Whether you whip up your own salad dressing or take advantage of our new line of Fody Salad Dressings, we want to encourage you to think outside the box. Drizzling on salad greens is obvious, but if you stop there you are missing out!
At its very basic we think of salad dressing as oil, vinegar and maybe some seasonings like salt, pepper and/or herbs. Maybe something like mustard is added as well, which acts like an emulsifier, meaning it brings the oil and vinegar together into a velvety, creamy dressing. And then there are flavor packed dressings that use ingredients like Himalayan pink salt, tomato paste, allspice and tamari like our Low FODMAP Caesar Salad Dressing or Low FODMAP French Salad Dressing. Something like our Low FODMAP Maple Dijon Salad Dressing derives flavor and body from other ingredients like sweet, thick pure maple syrup, tangy mustard seeds, tarragon and chives. So, you should really be thinking about salad dressing as a flavorful sauce or liquid flavoring agent that can be used to enhance so much more than just salad greens.
Let’s talk about salad for a moment, because we do use salad dressing on salads most often - but these days the term “salad” has a broad definition. Certainly any kind of mélange of raw vegetables tossed with lettuce is a salad, but we want to encourage you to think broader.
Kale, arugula, spinach, green and red cabbages, bok choy - these are all Low FODMAP vegetables upon which you can build a fresh, delicious nutritious Low FODMAP salad. And other than the expected cucumbers, bell peppers, carrot and tomatoes (which are Low FODMAP and we do like in a salad) do not overlook sprouts, radishes, jicama (yam bean) and endive. Pass on the red onion!
And did you know you could have a few snow peas or slices of beets? Use your Monash University Smartphone App to keep track of FODMAPs, but these are both overlooked vegetables that can add variety to your salads.
We love salads with cooked vegetables as well; most often we will simply blanch or steam them. Look to green beans, broccoli and celeriac as good options. And then there are vegetables that need a bit more cooking, like potatoes, zucchini or winter squashes and these can all be roasted, boiled or sautéed for a variety of textures and flavors. Any of these can be combined with raw vegetables or you can create an all-cooked salad.
And don’t overlook fruits, legumes, beans, grains and other add-ins. You always have to be mindful of stacking FODMAPs, of course, but grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, raisins, dried cranberries, nuts and seeds all make great salad additions.
And these days it is common to see main-dish salads that have some sort of protein such as grains, legumes or beans, such as our Kale Salad with Lentils & Roasted Pepitas.
Or, meats and cheese such as in our Chef’s Salad featuring Swiss cheese, ham, roast beef, turkey and all kinds of veggies; try this one with our French Salad Dressing. This is a salad that’s a whole meal with something for everyone! And eggs? Hard-boiled or poached, we love them in salads.
Speaking of proteins, we use salad dressing as a ready-to-use marinade all the time. In our Maple Dijon Salmon with Potatoes & Green Beans recipe our dressing is used as a marinade for the fish as well as for the steamed vegetables. This recipe is delicious and super-simple: you will get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Try Low FODMAP salad dressing as marinade for any meat, poultry, seafood, shellfish - even tofu - before sautéing roasting or grilling. We often marinate the protein in some dressing, and then use additional fresh dressing brushed on top right before serving; don’t use the marinade that the protein soaked in for this step as you want to avoid cross-contamination from raw chicken, for instance.
Not every Low FODMAP salad dressing will work perfectly in every application but you won’t know until you try! Just be aware of dressings that might have a lot of sugars added as they can burn easily on the grill, in a high heat oven or under the broiler.
As always we encourage you to eat as broadly as possible even while on the Low FODMAP diet as that will ultimately be your healthiest approach - and salad dressings can factor into your meal planning and cooking and make meal prep easier and more enjoyable, not to mention tasty!