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Savory Sitter: Healthy “Ranch” Dressing

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As a babysitter, I have at times wondered, how on earth I was going to get kids to eat vegetables. I even called my mom for advice once and she suggested serving them with ranch dressing for dipping. The idea alone brought me back to childhood. After rolling around in the grass most of the morning we’d come in for a healthy snack of veggies and dip.

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I thought I’d do the same for the kiddos I babysit but it turns out that particular “healthy” snack wasn’t so healthy after all! A lot of bottled ranch dressings are extremely high in fat and preservatives. I wanted to give the kids a healthy alternative. (PS: the pic above was taken at the LaBrea Tar Pits [4] last week but it looks like it’s from my childhood. Love those iPhone app filters!)

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Turns out, I’m not the only one looking for a healthy ranch alternative. Along with group of chefs, farmers and volunteers from the restaurant Lucques [6] where I work, I have been spending Thursday mornings with third graders at a public school in East LA . We built and planted a vegetable garden and every week our chef Suzanne Goin [7] does a cooking demonstration to inspire and teach the kids how to make delicious healthy food.  We made this dressing with the kids using the parsley they had planted themselves. It’s a great thing for kids to help make. They can squeeze the lemon juice on to the shallots and help stir it all together. And dipping veggies is always fun!

Healthy “Ranch” Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon lemon juice, (from 1 fresh lemon)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Sliced veggies for dipping

Place shallots and lemon juice in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Add yogurt and stir to combine. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve with vegetables for dipping.

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[2] Image: http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/kid-tastic/savory-sitter-healthy-ranch-dressing/attachment/ranch-2/

[3] Image: http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/kid-tastic/savory-sitter-healthy-ranch-dressing/attachment/ranch/

[4] LaBrea Tar Pits: http://www.tarpits.org/

[5] Image: http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/kid-tastic/savory-sitter-healthy-ranch-dressing/attachment/ranch-3/

[6] Lucques: http://www.lucques.com/

[7] Suzanne Goin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Goin

[8] Image: http://cookingwithmykid.com/2011/03/17/savory-sitter-healthy-ranch-dressing/print/

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