Salad dressings are pretty tricky for a vegan. A basic oil and vinegar dressing, or vinaigrette, is usually the safest option. Other than that, almost all other dressings are off the table. French dressing is actually one type of salad dressing that is typically vegan. In America, we tend to think of French dressing a little bit differently than Europeans. When we think of French dressing, we think of a creamy, tomato-y kind of dressing. When Europeans think of French dressing, they think of a vinaigrette.
Store-Bought French Dressing
If you’re buying French dressing from the grocery store, you should check the ingredients label just to be safe. You should lookout for ingredients like honey and whey. An authentic French dressing basically just consists of oil, vinegar, mustard and seasonings; so that’s what you want to look for.
Restaurant Style French Dressing
If you’re dining out, first, just ask yourself if you’re in the kind of place that makes their own salad dressings or would buy high-end dressings? If you’re not, you probably don’t want to bother ordering French dressing. If you are, then simply ask the waiter or waitress what ingredients they use in their French dressing.
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Make Your Own French Dressing
French dressing is one of the easiest dressings to make, especially since there’s not technically a right or wrong way to make it. You can find several recipes online or in cookbooks. David Lebovitz has a recipe here for a stripped-down, authentic-style French vinaigrette. Jolinda Hackett shared her recipe, which is more like the store-bought French dressing you may be used to, here on About.com.
French Dressing Nutrition Info
French dressing in its most stripped-down, basic form – olive oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard – is a healthy choice of salad dressing. However, be wary of store-bought brands. Many of them consist mostly of high fructose corn syrup, which is highly processed and full of empty calories. According to NutrientFacts.com, one tbsp. of French dressing made from cottonseed oil has about 80 calories.