Dehydrated Tofu Jerky

tofu jerky

I love tofu. I especially love it when it’s been pressed to perfection and isn’t a gungy spongy lump of goo, which it hasn’t been since getting my hands on a Tofuture tofu press. But I still wanted to make it meatier and chewier and wondered what it would be like dehydrated, which also gave me a good excuse to use my new Optimum P200 dehydrator.

If you’ve also wondered what tofu’s like when it’s been marinated and dehydrated, wonder no more – it’s flipping amazing; as chewy and ‘meaty’ as I wanted it to be and I’ve been making a batch of it weekly since discovering how tasty and easy it is.

It’s great on it’s own and, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to resist snacking on a bit each time you’re in the kitchen but it’s equally good in sandwiches, wraps and pitta bread with salad and as it’s packed with protein, it’s a great after-workout snack too.

As I’ve never had meaty jerky, I had no idea if this was similar but I looked up jerky after I’d made this and it seemed to be dried meat in a BBQ sauce, which is what this is except it’s tofu, not meat, so yay me and my instinctive jerky-making skillz.

Another bonus with making this is that, although it’s made in a dehydrator and some dehydrated food can take 24 hours or more, this tofu jerky is ready in about 4 hours, making it cost effective as you don’t need to keep the dehydrator on all night.

marinated tofu

Tofu jerky in the dehydrator

Tofu jerky

I can’t give exact quantities of the condiments I used for the marinade as I just threw in what I fancied which happened to be sriracha, vegan Worcester Sauce (I got mine in Asda) and liquid smoke (I got mine from Amazon) but, if you want to follow what I used and you haven’t used liquid smoke before – go easy on it, it’s strong stuff and you only need a few drops.

Dehydrated Tofu Jerky

Total Time: 4 hours

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Dehydrated Tofu Jerky


  • 1 block tofu, pressed
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcester Sauce
  • A few drops of liquid smoke


  1. Mix the sriracha, vegan Worcester Sauce and liquid smoke in a bowl
  2. Cut the tofu in half, then cut into slices about 1 cm thick
  3. Coat the tofu in the marinade and leave to soak in for a few hours, or overnight
  4. Place the marinated tofu on the dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 60C for around 4 hours (the length of time will depend on the thickness you sliced your tofu)

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum P200 dehydrator mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.

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Two Ingredient Rhubarb Compote


I said to The Meat Eater, ‘I’ve got rhubarb coming in the veg box next week’. He said, ‘oh noooooooo, I forgot to tell you there’s rhubarb in the garden’. Having a load of rhubarb is all very well, but what the flipping flop was I supposed to do with it? I knew you weren’t supposed to eat it raw, so I couldn’t juice it or put it in a smoothie, and a rhubarb crumble seemed too obvious. But other than a smoothie and a crumble, I couldn’t think of anything. Then I remembered enjoying the berry compote I’d had when I tried out the Bodychef vegetarian diet plan last year and looked for some rhubarb compote recipes.

rhubarb compote

Each recipe I found was long-winded and required lots of ingredients and one recipe was written by someone who said she used to pick rhubarb as a child and dunk it straight into sugar.  I thought you died if you ate raw rhubarb, so her blog must be – quite literally – ghostwritten and I’m not going to trust a recipe written by a ghost. Then, good old Delia came to the rescue. Usually Delia’s recipes are so detailed with step-by-step-by-step-by-step instructions but this rhubarb compote recipe was so simple, containing only two ingredients and minimal instructions, I checked to see it was actually written by her and not someone else (ghost or otherwise). It was indeed written by Delia and not a ghost, so I decided to give it a go.

rhubarb compote

You need to make this compote. You need to make it because it only requires two ingredients and if you haven’t got any rhubarb growing in your garden, you probably know someone who does who will give you some. The other ingredient is caster sugar and you probably have that in the cupboard, so this is akin to free food, and free food is the best food.

I ate this compote on its own but I would imagine it’d be gorgeous with vanilla ice cream, or for a complementary crunch, add it to some granola.

rhubarb compote


Two Ingredient Rhubarb Compote

Total Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings: 3

Per Serving 146 calories

Fat 0 g

Carbs 36 g

Protein 2 g


Two Ingredient Rhubarb Compote


  • 700g rhubarb
  • 75g caster sugar


  1. Chop the rhubarb into 1.5cm chunks
  2. Put in a shallow baking tray and cover with the sugar
  3. Cook at 180C for 30 minutes, giving it a gentle stir halfway through
  4. Leave to cool, then store in the fridge

For more vegan rhubarb recipes, check these out from my fellow food bloggers:
Vegan Ginger Cookies in a Rhubarb Parfait by Thinly Spread
Rhubarb, Ginger & Raspberry Jelly by Family Friends Food
Rhubarb Gin by Foodie Quine
Cardamom Spiced Apricot and Rhubarb Chutney by Recipes from a Pantry

