Kathy Manweiler: For a lighter vinaigrette, add vinegar ... and Splenda, and cut the oil

The dressing adds more lime juice.
The dressing adds more lime juice.
Posted: March 12, 2009

GIVING THE typical salad dressing an oil change trims calories and fat grams, but the rest of the recipe needs to be tinkered with too, if you want to maintain the original flavor.

Today's honey-lime vinaigrette makes a good example. To slim it down, I slashed the amount of oil in half but stirred in more rice vinegar and fresh lime juice to pump up the taste. Next, I used a mixture of honey and Splenda to keep the dressing's sweetness while cutting calories.

This recipe also makes a nice marinade for chicken. My alterations cut the calories by 24 percent and reduced the fat by 38 percent.

Two tablespoons of my honey-lime vinaigrette contain 95 calories and 6.2 fat grams.

KATHY'S HONEY-LIME VINAIGRETTE

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Splenda

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoons minced red bell pepper

1 teaspoon minced onion

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a small glass or ceramic bowl. Stir well.

Heat dressing in the microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until mixture begins to bubble. Remove dressing from the microwave and whisk it briskly for 1 minute. The dressing will thicken as it cools.

Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving.

Makes 1 cup. Serves 8.

Per 2-tablespoon serving: 95 calories, 6.2 fat grams, 176 mg sodium, 5 carb grams.

Adapted from "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2" by chef Todd Wilbur.

Do you have a favorite food or popular recipe that you'd like to see made healthier? Send your ideas and recipes, along with a daytime phone number, to Kathy Manweiler at

kmanweiler@wichitaeagle.com, or mail to: Don't Say Diet, McClatchy Newspapers, P.O. Box 820, Wichita, KS 67201.

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