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Spring is here, and in my house that means cooking meals that are fresh and light without using the oven too often. Where I live in Northern California our winters are short and the warm weather begins in March, making for a long warm/hot season and we tend to eat meals that require either a grill or no cooking at all.

When I picked up the April editions of Cooking Light and Real Simple magazines at Target (I totally got a $5 gift card for buying both of them) last week, I was so excited to find a lot of fresh and easy meals in them that require little to no cooking and (BONUS) are healthy too!

Cooking Light and Real Simple Gift Card Deal

In Cooking Light, there was an article about making fresh spring salads (page 32) with different homemade dressings that were healthy. I love this idea! Dressings tend to make a salad taste good, but at an unhealthy price. We gave the Buttermilk Herb dressing a go on a fresh spring salad a few nights ago!:

Spring Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing

This was a simple salad that could easily be topped with grilled chicken to make a meal of it! The dressing was simple but delicious with fresh dill-one of my favorite herbs-and buttermilk! It was a lot like ranch dressing but a much healthier option at only 44 calories per serving for the entire salad!

I got all of my ingredients together, and rather than buy buttermilk I make my own by mixing 1 cup of nonfat milk with 1 teaspoon of vinegar and let it sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes. The salad called for radishes but my family doesn’t love them so we used thinly sliced cucumbers instead and added big cherry tomatoes.Spring Salad Ingredients

Homemade Buttermilk Herb Dressing:

3 Tablespoons of Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons of Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Dill
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
And I added a little garlic powder too

Mix all ingredients until combined, keep refrigerated until use. Makes enough to toss with six 1 1/2 cup  servings of salad!

I whipped up the dressing in a few minutes, and I actually tripled the recipe to make sure we would have some on hand for lunches over the rest of the week.

Spring Salad Dressing

We tossed the dressing over the salad and had the perfect side to our yummy dinner!

Spring Salad Close Up

Get your April copies of Real Simple and Cooking light in Target now and receive a $5 gift card when you buy both (While supplies last)! See what fresh spring recipes you can make for your family!