WE ARE IN the midst of a culinary industrial revolution.At the touch of a button on a blender, food processor or programmed microwave oven, contemporary cooks, regardless of musculature or training, can do anything. They can puree cooked vegetables, stab a roast with a thermometer and serve it rare and juicy, or drop flour, eggs and spinach into a white plastic box and produce green manicotti. Even more, they can turn the tables on commercial food manufacturers by using natural foods to simulate factory formulas. Take, for example, no-oil bottled salad dressings.

Commercial food manufacturers thicken vinegar and water with vegetable gums to produce a no-oil dressing with a texture similar to home-made vinegar and oil dressings. Using a blender, however, anyone can make a no-oil dressing with just as smooth a texture and a far fresher flavor. All you need is a quarter-cup of white rice, your favorite vinegar and a few herbs and spices.

Using rice as a thickener is not as weird as it sounds. One of the tastiest of all French sauces, sauce soubise, is made by boiling onions with vinegar, chicken stock and rice until mushy. This pureed mush produces an unctuous sauce without the use of starchy-tasting flour.

Rice, as bland as it is, adds no flavor to the dressing. And because its starch has been precooked, it doesn't settle like cornstarch or flour.

Here are six different recipes, each without a drop of oil. Of course, there are tiny amounts of fats in a few, but they still contain one-third the calories of vinegar and oil dressing. Each recipe requires cooking white rice until it turns to mush. To make the 1 cup of rice mush, boil 1/4 cup of raw rice in 1 1/2 cups of water for 45 minutes, or until the rice can be easily mashed with a spoon.

Then, add the rice paste to the blender, pour in the vinegar, water and spices, and press the button. You have your very own "Lo-Cal" dressing sans the bottle and steep price. HERB DRESSING (2 cups, 7 calories per tablespoon) 1/4 cups uncooked rice 2/3 cup vinegar (distilled, or your favorite) 1/4 cup water 6 sprigs parsley 6 sprigs watercress 1 stalk celery 2 green onions 1 small clove garlic Juice of 1 lemon 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon sugar 4 dashes hot sauce

Boil rice in 1 1/2 cups of water for 45 minutes. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. GARLIC AND LEMON DRESSING (2 cups, 7 calories per tablespoon) 1/4 cup uncooked rice 2/3 cup vinegar (distilled or your favorite) 1/4 cup water 2 cloves garlic Juice of 1 lemon 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons sugar 1/8 teaspoon turmeric 3 dashes hot sauce

Boil rice in 1 1/2 cups of water for 45 minutes. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. TOMATO DRESSING (4 cups, 7 calories per tablespoon) 1/4 uncooked rice 1 cup tomato juice 2/3 cup vinegar (distilled or your favorite) 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 green pepper 3 green onions 1 clove garlic 3 sprigs parsley 1 teaspoon paprika Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 teaspoons salt 2 dashes worcestershire sauce

Boil rice in 1 1/2 cups water for 45 minutes. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. PICKLE AND CAPER DRESSING (3 cups, 8 calories per tablespoon) 1/4 cup uncooked rice 2/3 cup vinegar (distilled or your favorite) 1 cup tomato juice 1 large dill pickle 1 tablespoon capers plus juice 2 tablespoons chili sauce 3 dashes worcestershire sauce 4 dashes hot sauce 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon basil

Boil rice in 1 1/2 cups water for 45 minutes. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. MUSTARD AND HORSERADISH DRESSING (2 1/2 cups, 7 calories per tablespoon) 1/4 cup uncooked rice 2/3 cup vinegar 1/2 cup water 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (not cream-style) 1 1/2 tablespoons hot mustard 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoons turmeric 2 teaspoons sugar

Boil rice in 1 1/2 cups water for 45 minutes. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. AVOCADO AND YOGURT DRESSING (3 cups, 10 calories per tablespoon) 1/4 cup uncooked rice 1 cup nonfat yogurt 1 large, ripe avocado 1/2 cup vinegar 2 teaspoons salt 4 dashes hot sauce 2 dashes worcestershire sauce

Boil rice in 1 1/2 cups water for 45 minutes. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.