Friday, September 13, 2013

BLT Salad with Homemade Low Fat Ranch Dressing

I'm getting real with this post.

Real Life #1: I made this salad for dinner to use up a bunch of stuff in my fridge. There's nothin' like leftovers to force creativity!

Real Life #2: My intent was to make homemade croutons to put on this salad. You know, to represent the bread part of a BLT sandwich. But then the husband got home from work early, and we took our boy to swing at the park. Swinging trumps croutons every. single. time.

Real Life #3: I made seven pieces of bacon when I was prepping for this salad. I thought I'd use four pieces in the salad and three for a club sandwich the next day. I put all seven pieces in the salad. No regrets.

Real Life #4: I was pretty tempted to use bottled ranch dressing for this recipe, but making it from scratch made the salad extra special. The dressing took about ten minutes whip up, though, so if you don't have ten extra minutes, by all means, use the stuff from a bottle. I won't judge.

Real Life #5: The husband told me that for lunch at work, he's been ordering BLT sandwiches with cheese. I jumped right on that band wagon when I made this salad. I married him for his brains as much as his good looks.

BLT Salad with Homemade Low Fat Ranch Dressing
Dressing adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Serves: 2 as a main dish (with extra dressing)

1/8 cup buttermilk*
1/8 cup lowfat sour cream
1/8 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons water

Half a head of iceberg or Romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
7 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients except water. Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons water until dressing reaches your desired consistency.

Evenly divide lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese between two plates. Top with dressing and black pepper.

*Don't have buttermilk? Don't let that stop you. You can make your own buttermilk by mixing together 1 cup regular milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar and allowing it to sit for about 5 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the milk thickens and looks a little bit curdled. (Since this recipe only calls for 1/8 cup buttermilk, just use 1/8 cup milk and a little less than 1/2 a teaspoon lemon juice/vinegar to make your own.)

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