Use Dried Herbs & Spices to Make Your Own Inexpensively without Preservatives
GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix™ has been around a long time. The salad dressing and recipe mix is a dry seasoning mix that allows you to make your own salad dressing or marinade using a few kitchen staples (vinegar, water, and oil). I grew up on their Italian dressing. It was in both my Grandmother’s and my German Mother’s kitchens. And it is more than just a convenient way to make good salad dressings. It’s a versatile ingredient that helps you create unique marinades, sauces, dips, and more.
I love the flavor of Good Seasons Italian Dressing, but the price for the convenience puts me off. So I skip the price (and the preservatives) and make my own. Here is a simple copycat recipe that stores well and the flavors are so close you will not miss buying those packets. I lowered the salt content (Good Season’s is 320 milligrams of sodium—13 percent of the DV) and left out any wheat and soy allergens that may bother some folks. (You can thank me later.)
This dry mix will measure just like that package you buy in the grocery store for all the recipes you use it for; 2 tablespoons of dry mix = 1 package of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix.
Makes about 2/3 cup (equal to 5 commercial packets)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried, chopped sweet bell pepper*
1 tablespoon dried, grated carrots**
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or starch)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
*Note on Dried Sweet Bell Pepper: If you do not dehydrate your own, Zatarain’s Dehydrated Sweet Bell Pepper, 3 oz bottle can be purchased in stores like Walmart in the spice section.
**Note on Dried Grated Carrots: If you do not dehydrate your own, you can grate the small amount (1 tablespoon) of carrots needed and microwave on DEFROST for 3-4 minutes, they will dry to a crisp and be usable for this recipe.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Pour into an airtight 8 ounce (1 cup) container and store away from heat, light, and humidity for up to 6 months.
- Shake well before measuring for each use.
To Make Dressing
Makes 1 cup
2 tablespoons dry mix
1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup oil
3 tablespoons water
- Pour vinegar and water into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Add contents of package; cover. Shake vigorously until well blended.
- Add oil and cover. Shake again until blended.
- Allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight for best flavor. To maintain freshness, refrigerate dressing for up to 2 weeks.
Ingredients in dressing will separate when refrigerated, especially when made with olive oil. To reuse, let dressing stand at room temperature about 1 hour and shake vigorously just before serving.
To prepare with less oil: Complete steps 1 and 2 as directed above. In step 3, substitute 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup oil in place of 1/2 cup oil; shake as directed.
For bread or vegetable dip: Blend 2 tablespoons of dry mix with 8 ounces softened cream cheese or 1 cup sour cream.
For meat rub: Use 1 tablespoon of dry mix per pound of meat.
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