Serves 4 / Since the kefir is kept raw in this recipe, it retains all of its health-supporting probiotic bacteria, which are beneficial to digestion. The dressing also works well as a dip for crudites and is a delicious condiment for sandwiches.

Lemon-Herb Kefir Dressing

1 cup plain low-fat or whole-milk kefir

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Salad

1 head butter lettuce or 2 ounces lettuce greens

1 carrot, peeled

½ cucumber, peeled and cut into very thin slices

1 avocado, sliced thinly

1 cup fresh sprouts (such as alfalfa, radish, or broccoli)

1. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to let flavors marry. Can be made 1 day ahead. (Makes 1 ¼ cups.)

2. Wash and dry lettuce. Tear into pieces of desired size and arrange on plates. Shave carrots into thin strips with vegetable peeler; place atop lettuce, along with sliced cucumber and avocado. Top with a tuft of sprouts. Drizzle salads with about 1/3 cup dressing total, or to taste. Serve immediately, with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

PER SERVING: 140 cal, 68% fat cal, 11g fat, 2g sat fat, 1mg chol, 3g protein, 9g carb, 5g fiber, 49mg sodium