Super-simple to make and ultra-tasty to eat, home-made dips are not only great one-person light meals (especially for bariatrics) but also crowd-pleasing food for everyone at bbq’s, picnics and other get-togethers. Obviously they are easy to pick up at a local or mainstream store but some are surprisingly high in fat and sugars in their ready-made form. So why not make your own? Here are some of our favourites that we pack into our Bariatric Lunch Box (details here); pack for a picnic or lay out for a spread ….
Bariatric Bento Box (details here)
Guacamole: This delicious creamy, fresh-tasting dip takes just minutes to prepare with a fresh, ripe avocado and adds a splash of vibrant green to the buffet table. You can make the basic recipe (see page 63 of our ‘Return to Slender’ Bariatric Cookery Book, an avocado salsa – details here) but then add as much interest or serve plain as liked. We love to add some extra chillies, chopped coriander/cilantro, a bit of finely chopped red onion and a sprinkling of paprika pepper. If you want to boost the protein and eat as a complete meal then add some chopped hard-boiled/cooked eggs and a little chopped cooked bacon or ham.
Tomato Salsa: This Mexican-inspired basic is a summer must have for outside dining! The fresh clean taste goes well with slivers of grilled fish, poultry and bbq meats. Follow the recipe in our ‘Return to Slender’ Bariatric Cookery Book (details here) – see page 77 or just chop ripe tomatoes and mix with chopped onions, parsley, coriander/cilantro, chilli and a dash of olive oil to taste. If you’re a big fan of Mexican flavours then add some chopped jalapeños for an authentic twist.
Beetroot Hummous: Follow our basic recipe (see page 77 of ‘Return to Slender’ Bariatric Cookery Book details here or see an alternative below) but add some cooked blended beetroot to the mix. Totally blend in or swirl into the basic recipe for a marble effect (and feast for the eyes). This is a dip with some drama.
Spiced Moroccan Hummous: Follow our basic recipe (see page 77 of ‘Return to Slender’ Bariatric Cookery Book details here or see an alternative below) and then add a pinch of paprika, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme and chilli paste to the mixture. Top with some canned chick peas, a little chopped red onion and oregano dusted with smoky paprika. This produces a hummous with a smoky, Middle-Eastern spiced flavour with a lovely bright dash or orange colour.
Garlic and Dill Tzatziki: This very simple, cooling Greek recipe is a must-have at bbq’s since it goes extremely well with grilled meat, fish and kebabs. It’s a very healthy. low-calorie and low-fat sauce, which you can adjust so that it barely has a hint or a good kick of garlic. Simply combine fat-free or low-fat thick Greek yogurt with grated cucumber, chopped dill (or chives), a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper to taste.
Mixed Olive Tapenade: This is a rich soft paste that really packs a flavour punch and makes a great dip with veggie sticks, crackers or crispbread. To make simply process green and black olives with tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, capers, garlic and anchovies in a blender with a little yogurt or olive oil to make a paste.
There’s nothing quite like making your own hummous (you know what’s in it and can vary the flavours as much as you like so you and your guests can be wowed). The pay-back is also big – great fresh flavours and a dip bursting with healthy ingredients that can add variety and interest to your table and dietary regime. This is also a food that can be added into the bariatric regime at the soft food stage (amber recipes) when puréed food and its predictable blandness can begin to challenge you.
We already have a hummous recipe in our ‘Return to Slender’ Bariatric Cookery Book (details here) – see page 77 but here’s another variation to try – it has a light nutty flavour from the sesame tahini used and it makes the perfect base to build on – check out our imaginative twists (or devise your own) to really bring it to life.
Drain 2 x 400 g/14 oz cans chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and drain well. Place in a food processor or blender with 4 tsp tahini, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tsp crushed sea salt and 6 tbsp/½ cup of the reserved liquid. Process slowly adding a good squeeze of lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil (up to about 6 tbsp/½ cup) depending upon the texture you’re aiming for. When the mixture is smooth turn into a serving dish and top as liked (see the ideas above).
Images courtesy of www.nirvanaspa.co.uk