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No dairy, no grains, no beans, no problem

Kat Kinsman
February 03, 2018

So grains, legumes, and dairy aren't in the cards for you right now. It could be that you've been conscripted into the Whole30 army, have a cruddy gut, just don't dig 'em, are a masochist, or lost a bet and now are forbidden from experiencing joy as you'd understood it before. This certainly doesn't mean that you have to stand in the corner nibbling on dry baby carrots and ice during large televised sporting events while everyone around you huffs spray cheese and digs corn chips into industrial vats of ranch dip. You can if that's your particular fetish, but really—you're allowed to eat dip.

Dip is one of the greatest rewards for being human, and no one should be denied it. If some clever deity offered to me that I could have my soul or one of my less-vital organs replaced with a constantly replenished baggie full of dip to have on me at all times, I'd have to seriously consider the offer. Here's the hitch: Plenty of them are laden with dairy, beans, or other ingredients that are a giant nah when you're on a restricted regimen. That doesn't mean you are dip-less. Not on my watch.

People, even those you love, are going to suggest to you that you just swap in coconut yogurtwe and nut cheese for sour cream and dairy cheese, but I would not do that to you. Foods that pretend to be other foods are just mean. Just meet the foods where they are and layer them. Maybe even consider seven layers, consisting of mashed avocado, crushed and smoked almonds, mashed sweet potato with taco seasoning blended into it, iceberg lettuce, nutritional yeast flakes, diced smoked red peppers, and aioli or chopped hard-boiled egg. That's got your creamy, crisp, crunchy, and hearty all in harmony and I know the sweet potato seems weird, but just go with it.

Wanna swap any of those layers with cooked ground grass-fed beef or diced chicken? I'd be the last person to stop you. If you felt like breakfastifying the whole mess with a fried egg atop a generous helping of dip and some yuca fries or sweet potato straws, you should probably go ahead and run for office because you're the sort of forward-thinking person this country could use.

Speaking of those yuca fries and sweet potato straws—go ahead and make an extra batch of those so you can swap them in for potato and corn chips. Cut 'em up however you see fit, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with oil, and spread on a baking sheet to cook at 375°F, checking at 10-minute intervals to assess their crispness. Hoard them from other guests who have the leeway that you do not to eat Wheat Thins and Lays.

But should it be Doritos you desire, boy howdy, do I have you covered. As soon as I was sentenced to paleo (the life chose me, not vice-versa), I cracked the code for sweet potatoes with a spice blend that mimics the original if you don't think about it too much. Sprinkle it on thin, baked slices, or dump it on roasted cauliflower to feel less sorry for yourself while everyone snacks. Here's the recipe for paleo faux-ritos seasoning.

You are allowed to hog the entire guacamole bowl. 


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