Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recipe for Grandma Denny's Ranch-Style Vegetable Dip (plus Kalyn's Updated Version)

My Grandma Denny was making this Vegetable Dip long before I heard of Ranch Dressing!

(This favorite recipe was revisited and updated with photos and Kalyn's healthier version of Grandma Denny's dip in April 2011.)  When I was a kid, my Grandma Denny made a fantastic dip that she served with carrots and celery as an appetizer at family dinners. In those days we called it "Vegetable Dip" as if there was only one kind of dip that could possibly be served with veggies. This was long before the introduction of Ranch Dressing to the American culinary scene, and obviously my Grandma Denny was ahead of her time, because  now people all over the country are eating Ranch Dip with veggies.

There's nothing wrong with making Ranch Dip using a package mix.  But this dip recipe from my Grandma is a bit fresher tasting, and if you usually use the mix but don't have a package on hand I bet you'll love my Grandma's recipe.  Grandma always used full-fat mayo and sour cream, but my updated version uses half fat-free Greek Yogurt, one fourth light sour cream, and one fourth mayo.  I do use the full-fat mayo for flavor, but you can use light mayo if you want to make it even lower in fat.   For South Beach Dieters, I love to eat this with vegetables like celery, jicama, sugar snap peas, bell pepper strips, radishes, broccoli, and cauliflower for phase one, and it's great with carrots or sweet potato fries for phase two or three.

My Grandma always used Bon Appetit Seasoning Salt in her vegetable dip, which no longer contains MSG.  You can also use Beau Monde Seasoning, or  Trocomare Herb Seasoning if you can't find Bon Appetit.  (Links to these products are for people who want to check ingredients and not an endorsement of that seller.)  I find Bon Appetit and Beau Monde Seasoning at my grocery store and buy Trocomare Seasoning at Amazon.com.)

Grate a small amount of raw onion into a bowl.  (I use the large side of a box grater; don't use a microplane grater which just turns the onion to liquid.)

Add mayo and sour cream to bowl (or fat-free Greek Yogurt, light sour cream, and mayo for Kalyn's updated version.)  Then add Bon Appetit Seasoning Salt (or Beau Monde Seasoning or Trocomare Seasoning), and dried dill weed.

Mix all ingredients together well with a whisk.  You can use a food processor as well, but the whisk is easier.

Let the dip chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two for best flavor.

Serve with raw vegetables like carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, bell pepper strips, jicama, radishes, broccoli, or cauliflower.  This is also good as a dip for baked sweet potato fries.  (I ate this over the weekend with my friend Robin and we thought the sugar snap peas were especially good with the dip, which Robin gave two thumbs up!)

Grandma Denny's Original Vegetable Dip
(Makes 2 cups dip, recipe from my Grandma Denny, who was a fantastic cook.)

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
1 tsp. grated onion
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 tsp. Bon Appetit Seasoning Salt

Grate onion into a bowl, using the large side of a box grater or flat grater (not a microplane.)  Add all other ingredients to the bowl and stir together with a whisk (or you can use a food processor, but it's not necessary.)  Chill an hour or so before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Kalyn's Updated Version of Grandma Denny's Vegetable Dip(Makes 2 cups dip, original recipe from Grandma Denny; lower-fat version updated by Kalyn.)

1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup mayo (or use light mayo for even less fat, but I like full-fat mayo for flavor in this)
1 tsp. grated onion (or more, I use at least 2 tsp.)
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 tsp. Bon Appetit Seasoning Salt, Beau Monde Seasoning, or Trocomare Seasoning

Grate onion into a bowl, using the large side of a box grater or flat grater (not a microplane.)  Add all other ingredients to the bowl and stir together with a whisk (or you can use a food processor, but it's not necessary.)  Chill an hour or so before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Note: If you don't want to grate the onion you could use onion powder (not onion salt.) However, Grandma always used fresh onion and so do I, even though it does make your fingers smell rather bad!

South Beach Suggestions:
My updated version of the dip with half fat free Greek Yogurt, light sour cream, and just a small amount of mayo is much better for the South Beach Diet.  You can make this even more South Beach Diet friendly by using light mayo, but I think the flavor of full-fat mayo is worth it here.  Eat with celery, sugar snap peas, jicama, bell pepper strips, radishes, broccoli, or cauliflower for phase one.  This is great with carrots or sweet potato fries for phase two or three.

More Variations on Ranch Dip You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Diet Friendly Ranch-Style Dip: Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese Dip with Dill from Kalyn's Kitchen
Heart-Healthy Shrimp dip Served with Veggie Dippers from Kalyn's Kitchen
Skinny Ranch Dip from SkinnyTaste
Ranch Dip from Anne's Food
Creamy Ranch Dip from Life's Ambrosia
Vegan Ranch Dressing or Dip from Happy. Healthy. Life.
Vegan Curry Ranch Dressing (made with cashew cream) from Gluten-Free Goddess
Basil Buttermilk Salad Dressing or Dip from Alice Q. Foodie
Buttermilk Dressing Extra Spicy from Homesick Texan
Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing or Dip from Elana's Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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  1. This looks like a yummy dip but what is Bon Apettit?

