Why “Diet” Mayonnaise and Salad Dressings are Not a Dieter’s Friends
Mayonnaise and Salad Dressings are some of the staples of the American dieter’s repertoire. Without a salad for lunch or the ubiquitous tuna sandwich, the American dieter is lost in a sea of pre-packaged and tasteless frozen dinners. Perhaps the most feared alternative is –oh, the horror!—raw vegetables with nothing to flavor them but the forbidden cream cheese or peanut butter.
However, the mayonnaise available on most grocery store shelves has many flaws, not the least of which are high carbs and an overwhelming amount of unpronounceable chemicals and preservatives.
There is an alternative. Surprisingly, it’s easy to make one’s own mayonnaise with a few simple spices, two eggs, two cups of cooking oil, and two tablespoons of an acid liquid such as vinegar or lemon juice. By combining these ingredients in various ways, the humble mayonnaise can become a sublime catalyst to elevate even the humblest salad to stardom.
The same thing has happened in the salad dressing market. The so-called "diet" dressings can be higher in sugar and carbs because they're supposed to be lower in fat. Yet at the same time, the "regular" dressings are so loaded with chemicals and preservatives as well as carbs, the choices are very limited unless you like vinaigrettes. I happen to like creamy dressings, though I've learned that dipping my fork into a small cup of 2 T of dressing (average serving size on bottled dressings) and then stabbing a fork load of salad means I get a much tastier mouthful than pouring the dressing over the top and hoping it's still around when I get to the last fork full.
Imagine having fresh dressings to dip your veggies into, and I don't mean just for a bowl of salad. Imagine taking a small sealed container of this with some celery, green pepper strips, and fresh broccoli when you need a snack. Want to bet those 1-1.5 cups you made don't last more than a few days? Now think about making your own mayonnaise and ratcheting the flavor to Wow!
Here’s a basic recipe to build upon for Mayonnaise:
½ tsp. Dried mustard
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Paprika, optional
1/8 tsp. Red pepper
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. Vinegar or Lemon juice
2 cups cooking oil
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil. With the processor running, add a thin, steady stream of oil. You may have to stop the machine now and then to scrape the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Cover and store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.
You may vary the oils, vinegars, and herbs and spices as desired to create various flavored mayonnaise dishes as desired. Green onions, basil, parsley, garlic, and oregano can make the famous “Green Mayonnaise” popular in some restaurants.
Many salad dressings are little more than herbed mayonnaise with the addition of another dairy product such as yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream. Experimentation will result in a unique blend suited to your taste buds and preferences.
Now, go play with your food.