I introduced a low fat version of buttermilk ranch dressing to the residents at work last month. Even though I let news of the new recipe slipped out the week before, the changeover occurred little fan fair. I replaced the bottled ranch with my scratch prepared version just before the dinner meal.
This approach has worked in the past. Two years ago I introduced brown rice unannounced. The residents didn't miss white rice. I didn't hear the first comment until a week after the switch. The current residents accept brown rice as a standard menu offering.
The menu on January 24 was routine: baked chicken quarters (drumsticks and thighs), barley and brown rice pilaf, braised baby carrots and roll. It was the ideal meal to introduce the ranch dressing. Since I didn't offer a sauce or gravy this evening, it gave them the chance to dip their chicken in the dressing.
Of the 20 residents in the house, only three noticed the difference. The first comment came just as the last resident got her plate. "This looks different," she said. I held comment and smiled. Later, another said, "It's good."
My favorite comment came from a resident that smothered everything in ranch dressing. "You made this 'cause it's not from the big bucket," she said, pointing to the refrigerator. "It has green stuff in it. It's good!"
At that point, I knew that I had made a good decision.
LOW FAT BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING
So-called light mayonnaise and sour cream each contain around half the calories of the traditional condiments. Based on the nutrition labels of the products that I purchase, the dressing contains approximately 50 to 60 calories per serving. By comparison, the nutrition label on Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing has 140 calories per serving.
16 ounces low fat sour cream
16 ounces low fat mayonnaise
32 ounces low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill weed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Stir together sour cream, mayonnaise and buttermilk until combined. Stir in remaining ingredients. Adjust for seasoning and refrigerate.
Makes about 2-1/2 quarts. Serving based on 2-tablespoon portion.