I am so tired of the same ol’ veggie tray. Everyone serves one at their party, complete with ranch dressing. I thought it was time to shake things up a bit, and present those fresh veggies in a new way with a delicious dip straight from the farm.

I created a very simple platter made from a piece of wood from the craft store. A quick spray of sealer, a few holes and nails, and you have a unique way to present those veggies that doubles as a center piece.

A modern presentation deserves an up-to-date dipping sauce. One that does not come from a bottle. I used Challenge Dairy’s rich and creamy Whipped Cream Cheese Spread as my base and added Greek yogurt, fresh aromatic vegetables and the goodness of a fresh avocado. A touch of lemon and fresh basil makes this the perfect complement to the veggie garden.

So dump the ranch and head for the garden. It is time to recreate the veggie platter and make it as incredible and fresh as the vegetable we serve. This fresh modern take on the old standard will certainly make an impression at your next party!

Vegetable Garden Supplies

  • 1 sanded wooden plank or smooth piece of wood
  • spray polyurethane or brush on clear coat
  • 50 stainless steel finishing nails, about 2 inches long
  • assorted fresh vegetables of your choice, with green tops attached
  • drill
  • hammer
  • pencil
  • scissors


  • On the back side of wood, mark with a pencil where you would like your holes. With a drill, make holes for nails.
  • Following directions on can spray or brush on coating. Let dry.
  • Using a hammer or fingers, push or pound in nails.
  • Attach fresh vegetables on nails to look like they are growing in the garden.

Unique Vegetable Platter

Unique Vegetable Platter 2

Unique Vegetable Platter 3

Unique Vegetable Platter 4

Unique Vegetable Platter 5


2 cups


  • 4 tablespoons Challenge Butter

  • ¼ cup diced shallots

  • ¼ cup diced celery

  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper

  • 1 large very ripe mashed Haas avocado

  • 8 ounces Challenge Whipped Cream Cheese Spread

  • ½ strained plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 fresh lemon, should yield 1 tablespoon of zest and 3 tablespoons of juice

  • ¼ fresh diced basil

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable blend salt-free seasoning

  • Salt to taste


  • 1

    In a small pan, add butter, shallots, celery and bell pepper. Sauté over medium heat until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Let cool.

  • 2

    Add cooked vegetables to a food processor. Add mashed avocado, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest. Process until well blended.

  • 3

    Pulse in basil, salt free seasoning and salt to taste.

  • 4

    Refrigerate until needed.