Get Baked with Autostraddle: Dip Edition

There are times when you find yourself staring at a large plate of bite-sized carbohydrates and sliced vegetables and thinking MAN ALIVE I WISH I HAD SOMETHING TASTY TO PLUNGE THESE ITEMS INTO. Well as usual, I’m here to help turn your dreams into realities.

Today I’ll be doing so via DIPS!

Dips are miraculous things, aren’t they? So quick and easy to prepare. Like thick little pre-chewed soups you can put on pita chips. Marvelous!

I don’t like the word dip, Straddlers, because I am even stranger than you realized, so I want you to know that every time I’ve had to type or read that word, I’ve cringed and felt a little dizzy. But who cares! Look! Bean Dip! Alex‘s Guacamole! Miss April made hummus and Rachel also made hummus and if either of them were anywhere near me I WOULD EAT BOTH OF THEIR HUMMUSES.

1. Black Bean and Artichoke Dip: Rachel
2. Alex Makes Guacamole: Alex
3. Basil Pesto Hummus: Sarah Croce
4. Roasted Beet Hummus: Rachel

1. Black Bean and Artichoke Dip

by Rachel
via It Ain’t Meat Babe

If you have a can of black beans, a can of artichoke hearts, and a food processor, you’re basically already done with this. Garlic and lemon juice are probably a good idea if you have them, but like honestly, whatever. This is fucking delicious, and probably only has like three calories because there’s no oil in it really.

Canned beans are easier to find, but cooking them from dried beans is way cheaper and also better for you! Just buy a bag of dried ones, soak them overnight, and then simmer them for six to one thousand hours until soft. You can also put them in a slow cooker for about eight hours on low. The same goes for chickpeas for hummus, but you can cook them for less time. Okay? You’re welcome. I love you.

Ready for this? Take all this stuff:

roughly 1 can black beans, or like two cups-ish if you’re cooking them from dried beans
+/- 1 cup of artichoke hearts (I used the ones packed in brine, but whatevs)
1 clove of garlic, or more if you like garlic
splash of lemon juice, unless you’re allergic to citric acid / are Riese
salt and pepper to taste

Put it all in a food processor. Press “on.” YOU’RE DONE. Didn’t that feel good? Now put it in your mouth. Didn’t that feel even better?

2. Alex Makes Guacamole

by Alex
originally published on Things To Cook Later

For some reason when I make guacamole, people always be tellin’ me how awesome it is. I don’t use a recipe, I go by taste – it’s all about the right amount of salt and citrus I think. Regardless, my aunt made me write out this recipe for her. If anything, use it just for the proportions of ingredients and use your tongue for the rest THATSWHATSHESAID.

4 avocados
1 lemon or lime
2 garlic cloves.
1 half or whole red onion (depending on size), very finely chopped
1 jalapeno, guts and seeds removed, very finely chopped
cilantro, roughly chopped
salt (kosher obvs) and pepper
optional: cherry or grape tomatoes, a few dashes of hot sauce.

First I chop all the things I need to chop — the red onion, jalapeno, and the cilantro. I chop the shit out of them for reals. Set those aside.

Get the good stuff out of the avocados and place that in a bowl. Cut the lemon (or lime) in half and squeeze over the avocados. At this point I add the salt and pepper (maybe about a teaspoon of each? Eyeball it) and I put the garlic in a press thing and squeeze it into the bowl.

Roughly mush the avocados with a fork and mix that stuff together. Now you can mix in the chopped red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.

If you’re using tomatoes, I add them in at this point and fold them in gently so they don’t break or get too mushed.

Give it a taste! You will probably need to add salt, or more lemon juice, or even more red onion… Almost always I add salt and more lemon juice at this point cause I am very conservative with those things in the beginning.

The trick is chopping the red onion and jalapeno up very finely, using a garlic press on the garlic (OR just chop/mush the garlic up), and having the right amount of salt and lemon juice in there… no one likes bland guacamole!

ETA: Intern Hot Laura likes to add a dash of balsamic vinegar to her guacamole because she is so very fancy. And when Laneia was pregnant and starving, she added bacon to her guacamole and didn’t share it with anyone.

3. Basil Pesto Hummus

by Sarah Croce

Editor’s Note: You guys, Sarah was Miss April. I like to remind you of this from time to time, because it’s important that you never forget. Like the Alamo, but with boyshorts.

2 cloves garlic
1 cup basil, washed
2 T lemon juice
12 oz can chickpeas
2 tsp. salt
1 T tahini
2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tsp. jalapeno (optional)
1 T olive oil

All you need is a food processor! Throw the garlic in. Blend til coarsely chopped. Throw the lemon and basil and blend. Make sure you clean the basil, the worst thing in the world is to have dirt in your hummus, well, perhaps the second worst.

Throw in the chickpeas, salt, tahini, nutritional yeast, jalapeno (for a kick!), and olive oil and blend on high for a minute or two. If you’re having trouble blending and if it looks too thick, throw in some water until it blends smoothly. Once it looks like it’s blending smoothly let it run for another minute or two and Voila! Basil Pesto Hummus. So easy even a caveman could do it.

NOTE: I don’t like to use a lot of oil for health and fitness reasons, and water does the same thing for the most part and the oil isn’t there for taste, so it’s ok.

4. Roasted Beet Hummus

by Rachel
via The Family Kitchen

Okay, so this is a hummus. It’s just a hummus for people who like beets. It is at once mind-blowing and beautifully simple. Hummus + beets. Like any hummus, it contains chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Also, though: beets.

Hummus in general is a pretty flexible concept; you can adjust amounts and ingredients pretty liberally according to what you like. For this reason, I have made the amounts pretty approximate; for instance, I know I love tahini, so I tend to put more like 5 tablespoons in there, but you might prefer 3 or even 2. If there is something else you think you would love here, like cilantro or miso or roast beef, feel free.

about a can’s worth of chickpeas, maybe 1.5 – 2 cups if cooking from dried
1 large or 2 medium beets
3-5 tablespoons of tahini
1-4 cloves of garlic
1-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste.
paprika and/or cayenne to taste (optional, but I freaking love it, so)
olive oil as needed

1. Roast that motherfucking beet. Cut the weird fibrous top thing off, peel it, and wrap it up in some tinfoil. Preheat the oven to 450 and toss the beet in there for 45-60 minutes. You don’t even need a pan or anything, just stick the tinfoil thing in the oven. If you’re not using canned chickpeas, you can also use this time to boil them, it should take about the same amount of time.

2. Take the beet out of the oven and let it cool a little. Drain the cooked chickpeas. Once you can touch the beet without burning yourself, cut it into chunks.

3. Put the chickpeas, beet chunks, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and spices into the food processor. Press “on” until you have a hot pink paste.

4. Taste the hot pink paste. Does it taste good? I found that mine was a little thick and dry, so I added more lemon juice and olive oil, then processed more. Feel free to adjust it to taste.

5. YOU’RE DONE. Put that ish on some falafel, or pita, or maybe a spoon. My roommate likes to spread it on her lips like she’s five and playing with her mom’s lipstick. Get creative. Garnish with cilantro or parsley if you’re having company, you fancy fuck.

Ladies and gentlemen, what do you like to dip things into? Share your recipes in the comments!

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. Sadly, because I’m a certified freak of nature I can’t eat most of the stuff on this page. But it all looks amazing and I might want to make huge quantities of it just to roll around in with some hot Autostraddle ladies. Just so you’re all aware.

    • I also have food allergies that seem to appear out of nowhere. I can’t eat fresh fruits and vegetables without my throat disliking me (or worse). And I can’t have peanuts, soy, or lentils either. Regardless, I love meeting other people with food allergies ’cause we’ve got to help each other out.

      • Aww dudes I feel so bad for you! Usually I hate these recipe posts because they’re full of GLUTEN or other things I’m allergic to, but most of these would actually work for me (some would require slight modification).


        (if you’re allergic to rice, I’m sorry).

      • Mine are like… food sensitivies. I’m not going to break out into hives or anything, but there might be projectile vomiting, and not in the I’m-a-cheap-date way either.

        *fist bump of Can’t Eat Anything solidarity*

        • Coming back to this thread after being boobytrapped by something I’m sensitive to (pineapple) I super love you guys.

          Or it’s the Benadryl. Or the pseudoephedrine.


