So my favorite salad dressing in the world is ranch. But I hate all the MSG, disodium phosphate and artificial flavors found in store bought brands like Hidden Valley. Isn’t ranch supposed to be something like cream, garlic and black pepper? Can’t I just whip this up at home with a little more flavor and a little less disodium guanylate? As it turns out, yes, and it’s quite simple! I made my first batch of ranch a few months ago, with a base of yogurt and light mayo, and it was the best ranch I have ever tasted in my life ever! I wanted to drink it. Ok, I did drink it. Just a little… Then two days later I had my annual check up with my doctor and she told me I had to give up dairy to help with my psoriasis. Damn! Back to the drawing board. So I came up with a second non-dairy recipe guideline that can also be made vegan if that’s what floats your boat. Both guidelines are below. I prefer the dairy version for taste, but the non-dairy version is delicious as well. And if dairy makes your belly bubble or your skin itch, the second version is a great option. Happy Health!
* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.
Peppercorn Ranch Dressing (Dairy Version)
1 cup or so plain full fat yogurt (“The European Style” found at Trader Joe’s is reportedly sourced from Straus Creamery at half the price. Whether it is or isn’t, it’s freakin delish and the best brand to use if you have a Trader Joe’s near you.)
¼- ½ cup light mayo
½ to a whole raw onion
tablespoon-ish of whatever prepared mustard you fancy
however much cracked peppercorn tastes good to you
dash Worcestershire sauce
a tsp or two apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder or more if you love garlic
veggie chicken broth powder I get from the Whole Foods bulk section (or you can use chicken stock. Or veggie stock. Or miso paste. Or whatever umami kick you like.)
Blend everything in a food processor or blender and drink….I mean eat up!
Peppercorn Ranch Dressing (Non-Dairy Version)
Substitute tofu for the yogurt (silken preferably.) And either omit the Parmesan cheese or replace with non-dairy cheese of your liking. Everything else stays the same.
To make it vegan, omit the Worcestershire sauce and replace with a little more vinegar or lemon. Replace the mayo with Vegenaise.