It’s the first week of march and I’ve got sunshine and lemon bars on my mind…and sandals…and tulips…and baseball…and carrot cake – yaaaaas, definitely carrot cake. Spring can’t come soon enough! I know I’ve said this before but once Christmas is over, I am ready for Spring. So, March – I’ve been waiting not so patiently for you. And, you have not disappointed me – we have blue skies right now here in the PNW! Plus, I’ve finally perfected this dairy-free ranch and I am currently chomping down on carrots dipped in it so life is pretty good right now.
Tahini Dairy-Free “Ranch”
This week I’ve been working on perfecting this Tahini Ranch Dressing recipe which has made for some really delicious meals. I’ve been drizzlin’ this shiz on everything! I wanted this recipe to utilize the tahini I had just sitting there in my fridge, but I also wanted it to be dairy and egg-free for all my plant based peeps out there. I’ve made homemade ranch in the past using a homemade mayo recipe but it gave me the willies every time I ate it. Something about eating raw egg just doesn’t sit right with me.
Never heard of tahini? Tahini is ground up sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are packed with minerals, such as zinc and magnesium. They’re also a source of protein and fiber. Using tahini as a dip or in your recipes is just one way you can add creaminess, but also a powerful punch of nutrients!
This Tahini Ranch Dressing came out beautifully and tastes so good as a dip for veggies! Although, I’m not sure it would pass the ‘kid test.’ This definitely doesn’t taste like Hidden Valley. Your kids may surprise you, though! It might help not calling it “ranch” so that they don’t compare it to the store-bought stuff. 🙂
How to Perfect Roasted Chickpeas
Now, the real trick to this salad is roasting the chickpeas to crunchy perfection. I’ve made roasted chickpeas in the past and although I loved the flavor, the crunch factor was hard to perfect! This time, I went through the tedious act of removing all of the chickpea skins. You can leave them on but removing the skin definitely helps the chickpeas crisp up more. I also patted the chickpeas super dry. This step is crucial! Then it’s time to oil them up. I used garlic-infused olive oil because this is how I get the garlic flavor without actually eating garlic. Sadly, I can’t eat garlic because it triggers my IBS symptoms. Instead, you could use olive or avocado oil, whichever you have on hand. Just make sure to add garlic to the buffalo seasoning.
The next important step is keeping the oven temp low so that the chickpeas don’t burn before they’ve had a chance to crisp up. I stuck to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and it worked perfectly. Didn’t take too long to roast, either! After these babies have roasted up (does that sound bad??), toss the chickpeas in the buffalo seasoning (or whichever seasoning you prefer). They’re ready to eat!
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of instructions below. There are multiple parts to this recipe, but it really is super duper easy!
Buffalo Chickpea Salad and Tahini Ranch Dressing
- Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon garlic-infused olive oil (substitute olive or avocado oil)
- pinch of salt
- Buffalo Seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard seed
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (if not using garlic-infused olive oil)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce to ⅛ teaspoon if you don't like spicy, but this is a buffalo seasoning after all)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Tahini Ranch Dressing
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons water (add an extra ½ tablespoon to make it a salad dressing consistency or leave as is for a dip)
- ¼ of a lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic-infused olive oil (or ½ teaspoon olive oil + 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon chives
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 6-8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1 serving of Buffalo Chickpeas
- 1 serving Tahini Ranch Dressing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain and rinse can of chickpeas. Remove the skins of the chickpeas. Or don't. They crisp up better without them, though.
- Spread chickpeas out over a towel and pat dry really well. The less moisture the better! Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with oil and a pinch of salt.
- Spread the chickpeas out on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, gently tossing every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
- While the chickpeas are roasting, prepare the buffalo seasoning by mixing all of the spices together in a small bowl. Boom. Easy.
- Prepare the tahini ranch dressing by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Boom. Easy, again.
- Once the chickpeas are done roasting, take them out of the oven and toss in a medium-sized bowl with buffalo seasoning.
- Assemble the salad ingredients and toss each salad with ¼ of the chickpeas and a ¼ of the tahini ranch dressing.