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Category: ranch dressing

Homegrown Tomato and Stir Fry Chicken Salad

Homegrown Tomato and Stir Fry Chicken Salad

A few fall-like days that had me making chili and then the temps went through the roof and now I’m on a hot weather food kick, and really getting back into my salads. I was able to make this salad thanks to a friend who gave us a bunch of homegrown tomatoes.
I’ll have to post my stir fry recipe later. It was a real hit this summer.
Ingredients:
  • Stir fry chicken
  • Spinach
  • Medium tomato
  • Mini bell peppers
  • Goat cheese
  • Red onion (optional)
  • Dressing (only a small amount needed)

 

 

It’s a salad, so cut the ingredients to your preferred size and toss. The stir fry sauce makes up most of the dressing, but I highly recommend adding a little Ranch dressing or at least some olive oil to bring out the nutrients in the vegetables and add a little coating so the sauce can stick better. Red onions are recommended for flavor if you have to use store-bought tomatoes.

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Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

I love my Homemade Ranch Dressing, but it’s a bit of a PITA to make because you have to measure out all of the ingredients. My solution is to mix the dry ingredients ahead of time and store them in a little jar.

I like to combine enough for six batches, so that’s what this recipe makes, but you can do the math and make more or less if you want.

Ingredients for the mix:

 teaspoons dried chives
 teaspoons dried parsley
 teaspoons onion powder
1½ teaspoon garlic powder

1½ teaspoon dried dill weed
3/8 teaspoon salt (or eyeball it)
3/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (or eyeball it)


Place all ingredients in a jar, stir or shake.

To make the dressing:

Place two heaping teaspoons of the dry mix in a bowl.
Add 1/2 cup maynnaise.
Blend well with a stick blender, whisk, or fork.
Add 1/2 cup sour cream.
Blend well with a stick blender, whisk, or fork.
Add 1/2 cup buttermilk.
Blend well with a stick blender, whisk, or fork.

Cover or pour into a jar and refrigerate.

Alternatively, you can skip the sour cream and use 1 cup of buttermilk, for runnier dressing. Or, you can skip the buttermilk and use 1 cup of sour cream for dip.

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Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dressing

I love ranch dressing. I have always loved it, and still firmly believe that many foods are really just a tool for getting the ranch to your mouth. Many years ago I started noticing that when I ate appetizers or salad with it, I would start to feel crappy and lose my appetite before my main dish arrived.

Of course, it turned out that the store-bought ranch and mixes were loaded with MSG. I did eventually find some brands that do not have it, but after a while I get tired of them. I started making my own, but the results were hit and miss, and it was a lot of work. Finally I found a recipe that looked good. I tweaked it a bit to suit my taste. It consistently turns out great, and it’s quick and easy.

 

You’ll notice that I reduced the mayonnaise and increased the sour cream. That’s one of the problems I have with the better stuff I have found in stores – it just tastes and feels too heavy on the mayonnaise. I also reduced the dill and increased the onion powder. When I made it with the full portion of dill I found it overpowered the flavors.

 

I prefer to use my homemade sour cream, which is made the same way as crème fraîche and crema Mexicana. From what I have found so far, they are one in the same. I’m still trying to find more on that and figure out if there is supposed to be some subtle difference that I’m missing in my reading or what. I plan to write a post on that in the near future.

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup homemade sour cream (or crème fraîche, crema Mexicana, or half store-bought sour cream and half buttermilk)

½  cup mayonnaise
½  teaspoon dried chives
½  teaspoon dried parsley
½  teaspoon onion powder
¼  teaspoon garlic powder
¼  teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8   teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

 

Whisk together all ingredients. I like to do this in the container I am going to store the dressing in. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it’s nice and chilled and the flavors are well blended.

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