De-frosting salad

Don’t lie to kids; craft real Ranch dressing

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Elizabeth Ulrich
Susan France

How stupid do they think our children are? 

Apparently, Kraft thinks that our little ones are idiots based on the food conglomerate’s newest product: Kraft Salad Frosting.

“Ranch dressing is the most popular dressing in the United States, and kids will eat anything with frosting, right? It’s a match made for dinnertime bliss. Now, convincing children to eat salad, broccoli and carrots may be a whole lot easier. Just add Kraft Salad Frosting,” Kraft claimed in a press release. 

No, it’s not a joke.

So, your kid opens the “Salad Frosting” in its deceptive squeezable pouch like it is Christmas morning and out pours… Kraft Ranch Dressing. 

Here is how Kraft rationalizes their fake news: “Innocent lies parents tell their kids help alleviate the pressures of everyday parenting, and if it gets kids to eat their greens, so be it.” 

So be it? Really?

Let’s count together all the ways this white lie is a horrible idea for both kids and parents. First, either your kid knows you were lying all along or realizes that they are the butt of an adult joke. The sensitive ones will have trust issues the next time you ask them to taste something. Some may develop a dysfunctional relationship with everything from arugula to cardoons, not to mention their parents. 

Besides, a squeezable pouch just encourages kids to eat too much dressing, but that is not the important issue. If your kids do not see you making and enjoying salads and vegetables without a blanket of goop, chances are that they won’t either. Besides genes, we pass along taste.

You would almost be better off letting your kid eat an equal amount of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting. Two tablespoons of real frosting is only 30 more calories than Kraft’s Ranch, and is actually lower in fat and sodium — Kraft Ranch Dressing delivers 110 calories, 11 grams of fat and 290 milligrams of sodium and monosodium glutamate, xanthan gum, phosphoric acid, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, potassium sorbate and just a hint of calcium disodium EDTA. 

I helped raise a son. I know the games parents play to get kids to eat vegetables and generally eat healthier. My deal was that he could always get Noodles & Company mac and cheese if it included chicken and broccoli. I’ve got no objection with hiding carrots in meatloaf, cauliflower in pizza crust and zucchini in brownies, but flat-out deception is distasteful. 

At the very least, get that processed crap out of your salad bowl and make ranch dressing from scratch. It’s easy, if more expensive, especially if you use organic ingredients. If you want to make it thick like frosting, substitute mascarpone cheese for sour cream.  

Ranch Dressing 

1/2 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt or mayo)

1/2 cup buttermilk 

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons each: minced fresh Italian parsley, chives, dill 

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon each: onion powder, dry mustard

Mix ingredients well, chill at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Taste and tweak the seasonings to your kid’s taste. 

In Praise of Fresh Doughnuts

Boulder’s got a lot going for it food-wise, but it is a doughnut desert. There are some doughnut chains, and a few bakeries and supermarkets fry dough. There are some good independent doughnut shops in the vicinity, but zero in Boulder. Now, there is hope just a stone’s-throw from Google in an Airstream trailer. Erik Hotaling’s Motorrad Cafe is set in the dirt parking lot of House of Motorrad, which offers dirt bike sales, rentals and tours. He dishes great breakfast burritos featuring Tender Belly Bacon and eggs from New Moon Farms, as well as pancakes and Cuban lunch bowls, but the star attractions are scratch-made, yeast-raised doughnuts. Dusted with powdered sugar or glazed in various ways, these lightly sweet puffs have a dense, moist middle and great homemade taste. Ponder a Conscious Coffee espresso with a chocolate doughnut at a picnic table while the morning freight train rumbles by.  

Local Food News

A cycling-themed Italian eatery, Strade Bianche Café, has opened at 1739 Pearl St., former location of L’Atelier (and long ago, Attusso’s of Brooklyn). Tuscan-born chef and cycling tour leader Fabio Flagiello formerly created cuisine at Bacaro and Pastavino. Flagiello will fit right in. Next door is Full Cycle, a bicycle shop and espresso-wine bar. Across the street is Frasca, where hospitality guru Bobby Stuckey runs marathons and chef Lachlan McKinnon-Patterson loves to bike. Nearby is Cured, owned by former Tour de France rider Will Frischkorn. With so many fit Boulder-area chefs who are rock climbers, trail runners and yoga teachers, there should be a Boulder triathlon — cooking, mixology and athletic competition — for restaurant people. 

finding fresh

Wherever you are driving this summer in Colorado, chances are you are speeding past a lot of great local food. To put it on your map, get the free 2019 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory which lists farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, CSAs and wineries including stops in Longmont (Aspen Moon Farm), Boulder (Munson Farms), Lafayette (Cottonwood Farm) and Niwot (Kilt Farm). Download app at coloradoproud.org. 

Taste of the Week

All solutions to food waste should be as tasty as the chicken chicharrones at The Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette. The eatery is known for its chicken, meaning there is a fair amount of excess chicken skin. That skin could go in the stock pot to make gravy, but it’s so much tastier this way. Pork chicharrones are a thick and puffy snacks. The chicken equivalent are craveable triangles of chicken skin fried until crisp brown and served as thin chips for dipping in hummus.  

Words to Chew On

“American food is polyglot and problematic, multi-varied, confused, stained with a thousand national sins. But it is our own. And we should be proud of it. … Food may yet be the truest expression of who we are, and why we, as a country, matter.” — Josh Ozersky  

John Lehndorff is celebrating July 4 by talking with Colorado wine expert Doug Caskey on KGNU at 8:25 a.m. and judging crusts and fillings at Jamestown’s July pie contest in the afternoon.