Ranch dressing tends to be very popular, especially with kids. It is really easy to make your own, and it tastes even better than when made with the packet from the store, not to mention much less expensive. I make four times the seasoning recipe and keep it in a small jar with the instructions written on the top. To make the dressing, add the mix to buttermilk, mayo and sour cream. If you use light mayo and light sour cream, 2 tablespoons is only 1 Weight Watcher point. Using it as a dip is a great way to get your family (and you) to eat more raw veggies.
- 1/2 cup buttermilk*
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp dried parsley
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 pinch dried dill weed
- 1 pinch dried thyme
Place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until well blended.
Refrigerate for several hours (or even better, overnight) to allow flavors to meld together.
Keep refrigerated; use within seven days.
To make 4 times the amount of the seasoning mix, use:
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon garlic powder
· 1 teaspoon onion powder
· 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
· 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
· 1/8 teaspoon dried dill
· 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Mix together in a small jar. To make the dressing, use 1 teaspoon of the mix to 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup of mayo and 1/4 cup sour cream. Whisk together, and let set for at least 30 minutes before using.
*Buttermilk freezes great. I always end up with a lot more buttermilk than I can use before it goes bad, so I freeze small portions in freezer-safe mason jars. Do not try to freeze sour cream.
Here is an easy and surprisingly tasty meal that incorporates plenty of healthy vegetables. It turned out much better than I thought it would, and it is definitely on my regular meal rotation list.
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Looking for a way to get your toddler (or anyone else) to increase their intake of veggies without a hassle? This is the perfect solution! The biggest problem is usually that they tend to disappear so quickly. As shown in the picture below, I made both mini-muffins and regular sized ones, but will go with just the regular sized ones in the future. The toddler I tested them out on (my two-year-old grandson Augustine) inhaled the little ones and kept asking for more – even a full sized one wasn’t enough for him. They were also a hit with his parents and big brother.
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Look at this creamy goodness
I confessed sometime ago that I don’t eat enough veggies. I’ve found found over time that, if cooked right or a certain way, I do like more veggies than I initially thought. I just don’t know what do with veggies! When I was pregnant with my first, I craved cauliflower, unfortunately it was the mini-steamer pack kind covered in cheese….not the healthiest of sides, but certainly not the worst.
Cauliflower can be used as a substitute for some starchy foods including mash potatoes, potato salad, rice and Kayte even uses it for pizza crust! (According to Wikipedia) Cauliflower is low in fat and carbs, but high in fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C. All this had me fairly sold – then I saw this droolworthy Buzzfeed
post on ways you can use cauliflower to cut carbs. I picked some up on my next costco trip!
I wanted to make something I knew our toddler would gobble up, and after a recent cold spell, I wanted something warm and comforting. I settled on this cauliflower mac & cheese
. Then I made the laziest version of it possible.
The recipe starts by cooking macaroni, and steaming the cauliflower. I don’t own a fancy steamer, but I do have some of these awesome Ziploc Zip n Steam bags
. Just throw your veggies in there with some water, and pop in the microwave for the appropriate amount of time as listed on the bag! Next the recipe calls for blending the cauliflower with sauteed onion and garlic. I used onion powder, and some Johnnys garlic powder instead and just threw it in the blender. Add milk and blend. Pour the mixture into a pot with cheese and stir until melted. Combine with the macaroni and you are done!
Creamy cauliflower with melting cheese
An easy way to add veggies into your family’s diet is to try roasting them. It is amazing how different they taste than when fixed any other way. This is also a great way to use up small amounts of raw vegetables by combining several at a time. One of my favorite vegetables to roast is brussel sprouts. They completely lose the bitterness and actually taste almost nutty. About a year ago, one of my grandsons, who absolutely will not eat any kind of vegetable, was at my house at lunchtime one day and for some reason helped himself to a roasted brussel sprout. His eyes got big and he said, “That’s really good!”. I knew he was sincere when he asked me to bring roasted brussel sprouts to Thanksgiving dinner. (Yes, Kyle, I’m talking about you.)
Just about any kind of veggie can be roasted, although the time may need to be adjusted. The most important thing is to be sure everything is cut into bite-sized pieces that are all roughly the same size. Unless the brussel sprouts are really small, I cut them in half. This is also a great time to experiment with different flavors – use coconut oil and cinnamon for carrots or sweet potatoes, add some rosemary with regular potatoes, try out any other favorite seasonings with appropriate veggies.
- Raw vegetables – brussel sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes – let your imagination be your guide!
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil, depending on what you are roasting)
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (optional)
- Salt (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (A lower temperature can be used, just adjust the time accordingly.)
- Cut your vegetables into bite-sized pieces (important to keep the sizes roughly the same). Put oil, garlic and cut veggies into a plastic bag and shake to coat all the pieces. I like a mixture, so I start off with the things that take the longest – brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, etc.- and put them in to roast about 10-15 minutes before adding the quicker-cooking items – mushrooms (cut in half), cherry tomatoes, onion wedges, etc.
- Pour onto a heavy cookie sheet or oven-proof pan large enough to let everything spread out in a single layer without being crowded. Roast for 15-20 minutes, take out and turn to other side, then return to oven for another 15-20 minutes or until tender and browned.
- Sprinkle with a little salt and dig in!