Originally created 03/10/99

Eat for life



As the weather warms toward spring, thoughts turn toward salads. This creamy sun-dried tomato vinaigrette has a delicious, zesty flavor and a thick, lettuce-hugging texture that will complement any green salad. And it has less than a gram of fat and just 22 calories per serving.

The reason? It contains no oil.

The dressing is a combination of sun-dried tomatoes, mustard, vinegar and light sour cream that you can make in minutes in a blender or food processor. Soak the tomatoes in water until they are very soft, 30 minutes or more. (You might want to start soaking the tomatoes in the morning and make the dressing in the evening.)

The fresher the tomatoes, the brighter red they will be and the brighter the dressing. Older tomatoes develop a dark color but are still fine to use.

The dressing will be a russet color. Vary the flavor by adding garlic, green onions or fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon or sage.

CREAMY SUN-DRIED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE

6 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), soaked in water

2 tablespoons water from soaking tomatoes

3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons light sour cream

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

Soak the tomatoes until very soft, at least 30 minutes. Drain tomatoes and reserve 2 tablespoons of the soaking water. Combine tomatoes and water in a blender or food processor. Add the mustard, vinegar, sour cream, honey and ketchup. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally. With the machine running, pour the chicken broth through the lid and puree again. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and chill. The dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 16 2-tablespoon servings.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories, 22; fat, 0.5 gram (18 percent of total calories from fat); protein, 1.3 grams; carbohydrates, 3.7 grams; dietary fiber, 0 gram; cholesterol, 1.9 milligrams; sodium, 150 milligrams.

If you have a recipe you would like streamlined to contain less fat and fewer calories, send the recipe and the number of servings it makes to Eat for Life at 78 Kiva Place, Sandia Park, NM 87047. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and the name of your newspaper. You may also send recipes by email to eatlofat@AOL.com)