If you're following the South Beach Diet®, chances are you're eating a lot of delicious salads. Certainly, it's fine to dress your salad with a store-bought dressing, as long as you choose one that has no saturated or trans fat and has less than 3 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving.
On the other hand, it's so easy to whip up a basic vinaigrette, why not make fresh dressing from time to time? You can use it for other dishes too — as a marinade for fish, chicken, or vegetables, for example. Once you've mastered the basic dressing, you can add a dollop of your own creativity by changing the flavor with a variety of ingredients. Here is the recipe for South Beach Diet® balsamic vinaigrette, along with some ideas for variations.
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil in a screw-top jar. Cover and shake. Enjoy up to 2 tablespoons of salad dressing with a meal.
Variations: The basic ratio for any vinaigrette is 1 part vinegar to 3 or 4 parts oil. Instead of balsamic vinegar, you can use any other type of vinegar (such as red wine or cider), or substitute lemon juice for some of the vinegar. Shallots and fresh herbs make nice additions, as does mustard. To ensure proper mixing of the ingredients, either shake well or mix with a wire whisk.
This tip is from the South Beach Diet® Kitchen section of the Web site. Subscribe to southbeachdiet.com for more helpful cooking techniques, over 1,000 delicious recipes, and expert advice from Dr. Agatston.
For more information on the South Beach Diet, go to: www.southbeachdiet.com