Dear Ms. Jones: My family has enjoyed this spinach salad dressing for years. It is their absolute favorite. I know it needs reworking in light of the 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup honey! The honey seems to allow it to cling to the spinach. Could you make it a bit more "waist-friendly" without sacrificing the taste and texture?

Thank you for your consideration. — Kimberly O'Malley, El Cajon, Calif.

Dear Ms. O'Malley: This isn't your typical spinach salad dressing, as that usually has bacon fat; so, you've got a better version already.

This is more like a honey-mustard dressing, which can be used on many different kinds of salads. I tried cutting down on the honey, but the sweetness is very important with this dressing, and it just wasn't the same.

So I eliminated most of the oil and added some unflavored gelatin to thicken it. The dressing has to chill to thicken, and the poppy seeds will separate and have to be stirred back in, but otherwise this dressing tastes pretty much like the original.

If you don't have poppy seeds, you could use half the amount of celery seed or mustard seed.

SPINACH SALAD DRESSING

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon grated onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup oil

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Mix the first five ingredients, then add the oil and poppy seeds. Makes 8 servings.

SPINACH SALAD DRESSING

1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

5 tablespoons water, divided use

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon grated onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1. In a small glass jar, dissolve the gelatin in 2 tablespoons of the water. Place the jar in the microwave on high for 15 seconds to melt the gelatin.

2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of water to the melted gelatin. Add the vinegar, dry mustard, onion, salt, honey and oil. Put the lid on the jar and shake. Add the poppy seeds (1 teaspoon celery or mustard seeds can be substituted). Shake again and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Shake well before using. Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 159 calories; 14 gm fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 134 mg sodium; 9 gm carbohydrates; trace of protein; trace of fiber. Revised recipe: 55 calories; 2 gm fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 68 mg sodium; 9 gm carbohydrates; negligible protein; negligible fiber.


Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (58 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.