DEAR JEANNE: I had this salad at a friend’s house. I can’t find a lower-fat version of this dressing. I’m wondering if you could devise one. — Allison, Lansing, Mich.


1 package spring salad mix

Strawberries, grapes, chopped pears or craisins

Crumbled blue cheese

Candied almonds, walnuts or pecans

Sliced red onion


Equal parts Brianna’s Blush Wine and Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing


3 tablespoons sugar

Sliced, slivered or chopped nuts

Stir sugar and nuts in pan until sugar becomes a liquid. Pour onto foil to cool. Toss ingredients lightly and add dressing.

Makes 6 servings.


DEAR ALLISON: With no amounts in the recipe, I guessed how much of everything you were using. I made a low-fat version of the dressing, and came up with amounts of cheese, nuts and fruit that worked. The original dressing was very sweet, so I made this one sweet too, but if you prefer, you can add less sugar. I added gelatin to thicken it, so remember that if the dressing gets warm, because of the gelatin it will thin out again.


1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans)

1 tablespoon sugar

3 heads assorted lettuces, torn, or 2 packages spring salad mix

1/2 red onion, sliced into rings

1/4 cup craisins, or 1 cup strawberries, grapes or pears

1 ounce (1/4 cup) blue cheese, crumbled


11/2 teaspoons red onion, grated

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

1 strawberry

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1. Place nuts and sugar in a small saute pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and nuts are lightly toasted. Stir to coat all the nuts. Pour nuts out of the pan to cool.

2. For dressing: In a blender or a jar, combine the grated onion, sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, canola oil, salt and poppy seeds. Chop the strawberry and add for color. Blend or shake until well combined.

3. In a small, microwave-safe dish, combine 1 tablespoon of the 1/4 cup water and the gelatin. Let it sit until the water is absorbed (1 minute). Place the gelatin in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt it. Pour the gelatin, along with the rest of the water, into the dressing. Shake or blend. Place in the refrigerator to thicken.

4. This salad should be mixed just before serving. Coat the lettuce and onion with the dressing, then sprinkle the fruit, nuts and cheese over the top if served individually, or toss in if served in one large bowl.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

Original recipe: 251 calories; 18 g fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 376 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber.

Revised recipe: 137 calories; 7 g fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 16 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks. For more information, go to her website, Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope.