I was inspired to create these two recipes after purchasing Trader Joe’s spicy black bean dip on a whim-I finished the jar in just a few days and I was determined to recreate it. Wanting to bring the dip to a gathering I decided I could just as easily whip up a hummus, with no real cleaning between food processing necessary. These dips are quick to assemble and are a blank canvas for flavor and spices. Hummus in particular, starting with a base of chick peas, oil or water, tahini, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper, is amiable to the input of fresh herbs and other vegetables. I like to eat and serve these as a between main meals snack or as an element of an appetizer spread. Just this past weekend, these two dips stood strong with some chopped carrot, celery and cucumber slices and an array of overwhelmingly delicious cheese and crackers. You can adjust these recipes to your liking, to make them more or less spicy or to be fat free. The protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates of these legumes make these dips a nourishing mini meal. Making your own hummus is so super customizable, easy and affordable that the packaged dips becoming less appealing and easier to pass up in the store. You can adjust the texture of these dips in a couple of ways as some people like a grainier hummus or smooth. Running the chick peas/beans under warm water before blending (or if they’ve just been cooked if you aren’t using canned) will result in a smoother texture as will adding tahini, olive oil, or any other sort of fat. If you want to have a light hand with the oil, blending with water will thin the mixture out just the same and will result in a light whipped consistency.
I like to mix one part hummus to three parts vinegar (apple cider & balsamic are my favorites) to create a hearty salad dressing, or just adding hummus straight on top of a salad makes a pile of veggies and protein seem a lot more satisfying since it adds another savory dimension. You could use these dips as fillings in sandwich wraps or simply eat them as is with your favorite dipping items.
Spicy Black Bean Dip
2 cans black beans rinsed
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs honey
4 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot chili flake
Olive oil/water, salt & pepper to taste and desired consistency
1/ Rinse your black beans in a colander. Chop half the red onion, one jalapeno, shallot, and crush your garlic cloves. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan and add the veggies. Your chopping doesn’t have to be consistent as everything will be blended together anyway! Add your spices and a little more oil; heating your spices alongside the veggies helps them release their flavor. Cook together for about 5 minutes until veggies are slightly soft.
2/ Add the cooked vegetable/spice mixture to your black beans in a food processor. Chop the other half of the red onion and jalapeno and add in with the tomato paste.
3/ Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Add your honey, salt and pepper to taste.
**POST PRODUCTION NOTE**
I’ve just realized what is missing in making this dip like that of the Trader Joe’s variety that is so utterly addicting and taste bud tingling-a dash of white distilled vinegar, about 1-2 tbs should do the trick!
Caramelized Onion Hummus
15.5 oz can chick peas
1 sweet white onion
2 tbs tahini
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tbs honey
¼ cup Olive oil/water, salt & pepper to taste
1/ Rinse chick peas and add to your food processor. Chop onion into slices and add to a sauté pan with 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs honey or sugar. Cook down and stir periodically until a caramelized color and soft texture is reached.
2/ Add cooked onions, tahini, and garlic to chick peas. Blend with water until smooth. Add in your lemon juice and olive oil and seasoning until combined and you’re happy with the taste.