Monday, July 16, 2012

Makeover Monday: Skinny Sweet Restaurant Slaw

Summertime is just made for barbecues and pot lucks.  Warm evenings, holidays, family traditions, and summer vacations all come together to create the perfect atmosphere for such get-togethers with family and friends.  And I don't hear anyone complaining about that!  There are a few foods that are ubiquitous with summertime barbecues.  One of those foods is coleslaw.  Many people consider it a must-have summer side dish.

Personally, I have never been a huge coleslaw fan (except for ramen slaw salad, which I have already shared, but that's not regular coleslaw!).  Then I met sweet restaurant slaw.  We were introduced not too long ago at an office barbecue.  I typically pass on coleslaw, but for some reason I decided to put some on my plate this particular evening.  It must have been fate.  I took a cautious bite, expecting to merely tolerate the side dish.  But this coleslaw was different.  It was sweet.  It was tangy.  It was actually good!  I went back for seconds.  Not seconds of baked beans.  Not seconds of brisket.  I went for seconds of coleslaw.  Could it be that I actually like coleslaw?  

I asked our hostess, who made this amazing coleslaw, how she made it.  She told me that she got the recipe off of  It didn't take me long to look it up and add that recipe to my recipe box.  Then I went to make it for a 4th of July barbecue I was having with my family.  When I looked closer at the recipe to prepare my shopping list, I wasn't really happy with what I found.  My yummy coleslaw was so yummy thanks to 2/3 cup of Miracle Whip, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of oil.  That's a lot of fat and sugar dumped onto such a healthy coleslaw mix.  I didn't want to abandon my new found recipe, but I just couldn't add those calories!

Fortunately, fixing this recipe was easy enough.  My main objective was to get rid of the Miracle Whip.  In my opinion, the only thing miraculous about this product, with 50 calories per tablespoon, is that people actually eat it.  But it does contribute the creamy texture to coleslaw and is the second main ingredient.  So obviously I couldn't just scrap it.  I have used fat free yogurt in other recipes (secret ingredient tuna salad and low fat silky chocolate pie) as a creamy filler with fewer calories.  So I decided to give it a chance to rescue coleslaw.  I also swapped out a bit of the oil for vinegar.  Who needs 3 tablespoons of oil?  And, as usual, I reached for Splenda instead of sugar to save a ton of calories.

The result was coleslaw that was just as creamy, sweet, and tangy as the original.  As a matter of fact, I made a batch of my coleslaw, and a batch of sweet restaurant slaw by the original recipe.  I was making coleslaw for my family, and my dad and brother aren't exactly pro-makeover style food.  After letting the two coleslaw dishes chill for a few hours, my skinny recipe was thicker, creamy, and even tastier.  Hurray!  I am happy to report that I now finally have a coleslaw recipe that I actually can't get enough of, and it is even low in calories.  Bring it on, barbecues!

Skinny Sweet Restaurant Slaw
1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix
1/4 cup diced green onion
2/3 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup Splenda
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
Combine coleslaw mix and dressing in a large bowl.
Whisk together yogurt, oil, Splenda, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly.  Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to coat.  Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from (Sweet Restaurant Slaw)

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