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Homemade and Fat-Free Creamy Feta Salad Dressings Two Ways

If I told you that you could have big salads tossed with a creamy dressing and it would be fat free, would you believe me? Not only fat free, but extremely low calorie, fresh flavor, and maybe the best dressing you’ve ever had. Let me show you the way.

I prepare a big entree salad for dinner for my family once or twice a week. I swore off grocery store salad dressings years ago because they’re terrible, and frankly, I can whip up a vinaigrette on demand with a flavor that perfectly complements my meal. But I recently grew tired of the vinegar and oil and craved the creamier variety I used to douse my salads in. Inspiration struck.

Picking through the refrigerator, I found feta crumbles, Greek yogurt, and the strawberries and basil I usually add to vinaigrette. These were blended together, without the oil, and the sweetest pink dressing adorned our salads that night. And with that, my creamy feta dressing fixation began.

Nights later, when I prepared a Southwestern style salad, I knew the strawberry basil was not going to be the flavor match I wanted. So the feta and yogurt base was blended with cilantro, lime, and a serrano pepper for an arguably even better dressing.

The first iteration was a Classic Cobb Salad, minus the bacon. Two cups of greens, Roma tomatoes, thin apple slices, grilled chicken, hard-boiled egg, and chunks of avocado are tossed with the Creamy Feta Strawberry Basil Dressing. The dressing pulls the entire salad together as the feta and yogurt offer that creamy texture we crave, while the strawberries and basil appeal to our senses.

Creamy Feta Strawberry Basil Dressing

Makes 2 cups – 2 Tbsp/serving

INGREDIENTS

6 oz. fat-free feta cheese crumbles
6 oz. fat-free Greek yogurt, plain
1/2 cup skim milk
6 medium strawberries, rinsed with greens removed
1 oz. fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a blender, add 1/4 cup skim milk, Greek yogurt, and then feta crumbles (in that order). Top with strawberries and basil and puree.

2. As the ingredients blend, pour in the remaining milk (and more to achieve desired thinness).

3. Save in a sealed container, like a Mason jar, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

The feta and yogurt make such a simple dressing base that you can add virtually anything to it. No surprise that it easily translated to suit the Loaded Southwestern Tossed Salad that I can’t ever get enough of.

This salad uses two cups of greens with black beans, roasted bell peppers, grilled chicken, roasted corn, bites of fresh pineapple, chunks of avocados and Roma tomatoes all tossed with the Creamy Feta Cilantro Lime Dressing. Serve with a few blue corn chips to be fully satisfied.

Creamy Feta Cilantro Lime Dressing

Makes 2 cups – 2 Tbsp/serving

INGREDIENTS

6 oz. fat-free feta cheese crumbles
6 oz. fat-free Greek yogurt, plain
1/2 cup skim milk
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed
1/2 lime, juiced
1-2 oz. fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a blender, add 1/4 cup skim milk, Greek yogurt, and then feta crumbles (in that order). Top with cilantro, lime, and serrano, then puree.

2. As the ingredients blend, pour in the remaining milk (and more to achieve desired thinness).

3. Save in a sealed container, like a Mason jar, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

These feta dressings have ZERO FAT and less than 25 CALORIES in a generous two-tablespoon serving! The two cups fill a Mason jar and can be saved in your refrigerator for a week or two. If you’re not dressing a salad, we enjoyed the Cilantro Lime version as a dip for blue corn chips, and the strawberry basil for dipping veggie sticks.

How will you make your creamy feta dressing?

Also Try These Recipes:

BBQ Chicken Tacos with Avocado Coleslaw and Serrano Sangria

Grapefruit and Lime Mimosa

Ada Wong’s 7 Layer Dip

Recipes by Brandi Koskie. Photos by Dana Shultz.

February 11th, 2013

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