  2. Wonderful! I saved 3 of the 4 (me and pesto- not so much) and I’m still on a quest for perfect guacamole. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. OM NOM

    • YES. as soon as it stops torrentialdownpouring i am going to buy avocados.
      also- would one be able to find nutritional yeast at a normal grocery store?

      • I’ve never seen nutritional yeast at a ‘normal’ grocery store but every health food store I’ve been to has it in the bulk section for something like $10 a pound. Which is not a problem because it’s so lightweight…I’ve never bought an entire pound before, and I use this stuff like mad.

      • they sell nutritional yeast in bulk at whole foods. you just need to get a little thing of it. orrrr you can buy like, red star brand nutritional yeast at health food stores usually. but that wasn’t your question now was it.

  3. I thoroughly approve of all this despite my lack of a food processor. Maybe I could just mash the ingredients up with brute force or make chunky dips. I might make a salsa.

  4. 2 words.

    Food. Porn.

    That all looks amazing, and I actually have most of the stuff to make the Basil Pesto Hummus – Although, I do love beets.

  5. I don’t even like beets but Rachel’s beet hummus looks SO GOOD that I want to EAT IT IMMEDIATELY. It’s just really pretty, you know.

    • YES! yes you can! dip those dips in dips, and then dip them again!! youve got about a billion different combinations with the dips listed above! DIPS!!! (sorry Laneia, i love the word) DIPS!!!

  6. I woke up half an hour ago, pulled my cooked chickpeas out of the fridge, and made Salsa Hummus. And then I sat down on the couch with my bowl of awesome and turned on my laptop to do my Autostraddle reading for the day. And found this.
    Reading about making dips while eating hummus.

    What the What.

  7. your dips are beautiful.

    Also Not to be pushy but you guys should totally make a halloween foods edition because nothings better than food thats made to look gross/creepy and actually tastes delicious

    • This is true.

      Last year my girlfriend made red velvet cupcakes (which is something she does from scratch so, so well). While I spent three days making various implements of harm (butcher knives, bats, cleavers, syringes a la Dexter, etc.) out of gum paste. We then stuck the cupcakes with my hard work and sprayed them with corn syrup blood.

      It was exceptionally funny when people tried to eat the weapons. One, gum paste is not good. Two, I’d painted them with red colouring gel for a blood effect and you could always tell who bit into one because their teeth were red the rest of the day.

      /cool story bro

    • get in my bellay!! alright, so ive had the guacamole per Alex’s recipe, with a few of my own twists (chunky tomatoes, dried beef, buttloads of red onion, tobasco, and i leave the seeds in with my jalapenos, i like it HOT yall, and just a teeny tiny dab of sugar, sounds weird yeah? AMAZING!) and its phenomenal!!! thanks for sharing! and also, thanks Laneia for making a little sunny spot to read in all of these other maddeningly horrendous headlines.

  8. with the week we’ve been having, at least now I get to eat my pain dipped in something vegan delicious. : )

  9. No beans in the slowcooker! Beans have nasty things in them that need to be cooked out at higher heat than a slowcooker can provide.

      • I think kidney beans are the worst offender, but other types still have some nasties in them. (Chickpeas are okay I think, though.) They’re certainly more digestible if you cook them on higher heat, anyway! And if you soak ’em overnight, they don’t really take that long to cook in a pot anyway. ;)

  10. You guys. You guys. I had a brilliant idea for if you ever need to change the name of this feature (like just for fun or because someone gets mad about the drug reference), you could call it:


    Also that is what I will call this feature in my mind from now on, also (to add anything relevant) dips deserve their own step on the food pyramid. The end!

  11. Ok so this may be a total overshare, but here is my intensely written up salsa recipe. My friends love it, I think it’s just because I add more garlic than most people think would be possible. Anyway a friend asked for it recently so I had it close to hand. Also, FYI I’m from South Florida, so there may be some excessive fruit snobbery.

    Usually I make salsa on an epic scale (last time I used 4 pounds of tomatoes!) so I imagine it in large batches. I say this because I am going to list the ingredients in order from what should be the largest proportion to smallest and then in parenthesis I will put my very rough guess at what quantities would look like.

