Monday, July 16, 2012

Cucumber Ranch Dressing

10 years.

That's how long it has been since I graduated from high school. It seems not too long ago when I was spending hours at pom practice in Eyeball alley (don't ask) or marching in the parking lot for band practice until the late hours on Wednesday evenings in the fall. There were countless hours on the golf course in the spring hitting multiple balls in the woods and, of course, sinking those 30 foot putts to birdie a hole and beat our cross town rivals. There are many memories of classes, teachers, dances, parties, and so on. And although it doesn't seem that long ago, it also seems that it has been a lifetime. I've spent nine and a half years in higher education and am currently living in my third new city. I've grown so much and changed significantly over the past 10 years.

Why the walk down memory lane? Well, I was back in my hometown this past weekend for my high school reunion. I had a blast catching up with folks and seeing how everyone is doing. We had a very nice turnout at the events and from how it appeared, most everyone seemed to have fun. Isn't it funny how you can not see someone for 10 years (or 5 or 1 or so on) and when you get together, you can fall back into a comfortable conversation? I love that. I may not be your best friend, I may not talk to you once a week, but know that I care and am genuinely glad to hear about your life.

Ok, ok, sorry about the side wanderings unrelated to food. Let's get back to the topic at hand. After a weekend of driving (and necessitating fast food meals) and some beer drinking, I needed a fresh and cleansing meal. How about a nice chopped salad with homemade cucumber ranch dressing? For me, the more things you throw into a salad, the better it gets. I typically clean out the vegetable crisper, chop everything up, mix it, and enjoy. This cucumber ranch dressing is excellent to bring it all together and super easy to make... plus it is better for you then what you would buy in a grocery store isle. Homemade dressings should not be daunting, try it out and let me know how you feel!

Cucumber Ranch Dressing (adapted slightly from Skinny Taste)
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup light mayo
1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp dried parsley (or 3 tbsp fresh parsley)
1/4 cup scallions (mostly green parts with some white)
1 clove garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the cucumber, scallions and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the buttermilk, mayo, yogurt and lemon juice and pulse until almost smooth. Finally, add the parsley, garlic powder and salt and pepper and pulse to mix completely. Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

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