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                            Dips, Spreads and Hummus

Asparagus pâté






3 bunches of asparagus

3 tablespoons clotted cream


Snap the woody ends off the asparagus.

Blanch the asparagus spears in boiling salted water until tender, then drain.

Blend the asparagus and clotted cream together and mix thoroughly.

Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste, and whiz one last time.

Broad Bean Pesto

works just as well with frozen beans.

Cook time: 7 mins

Makes:2 cups

1½-2 cups shelled broad beans / fava beans (about 900g in their pods)

2 garlic cloves, minced

12 mint leaves, finely chopped

4 anchovy fillets

4 heaped tbsp finely grated parmesan

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

If beans are fresh, boil them for 2 minutes then drain. If using frozen beans, cover with boiling water and leave until cool enough to handle. Slip off greyish outer skins by grasping each bean by its grooved end and squeezing gently. Discard skins.

Place beans and all other ingredients in a food processor and purée to a paste. Pesto will keep for about 1 week in the fridge.

Cheesy Lemon-Pepper Dip

There's nothing like a dash of lemon-pepper to take cottage cheese to a level of flavor. Sometimes a shake of the wrist with a zippy seasoning is all you need to transform the same old snack.


1 c fat-free cottage cheese
½ tsp salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
½ c baby carrots
½ c snow peas

Stir together the cottage cheese and lemon-pepper seasoning in a medium bowl. Serve with the carrots and snow peas for dipping.

NUTRITION (per serving) 140 cal

Vegetables with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

Elevate your usual veggie and dip approach with this combo that's on the sweeter side.


4 tsp almond butter
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp peanuts
2 c sliced cucumber, 1 c sliced bell pepper, or ¾ c baby carrots

In a bowl, combine the almond butter, juice, and vinegar and stir until smooth. Top with the peanuts. Dip the veggies in the sauce.

NUTRITION (per serving) 200 cal, 

Chia Dip With Feta

Trade the sour cream and onion soup–mix dip for this veggie-packed alternative. Serve with fresh veggies for dipping, or swipe on a wrap or sandwich for a spread that fills you up without weighing you down.


½ lb of frozen green peas, thawed
½ lb of frozen or fresh asparagus
8 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c spinach leaves 
1 c crumbled feta cheese 
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste) 
3 tsp white or black chia seeds (reserve 1 tsp) 
1 Tbsp avocado oil (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1. PLACE all the ingredients in a food processor and mix to combine.
2. CHECK for seasoning and add more salt and pepper and lemon juice if desired.
3. SPRINKLE with chia seeds and crumbled feta. (Makes 4½ cups.)

NUTRITION (per ¼ cup) 54 cal, 4 g

Roasted Pepper Pesto

Prep time:20 minsCook time:25 mins + 20 mins cooling

Makes:2 cups

6 red peppers

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp paprika (plain)

1 tsp smoked paprika

¼ cup almonds, roasted

¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped

salt and ground black pepper

Rinse the peppers and pat dry. Place them on a baking tray and roast at 240˚C for about 15-20 minutes until the skin is blistered and blackened. Remove from the oven and cover with a teatowel or put in a plastic bag to sweat. This will make it much easier to remove the skins later. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.

While the peppers cool, heat the oil in a small pan and sizzle the garlic and paprika for a few seconds. This helps bring out their flavour. Place this mixture in a food processor or blender.

Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers, saving the juices if you can. Place the flesh and any reserved juices in the food processor or blender with the garlic and paprika mixture. Add the almonds and coriander. Season with salt and pepper and purée until smooth. Pesto will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a week.

Chunky Guacamole

Prep time:5 mins

Makes:about 2 cups

3 just-ripe avocados, peeled and destoned

1 large tomato, finely diced

1 spring onion / green onion, finely sliced

1 large clove garlic, crushed

salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup lemon juice

½ tsp finely chopped red chilli, or more to taste

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves / cilantro leaves

To serve (optional)

1 recipe Fresh gluten free Flour Tortilla or tortilla chips

Place avocado flesh in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until semi-smooth. Add all other ingredients (reserving a little of the green part of the spring onion / green onion, a little coriander / cilantro and a little of the chilli for garnish) and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with spring onion / green onion greens, chilli and coriander / cilantro. Serve with Fresh Flour Tortillas or tortilla chips, if desired. Use within 3-4 hours of making

Green Goddess Hummus

Prep time:5 mins

Makes:1 3/4 cups

400g/14 oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans

3 handfuls baby spinach

a handful of parsley leaves

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp water

2 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

Drain chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Rinse chickpeas/garbanzo beans and drain again well. Transfer to a food processor or blender with all other ingredients and whizz until smooth. Chill up to 24 hours until needed.

Quick houmous





400g can chickpeas

100ml lemon juice

150ml olive oil

125g tahini

1 ½ tsp ground coriander

5 cardamom pods

toasted pine nuts



Drain a 400g can chickpeas, keeping the water. Gently warm the chickpeas in a microwave, then tip into a food processor with 100ml lemon juice, 150ml olive oil, 125g tahini, 11/2 tsp ground coriander and the crushed seeds from 5 cardamom pods. Blend until smooth; add a splash of chickpea water if it's looking a little dry. Check the seasoning and add more oil and lemon juice to taste. Serve sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and sumac.

