe. Since I normally prefer tangy dressings and generally don't eat blue cheese dressing, the tanginess didn't bother me, but once he pointed it out I understood what he meant. It may have been the Greek yogurt that added a little more tanginess, but that can be counterbalanced by a slight reduction in the lemon juice and/or adding more mayonnaise. Next time I'll also add just a little more of the crumbled blue cheese, even though that might slightly increase the total fat in the recipe. One final note: I didn't add any salt or black pepper, but a few grinds from your pepper mill would be nice touch. And make sure you use fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and not the nasty bottled stuff.

If you try this or any other SkinnyTaste recipes, please let me know what you think.

Zestfully yours,

PS: This blue cheese dressing recipe is perfect for football season - don't forget to stock up on your favorite wing sauce!

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