I love that nasty French onion dip you can buy in the dairy aisle at the store. There is almost no better junk food than corn chips or potato chips dipped in it. Also the "veggie" variety. I doubt there is any actual vegetable in there.
But when I decided to try my darnedest to kick artificial ingredients out of my life, reading the ingredient list on the French onion dip gave me the willies. Here's the list for Dean's brand:
SKIM MILK, WHEY (MILK), PALM OIL, WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF ONION*, PARSLEY*, SALT, SUGAR, HYDROLYZED SOY AND CORN PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED TORULA AND BREWER’S YEAST PROTEIN, CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, ACETIC ACID, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, FOOD STARCH-MODIFIED, GELATIN, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE, LOCUST BEAN GUM, SOY LECITHIN, POTASSIUM SORBATE (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS), GUAR GUM, CARRAGEENAN, YELLOW 5 & 6. *DEHYDRATED
Um, hold me. I'm scared.
Luckily, I've found a phenomenal alternative! Draining regular whole-milk yogurt for dips and for frozen yogurt has become my seond job. It seems like I always have a pint or so sitting in a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl in the fridge, dripping whey until it reaches a stiff thickness.
Some people say you can just use Greek yogurt instead of this draining process. In some applications, I think that's fine. But in a dip, I think there's still too much liquid in there. So, better to just use the regular yogurt and strain it yourself.
Herbed Yogurt Dip
2 C whole milk yogurt, strained
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1 T fresh parsley
1 T fresh dill
Start the night before. Put 2 cups or so of regular whole-milk yogurt in a fine-mesh sieve lined with paper towel or cheesecloth over a bowl. Leave it overnight in the fridge.
When you want dip, scrape the strained yogurt out into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Just use whatever herbs sound delicious. Taste it and see if you want more garlic or salt. You could even add dehydrated onion to get that French onion dip feel.
Use this real-food version as a dip for veggies, crackers, or even potato chips, if you must. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so.