Especially if you're on a diet, eating salad can sometimes be a bit soul-destroying. You fancy tucking into steak and chips or bangers and mash but you've decided to be good and go for a salad instead. The important thing to remember is that salads don't have to be boring. By combining different colours and textures and adding some unexpected ingredients, you can actually come up with a totally moreish but healthy dish - you might like to try out some of my concoctions, such as Chicken Fajita Salad, Sunshine Cod & Mango Salad, Warm Potato & Smoked Mackerel Salad, Beetroot Salad with King Prawns, Olive, Cheese & Couscous Salad, and even a Kid-Friendly Salad-Haters' Salad.
The other important thing is the choice of salad dressing. When buying ready-to-eat salads in the supermarket, you need to be careful because the lashings of high-fat dressing can actually make them a worse option than a trip to a fast food chain for burger and chips ! Even at home, you need to peruse the labels carefully, so I was delighted when Lucy's Dressings sent me their new 'slim' range of natural food dressings for summer - lower-calorie versions of their best-sellers, Slim Light Asian and Light French, plus a brand new addition, Light Raspberry.
The first one that I tried was the Light Asian Dressing, a zesty zingy blend of rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, chilli, ginger & garlic. It added a nice subtle kick and a note of sweetness to my tuna salad (made with lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, carrot, olives and tuna). It contains 41 calories per 15ml serving, which isn't bad at all.
When I came to sample the Light Raspberry Dressing, I wasn't sure what it would go with, so I just drizzled some over some lettuce as a very simple side salad. It is not actually as sweet as I expected - it's more a burst of fruity tartness - so I think this would be lovely as a dressing with salmon or goat's cheese and maybe as a dip with spring rolls. The lovely Galina over at Chez Maximka always produces visually stunning and tantalisingly tasty flavour combinations and she paired this with goat's cheese, pear and figs, but also roast duck, which is pure genius. The Light Raspberry Dressing contains 51 calories per 15ml serving.
And finally the Slim Light French, a classic blend of extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and cracked black pepper. A 15ml serving contains 49 calories and I was pleased to see that it has only a hint of mustard heat so it doesn't overpower delicate salads.
I used this on a Portuguese Squid Salad and it complemented the flavours of the squid and red and green peppers perfectly.
If you want some lower calorie dressings that are perfect for injecting some pizazz into salads over the summer months, they're absolutely perfect.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £4.50 per 250ml bottle or currently £12 for all three on the Lucy's Dressings website
for more information : http://www.lucysdressings.co.uk/
Disclosure : I received the products in order to write an honest review.