If you haven’t had hummus, I encourage you to get past the weird name (it took me a while) and give it a try. The main ingredient is chickpeas, but they’re really there for substance more than flavor; it’s the seasonings that carry this dish. Hummus is a creamy, garlicky, cumin-blessed mess. This Lebanese dish is usually served as a dip, but can also be used as a sandwich or wrap spread, a topping for grilled chicken, or even salad dressing.
I’ve posted pickled onions in the past — which I still love! — but in order to work a little more healthy fat into my husband’s keto diet, I made this version that’s heavy on the olive oil.
A couple weeks ago, we had a delicious dinner at Lemongrass: Taste of Vietnam in Old Town. We ordered a couple appetizers, one of which was “Crabocado” – a perfect avocado stuffed with lump crab and drizzled with a Sriracha cream sauce. All four of us — two of us spice wimps, two not — devoured it! Later, my husband’s side dish of green beans came drizzled with what looked to be the same sauce. This man is not a fan of green beans: he sort of likes them when I add carmelized onions and plenty of bacon. But drizzled with that sauce? He ate ’em all up!
So I’ve been trying to recreate that sauce. I doubt my ingredients are the same, but I think I got close in flavor.
What can you do with this stuff?
I picked up this idea from food writer Mark Bittman: he calls them “tiny pancakes.” (Here’s his original recipe.) It was born out of wanting to make himself something quick to eat, and finding some leftover scallops on hand. Don’t worry; you don’t need scallops to make this! Just about any leftovers will do, and you could do this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or brunch. Or appetizers. Or a midnight snack.
This recipe originally comes from Pinch of Yum, and it instantly became one of my favorite easy dips/sauces.
What makes it magic? It’s easy, it’s healthy, it’s versatile, it’s delicious!
Use it as a veggie or cracker dip. Smear it on just-cooked fish, chicken, or burgers. Use the thinner version to drizzle over fresh tomatoes, or roasted vegetables. I bet it would be amazing blended into twice-baked potatoes — or twice-baked cauliflower!
Talk about a quick, easy Paleo snack: Three ingredients, and NO cooking of any kind!
On top of which, two of the ingredients are BACON! and this fabulous, easy, Paleo Ranch dressing. Which — trust me — once you try it, you are gonna wanna keep in your fridge at all times!
If you don’t like Ranch, homemade mayo would work well, too.
Already-cooked, chopped bacon is another thing that — IMHO — should always be on hand in the fridge. Especially since the best, easiest way to cook bacon means cooking a whole big batch up at a time is no more trouble than cooking a few pieces.
So, if you have those two things on hand, and you have a cucumber, you can whip this bad boy up in no time flat! Perfect for a snack, appetizer — or maybe just lunch! You could package the three ingredients separately, and pack them with an ice pack for a work lunch, school lunch, or picnic.
Oh you wanna go a little fancier? Sure, add some finely diced tomato, or some snipped chives or dill. Pump up the protein with a little smoked turkey or chopped hard boiled egg.
But for instant gratification, those three ingredients will do just fine!
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If you’re not avoiding dairy, my Buttermilk Ranch Dressing recipe is a delicious option. If, however, you have a milk allergy, living the Paleo diet, or doing a Whole30, this Dairy-free Ranch Dressing is a fantastic alternative. And in fact, I think I might just like it better than the traditional recipe!
Made with the lesser amount of coconut milk, it makes an addictive veggie dip…
I’ve added it to one of my variations on tuna salad…
It’s also great drizzled over fresh summer tomatoes, sprinkled with bacon!
And schmeared on a burger!
I don’t have a pic but it’s aMAZing drizzled over hot broccoli! It melts quickly, blending the flavors into every tiny crevice. Yum!
I’m sure it’ll be great on salad, too; just haven’t got to that yet!
Here’s my spin on it…
Dairy-free Ranch Dressing or Dip
(aka, “Dump Ranch”)
• 1 & 1/4 c. mayonnaise
— (OR 1 c. light olive oil, 1 egg, 1 T. lemon juice and 1/4 t. salt)
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or other light-colored vinegar)
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
• 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, or other milk of your choice (1/4 c. for dip)
• 1 handful fresh or frozen parsley, coarsely chopped
• from 1 pinch up to 1/8 t. dill, fresh or dried (adjust according to your love for dill)
• optional: snipped fresh chives and or fresh basil to taste
Note: Do NOT use less vinegar. I tried that once, and the mixture did not emulsify.
If you have a stick blender / immersion blender, just blend everything together in the carafe till well mixed. (Chop the basil coarsely before adding. I use one large leaf.)
I use this stick blender and the carafe that came with it, and this works great. I don’t bother to bring the egg to room temperature.
If you don’t have a blender, use already-made mayo, mince the herbs fine, then just whisk everything till well blended.
Refrigerate for one hour at least, if possible. Four is better. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
Makes about 16 oz of dressing, or 14 oz of dip. Lasts in fridge up to one week. (But it’ll probably be long gone before then!)
(Stick blender link goes to my Amazon store; I get 4% – which doesn’t affect your price at all. I only list products that I actually use and love.)