Thursday, July 30, 2009

Something called "Ranch" ought to be natural

Holy smokes another two weeks has passed me by. We've been busy entertaining friends for Hersheypark outings and have family coming this weekend to celebrate my son's birthday (4th). So I was grocery shopping today in an effort to be an organized and prepared hostess. Ha.

Anyway, I wanted to get some ranch salad dressing, which is always a favorite. I used to buy Hidden Valley Organic Ranch Dressing but I can't find that anymore. According to their website, they still make it, so my Giant must not carry it. (They also discontinued Welch's Organic Grape Juice, which was stupidly positioned in the regular juice aisle instead of the organic aisle. Shame, it is bursting with juicy goodness, so much so that I have to dilute it. But I digress...)

So I started picking up every bottle of Ranch dressing on the shelves and, lo and behold, every single one had MSG in it, even Ken's "Healthy Options" Ranch, which I find really misleading. There was no Newman's Own Ranch anywhere, which is another good option. Wishbone and Kraft and all those mainstream brands all had MSG, among other lousy ingredients in them. I bought Nature's Promise Organic Ranch Dressing. I can't find any product info online, but it seems to be MSG-free and generally all ingredients you know and love. One word of caution with the Nature's Promise items (and organic items in general, especially if you live somewhere this "trend" isn't hot): Always check the expiration date. One time, I bought NP Caesar dressing that was a year old and didn't realize it. Not cool.

While I'm on my soapbox about discontinued organic/natural items at Giant, I also could not find the Organic Savory Herb Stuffing Mix from Arrowhead Mills. This stuff is delicious, plus it made my cheesy squash casserole SO much better than bread crumbs. I'm going to have to get over to Wegman's and see if they have a better selection, or maybe try the Giant in Camp Hill, which seems to be better stocked with organic-leaning items.

If anyone wants the casserole recipe, let me know. It's basically zucchini or summer squash (which we have now in overabundance), milk, eggs, cheese, onion, butter and stuffing (my way, anyway). It's super quick to throw together and really yummy. And you can modify (skip butter, use skim milk and lowfat cheese) to be healthier.

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