You know this much is true: Store-bought, fat-free dressing tastes like a slimy lab accident.

Yet we still dutifully stick it in the office fridge, or carry it around in our purses in neat single-serving packets to drown (read: strangle, kill) our lunches. Why?

Why indeed, when there are these four totally simple dressing recipes that -- wait for it -- actually make something supremely healthy taste damn good while also being fat-free, and cheap!

The secret weapon? A base of fruit juice or yogurt instead of oil or slimy fake things not found in nature. Seriously -- just because your lunch is healthy doesn't mean it has to taste like an experiment gone wrong.

Orange-Balsamic
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (like Maille Old Style)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of one large orange

1. Combine all ingredients in a rinsed, recycled jar.
2. Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Keeps for two to three weeks! Toss with salads involving sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, artichoke hearts, chickpeas. Anything quasi-Italian or Mediterranean will go brilliantly.


Faux-Ranch
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup 0 percent-fat Greek yogurt, like Fage
Juice of one large lemon (about 6 to 8 Tbsp)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Generous amount black pepper (1/2 tsp or more)
Pinch of salt


1. Combine all of the ingredients except salt and pepper using an immersion blender, food processor or straight-up whisk.
2. Taste, then season with salt and pepper, store in a a jar.

Keeps for about two weeks. Toss with salads that you would eat with creamy dressing: Caesar, chicken, chef's, whatever.

Drunken French Bistro
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey

1. Combine all of the ingredients using an immersion blender, food processor, blender or straight-up whisk. Check for taste.
2. Pour into a rinsed, recycled jar.

Keeps for about two weeks. This all-purpose dressing hasn't found something it isn't good on. Toss on some peppery arugula with pine nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh parmigiano-reggiano. Go wild!

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 shallot or quarter of a red onion, finely minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 pint red raspberries (or about 3/4 cup frozen raspberries)
Juice of half an orange
1 tsp sugar

1. Combine all of the ingredients using an immersion blender, food processor or blender. Check for taste.
2. Pour into a rinsed, recycled jar.

Keeps for about two to three weeks. This dressing kills on fruity or nutty salads. Try this: mixed greens, roasted beets, goat cheese, walnuts.


Laura Sullivan
is Lemondrop's budget foodie / chef / hangover cure expert. She is highly against the idea of unpronounceable ingredients in her salad dressings.