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Salad Dressing

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    The salad dressings are made fresh in each Outback Steakhouse kitchen using authentic ingredients, including olive oil from Italy's Tuscany region and Parmesan cheese that comes from eighty-pound wheels rolled in from Parma, Italy.

    Salad dressings are usually one of the most fat-contributing components in your meal, but with a few tweaks, we can clone Outback's delicious salad dressing with only two grams of fat per serving.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/4 cup
    Total servings–6
    Calories per serving–51 (Original–331)
    Fat per serving–2g (Original–35g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    The original version of this bright red dressing is made with a generous amount of oil and is filled with gobs of greasy fat grams. The trend toward fat-free foods was in its infancy when Seven Seas went to work on a nonfat variety of the Red Wine Vinegar Dressing that would taste as good as the original. They did a pretty darn good job, too. Just by tasting the Seven Seas version of this clone, it's hard to believe there's not a speck of fat in the bottle.

    We can replace the oil by thickening the dressing with a top secret combination of water, cornstarch, and a little gelatin. A couple drops of food coloring with give your clone the bright, beet-red hue of the original. You can leave the coloring out of the recipe if you like, but when you see the color without the red in it, you'll understand why it's in there.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–2 tablespoons
    Total servings–12
    Calories per serving–15
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    We love to eat salad because it seems so healthy. But add just a couple tablespoons of salad dressing and you've gone form no fat to lots of fat, before your main course has even hit the table. If the salad dressing is delicious, as is Olive Garden's, you might be pouring on more than just a couple tablespoons. Here's a way to eliminate the fat grams from the dressing, but keep all the flavor.

    We'll take out the oil, and add dry pectin to thicken the dressing, along with more water than used in the original version of this recipe. We can add a decent amount of Romano cheese and a single serving of the dressing still comes in a under 1/2 gram of fat. Add some vinegar, a little corn syrup and lemon juice, some spices—mission accomplished.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–2 tablespoons
    Total servings–11
    Calories per serving–42 (Original–90)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–8g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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    In 1958, Kraft became one of the first companies to introduce low-calorie salad dressings, with diet versions of Italian, French, Bleu Cheese, and Thousand Island dressings. Then, in 1990, Kraft scored another series of hits with its line of fat-free dressings. Today, fat-free and low-fat dressings are just about as popular and diverse as the full-fat varieties. 

    Here’s a TSR clone to create a fat-free dressing like the popular Catalina variety from the innovative food conglomerate. Cornstarch and gelatin help thicken the dressing and give it a smooth texture so that you don’t miss the many fat grams of the traditional stuff. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–2 tablespoons 
    Total servings–8 
    Calories per serving–40
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    In the 1970's, food conglomerate General Mills expanded its growing restaurant business. A research team was organized to study the market, and to conduct interviews with potential customers on what they want in a restaurant. Seven years later, in 1982, the first Olive Garden restaurant opened its doors in Orlando, Florida. Today it is the number one Italian restaurant chain in the country with over 470 stores.

    One of the all-time favorites at Olive Garden is the Italian salad dressing served on the bottomless house salad that comes with every meal. The dressing was so popular that the chain sells the dressing by the bottle "to go." You won't need to buy a bottle, though. With our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe you can make your own version that tastes just like the original, and it's way cheaper. The secret to thickening this dressing is to use dry pectin, a natural ingredient often used to thicken jams and jellies. Pectin can be found in most stores in the aisle with baking and cooking supplies or near the canning items.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    One of top choices for your salad at this popular Mexican chain is this delicious, slightly spicy chipotle-flavored dressing. A clone for this one is made easily by combining several ingredients in small pan over medium heat and simmering for 5 minutes. The final step involves creating an emulsion to thicken the dressing and to keep the oil from separating. I suggest measuring the oil into a spouted measuring cup. This will make it easy to drizzle the oil in a thin stream into the dressing while you are rapidly whipping the mixture with a wire whisk. If you break a sweat, you’re doing it right.

    You may notice that there is no jalapeño mentioned in this recipe. Chipotle is a smoke dried jalapeño. We'll use ground chipotle chili found near the spices in your market.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.33. Votes: 3

    When Johnny Carrabba and his uncle Damian Mandola opened the first Carrabba's restaurant in 1986, they used a collection of their own traditional family recipes to craft a terrific Italian menu. You'll even find the names of friends and family in several of those dishes including Pollo Rosa Maria, Chicken Bryan, Scampi Damian and Insalata Johnny Rocco. Now you can easily recreate the taste of the delicious dressing that's tossed into the salad that's served before each Carrabba's entree. And you need only six ingredients. For the grated Parmesan cheese, go ahead and use the stuff made by Kraft that comes in the green shaker canisters. And if you don't have any buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk. Since it's so thick, this dressing is best when tossed into your salad before serving it, just like the real thing.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 2

    This 38-unit casual dining chain may be small compared to many of the other chains whose food I've cloned, but Houston's has a huge following of loyal customers throughout the country. I know this because for many years the restaurant sat at the top of my "most requested clones" list. I was finally ready to take on the challenge, but since there are no Houston's where I live in Las Vegas, it required a road trip—this time to Orange County, California. A couple plane rides, a bit of driving, some walking and a stumble or two later, I had a cooler full of Houston's goodies secured safely back at the lab. After a few hours of measuring and mixing this simple sweet-and-sour salad slather from Houston's was cracked.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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