Top low-calorie foods for the summer

12 May 2016
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

Summer meals mean a review of recipes to lighter, low-calorie fare full of flavour.

Now that temperatures are hotting up, many of us are looking to make lighter meals with a nod to seasonal produce. To do this, swap over to low-calorie ingredients that pack a big punch flavour-wise.

One versatile ingredient, Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Dressing, is a great alternative to mayonnaise or sauces in your salads, sandwich spreads, dips and more. It packs a perfectly tangy punch for spring and summertime meals.

Here, nutrition consultant, dietitian and fitness trainer Dana White has some helpful tips on how to cut back on the calories while preparing your favourite snacks.

Switch up your dips

Pass up your traditional onion dip for a snack like cottage cheese, which is better for you. Mix cottage cheese with a flavoured Greek yogurt dressing and a pinch of fresh herbs. You’ll have a tasty dip to accompany those freshly cut veggies and wholegrain pitta chips.

Homemade hummus

Hummus is a great go-to snack. Opt to make your own creamy, homemade dip from garbanzo beans and olive oil instead of reaching for those sour cream-based dips.

Go Greek

Lose the mayo and freshen up those cold salads that use egg, tuna and chicken. Try this Greek tzatziki salad (right), which substitutes 1/4 cup of mayonnaise for two tablespoons of zesty Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing. You can serve up a lighter tasting dish that doesn’t skimp on the flavour.

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Greek Tzatziki Salad

Seasons in the sun

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup prepared garlic hummus
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Dressing, Cucumber Dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill or mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into 5mm pieces
  • 568g cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced into 5mm pieces
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced into 5mm pieces
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved


  • Combine the hummus with the dressing. Add salt and the chopped dill or mint. Refrigerate.
  • In large bowl, combine the scallions, oregano, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and olives. 
  • Pour the refrigerated dressing over the vegetables and stir until they mesh well. 
  •  Serve immediately or refrigerate the salad; refrigerate or discard leftover within two hours of preparation. Top with some additional chopped herbs before serving.

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