It’s about time I started giving y’all the promised recipes from my Easter picnic date. For a lot of these recipes, it was my first time making them, and there are definitely some tweaks I would make the next time around. I’ll give you the recipes exactly as I made them, along with some notes on how they came out and how I would tweak them the next time I make them.
Today we’re starting with the creamy veggie ranch dip. It’s so good and so simple to make, and it’s also easy to customize, as you can use almost any vegetable you happen to have on hand. I got the basic idea for the recipe here, though I used different veggies and made a homemade version of ranch seasoning. We paired this dip with Triscuit crackers at the picnic. I put the leftover dip on toasted rye bread for lunch–yum!
Here’s the recipe I used:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1 15-oz. can of corn, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried chives
In place of all the spices, you could just use one packet of dry ranch seasoning, though I found using the spices to be more economical, since they had already been bought, and a packet of ranch seasoning was about $2.50 at the store. Say what??
Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until all the ingredients are well-blended. Put in the fridge for several hours before serving. This gives the vegetables a chance to release more water, softening the dip a little more.
This dip wasn’t as soft and creamy as I expected. The veggie-to-cream cheese ratio was too high, in my opinion, creating a dip that was more crunchy than creamy. I also think the ranch flavor wasn’t as strong since the cream cheese was trying to coat so many vegetables. Nevertheless, the resulting dip was tasty and I would make it again in a heartbeat. If you’re trying to eat a lot more vegetables, making the dip this way and then spreading it on toast could be a really good way to add more veggies into your diet.
What I would do differently next time
First, I would just cut down on the amount of veggies I put in. I would still put in the whole can of corn, but I would probably cut back on the celery and carrot (especially the carrot) to be closer to 1/4 of each when finely diced.
Second, I would experiment with different vegetables that have a higher water content. The original recipe I found on Pinterest calls for red bell peppers and olives, whereas I used celery and carrots because they were what we had in the fridge. Carrots don’t have as high of a water content as either peppers or olives, and while celery usually has a high water content, I think the celery I used had been in the fridge for awhile and was starting to dry out.
I see myself making this a lot this summer and experimenting with different add-ins, perhaps some fresh basil, parsley, or mint. If I stumble across a particularly yummy variation, I’ll be sure to let y’all know!