Just because you’re eating a salad doesn’t mean you have to use salad dressing. If the purpose of the dressing is to add flavor and moisture to an otherwise less palatable plate of raw veggies, then you’ve got a lot of alternatives to dress it up! Here’s a few of my favorites discovered or developed to break the monotony of eating the same salad every day and generally reduce fat and/or sugar.

Salsa – make your own (I’ll post my Rainbow recipe soon), or for a store-bought reco, Trader Joe’s Papaya Mango is appearing ever more frequently in my bowl.
Hummus –comes in so many flavors and adds protein to your salad. Just watch portion size-2 tablespoons as the store-bought brands have a fair amount of sodium. Making your own is simple and a great way to reduce sodium and fat content…
Damn, I’m Good Hummus – drain one can garbanzo beans, over a bowl, put bowl aside for a moment. In food processor, place beans, half the liquid from the can, juice from 2 freshly squeezed lemons, 2 tablspoons tahini paste (ground sesame seeds), two tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon freshly grated pepper, 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder.
Avocado – dice it into small cubes and toss onto your salad.

Cilantro Avocado Vinaigrette – toss one avocado cubed, 1/4 white vinegar, the juice of two large juicy ripe limes, 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ cup finely diced fresh cilantro leaves, 1-3 teaspoons freshly grated black pepper in food processor

Lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit juice – for great flavor, squeeze a few fresh wedges of most any citrus fruit onto your salad, add a splash of white wine vinegar, a small drizzle of olive oil (one tablespoon) and freshly ground pepper. Pre-make your own Citrus Vinaigrette with these ingredients in a shaker bottle.

I’ve actually been using a combo recently which I affectionately deem the “Bowl of Chaos.” It satisfies a sweet, salty and spicy craving. Of course it starts with my basic spinach salad: spinach & broccoli slaw, to which I’ll add red and yellow pepper slices, 1/4-1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans, a tablespoon of hummus, 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Papaya Mango salsa, juice from a few wedges of freshlysqueezed lime and 1/2 an avocado diced. For more quick protein: top with a can of lightly drained white albacore tuna, or if you have grill access, pair with freshly grilled chicken breast, tuna, salmon or beef tenderloin. Hard to mess this one up, it complements practically anything …or is it the one being complemented?