While traditional Dutch lettuce is made with a bacon fat-based dressing, this healthful version uses liquid smoke and meaty dried mushrooms to give the impression of bacon but with none of the saturated fat.


1/2 cup dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms (1/2 ounce)
1 1/3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
1 head of romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces (12 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke seasoning
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon water


1 In a small heatproof bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and the boiling water, and let stand for 20 minutes or until softened. Reserving the soaking liquid, scoop out the dried mushrooms and coarsely chop. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or a paper towel-lined sieve.

2 Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and cut into ½-inch chunks. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the lettuce and toss to combine.

3 In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, reserved soaking liquid, vinegar, salt, and liquid smoke, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes.

4 Stir in the mustard and cornstarch mixture and boil, stirring constantly, until the dressing is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour the hot dressing over the lettuce and potatoes, and toss well to coat. Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 159
total fat 2.3g
saturated fat 0.3g
cholesterol 0mg
dietary fiber 5g
carbohydrate 30g
protein 7g
sodium 375mg

good source of: fiber, folate, potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C


If you were to add cornstarch directly to a hot liquid, the starch granules that hit the liquid first would swell and turn into a gel, effectively forming a waterproof barrier around the rest of the cornstarch. The result? A lumpy sauce. To avoid this, the cornstarch should first be stirred into a small amount of cold liquid (usually in a ratio of about 1 part cornstarch to 2 or 3 parts water). This separates the starch granules so that they will all swell evenly, which is in fact how they "thicken" the liquid they are added to.

If you are concerned about sodium levels, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Weight Loss, edited by Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 26 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015