There is this slamming good recipe floating around on the Internet - a vegan Buffalo Chick Pea Spread/Dip Recipe that I found. Actually, I think it it was first "found" by a friend of ours, then I saw the blog post recipe for it. I love vegetarian food and have no moral objection to anything vegan but I don't think either food style is necessarily healthy. As my favorite food writer, Mark Bitman says, "it may be organic/vegetarian/vegan but it might not be necessarily healthy…" meaning that fat is fat and junk food is junk food no matter how it's sourced.
This recipe is easily adaptable to stuff you like or have on hand. I always have hot sauce, lemon, chick peas and sometimes bleu cheese in the refrigerator. I don't like mayonnaise or veganaise (vegan mayo) so I see no need use it. The original recipe (which can be seen here at this link) calls for nayonnaise as well as tahini. Not wanting to buy a product that I won't use again, I started to think about alternatives. Oil or yogurt for the fat? And what to use for the tahini? Looking in the pantry, I found almond butter and Dijon mustard. What I also added to the mix was bleu cheese crumbles because I thought when you eat Buffalo wings you often have bleu cheese dip to go with the wings, carrot and celery sticks. If I'm omitting some of the fat then I can use it in a way that I LIKE. It's not a vegan recipe but it's sort of vegetarian.
I'm going to have this on a wrap, a big heaping helping of this spread, along with shredded carrots, celery strips and cucumbers, for my lunch. I almost cannot wait to get to work in the morning so I can look forward to my lunch!
Buffalo Bleu Cheese Chick Pea Spread Ingredients:
- 1 14-16 Ounce Can Chick Peas (Preferably low-sodium) - drained and rinsed
- 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon Almond or SunFlower Butter (or use Tahini if you have it)
- 2 Tablespoons Bleu Cheese Crumbles
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- 1/4 Cup Hot Sauce - Franks/Texas Pete's/Crystal but not Sriracha or Tabasco Sauce
- Drain and rinse the chick peas. Place them in a large bowl and mash them with a potato or avocado masher, retaining some of the texture. You don't want to turn the chick peas into mush or hummus, so smash them but keep some of the mixture chunky.
- Add in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, nut butter, bleu cheese crumbles and stir to thoroughly combine. The mixture will be a bit dry but should hold together.
- Add a few grinds of black pepper, then stir in the hot sauce, using more or less according to your taste preference. As this spread should taste like Buffalo Wings, the hot sauce important. Stir the mixture to to incorporate the pepper and hot sauce. Cover, refrigerate and let the flavors meld together. The spread will taste best after it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours.
- Serve with veggie sticks or as a spread on a sandwich or wrap. Makes 2 cups of spread. Will hold for up to 5 days.