Salad Dressing: Dump, Dunk, or Dip?

Are you a dumper, a dunker, or a dipper?

What do you do with your dressing?I’m talking about salad dressings. Many people elect to eat salads in restaurants as a way of controlling calories and getting more vegetables in their diets. But sometimes the added salad dressing can eliminate the benefits of the salad.

Generally, if you let the restaurant add the dressing, you’ll end up with a salad that is drowning in dressing. Sometimes it gets so bad that the dressing overpowers the flavor of the salad ingredients. To save the swimming lettuce, savvy salad eaters ask for their dressing “on the side.”

But have you ever watched what people do after they get their side of dressing? This is where the dumping, dipping, or dunking comes in.

Dumping is when a person takes the entire cup of dressing and dumps it on the salad. Those little cups of dressing look fairly small, but they usually contain about ¼ cup of dressing.

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a 1/4 cup of regular commercial ranch dressing contains 253 calories (27 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar, and 541 mg of sodium). One of my husband’s favorites is Caesar dressing, so I checked that out, too. Yikes! That’s even worse: 318 calories (34 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar and 710 mg of sodium) in just 1/4 cup. I sometimes wonder why people ask for dressing on the side when they do this, but I guess there is some portion control because they at least know how much was dumped on the salad without a server doing it for them.

DunkingA more healthful approach to dealing with dressing is dunking. This is done by dunking the forkful of salad into the dressing before you eat it. Then you only get a small amount of dressing on the lettuce, and this can help you make the most of the dressing without drowning the salad in it.

A third method for dressing maintenance is dipping. This method is often recommended by healthful eaters, and is done by dipping the fork into the dressing before picking up the salad ingredients.

DippingBy dipping, the diner gets just the small amount of dressing that sticks to the fork tines with each bite. Dipping allows for the flavor to come through without nearly as much fat and calories per bite.

On average, it only takes one to two tablespoons of salad dressing to flavor two cups of salad greens. Overdoing it on dressing can really add calories to a potentially healthful meal.

So the next time you’re dining out, look for those dumpers, dunkers, and dippers.

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University

Want to feature salad in other ways? Check out these great resources!

Benefits of Salad Poster

Make Your Salad a Rainbow Buttons

Salad Secrets Cookbook

Oh, and here’s a free handout that highlights the keys of today’s blog post! Check it out!

Salad Dressing Guide

 

We are here when you want to look your very best right now!

Salad Secrets

I had a mission. I was going to take pictures of all 1,000 recipes in the free recipe database.

Salad Secrets Cookbook and Demo Set

It didn’t seem especially daunting. I figured that I would print a copy of each recipe, then sort everything into piles of similar recipes. I would tackle salads, then fruits, pasta, rice, chicken, fish, veggies, beans, soups, holidays, desserts, etc.

As I began to sort, I was blown away by the hundreds and hundreds of salad recipes. There seemed to be way more salads than anything else. In fact, we had roughly 10 times the number of salads than recipes in any other category.

Since I had so many healthful salad recipes, I decided to take pictures of those first.

Little did I know that this would take a whole summer.

You see, once I started taking pictures of the salads, I got a little sidetracked. There were just so many wonderful recipes to share. I ended up putting all the salad recipes into a book and combining them with an instruction set. That’s how Salad Secrets was born.

I also posted some of my favorite salads and presentation tips on the Food and Health blog, and they quickly became some of the most popular posts I’d ever written. I shouldn’t really have been surprised — who doesn’t want to learn about healthful new ways to make tasty and creative salads?

Carrot Cake Salad from the Salad Secrets Cookbook

One of my best salad features was the carrot cake salad. It uses the same spices as carrot cake and can be served dessert-style in a stemmed glass. I was so pleased with the resources that I’d made to help people fall in love with salad. In fact, that delight soon led to the creation of a nutrition poster called Fall in Love with Salad.

Who knew that all of those wonderful nutrition education materials would come out of a simple photography project?

Of course, I eventually did get back on track. I finished my pile of salads, and you can see the recipes (with photos!) in the salad section of the free recipe database.

Once the salads were done, I decided to tackle fruit.

Well, that was my intention.

Home Run Cooking Book and Demo Program

The recipes just kept inspiring me, and before I knew it, I had compiled my favorite show-stopping fruit desserts into Fruit Tooth, a cookbook that helps people turn a sweet tooth into a “fruit tooth” with simple and delicious fruit desserts.

At that point, I decided to roll with it, turning the holiday recipes into Holiday Secrets, my best healthful holiday cooking book yet. That was quickly followed by the Home Run Cooking Book, which is basically a compilation of my very favorite recipes that I’ve ever created.

So, here we are in 2014, and I’ve still got a few stacks of recipes to photograph. Plus, I’m constantly adding new and exciting recipes to the database, which means that my to-do list is always growing.

But really, I’m sure I’ll finish it all any minute now.

By Judy Doherty PC II and Founder of Food and Health Communcations 

PS Because I love you, here’s a free handout with one of my latest salad creations, the Chicken Fajita Salad. Get your copy today!

How to Make A Rainbow Salad

We love special requests. Here is a recent one for a Gluten Free Information Poster which shows the safe, gluten-free grains that are common:

Gluten free template-1

Gluten free is not always easy but hopefully we have made it easier. Thanks to Pat Hunter, MS, RD, for her request.

Here is another request from Goleta School District. They wanted a sign to jazz up their salad bar. So we did a little research here in the Boulder school district to find out what they are doing. They taped together a sign like a table tent. So we set out to design a big table tent that is the length of a salad bar or about 3 feet long. And Goleta School District wanted a rainbow salad. So we worked on a 3 foot salad.

The real salad was indeed 3 feet long. But you can’t take a great closeup photo of a 3 foot long salad so we took multiple shots and hand-stitched them together for the best results. This salad, in our Photoshop file, was over 300 inches long. It took up hundreds of meg on our computer. It had to be right-sized and then set into the poster:

36x24 Rainbow

We liked it so much we made a 18X12 Rainbow Salad poster and a large 2X3 vinyl Rainbow Salad banner. So anytime you want to promote eating LOTS of fruits and vegetables in all colors, these products are for you.

Or if you want to make a 3 foot long salad you can copy this one:

rainbow-small

We found a glass plank at Crate and Barrel – it was on sale. And we studied photos of real rainbows.

Then we arranged the vegetables and fruits like so:

  1. Kidney beans
  2. Cherry or pear tomatoes
  3. Red peppers
  4. Orange peppers
  5. Orange segments
  6. Yellow peppers
  7. Garbanzo beans
  8. Pineapple
  9. Cabbage
  10. Jicama
  11. Cucumbers
  12. Celery
  13. Broccoli
  14. Romaine
  15. Parsley
  16. Green lettuce
  17. Snow peas
  18. Blueberries
  19. Red baby romaine lettuce

This would make a great party platter or family style salad bar, too.

ENJOY!

If you have a special request, let us know – we make a lot of our special requests and always love more!

If you are looking for more healthy food photos, check out our new photo store: http://healthyfoodphotos.com