A Slimmer Slaw

Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Low-fat tofu, instead of high-fat mayonnaise, is the secret of this low-fat coleslaw dressing.

Its bland flavor makes it a good base for the garlic, cilantro, bell pepper and other high-flavor ingredients.

You can find low-fat tofu, which has less than half the fat of regular tofu, in vacuum-packed cartons in the produce section of supermarkets.

Nondairy soy milk may be substituted for the low-fat buttermilk, which is used to thin the tofu. Toasting the mustard seeds before grinding brings out their flavor.

Keep any leftover dressing in the refrigerator and use it on salad greens.


1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 (12.3-ounce) carton low-fat tofu, drained

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced green onion, green tops only

4 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1/4 green bell pepper

1/4 yellow bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Toast mustard seeds in small skillet over low heat just until they begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool, then grind in mortar with pestle.

Blend tofu, ground mustard seeds, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper to taste in food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in green onion. Chill until ready to serve. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Cut green and yellow bell peppers crosswise into thin strips. Combine green and red cabbages and green and yellow bell pepper strips in bowl and toss. Stir in 1 cup dressing, or just enough dressing to moisten cabbage. Stir in cilantro.

6 servings. Each serving:

57 calories; 312 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.62 gram fiber.

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