Sunday, August 22, 2010

Homestyle Ranch Dressing Mix

Since I was a young girl I have always loved salad.  I grew up on the standard iceberg dinner salad and never experienced a different type of green until I was an adult.  Nowadays my husband and I much prefer a mix of baby greens with any variety of toppings which include fruit, nuts, cheeses and grilled meat. But, there is still an occasion that I go back to my roots and want just a simple green salad made of iceberg lettuce and carrots.  To top the salad off I want ranch dressing, the good kind from a "valley" that makes every vegetable in its presence bow down for the ceremonious dipping before consumption.  It is creamy and delicious and exactly what I would describe as food from my childhood, only now I know how expensive it is and how not so good it really is for you.

Quite by accident I stumbled onto this recipe and was intrigued by how simple it was.  There was nothing in it that I couldn't pronounce and even better nothing that I wouldn't normally have in my kitchen.  I quickly mixed up a batch and then proceeded to mix up the dressing.  It is full of flavor from the onion and garlic, with a nice tang from the buttermilk and a fresh herbyness (sorry that's my word) from the parsley.  I plan on using it in many forms, all of which I will share with you, but for now it is salad dressing on my crisp cool iceberg lettuce.  Enjoy!
Ranch Dressing Mix
Recipe Source: Modified slightly from Heavenly Homemakers

**Cook's note-this recipe is easily modified!  I love to add salsa to it for taco salads and roasted garlic for a delicious dip**

**edited 12/29/11--I have found that the flavor of the dressing is best with 1/2 cup of mayo and 1/2 of sour cream and 1 cup of buttermilk.  I have changed the directions below to include this information**

4 Tablespoons dried minced onions
8 teaspoon parsley flakes
3 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Mix together and store in an air tight container. I used a baggie, but next time will use a large mason jar.  You can also place all the ingredients into a food processor to make a finer powder if you wish.  Mine isn't completely smooth because of the onion but we don't mind it like that.
For dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup of mayo, 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of buttermilk (the second is my favorite).

For dip: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream
Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.

Total Cost: $.89 (approximately $.19 per batch using 2 tablespoons of mix)
onions $.65
parsley $.21
salt $.01
garlic powder $.02

**Dressing Total Cost: $1.52 
2 T Ranch Mix $.19
Mayo $.45
Buttermilk $.88

**I know that some of you  (my couponing/thrifty friends) will ask why I bother when I can just get the dressings when they are free.  Well my family just really doesn't care for the brands that normally go on sale.We are opting instead for this version knowing that we will use it not look at it on a shelf in the pantry.
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5 comments:

  1. Great, great , great! I love the Ranch dressing, and have been making different variations at home, but non of them are like the real thing! Thanks! Got to give this one a try!

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  2. This one is good, let me know if you like it or not!

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  3. Smart girl! I grew up on iceburg lettuce too. Now I hate it. Well, I don't hate it, I would just rather have spinach salads or mixed greens. Even on my sandwhiches.

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  4. So much better when you control what goes in your food!

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  5. I tried this last night as a chicken seasoning. We used boneless, skinless breasts, covered both sides in seasoning and pepper, threw some broccoli on top, then wrapped them in tinfoil and baked at 375 for about an hour. When they were done we drizzled 1/4 cup homemade cheese sauce over each one and served it with brown rice. It was absolutely delicious!!! Such a great, health, low calorie meal for those who care about that kond of thing. I am excited to trybit as a dressing.

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