Creamy (and low-fat!) ranch-style dressing, with a surprise ingredient

Low-fat and loving it: Creamy faux-ranch dressing recipe from the NYTimes uses beans, yogurt and in this version, garlic. I loved it!

Low-fat and loving it: Creamy faux-ranch dressing recipe from the NYTimes uses beans, yogurt and in this version, garlic.

If I told you I’d found a creamy, ranch-style dressing with LOTS less fat than the original, perhaps you would be more inclined to give those healthful salads a chance.
Well, since my last post on the topic of eating more healthfully, I’ve experimented with a neat salad dressing recipe seen in The New York Times that fits the bill.
It’s a creamy ranch-style dressing made with white beans and yogurt. The recipe says you can also use milk, and I suspect fat-free cottage cheese would also work. I’ll try it next time I’ve got cottage cheese in the house.
More often, though, I’ve got yogurt, so that’s what I used.
The dressing came out creamy, delicious, and on the thick side, so use it on a sturdy salad rather than on delicate greens. (If you thinned it with milk, though, it would probably work.)
I think it would also make a great veggie dip.
We tried the basic garlic recipe, but plan to give the cilantro and some other variations a whirl (get it, whirl, you use the food processor … ). If you’re trying to boost the flavor of your basic salad greens, or to add a bit more fiber to your diet, this is a painless way to do it. Let me know what you think!

This is the version I made and liked:


1 small garlic clove, halved, green shoot removed

1/2 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed if using canned beans

1/2 cup whole milk or 2 percent Greek yogurt or regular yogurt

1 ice cube, if using Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced chives

1 teaspoon each minced tarragon and dill (optional)

Process garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until the minced garlic is adhering to sides. Stop processor and scrape down. Add beans, yogurt and ice cube and process until smooth. With the machine running, add lemon juice, salt, and olive oil and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Scrape into a bowl and stir in chives, tarragon and dill.  Makes 1 cup

Per serving (6 servings): 73 calories; 4 g fat;  3 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 7 mg sodium; 3 g protein

More variations are suggested at the website. Have fun!


(c) copyright Laura Groch 2014


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