Beetroot houmous



plus cooling


This freezable humous is a great way of using up a glut of beetroot and makes a vibrant, healthy snack


500g raw beetroot

, leaves trimmed to 1 inch, but root left whole

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained

juice 2 lemons

1 tbsp ground cumin

yogurt, toasted cumin

seeds, mint and crusty bread, to serve


Cook the beetroot in a large pan of boiling water with the lid on for 30-40 mins until tender. When they’re done, a skewer or knife should go all the way in easily. Drain, then set aside to cool.

Pop on a pair of rubber gloves. Pull off and discard the roots, leaves/stalk and peel of the cooled beetroot. Roughly chop the flesh. Whizz the beetroot, chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, 2 tsp salt and some pepper. Serve swirled with a little yogurt, some toasted cumin seeds, a little torn mint and some crusty bread.

Pea houmous


no cook


Use cannellini beans, garlic and tahini in this quick, easy and healthy dip - perfect packed in kids' lunch boxes with pitta bread and veggies


200g cooked peas

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp tahini

squeeze of lemon

1 tbsp cooked cannellini beans

, from a can

2 tbsp olive oil

strips of pitta bread, to serve

raw vegetable sticks, to serve


Blitz all the ingredients together using a hand blender or food processor. Add 1-2 tbsp water, then blitz again. Transfer a portion to a pot and add to a lunchbox with pitta bread strips and veg sticks. Keep the rest chilled for up to 3 days.

Carrot & cumin houmous with swirled harissa




A spicy rose harissa swirl makes this houmous a little bit special. It's vegan, gluten free and totally irresistible


600g carrots

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 garlic bulb

juice of 1 lemon

120ml extra virgin olive oil

can of chickpeas

rose harissa

flatbreads, to serve


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut 600g carrots into chunks and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds and a garlic bulb, broken into cloves. Spread onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 40 mins or until caramelised.

Squeeze the cloves out of their skins and tip into a food processor with the carrots, juice of 1 lemon, 120ml extra virgin olive oil, a can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, and some seasoning. Blitz until smooth. Swirl through some spicy rose harissa. Serve with flatbreads.

Italian tomato sauce

6 medium ripe tomatos

1/2 medium brown onion

1 stick celery

1 med carrot

2 springs parsley, spring basil, 1 sprig thyme.

1 clove garlic

fresh black pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil.

Cut all vegetables into small peices and palce ina saucepan witht he herbs garlic and a little pepper. Cook on a medium heat for 20-30minutes.

Remove herbs and pass vegetables through a strainer if you like smooth sauce or leave if desired. Check sseasoning and oil before serving.

Great with pasta or roasted vegetables

Quick mushroom and basil sauce

100g mushrooms

1 clove garlic

2 tomatoes

1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp finely sliced basil leaves

ground black pepper
a few drops of lemn juice

Wash mushrooms and slice finely. Peel and chop garlic.

Halve and chop tomatoes finely.

In a large frying pan heat oil. When oil is hot fry mushrooms on ahigh heat for about 2 minutes. Add garlic stir well and then add tomato. Bring to the boil and leave for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and season with a little pepper and lemon juice.

Pea and cumin sauce

1 tomato finely diced

1/2tsp of ground cumin

1/4 brown onion finely chopped

1 small carrot

1/2 cup shelled peas

1 1/2 cup chicken stock

a pinch of cayenne pepper

Ina medium saucepan palce tomato cumin and onion in and cook gentky on medium heat for 2 minutes.

Peel and finely slice carrott and add to pan. Add peas and chicken stock and bring to the boil then cook for 10mins untill carrots are tender.

In a food processor blend vegetables in liwuid to a very smooth consistency or strain if you wish.

Stir in cayenne and pepper to taste.

Tangy vegetable sauce.

1Tbspoon chopped onion

1/2 c dried white wine

1/2 c finely sliced celery

1/2 c fienly sliced leek

1 c water

small pinch of salt

black pepepr

1 tsp butter

a few drops lemon juice

Pace onion and white wine in a small saucepan and simmer untill most of the liquid is evapourated. Add celery and leek and stir for 2-3mins before adding water,salt and pepper. Bring to the boil cover and cook untill vegetables are soft.

Blend vegetables and liquid to a very fine puree then satrin through a fine strainer. return sace back to saucepan and put aside until required. Before serving still in a little butter and a few drops of lemon. Serve with chicken or vegetables.

Anytime curry sauce.

1/2 brown onion

2cm peice ginger

2 cloves garlic

4 tomatoes 2 tsp peanut oil

4 fennel seds 10 cumin seeds

2tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp chilli paste

1 Tbsp dessicated coconut

Finely sliced corriander leaves

Peel onion ginger and garlic and blend them into a fine paste.

