Tag Archives: cooking

3 Easy Vegan Summer Dips

This article was written 22.03.02, please excuse any reference/joke to COVID pre-cautions that’s no longer accurate.


Summer is the perfect time to have get-togethers and BBQ’s with friends and family. The one usual annoying thing about this, is you’re asked to bring ‘something’.

Now sure, it’s to lessen the burden on the hosts, and what kind of guest doesn’t feel a little guilty when they don’t bring at least something to a get together?

But, what if it’s too hot to turn the stove on? Are you expected to sweat your ass off before going to socialize? Or, what if you’re not a great – or even okay – cook? Should your friends and family suffer through whatever failed attempt at food you bring? How is that fair?

Well, not to worry! I’m here to show you 3 very simple, yet delicious dips you can bring. This will eliminate any sweating, as none of the below require cooking, and the only ‘cooking’ skills you need, is being able to throw everything together in a container.

  1. Ranch

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A classic dip, which is perfect for any occasion, but especially shines during the summer, this ranch is the perfect, easy dip to prepare.

This is a bastardized version of HotforFood’s Ranch dip from Vegan Comfort Classics, so if you’d rather make the original, you can go ahead and do so.

This version is kind of the ‘lazy’ version of Lauren’s – it’s less ingredients, but still has the taste you want when making a ranch dip.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Vegan Mayo (I use Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread, which is pretty much vegan Miracle Whip)
  • 1tsp of Dill
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar

 

Directions:

  1. Scoop everything into a suitable sized container. Stir to combine.

That’s it!

It’s super simple, yet has amazing flavour! And, the best part, is you can even reduce this recipe down to just the mayo and dill and it will still pretty much taste the same as the more complicated version.

It was in making Lauren’s recipe I discovered that dill is the seasoning that gives dishes that classic ‘summer’ taste, so that’s basically all you need to transform the mayo into a suitable summer dip.

You can also obviously increase the measurements if you’re going to be bringing this dip to a get together. The above recipe makes a very small amount of dip – I’d say… maybe around half a cups worth, or less.

I usually don’t make this dip in big quantities, because I’m not very good at meal planning, so I usually decide to make it after I finish making whatever else I was doing and then realize, ‘crap, I forgot to make a dip’.

 

2. French Onion Dip

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Excuse the messiness, I mixed it right in the container.

I’m gonna be honest, I actually have no idea what the difference between ‘onion dip’ and ‘French onion dip’ is, because from what I could tell, all the recipes I found online seemed the same. So technically, this could just be ‘onion dip’, but I think it sounds fancier this way. (Maybe that’s the difference?)

Regardless of what you choose to name it, one thing I’m sure you’ll call it, is ‘tasty’.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp Onion Flakes
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together in whatever bowl/container you’d like. Whatever you choose, make sure it is safe to go in the fridge.

2. Once combine, place in fridge for minimum of 2 hours. (This will help enhance the flavour, and allow the sour cream to get re-firmed, if mixing turned it too runny)

Once it’s been cooled to perfection, you can go ahead and enjoy this bad boy using almost anything: veggies, chips, even just straight up bread would taste great dipped in this stuff!

Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating. Unless you want to use it as a deterrent for avoiding certain family members. In which case, dip away! 😉

 

3. Paprika Mayo

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This one, I’ve actually only used as a spread on various sandwiches (a TLT [tempeh, lettuce, tomato], avocado toast, salad wraps, etc.) but I think it would be good as a dip, as well. I’m also not sure if Paprika Mayo is a thing other people have heard of/made, or something my brother made up, but it’s definitely delicious, and, super simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Vegan Mayo
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a container and stir until combined.

 

And that’s it!

Now you can impress at any summer get-togethers you may have, while keeping your house cool as a cucumber. Not to mention, because these are so fast to whip up, you’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy these few good weather months before winter returns. Get out of your kitchen and soak up that sun while you can!

Also, as you might have noticed, these recipes are for very minimal amounts of these dips. This is because contrary to the point of this post, I actually tend to make these dips when I want them, not for get togethers. (Also, since COVID broke the world, get-togethers have been back burned indefinitely) And since I try to vary what I eat on a daily basis, I tend to only make them in small batches, so I can finish them off within 1 to 2 days.

Don’t worry, though. The ratios are the same whether you’re making them for just you, or to feed a whole family. There are plenty of measurement converters you can find online to help you out making bigger batches.

I’m also not too sure how long exactly these dips would last in the fridge, since I tend to finish them within 2 days. If I had to guess though, I’d say to eat them within 1 week, just to be on the safe side.

Do you have any favourite simple homemade dips? Let me know in the comments below!


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Vegan Staples

Hi there!

Welcome to the Staples List. On this page I list what I count as absolute essentials for making your life/transitioning to veganism easier. This list just contains food but don’t worry, I’ll be making another post about switching over the other aspects in your life.

