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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pre-op diet vinaigrette/marinade recipes

Double the proportions for a marinade. Otherwise these recipes assume you're dressing 1 cup salad for yourself only.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 or 2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional: Herbs, fresh or dried, 1 tsp (pick one: basil, tarragon, oregano)
Optional: Small diced shallot
Optional: 1/2 clove garlic, diced

Combine vinegar with other ingredients; slowly whisk in olive oil

Variations: Balsamic vinegar is very strong, has a distinctive flavor, and goes particularly well with tomatoes and basil. For a lighter, more subtle dressing, substitute white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. Experiment with the different vinegars and see what you like.

Creamy dressing
1 individual small container low fat low carb Greek Yogurt
Between 1/8 and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (add oil until you reach the desired consistency)
Juice of one lemon
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
1/2 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint

Mix ingredients except for oil. Stir in oil until desired consistency is achieved.

Variations: for marinade, add 1 tbsp paprika or whatever other spice you'd like to highlight: cumin for a curry flavor, curry powder, powdered ginger. You can also use this as a sauce for blending pureed meats and vegetables in your food processor during the puree (mushies) stage of your post-op diet.

You won't be putting this on pasta, but it's good on chicken and as a salad dressing if you thin it out a bit. This recipe makes a good size batch, so halve it if you want less. It freezes well--use the ice cube tray!

2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
Optional: 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons pine nuts (look in the baking aisle)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Up to one cup of extra virgin olive oil

Put everything except oil in food processor. Pulse until basil is pureed. Add olive oil slowly, while pulsing, until you get the consistency you want. Great on a low fat buffalo mozarella and tomato salad.

In general, I suggest you stay away from iceberg lettuce for your salads; it is bland in taste and has practically no nutritional value. Try some bagged baby greens, or a mixed bagged salad. Add mushrooms (calorie free!), tomatoes, or other veggies to your salads as you see fit. Enjoy your salads pre-op--you won't be able to have them again for 6 months post-op.

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