Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Organic Ranch Dressing: Trying Tessemae’s

Rocking the Ranch dressing t-shirt

You know the baker whose children prefer to eat packaged cookies, or the dress designer whose daughter wants to wear clothes off the rack? Sometimes I feel like that when I cook or bake; pouring time and love into food that my kids want from the store. In fact, my oldest daughter used to say she wanted food we bought, and I wondered - did she think we just found the ingredients I used to cook?

As a matter of fact, the salad dressing I served last night did come free, from the Mom It Forward Influencer Network, and I am being paid to spread the word about Tessemae’s new ranch dressing.

But even without compensation, I would sing the praises of this organic salad dressing, made without sugar, preservatives or artificial ingredients. In fact, one reason I started making my own dressing was I read what was on the label of the dressing I liked and was grossed out. Why buy organic greens and vegetables just to drown them in chemicals?

I know, I know, we all do whatever it takes to get our kids to eat veggies. And eating salad or carrots dipped in ranch is better than eating chips or candy. But when Tessemae’s ranch dressing tastes as good as any other bottled dressing, why not choose the natural one? I’d say Tessemae’s tastes better, but then, I haven’t eaten those gloopy, chemical-laden dressings in so long I can’t really compare.

Tessemae’s, which is sold at Walmart, says ranch is America’s #1 dressing. And if you are in the minority and ranch isn’t your thing, the brand makes 25 dressings, marinades and condiments. I also got to sample the Caesar dressing, which is delicious.

The dressings need to be refrigerated and they are sold in bottles, as well as single use packets. These are great for toting a salad and not having wilted greens. We often bring a big salad to baseball games or on airplane trips since we can’t rely on finding good vegetarian food at ball parks or airports. But with the packets, we can bring our own meals and have crisp lettuce.

The dressings are sugar and dairy free, as well as gluten free (well, most dressings are, unless they have soy) and non-GMO verified. One of my kids is lactose-intolerant, so it’s nice to find a creamy dressing that has no dairy.

I’ve also learned over the years that a salad doesn’t even require greens to be a salad. My kids love this “salad” of corn, tomatoes and avocado, with fake bacon and Ranch dressing. And no fair telling me that tomatoes and avocados are fruits, not vegetables. They love this salad and I’m happy.

Recipe: Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad
1/4 pound veggie bacon, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 to 6 ears corn, stripped (2 to 3 cups kernels)
4 sliced tomatoes
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
Ranch dressing
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes, then add corn. Continue cooking, stirring or shaking pan occasionally, until corn begins to brown a bit, about 5 more minutes; remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. 
Layer tomatoes and avocado slices on 4 plates. Scatter corn mixture on top. Pour Ranch dressing over everything. Enjoy.
Serves 4

Note: I was paid to sample and write about Tessemae’s. Recipe development and enjoyment were all my own.

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