Confession time: back in my omni days, I was totally one of those “ranch girls”. You know the type – hell, you may even be the type. (no shame!) Ranch on french fries. Ranch with pizza. Have you ever had a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich dipped in ranch? Yeah, just sayin’ . . .
So obviously, all these things can be veganized very easily. And for a while that’s just exactly what I did. But over time, as I moved away from processed products and transitioned to a primarily whole foods diet, I sort of left the ranch behind. And for a long time I just did without. I ate my raw veggies with hummus like a good vegan (ha!), but I never replaced that cravable, always-applicable, easy “go-to” dip.
Until . . .
Tahini. Dear, sweet, slightly bitter but oh-so-delectable, nutrient-rich and totally unique, tahini from the heavens. I heart thee!
Tahini has filled the void where ranch once resided. Tahini, with its tang and bite, with its high protein and exceptional calcium count, with the sort of ubiquitous zest that will accompany any flavor profile. Tahini is like the “jeans” of the food world!
And this dip, just a little bit different every time I make it (which is why it’s so dang wonderful), is the “perfect pair”. It goes. with. everything.
I slather it on raw crackers. I use it as a salad dressing. I pour it over roasted root veggies and baked potatoes. It’s a great for dunking sandwiches and it’s equally divine as a mayo replacer/bread spread. And of course, it’s my ultimate, go-to raw veggie dip.
The following recipe is written in approximations, because that’s how I roll with it. That’s why it’s fun! You can work with what you have on hand and you can adjust to suit your tastes. Get creative with it and play around!
1 cup tahini (raw, made from unhulled sesame seeds)
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or any combination of the two
2-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-4 tablespoons soy sauce/tamari/nama shoyu (raw), depending on how salty you like it
1-4 cloves garlic OR 1/2 – 2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 – 1 teaspoon cumin
water to thin, as needed
- use less soy sauce and add fancy salt, like smoked salt
- add liquid smoke (I almost always do this – SO GOOD)
- add diced jalapeño OR jalapeño powder OR red pepper flakes
- add curry powder
- add diced red onion, or onion powder
- use less soy sauce and add some miso paste
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend! Add water to thin to desired consistency (runnier for dressing, thicker for dip) (also, it will thicken up some after being refrigerated). This will store for up to two weeks in the fridge.