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Dips or toppings question

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:07 AM
  • 10 Replies
In our family we NEVER fry anything. When I make chicken or pork chops or steak we just put some salt, pepper, and garlic and bake it in the oven. However, I dip every kind of meat in rach dressing. While I do use light, I feel I do this to add more flavor. Would salsa or hot sauce be a better option? I am not a big cooker, for example I dont use fresh garlic or spices, and honestly it is bc I dont know how (hides head in shame) but I do use the spices in the shakers/seasoning jars.
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by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:07 AM
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by Suzanne on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:22 AM
Beware of the hidden sodium in spice mixes. It adds up fast!
Even with the light ranch, there are still a lot of calories, and the chemicals they use to make it light are not great for you. You could try salsa or hot sauce (again, be careful about the sodium... It really is everywhere!!), or try going without a sauce. I don't really dip mine, and I just season with garlic, salt and pepper generally, too. For chicken, I do love pesto on it. Mmm... LOL
You can also Google some recipes and experiment! I'm terrible at coming up with stuff, but I can follow a recipe, or tweak one (sometimes a lot). I get a lot of my healthier recipes from and I know a lot of moms on here use Some other websites I occasionally use include, and
I didn't use fresh ingredients for a long time, because I didn't know how. It takes practice and patience to learn! I'm still learning!! But try one new recipe a week and see what works for you and your family.
Good luck!
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by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:12 AM
I would suggest just trying new recipes. Cooking is not my best skill but over time and trial and error I have found some good ones. If you want to dip in ranch try making your own with a Greek yogurt as a base.
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by Claire on Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:25 AM
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If you really want to get great flavor- start making marinades. They are relatively easy to make and add tons of flavor to the protein. 

Here is an easy marinade for you ( keep in mind, I don't measure as I'm a former Chef, but the beauty of a marinade is that you can adjust to your palate)

A couple of cloves of garlic- minced

Dijon mustard

Balsamic Vinegar ( sweet in flavor)

Herbs- you can use dried, but fresh is always better IMO- parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano...

Olive oil to bind it. 

Start by combining the garlic, mustard, herbs, and vinegar and slowly drizzle in the oil until it thickens. Pour over meat and marinate for hours- discard marinade once protein is removed. You don't want to eat marinade that has had raw meat in it. 

Avoid the dressings... OR make your own! This way you control what goes into them. You can make ranch dressing very easily- it is typically mayo, sour cream and herbs.. I would make my own mayo with eggs and olive oil, then use greek yogurt for the sour cream ( more protein, less fat, and much healthier), and then throw in some herbs and a touch of lemon juice and hot sauce. Yummy!

Those will be great resources for you. 


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by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 8:09 AM
Wow!!! Thank you ladies. As weird as this may sound I never even thought about making my own ranch dressing, didnt think I could. I am definitely going to be trying these things and checking out all this info. I appreciate the help!!!
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by Darby on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

You ladies rock!  Thanks for all the great ideas!

by Silver Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I use ketchup occasionally for dips. My husband uses salsa and all types of spices

by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM
Great ideas ladies
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by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM
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Fresh ginger is also a great way to season meat.  I actually keep big pieces of it in the freezer and grate it from frozen into marinades or my crock pot or whatever.  I also keep pre-minced garlic in the house.  They sell it by the jar.  I'm lazy and I don't like smelling like garlic, and it doesn't have any extra sodium in it. When you buy spices check sodium on them.  I usually buy the pure stuff, like dried ground garlic - no added sodium in those, just garlic, kwim? If you go for the blends they usually have a ton of salt added to them.

by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:21 AM
We are lucky to have an amazing spice store near our home that has all kinds of delicious blends ( many without salt). It's called Pensey's. They are reasonably priced and they will ship to you. Is it okay for me to say that? If not, I'm sorry in advance! Some of my favorites: Foxpoint, poultry seasoning, bold taco, north woods fire.
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM
As I started this weight loss journey I have come to realize how much sodium and sugar really is in a lot of the pre-made foods and spices. Never dawned on me before. I love ranch dressing too but have been avoiding it since its so fatty and i dont like using lowfat or fat free chemical laden i will try to make my own from that recipe above! You ladies rock!
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