These are, (again) absolute essentials only – very, very basic ingredients. Some you may not even realize you need to replace. Others, are pretty basic ingredients to keep on hand (vegan or not), that just make cooking/finding something to make a hell of a lot easier with them always in stock.

Cause seriously, do you actually enjoy going to buy bread every week? (Fun fact: bread can keep in the freezer 3-6 months!)

General Cooking

  • Margrine/Butter (I like Earth Balance and Becel Vegan Margarine)
  • Oil
  • Spices*
  • Non-Dairy Milk (Almond/Soy/Nut – I personally like Silk Almond)
  • Sauces (Soy sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, salsa, salad dressing, etc.)
  • Hemp Hearts (a great source of protein, and you can sprinkle them on practically anything!)

*Depending on how you cook, you’ll want to keep cuisine spices on hand (Chinese – ginger, seasame seeds, soy sauce, etc., Italian – garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, fennel, onion, parsely, etc.) I’d assume if you’ve ever done any cooking, you should already have some spices on hand, so you may not need to worry about that.

Pantry

  • Dried Rice (I like keeping brown rice over white, since it’s healthier)
  • Dried Pasta (again, I keep whole wheat over regular)
  • Peanut Butter (Kraft Unsweetened/Unsalted [dark blue label] is good)
  • Mushroom/Vegetable Broth (some ‘veggie’ broths have fish/beef/chicken stock in them – be sure to read the label!)
  • Canned Beans (black, chickpea, lentils, red/kidney)
  • Canned Veggies
  • Baking supplies (optional, but I recommend keeping at least flour, cornstarch, baking soda and [brown] sugar around)

Freezer

  • Bread
  • Frozen Veggies
  • Fruit (if you make a lot of smoothies, also they keep longer when frozen)

Seitan Basics

  • Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Nutrional Yeast (referred to as ‘nooch’ – is a great source of B12)
  • Tahini Paste
  • Spices*
  • Vegetable/Mushroom Broth

*Depending on what meat you’re trying to replicate, the spices you put in your seitan will change. If you make Chick’N Seitan, you’ll want to keep poultry seasoning or sage and thyme on hand to give it that distinctive flavour.

One of the easiest dishes to make out of the ingredients listed above is stir-fry. I highly suggest learning how to make stir-fry both with rice and pasta, that way there’s at least a bit of a difference when making it. It’ll definitely save your butt on those days when you don’t really feel like cooking and want something fast/easy, without ordering take-out, or having to buy all those pre-made meals. (Which I’ll cover later)

I hope this list of essentials helps you in stocking your newly vegan kitchen, and allows you to begin your journey with a bit more ease.


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Buffalo Seitan Wings

Y’know, I’d never had ‘real’ buffalo wings before I went vegan, so I was a little hesitant about making these, but I actually enjoyed them. Also, my best friend (not vegan) says this is ‘amazing’. She loves seitan though, so she might be a bit biased.

If the buffalo sauce isn’t spicy enough for you, you can always add more hot sauce. Or, if it’s too spicy, add more ketchup. I’m just a wimp when it comes to spicy things so this is spicy for me.

AterImber.com - Vegan Buffalo Seitan Chick'N Wing Recipe

Chick’N Seitan

Coconut Oil

2C Flour

Spices: 1tsp

  • S+P
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley

2 Egg Replacers

A Splash of Silk

Buffalo Sauce:

  • 3Tbsp Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 3Tbsp Ketchup

 

Directions:

  1. Add the flour and spices to a bowl, mix together until combined.
  2. Mix up the Egg Replacer in a separate bowl and add a splash of milk to make it more liquid-y (I use the Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer so using the milk helps make the consistency more liquid-y)
  3. Take the seitan wings and coat first in egg and then in the flour. Do this until all wings are coated.
  4. Get a pan and heat some oil (I used just enough to cover the bottom) to high. Once oil is ready add the seitan a few at a time. Cook both sides for 30 seconds*, then take out and let drain/pat excess oil off with a paper towel.
  5. For the sauce: heat up a pot on the stove (medium heat) then add the ketchup and hot sauce, stirring constantly. Once mixture begins to bubble/thicken, remove from heat.
  6. Toss the wings in the sauce and serve.

Note: The seitan recipe I use makes about 30-34 wings – I split the batch and only buffalo-ed half of it. The other half I put in a ziplock bag and put in the deep freeze. (It lasts up to a year)

*Every time I go to fry something, the oil is always super hot. I’m not sure if it’s because of the pan or that we just have a powerful burner, but even recipes that it says to leave in for 5 minutes to get it ‘golden brown’, if I leave it in that long they always get super burned. So, adjust the cooking time for your burner/stove.


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