    — Tomatoes (5 beefsteak sized tomatoes or 10 roma sized tomatoes)

    — Onions (1/2 to 3/4 of a large beefsteak tomato sized onion, I think there should be a lot of onions in salsa, preferably sweet like Vidalia, overall i think onions should be like 25-40% of the amount of tomato)

    — Bell pepper – any color, green for more crisp, orange, yellow, red for sweeter ( 3/4 – 1 pepper, depends on how big it is, also you can add more or less as you see fit, but its proportion shouldn’t outweigh the onion, almost equal maybe but not more than that. Also this is a bit of a southwest flavor not in traditional salsa, my dad scoffs at my inclusion of bell pepper :)

    — Cilantro – KEY to salsa, so good, some people don’t like it and it’s fine without it, but seriously cilantro is king. I like a lot but adjust as you like. I also find the stalks really crunchy and flavorful and include some of them diced up too. This is hard to quantify but I would say I would use like between 1-1.5 (dry measure) cups, that is a total guess I would say a bunch of cilantro that was 3inches wide, 3-4 inches long and 1.5-2 inches high would do. I know that is a bizarre way to describe it but thats what i imagine in my head. The cilantro should be up to as much as the bell pepper and definitely not to exceed the onion.

    — Garlic – I am a garlic glutton. I would use 3 or maybe more large cloves, but adjust as you see fit. If people don’t smell it as soon as you open the lid, my job hasn’t been done. :)

    — Jalapeno (or in a pinch other hot peppers) This is another personal call. As you probably know the heat from the pepper is in the seeds and the white pith. I will usually remove most of the seeds from one jalapeno and leave the ribbing and dice that up with one that I’ve let intact, in all its fiery glory. In this case I might use 1.5 peppers. Also, if you want to make the salsa hotter/more jalapeno flavor but not burn people’s mouths off, add a little sugar and you can boot the heat up. The sweet bell peppers and vidalia will help with this too.

    — Lime – is key for that tart tang and also up to personal preference. I prefer key limes in general, call it my south Florida bias. In this I would use probably 2-3 key limes or maybe 1 big regular lime. You want the lime to be present and add to the fresh flavor but not overwhelm and dominate.

    Things you might not expect:
    — Oil, I have used all kinds, usually I use olive oil. This adds a kind of richness to the salsa. I would use like a tablespoon or two.
    — Vinegar — also used all kinds, often I use Balsamic. This adds a tart punch too, so depending on how much lime you put in moderate with the vinegar. I would say 1 to 2 tablespoons too.

    I know these two items seem a little bizarre but if you think of salsa as a kind of Mexican bruschetta (and vice versa) it might make more sense.

    Also, salt and pepper to taste. You would be surprised how much salt I put in, but you can always add more as needed.

    There are just one or two other things I should mention:


    Tomatoes can be very expensive and often don’t look that good anyway. I have in the past made this salsa using canned tomatoes, which are often canned at their peak ripeness and can be a good alternative to sad looking fresh tomatoes. I think a good middle ground is using some canned and some fresh when tomatoes are really expensive. This is usually a success for two reasons, one those canned tomatoes are usually packed with salt which make them pretty tasty and like I said are canned at their peak and also people are used to tasting those mostly gross commercially available salsas that have tomatoes that are similar to canned ones in texture, color and flavor. So it becomes something of a familiar but fresh, different experience when people have the softer mushier canned tomatoes with the fresh, crisper tomatoes.


    Similarly, I have used pickled jalapenos to spice up my salsa before. They are usually much milder in taste so you would want to use more. Also, like the tomatoes people are often used to jalapenos in this form (salty, mushy) but not used in this style so I find people like them this way too. When I wanted more jalapeno but ran out of fresh I’ve just added pickled ones to the mix. Also, the Jalapeno while having a lovely flavor, adds kick to the salsa. I have made salsa using other hot peppers or just using hot sauce to add heat. So that’s an option too.

    One of the other things that I think makes my salsa distinct is that I hand chop everything. Truth be told I haven’t tried it any other way but I think there is something to be said for it. It makes my salsa very chunky and more like pico de gallo than salsa in a way. I usually try and get the onion and peppers as small as possible, but having a little variety to the size of the onion and pepper adds something.

    Oh also, I’ve made this substituting mangoes for tomatoes and it turns out pretty good too. You want firm mangoes so slightly before ripe mangoes. Mango snob alert! Most of the commercially available mangoes are pretty hard and bland and provide a good blank palate for these flavors.

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