  2. Jan, I hope you will get this reply. Bon Appetit is a mixture of seasonings which has salt, Msg., celery seed and onion. Something else you can use is Beau Monde seasoning, it's very similar. I know some people are anti Msg, but I am hooked on using it in this dip.

  3. You mention in the recipe that grating the onion can get your hands pretty smelly. As it has been quite some time since you posted this....you might already know this. But when you go to wash your hands, rub stainless steel. It takes the smell away. Works great with seafood smells an hands as well. They actually make a stainless steel bar of "soap" now.

  4. Anonymous, I did not know that! Great tip, thanks for sharing.

  5. i'm pretty new to sbd so just in phase 1, but i've been religiously studying and following what i'm supposed to eat and not eat. I have a question, in "Good Fats good carbs" book it says to eat fat free sour cream and avoid regular, so I'm confused. i can't find fat free anyway, so if i can use regular i will love this recipe, just not sure what is ok. thanks....

  6. I'm looking at that page and it says Fat-free or reduced fat sour cream is rated "good" and imitation, non-dairy, or regular sour cream is "limited." Personally I hate fat free sour cream, which often has added sugar. I always buy reduced fat sour cream (often called "light" sour cream.) Definitely you could eat this on phase one with light sour cream and light mayo, just use some judgement on the portion sizes.

  7. Hi Kalyn! I am so glad I found your blog. I am starting SBD in a week (have done it before years ago with good success). I have a question: Are you saying that it is OK to use the dry ranch dressing mix from the grocery store for Phase 1? I guess as long as it has no sugar in the ingredients? And that I should mix it with light sour cream? Thanks!

  8. MelRae, yes I've used the dry ranch mix many times (check the package to make sure there is no sugar.) Many of them do have MSG, which I personally am not sensitive to. The package mix isn't quite a fresh tasting as this dip my grandma used to make, but it's pretty good!

  9. I'm so glad I found your blog! My sister and I have joined up to start SB in a week, so I'm sure I'll be visiting frequently. Thanks for providing great recipes!

  10. Are we allowed to have sour cream on phase one? I am doing a month long phase one and need something other than peanut butter to have with my celery :)

  11. Danielle, sour cream isn't listed on the food lists, but low-fat plain yogurt is on the list of foods for phase one (and sour cream is not on the list of "foods to avoid.") But if you look in the little "Good Fats, Good Carbs Guide published by South Beach Fat Free and Low Fat sour cream are both rated "good." The serving size is only 2 T though, so you might want to make this with plain fat-free yogurt for phase one, which has a serving size of 8 oz.

    I think I will edit the recipe to make that more clear, thanks!

  12. Danielle, you got me curious, so I looked around a little on the web and found this:


    It appears that sour cream is not that limited from what it says here.

  13. Hi Kalyn - I have a question about beans - specifically pinquitos or more broadly pinto beans. Are these beans allowed in Phase I or not? The pinquitos are a small bean, supposedly a cross between a pink bean and a small white bean (Wikipedia). Since the kidney bean is much larger and fleshier, I don't see how the pinquito wouldn't be ok but I see some sites allowing only the black bean and the kidney bean. Any thoughts?

  14. Kathryn, the food lists have changed a bit in the updated book (South Beach Diet Supercharged) so that's probably why you see conflicting information. (The lists in the new book are more liberal.)

    As far as I know, all dried beans are allowed for phase one, but the serving size is limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked beans, so I'd eat dishes that contain beans but not a huge serving of something like refried beans.

  15. Yummy :) Love the updated version. My kids are crazy for dip so I think this would be awesome.

  16. Sounds great! Yummy!


  17. Love homemade dips and this looks delish! Cheers!

  18. Cannot wait to try. I've been looking for a simple Ranch recipe that is inexpensive to make like this one. Those Ranch packets can be pricey. Thanks!

  19. I promise, anyone who's been making the package mix type of Ranch Dip, you will love this version from my Grandma!

  20. The dip looks wonderful, of course, but what's even more interesting to me is that you're suggesting three spice blends I've never tried before. Going off to my supermarket today to see what I can find!

  21. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) took the words right out of my mouth! Your Grandma's dip does look great, but I'm excited to learn about the seasonings, especially the Trocomare which is new to me. Thank you! :)

  22. Lydia and Kath, all three of those seasonings are great when you want a bit of onion/celery flavor in a dish. The Trocomare seasoning is good with eggs and a great addition to soup or stew as well.

  23. Thank you so much for the updated recipe! My current goal is to eat more veggies, so this will be a big help.

    I bought Bon Appetit for one of your other dip recipes and really like it.

  24. Love the sound of this dip - also, love the Anonymous reader's tip on how to get onion smell off your hands. Wonder if it works with garlic, too?

  25. Knitting Reader, this really helps with the goal of eating more veggies! That's one of the main reasons I make it.

    Maris, I wondered about that too. Haven't tried it, but plan to.

  26. I love fresh Ranch dips.

    When packing lunches or snacks for myself, one of my tricks for adjusting the dip to veggie ratio is to thin a small amount of the dip with milk to make it more like a salad dressing than a dip. That way I can eat more vegetables (with dip) in a less caloric, and moderately guilt free manner. Not so thin that it drips, but not so thick that it's dip. ;-)


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