gluten-free vegetarian

Low-Calorie Side Salad and French Dressing


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Prep information

Prep time
5 minutes
Recipe by
Michael at Lo-Dough

Nutritional information (per portion of dressed salad)

72 kcal

The Perfect Low-Calorie, Nutrient-Dense Salad

We're sure you all know how to rustle up a simple salad. Fresh lettuce (or for convenience, a bag of leaves), finely sliced red onion, possibly red pepper, juicy tomatoes... the list goes on. Well here's a tip - try putting in chunks of watermelon... Trust us! They add a juicy sweetness to any salad (think cucumber turned up to 11!) and make every mouthful joyously refreshing. It's pretty much the perfect summer salad 

As an all-purpose salad, there is little that can't be paired with this salad - meats, fish, hams, halloumi, roasted veggies... the list goes on. As such, we have dressed it in a classic French dressing. The basic rule for a French dressing is 1 part mustard, 1 part vinegar and 3 parts oil. Season and add any herbs you like. Though high in fat, this can be made with olive or avocado oil, so you know it's healthy fat you are having. It's also worth noting that a little goes a long way - When using an oily dressing, it is there to lightly coat the leaves in your salad, not drown them! If looking for a fat-free dressing, the one we use on our fennel and orange salad would work equally well here.

Healthy Salad

Low-Cal Salad Dressing Alternatives

This salad also works especially well alongside oriental dishes. If you were thinking of pairing it with our hoisin duck wrap (for example), we would recommend the same salad, but dressed with soy, lime, a pinch of sweetener, chilli and a little sesame oil. 

However you dress it, this is a salad you will come back to again and again. 


Serves 3

For the salad

  • Half a bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 20g of red onion, finely sliced
  • Half a red pepper, finely sliced
  • 100g of watermelon

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of cider/white wine vinegar
  • A small handful of chopped parsley
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a jug/bowl until well combined.
  2. Arrange the salad on one platter, or across two-three plates, depending on who you are serving (any undressed salad can be kept in a sealed box in the fridge overnight).
  3. Dress the salad and serve immediately.

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