Let’s talk about food combinations for a minute … breadsticks and red sauce, pizza and applesauce, cookie dough and ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate, strawberries and chocolate, dried mango and chocolate, coconut and chocolate … well, just about anything with chocolate. And then there’s ranch dressing with, again, just about anything.
It’s a dip for pizza or pizza crust, for veggies or your turkey wrap, a topping for your cobb salad or for sliding those chicken tenders through.
Everyone loves ranch, including our kids. We grew up on Hidden Valley, though I wasn’t sold on it for our own kids. I got a little curious and looked up the back story. It’s an entrepreneurs dream, really … with a side of MSG. It just wasn’t something I wanted to continue feeding our kids as we were moving more and more away from refined/processed foods and onto real foods. In our quest for healthier, more quality ingredients, I stumbled upon Annie’s ranch dressing, which the kids love. We now eat primarily a dairy-free diet so a dairy-free ranch dressing became necessary for us. Until then we used Annie’s ranch as it’s made with real food ingredients, though does contain dairy.
*EXPELLER PRESSED VEGETABLE OIL (*CANOLA AND/OR *SUNFLOWER), WATER, *DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR, *APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, *BUTTERMILK, *CANE SUGAR, SEA SALT, *WHOLE EGG, *ONION, *GARLIC, *CHIVES, XANTHAN GUM, *PARSLEY. *ORGANIC INGREDIENTS CONTAINS EGG AND MILK INGREDIENTS.
Around the same time Sunny started making dill dip with a base of cream cheese. This was back when we were eating dairy a few times per week. She would add lemon juice, parsley, dill, I would toss in some garlic and they would eat it with everything. As dairy became more of a problem over time I needed to find a substitute for the pizza, pizza crust, veggies, turkey wraps, cobb salad, and chicken tenders, lest they all be served naked.
During this time I stumbled across a buffalo wing recipe from well-known real food blogger Danielle Walker of Against All Grain. Tucked into that blog post was a little recipe that changed the way we would consume ranch dressing. She has a fantastic dairy-free (and super tasty) recipe for dairy-free ranch dressing to dip those buffalo chicken wings into. I make it as a double batch and we polish it off within days.
Be sure to add this recipe to your list of all the delicious foods you can eat while avoiding dairy. It’s amazing to me how tasty other real food options are. In fact, if I served this without sharing that it’s dairy-free, it would go off without a hitch. In my Nutrition Response Testing practice, we are always looking for or creating new recipes to share with our clients. They are looking to create a more optimal zone for their health and that requires lifestyle change. But it doesn’t mean we sacrifice flavor or enjoyment of food!