GINNA PARSONS: Dressing recipe spurs thoughts of spring salads

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I went out and bought a new cookbook last week, which I needed like I need another hole in my head. But this one I couldn’t resist.
It’s called “The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great” and it’s by Pam Anderson, author of “The Perfect Recipe” and former executive editor for Cook’s Illustrated.
I had never heard of her before, even though she writes a monthly food column for Better Homes and Gardens, which I’ve been reading for years. But I was reading recipes from thepioneerwoman.com the other day and I came across a mention of her, so I started digging on the Internet.
I found she had a new cookbook out, so I high-tailed it to Barnes and Noble, which I believe has the largest selection of cookbooks in town, and grabbed a copy to peruse.
I sat down in one of their comfy chairs and opened the front cover. Thirty minutes later, I was still reading about Pam’s weight loss journey that ended up being her way of life, not a diet.
Her recipes sounded simple, easy, fresh and healthful. And while she doesn’t give fat/carb/protein/fiber/sodium counts at the end of each recipe, she does give a calorie count, which helps. After all, it’s ultimately about calories in and calories out, isn’t it?
Pam Anderson (the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, calls her Pamanderson, as if it’s all one word) has a whole chapter on big salads, where you start with 2 cups of salad greens and then have a gazillion add-on possibilities, like protein, vegetables, fruit, cheese and nuts.
And she also gives four recipes for homemade salad dressings. The one that caught my eye was a creamy herb and Parmesan variety because it was the lowest in calories and because it contained cheese, my weakness.
Doesn’t this dressing sound like it would be divine drizzled over a salad made up of spring greens, grilled chicken breast slices, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and green scallions?
I can’t wait to whip up a batch this week.
Lowfat Creamy Herb
and Parmesan Dressing
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon each salt, black pepper, dried basil, dried tarragon and dried dill
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl. Dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Makes 11/2 cups, or 12 servings. There are 41 calories in each 2-tablespoon serving.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.