Halve and chop tomatoes finely. In a medium saucepan palce oil,fennel seeds cumin seeds and pureeed onion garlic and ginger. Cook on low heat for at least 5 minutes while stiring with a wooden spoon.If ingrediants begin to burn add 1 Tbsp water.Add curry powder and stir for about 1 minute before adding tomato. Bring to a simmer and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes stiring occasionally. SAbout 1 minute before serving stir in optional chilli paste, corriander and dessicated coconut. Serve with steamed vegetables fish chicken or rice.

Pesto sauce (makes 1 cup)

1 c basil leaves

2 Tbspoon pine nuts

3 cloves garlic peeled

2 Tbsp grated parmasan cheese

2 Tbsp oilive oil

Wash basil draina dn towl dry.

Ina food processor place basil pinenuts garlic and parmasan cheese and blend to a paste. Add oil and blend untill well incorperated. serve with ,meat or crackers

Peanut sauce.

2 cm peice of ginger

1/2 small onion

1 clove garlic

3/4 c water

3 Tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tsp peanut oil

1/2 tsp curry powder

2 tsp asian fish sauce or gluten free soy sauce

1 1 /2 Tbsp crunchy peabut butter

1/2 tsp chilli paste

Blend ginger onion garlic to a puree. Place 3/4 cup water in a saucepan with coconut and bring to the boil for 30 seconds. Turn off heat and l=alow the coconut to infuse the water.

Gently fry the onion mixture in oil in a small saucepan on low heat for 5 minutes stirring witha wooden spoon to prevent burning. Add curry powder and fish sauce and stir well before adding peanut butter and chilli paste.

Strain coconut liquiid into a bowl. Pressing coconut to extract as much flavour as possible. Add liquid to peanut sauce and stir thoroughly untill the sauce is smooth.

Grilled Chilli Pepper Salsa

Prep time:15 minsCook time:15 minsMakes:1½ cups

1-2 red chillies, to taste

2 large red peppers

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 bunch (1 packed cup) coriander

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp each salt and ground black pepper

Grill the whole chillies and peppers over medium heat, turning frequently until skins are soft and charred all over, about 12-15 minutes. Place in a plastic bag or sealed container and leave to cool (the steam produced makes them much easier to peel). Peel off skins and discard seeds and pith. Puree chilli and pepper flesh with garlic, coriander, olive oil and seasonings. Garnish with several grinds of black pepper. It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze in an ice-block container for a zingy summer drink.

Avocado, fig & spinach spread



Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan


½ a ripe avocado

1 large handful of baby spinach

1 fresh fig , (or a few dried if you can't get fresh)


Peel and destone the avocado, then place in a blender (use a hand-held stick blender, if you prefer) or bowl.

Add the spinach and fig, then either blend to a purée, pulse, mash and/or finely chop depending on the stage your little one is at.

If it’s a bit too thick, add a little water to loosen, then serve.

Tuscan Artichoke Spread

Prep time:5 mins

Gluten free, dairy free

Makes:2 cups

400g can artichokes, drained

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

8 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

3 anchovy fillets

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Blitz everything together to a slightly chunky paste. Serve as a dip for fresh vegetables or use as a bruschetta spread. Mix through cooked potatoes as a side dish to serve with steaks and barbecue meats, or toss through cooked pasta. Spread will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

South American-style guacamole with popped black beans WITH LIME, RED ONION & CORIANDER spread

“This is a great sharing dish and super quick to make – serve with crunchy, seeded flatbreads, crackers or your favourite crudités. ”


Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free




½ x 400 g tin of black beans

2 ripe avocados

1 lime

1 tomato

1 small garlic clove

½ a small red onion

½ a bunch of coriander

25 g mixed seeds

seeded crispbreads , to serve


Place a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Drain the black beans, then add them to the hot pan. Cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the beans are crisp and begin to pop.

Peel and destone the avocados, then smash in a bowl and squeeze in the lime juice. Finely chop the tomato, peel and finely chop the garlic and onion, then finely chop the coriander. Add all this to the avocado, mix well and season to taste.

Spread the guacamole over a serving plate and sprinkle over the popped beans and mixed seeds. Serve with crunchy veggies and seeded crispbreads on the side for dipping

Spiced aubergine dip







2 large aubergines

2 onions

4 cloves of garlic

1-2 green chillies

4cm piece of ginger

4 ripe tomatoes

1 bunch of fresh coriander

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons curry powder

oven-baked corn tortillas


Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas 7.

Prick the aubergines all over with a fork, then place on a roasting tray. Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the skin blackens and chars and the flesh can be easily pierced with a spoon. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Cut the cooled aubergines in half, scoop the flesh into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, trim and finely slice the chillies, and peel and finely grate the ginger (you should end up with roughly 2 teaspoons). Roughly chop 3 of the tomatoes and slice the remaining, then pick and finely chop the coriander leaves.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, then stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and curry powder and cook for a further 12 to 15 minutes, or until softened.

Next, add the reserved aubergine and cook, for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the coriander, then remove from the heat.

Garnish with the extra tomato slices, and serve with the oven-baked corn tortillas.

Spicy feta & pepper dip







240 g feta cheese

120 g jarred red peppers (drained weight)

3 tablespoons olive oil


In a food processor combine the feta, red peppers and oil.

Season with black pepper and blend until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl, then serve.