Mediterranean Chickpea Dip

Bean dips like this healthy Mediterranean Chickpea Dip can be kept in the fridge until needed.

As the new school year kicks into high gear, we've got so much on our plates that we hardly have time to put food on them. Such times call for effortless snacky noshes, and not just for the kiddies, but for hungry adults, too.

Having these no-cook dips stashed in the fridge means you're always ready for your afternoon snack attack. Extra points because they're healthy, loaded with protein, gluten-free and vegan. Forget the heavy, sticky refried bean dips from our collective past. These dips are light, elegant and refreshing.

A delectable dip is the best way to get everyone on board to eat more veggies. When choosing dippers remember these late summer specialties -- cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, snap peas, zucchini and cucumbers.

Chips and dip go together like "rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong" (musical theater fans totally got that), but consider pita bread, naan, tortillas or hearty chunks of artisan breads when picking your dippers.

If you decide to cook up some dried beans, here are helpful equivalents: One-half cup of dried beans, after cooking, equals 1 1/2 cups or one (14.5 ounce) can of beans. Thus, 1 cup of dried beans, cooked, equals 3 cups, or two cans of beans, which just happens to be perfect for the recipes below.

LEMONY WHITE BEAN DIP

What You'll Need:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans white beans, cannellini or great northern
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped,
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best, but reconstituted is absolutely fine)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Here's How:

Drain and rinse the cans of beans and process in a food processor to desired consistency with the remainingl ingredients.

IN-A-HURRY HUMMUS

What You'll Need:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans garbanzo beans
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Here's How:

Drain and rinse the cans of beans and process in a food processor to desired consistency with the remaining ingredients. To serve, place in a bowl, use a spoon to make a swirl in the hummus and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of additional sweet paprika.

BLACK BEAN DIP WITH A KICK

What You'll Need:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Garnish: 1 small tomato and 2 green onions

Here's How:

Drain and rinse the cans of beans and process in a food processor with the additional ingredients to desired consistency. After processing to your satisfaction, stir in the tomato, finely chopped, and green onions, sliced.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA DIP (pictured)

What You'll Need:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans garbanzos, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup parsley or basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish: 1 small tomato, 1/4 cup kalamata or black olives

Here's How:

Drain and rinse the cans of beans, reserving 1/2 cup beans for garnish. Process in a food processor with additional ingredients. (This dip is better when it's not completely smooth, so leave some chunky bits.) After blending and plating, garnish the dip with 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped, and 1/4 cup chopped kalamata or black olives, reserved beans and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

NOTE: Kalamata olives are significantly more expensive than black olives. I've made this recipe using both kinds of olives, and both are delicious. But here's a perfect example of a small amount of an expensive ingredient used sparingly to serve a lot of people. If you have an antipasto bar in your grocery store, purchase a small quantity of kalamata olives for this dip, and it'll be appreciated by a bunch of people.

Next time someone tells you "You're full of beans," say "Yes, I am, thank you!" because with these frugal and fabulous recipes, you're only two cans of beans away from a party-worthy appetizer or hearty snack anytime. Happy snacking!

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Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website "Divas On A Dime -- Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!" Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

(c) 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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