This past week I noticed another sodium-filled item in our pantry that could be disposed of and made from scratch….that hallowed packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix. I was shocked to discover that a mere half a teaspoon of the prepared dressing contained nearly 200 mg. of sodium! Outrageous! Unbelievable! How is this possible!? This is not to mention the usual added preservatives and artificial flavors found in all boxed and packaged foods. In short, it is always better to make things from scratch. I know that this is not always possible, but a good rule of thumb to remember is to NEVER add salt to a packaged or boxed meal/food. Any-who, I discovered that we had hoarded the packet of body-harming-toxins for so long that it was out of date….oops. So, to console my grief I decided to make a homemade version that would hopefully taste just as good or better than the original. The great news about this dressing is that is is low in sodium, egg-free, and much healthier than most store-bought condiments. Also, it is a one-bowl recipe (insert praise hands here). I am sure that those of you out there who tire of endlessly washing dishes will be glad to hear this news. Feel free to play around with different spices in this recipe to find your niche when it comes to that perfect ranch flavor. Everyone has a different preference when it comes to ranch dressing. Some like more pepper, some like buttermilk, some like a buffalo flavor, the options are endless. Think of this recipe as a base upon which you can expand. So, without further ado, let’s see what the general public thought of this dish:
The Chef: “Queenbee, how do you like the ranch dressing?” Queenbee: “Mmmm, it’s really good.”
The Chef: “Mr. Health Inspector, what do you think of this?” The Health Inspector: ” (eating) It’s real good I guess.” (continues eating) The Chef: “You can stop tasting it now.” The Health Inspector: “But it’s so good!”
The Chef: “La Critico, do you like the ranch dressing in the macaroni salad?” La Critico: “Well it’s one of the better noodle meals.”
The Ingredients: 1 cup light mayo, 1 cup reduced fat or light sour cream, 1/4 to 1/3 cup skim milk or evaporated milk (1/4 cup for a thick consistency, 1/3 cup for a thinner consistency), 1 tsp, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. Flavor Mate Original Salt-Free Seasoning, 1 tsp. Flavor Mate Garlic-Herb Salt-Free Seasoning (or Italian seasoning), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. freshly ground sea salt, 1/2 to 1 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns.
Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, and milk of choice in a medium mixing bowl, adding more milk as needed to reach your desired consistency. Add the spices, mix until fully combined. Chill in your fridge for at least an hour. For best results, make the dressing the evening before you need it and refrigerate overnight.
An essential condiment, now made lighter and more delicious!