I'm continuing on with my summer skinny dipping! Well, skinny-ish. But no hummus today - I'm sharing my recipe for Creamy Cool Ranch Dip. It also works great as a salad dressing. This vegan Ranch is made from silken tofu and blends up in a snap. Serve it in seconds.
Creamy Cool Ranch Salad. This stuff is perfect for drizzling over crunchy, crisp summer salads. Try a vegan Iceberg Wedge salad or over some crunchy romaine. Or recreate my frizzy Frisée Ranch Salad - recipe below. And bonus! - in this salad recipe there is an entire bag of baby spinach and a giant block of protein-rich tofu. Talk about healthy. Yet all you see and taste is creamy/crunchy, zesty salad bliss.
So grab some veggie sticks, my ranch-tastic party platter is about to be served!..
Cool Ranch Salad:
Creamy Ranch. There are many versions of vegan ranch dressing. This is one of my favorites because it blends up perfectly thick and creamy. And it really is "cool" - since the major ingredient is silken tofu - all you have to do is chill your tofu ahead of time and blend - your dip will be nice and cold (cool) to serve - so no extra fridge time before serving. Yes, I know tofu is usually kept in the fridge anyways, but some of the boxed versions are shelf stable.
Spices. You can get creative with your own spice blend. Or simply use a multi-purpose veggie spice. Or try my spice suggestions in the recipe.
Secret Tofu. Tofu gets all dolled up for this ranch dip. Nothing scary about a bowl-ful of creamy goodness. In fact, I challenge any party-goers to put this dip right next to a non-vegan ranch dip at a party and see which one goes fastest. Hmm, I think I need to go to a party soon just so I can do this. :)
..And after you've mastered the "Ranch" part - you can move onto my Frisée Salad recipe below. This thing was amazing. Perfect balance of creamy and crunchy, silky and zingy.
Creamy Vegan Ranch Dressing
makes about 2 cups
15 ounces silken tofu, drained/squeezed dry
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp celery seed
3/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp fine black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp maple syrup - grade b
3/4 tsp sea salt - salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp grape seed oil
* 1 tsp parsley flakes or handful of fresh parsley - this will give your ranch a slightly green hue though.
* 2 Tbsp plain soy yogurt - for a more tangy "yogurt" flavor
* dollop of vegan mayo for extra richness
* use a seasoned salt for more flavor depth. Try lemon or truffle sea salt.
To make: Make sure tofu is well chilled when you blend. Blend until creamy - salt and spice to taste and serve!
Frisée Ranch Salad
Zesty Green Ranch Dressing:
1 cup Ranch Dressing (see above)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 bag baby spinach
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
4 cups Frisée salad
2-3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
a few croutons
plus extra Ranch Dressing for topping
1. In a blender, add the Zesty Green Ranch Dressing ingredients. Blend until the ranch thins out into a more watery dressing.
3. In a large mixing bowl add the Frisée salad, sunflower seeds and the blended green dressing. Toss well until the greens are well coated.
4. Plate Frisée salad. Add a generous drizzle of the original Ranch Dressing (white) over top. Add tomatoes, pepper and croutons. Serve!
You can see how saturated the crispy greens are with the light green dressing..
So creamy cool..