Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Vegetarian Dips

Since we are enjoying an "Indian Summer" this year (it's supposed to reach 26C here today?!) we are still enjoying salads and summer food here. Winter casseroles seem a long way off! 

Dips are a great way of livening up “free from” bread, which can otherwise seem quite dry. I also put some in the tiny system pots and send crudités and or polenta chips/gluten free bread sticks in to school in packed punches. If home we also eat them with toasted pitta bread.

(TIP:- Gluten free pitta toasts well whole but doesn’t split easily, so I slice them in diagonal strips to enjoy with either of these dips.) 

Hummus prep time 5 min (yield about a cup)

This versatile paste can be breakfast, with some fresh pita bread, a snack with carrot sticks, a sandwich filling, even used in cooking to thicken certain soups, the list goes on… This makes about a regular tub size that you can buy in the supermarket. (And costs pennies, compared to buying the prepared stuff!)

  • 1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or about 3/4 cup dry, soaked overnight till soft)
  • 2 tbsp tahina (sesame seed paste if tolerated, otherwise leave out) 
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice 
  • Garlic and salt to taste
  • 3-5 tbsp good olive oil (3 if no tahini)
  • Blitz all ingredients in blender or food processor until very smooth (you might need to add small amounts of water if it gets too stiff and sticky) – you want a final consistency like warm butter, very spreadable. 

  • You can also add a peeled chopped carrot, this makes it a bit less sticky and is a good way to sneak veg into things. 
  • To make it super-smooth, try adding less water and a tablespoon of yoghurt/rice cream. 
  • For good presentation, serve in a shallow bowl, with olive oil drizzled on top, and a few pine nuts sprinkled on.

Guacamoleprep time 5-10 minutes (yield about 1 cup – nibbles for 2-4 adults with tortilla chips)

  • very ripe avocado – (should yield to gentle pressure but not have visible depressions on the surface, as these mean bruises)
  • coriander leaves
  • red onion
  • olive oil
  • lime or lemon juice
  • optional – jalapeno chilli
  • Peel the avocado – the best way to do this is to run your large knife around it, cutting down to the pit, then twist the two halves apart. Then use a spoon to get the large stone out. Chop into a fine dice and put in bowl. Add very finely diced onion, chili, and coriander leaves (large handful). 
  • Drizzle with about 1 large spoon oil and a bit of salt. 
  • Stir and mash with a fork to desired consistency. (Don’t use a blender or food processor as it will go all gummy.) If the avocado is ripe enough it should mash easily. 

You can serve this as nibbles/appetizer/finger food – use tortilla chips or if not available you can toast small pieces of flat-bread in the oven. Also makes a good sandwich filling.


  1. I love dips like this for a sharing lunch.

  2. We eat a lot of dips - but I've never made them. Odd really as we prepare all our own cooked meals so it seems odd I've never tried to make dips - will get on to this!

  3. I love homemade guacamole, but had less success when I attempted houmous- it tasted like feet, I think I overdid the tahini!

  4. Love dips and I will be having a go at this one. Thanks for sharing x

  5. We are big fans of dips here but I've never tried to make our own. I will now though, they look easy enough for my very basic cooking skills ;-)

  6. How fab . big fans of dips I am a veggie so much love to this.

  7. I love houmous but not guacamole, thanks for sharing x

  8. oooh I will have to make hummus now

  9. We all love hummus, it is the most eaten dip in my household.
    I will try your recipe over the weekend.

  10. I love Hummus though have never made my own, so it is nice to see an easy recipe to follow x

  11. Oh what some delicious sounding dips - I do like some hummus :) x

  12. You have listed a couple of my all time favourites. That humus looks amazing.

  13. I love dips and my favourite is sour cream and onion

  14. Love these and they are perfect for this mild weather. My favourite is guacamole....yum!


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