Hello, readers! I know I said I was going to start blogging regularly again.....and here it is a month later. What can I say, life is busy. Trust me, I really hate saying that. I don't like when life is busy. I like when days are uneventful, routine and restful. This past year has been anything but that, and the stress is getting the better of me. On top of almost losing my mom several times (thankfully she is doing well now), moving to a new city and starting a new job, I also had to deal with throwing my back out and being in pain for several months, a call-back on my very first mammogram and preparing to say goodbye to my precious 15 year old pug. Yep, life has been difficult this past year.
It's been really hard to keep blogging lately. I'm burnt out. While I still enjoy cooking and baking, it's difficult getting myself into the kitchen. I've lost my momentum. I've lost my drive. It's so frustrating to have all of these ideas, but only being able to take them so far. I get the recipe finalized, the photos taken....and then nothing. I can't get myself to write the blog. I wonder if any other bloggers ever get to feeling this way. Or is it just my own fatigue at putting my work, my creations and myself out into the world? As an introvert, I can see how tiring this would become after a while. I like being quiet and safe at home, but at the same time, I'm dying to get my ideas and creativity out there. It's quite the dichotomy. And it's quite exhausting.
The recipe I'm sharing today is one such recipe that I only took so far. My husband and I have been enjoying it for several months now and I kept thinking, "This is sooo good! I need to share it with my readers!" I had the recipe down, the photos, but didn't have the energy to take that last step. Well now I do, so here it is.
The base of this dressing is Lifeway Kefir. I know a lot of you might not be familiar with kefir. I probably wouldn't be either if I hadn't worked in natural foods. Kefir is a thin yogurt drink. Like yogurt, it's cultured, fermented milk and full of probiotics. What makes it even more fabulous is that the Lifeway brand is 99% lactose-free. Lifeway Kefir is ideal for a low-FODMAP diet, especially if you are lactose intolerant. While great for smoothies, Lifeway Kefir is also the perfect replacement for.....buttermilk! It is tart and tangy, making for a delicious "buttermilk" ranch dressing.
I love to serve this dressing with lettuce topped with carrots, quinoa, tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese. I have some made in the fridge most of the time. I found a commercial garlic oil that works for my husband and me, so the dressing can keep for several days or more in the fridge, if it lasts that long! If you are using a homemade garlic oil, be sure to consume the dressing within two days to prevent bacteria growth.
Kefir Ranch Dressing
Low-FODMAP, Low-Lactose, Gum-Free
makes about 6 servings
1 cup plain, low-fat, 99% lactose-free Lifeway Kefir
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon garlic-infused oil*
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and garlic-infused oil until combined. Slowly whisk in the kefir until smooth. Stir in the parsley, chives, dill, salt and pepper. Add more mayo if desired for thicker dressing. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
*I love the Nicer Foods brand of garlic oil, but it is very potent! Start with 1/2 teaspoon of oil and then add more to taste. Homemade Garlic Oil is not as potent, so I usually add about 1 tablespoon oil to this dressing. Also with homemade garlic oil, be sure to consume the dressing within two to four days to prevent bacteria growth (read more here).