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Ranch Dressing

My family's favorite dressing was, for a long time, Buttermilk Ranch.  Since the allergy test results, dressings have become a challenge.  When you take away dairy, sesame, soy, garlic, eggs, vinegar (distilled is the only vinegar we can use), and lemon juice, there isn't much choice.  And when it is required to taste good... that narrows the choices even further.

Ranch Dressing- Vegan and Soy free but still delicious!

The kids liked ranch dressing better than any other type of dressing.  They ate it with everything:
broccoli, brussel sprouts, potatoes, chicken wings, french fries, burgers, onion rings, and so on.  Ketchup was probably the only condiment that came out of the fridge more often.  But then again... maybe not.

Most dairy free ranch dressings use tofu for the base.  We are tofu free though so we needed a different approach.  I found a recipe at Whole Living Daily by Cybele Pascal, tried it, and then tweaked it.  The original version wasn't quite creamy enough to satisfy.

So here is our dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free version:

Ranch Dressing:

3/4 cup chilled rice milk
1 1/2 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar or lemon juice)
1/3 cup coconut milk (Goya is the brand we use)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
Ranch dressing with flecks of pepper, parsley and dill.
1 Tablespoon grated Spanish onion (white onions will work too)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley (2 Tablespoons fresh minced)
1 teaspoon of dill
pinch ground mustard

In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup rice milk with 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar. Set aside.
In the blender add the rest of the rice milk, onion, \and a dash or large pinch of black pepper.  Blend well on high speed.  Add 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum and blend until firm. (It sticks to the side of the blender)  Add the oil in a slow drizzle with the blender running.  If possible pour it through the hole in the blender top.  This part makes a mess.  :)  The oil should emulsify beautifully.

Add the parsley, dill, and ground mustard to the rice milk and vinegar mixture and then pour this through the hole in the blender top in a thin stream with the blender on high.  Turn off blender and taste.  You can adjust the seasoning to your preference at this time. 

If the dressing isn't creamy enough for you at this point:
Add to the mix in the blender:
1/3 cup coconut milk 
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

and blend on high.  This gives a creamier texture and fuller body to the dressing.  There is a very slight coconut aftertaste.  It is barely noticeable when tasting at this point and we don't notice this when the dressing is used on a salad.

 A dressed red-leaf lettuce, tomato, and avocado salad with a side of cornbread.

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