Low-Fat Homemade Ranch Dressing

I know, I know, every food blog on the internet has their own version of Ranch Dressing. Well, now so do I.

Oh wait. Change of subject. Have you ever seen “An Idiot Abroad”? It’s a Ricky Gervais reality show where he sends one of his friends on trips to exotic places around the world. The friend, Karl Pilkington, has pretty much never been farther than his hometown, so everything is a shock to him. To make matters near their utmost worse, Gervais plays endless pranks on Pilkington–books him into run-down hotels, plans complicated tours for him such as a four day journey on a camel across the desert, has him eat at places that take particular delight in serving Pilkington all sorts of unspeakable delicacies, etc.

Pilkington’s ongoing commentary is hilarious. He is never at a loss for words and despite the fact that he is presented as an ‘idiot’, he has remarkably accurate insights into life and the situations and places in which he is placed. For instance, when he visited Egypt, he of course went to the Pyramids. I’ve been there. It was not what I thought it would be. Brochures would have you think that the Pyramids are sitting out in the middle of the desert. Not so. Actually, the slums of Cairo come nearly to the bases of the pyramids. Those amazing photos that make the Pyramids look like they are in the middle of the desert are taken from the Cairo side of the Pyramids looking out towards the desert. Trust me, it’s the best view. Anyway, as Plinkington makes his first visit to the Pyramids he pretty much calls things as they are. He talks about his disappointment, the genuine lack of wonder at it all.

If you ever get to see the Egypt episode of An Idiot Abroad, watch it. It’s pretty much dead-on accurate. And hilarious.

So why did I start out talking about low-fat homemade ranch dressing and then suddenly start talking about a TV reality show? Two reasons: 1) there’s only so much you can say about a recipe for Ranch Dressing, and 2) I happened to be watching a rerun of “An Idiot Abroad” at the time I was typing this post.

To tell you the truth, I have always been a little hesitant about making salad dressings. I find them mysterious…sort of like the Pyramids. I mean, how are salad dressings really made? What goes into them? Who are the creative faces behind a truly good salad dressing? I’ve posted a few salad dressing recipes on this blog, but I felt waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone. Now here I am, working up the courage to actually push the ‘publish’ button when I finish typing this recipe.

When I made this dressing, I used a mixture of fresh and dried herbs, depending on what I had on hand at the time. Fresh is generally better, but dried can make a passable dressing, also. The particular herbs which are used in Ranch Dressing–dill, parsley, and chives–lose a lot of their flavor when they are dried. So, how does ‘real’ ranch dressing get all of those intense fresh flavors using dried herbs in their little dry mix packets? Can you say artificial flavoring?

In the title I referred to this recipe as being low-fat. To make it low-fat I simply used low fat sour cream and low fat mayonnaise. Buttermilk is typically 1% milk fat, so it is already ‘low fat’. Despite the ‘low-fat’ labeling, this is a rich, deeply flavored dressing.

Low-Fat Homemade Ranch Dressing

Serving Size: Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Ingredients

  • 3/4-1 cup buttermilk (depending on preferred consistency of dressing)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives or 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, per personal taste preference

Instructions

  1. Mix the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, and vinegar together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour prior to serving.

Notes

Keep covered and stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

http://tsgcookin.com/2012/01/low-fat-homemade-ranch-dressing/

 

Addendum–I decided to add a few pics of our Egypt trip–just in case anyone was wondering about how things really look around the Pyramids. 😉 

This is where you can catch a 20 minute camel ride…for a fee, of course.

 

That’s Cairo in the background.

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This is me with my wild naturally curly vacation hair. As soon as I get anywhere near humidity my hair goes wildly curly. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I just slap on a hair band and pretend that I look exactly how I planned to look.

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This is the first pyramid that you pass. The tour buses go slowly around it and after a while you start wondering if that is all you’ll ever get to see of “The Pyramids”. Eventually, the bus stops and you are allowed to get off and walk around for a few minutes.

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People, pyramids, storage buildings, Cairo.

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That’s me, center left. I’ve just come out from inside of the pyramid. It’s hard to describe the experience. Imagine hundreds of people being herded into a VERY narrow, dimly lit, stiflingly hot  passageway, walking bent over at the waist. I had never thought about what the temperature would be inside of a pyramid. It’s hot, stifling. Eventually you come to a couple of chambers and can stand up. There are Egyptian symbols on the walls. No, the gold has long since been removed…so no treasure…so just a couple of empty chambers.

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The pyramids are big and I do wonder how the Egyptians made them. No, I do not subscribe to the idea that aliens had a hand in building them!

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This is the parking lot next door to the pyramid. See that man in the lower left corner. He is an armed guard on one of the tour buses. Tourists are assigned armed guards. I am glad that we had two armed guards with us. They did a good job of taking care of us and keeping us safe either from things we did not know were ‘out there’ or from our own stupidity.

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This is where you can go to get pizza and a pyramid. It lies just at the edge of the pyramid entrance.

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The sphinx with one of the pyramids in the background. We would have had to book a separate tour to get to see the sphinx up close.

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An interesting, but common, site from my bus window as we pulled away from the pyramids.

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Garbage collection does not exist in this part of Cairo–the part through which tourists must travel in order to see the pyramids.

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So, we were leaving the pyramids behind us and heading….. somewhere. Our bus suddenly pulled over to the side of the road and the guide told us to get off the bus. This is what it looked like as we dismounted the bus. We weren’t sure what was happening.

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We were lead down a nondescript alleyway. At one point the alleyway opened up and there was a man barbequing chickens. They smelled good and I wondered if we could buy one. I was getting hungry.

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A few feet farther and we were lead into a patio garden area. It was quiet, but busy as the head waiter ordered the other waiters around, telling them every move to make. It was surprisingly beautiful where we were. We chose our tables and sat down to be served our lunch.

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I was a little nervous about what we might be given to eat and under what conditions the food was prepared. I only ate things that had been cooked. The pita bread was good and so were the white beans. We also ate some felafel. It had interesting herbs and spices.

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This is a fairly typical apartment building in the poor section of Cairo, which goes on for miles and miles.

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A common sight–a broken down building in which people were living and selling their wares.

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I thought that this was an interesting sign to advertise back-to-school-deals. This was near the beginning of our journey.

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Cairo is connected!

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Comments

  1. says

    What a great post. I have never heard of this show… but it sounds really funny. 🙂 I also am very sad and disappointed regarding the pyramids. I have always wanted to go… are they really right next to the slums of Cairo? There goes my romanticized view of them and riding a camel to get to them. 🙁 I have to try to make my own ranch dressing. I love the stuff… but I’m always a little freaked out by making it too. Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

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