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VegFest London 2016

VegFest London 2016

I’ve been to the London VegFest a couple of times in the past. The two things that I remember most are a) it gets REALLY crowded; and b) I should have taken a bigger rucksack with me. It was at VegFest I first discovered Vego Bars. They were on sale for 3 for £10 and I thought WOAH, THAT’S REALLY EXPENSIVE but my friend Lynda said they were worth it and so I trusted her judgment and bought some. If you’ve never seen a Vego Bar, you won’t know how massive they are so when I saw them, I thought, ‘well, they may not be cheap but they’re so big, they’ll last a year’. HA. WRONG. They may well be massive but they’re so incredibly yum, they won’t last a year – you’d be showing restraint of epic proportions if a bar lasted a day, they’re that nice.

Anyway, VegFest isn’t just about Vego Bars, that’d be weird. VegFest has hundreds of stalls selling everything from clothes (I got a fab skirt and jacket) to cheese to cream cakes. There are even stalls selling stuff that doesn’t begin with C, such as a tofu press from Tofuture (you can read my review of their fab press here). As you’d expect, there are plenty of free samples to try and most products are sold at a discount for shoppers at the festival.

In between all the shopping, you can listen to talks, watch demos or just chill out in the licensed bar (guess who had a happy face when she saw there was a bar?)

Although you can just turn up on the day, I do believe it sold out last year and people were turned away, so it’s best to buy a ticket in advance. And don’t forget to bring your appetite and a big bag!

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the London Vegfest website.

Disclaimer: VegFest are providing me with tickets for the festival in return for this post but all opinions expressed are my own. 

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Carrot, Apple & Swiss Chard Smoothie

Carrots, Swiss chard and apple

I took part in a big cycling event over the weekend (although I should probably confess the lure of the train station just half a mile away was too strong and I wimped out of the second day) and, as I was away from home, my diet consisted of carbs, carbs and more carbs in the form of pizza, pasta and flapjacks. I have absolutely no problem with any of these essential food items but after three days of it, man, was I craving some good old fruit and veg.

I had no problem curing my craving for fruit and veg as since reinstating my Riverford vegetable box, my kitchen cupboard and fridge are full of the stuff but a plate full of carrot and Swiss chard didn’t appeal, so I decided to make a smoothie out them, adding an apple for sweetness.

Froothie Optimum G2.1 blender

Froothie Optimum G2.1 high speed blender

My Optimum G2.1 high speed blender has a handy touchscreen menu which includes ‘fruit’ and all I had to do, after adding the fruit, veg and water, was select ‘fruit’, press ‘start’ and 60 seconds later, my smoothie was done. I only added water to this smoothie but I’d suggest adding some ice, which I would have done if there had been any in the freezer. I ignored the horror stories from my childhood about how, if you eat the seeds in apples, a tree will grow from your stomach and the branches will come out of your mouth and chucked the whole apple in the blender. A friend recently told me that eating apple seeds will prevent you from getting cancer, but I’m pretty sure that’s as bollocks as the ‘a tree will grow from your stomach’ thing.

Swiss chard, carrot and apple smoothie

Carrot, Apple & Swiss Chard Smoothie

Rating: 51

Total Time: 1 minute

Number of servings: 1

Per Serving 140 calories

Fat 1 g

Carbs 35 g

Protein 3 g


Carrot, Apple & Swiss Chard Smoothie


  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 handful of chard
  • 1 apple, quartered
  • Water
  • Ice


  1. Put the carrot, chard and apple in a blender and fill halfway up the fruit and veg with water and add a few ice cubes.
  2. Blend on high speed for 60 seconds.

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.

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Asparagus and Swiss Chard Soup


Asparagus season in the UK doesn’t last long – traditionally beginning 1 May and lasting for seven to eight weeks – and although you can buy it imported throughout the year, it just feels more right to be eating it in spring, when the UK crops are harvested. I received asparagus in my veg box delivery last week and usually I enjoy it simply steamed and served as a side vegetable but, as I was away all weekend, it didn’t get used as soon as I would have liked and as it was starting to go a bit limp, I made soup with it, along with some Swiss Chard that also came in the box.

Soup is such a great way to use up any leftover vegetables in your veg box that you’re not quite sure what to do with – fry some onion and garlic, add some chopped up veg, add some stock, season with salt and pepper, add some herbs and/or spices, blend and that’s it. I haven’t found a combination of vegetables that didn’t go together, and a big batch of soup will provide a week’s worth of lunches and is great served with crusty rolls or bread to dunk into it.

Onion, asparagus and Swiss Chard

I whipped up this simple vegan soup in less than 15 minutes, making it the perfect seasonal spring soup if you’re in a hurry. I only had enough asparagus to make enough soup for one serving, so just adapt the quantity of ingredients you require for serving or if you want to make a big batch up to freeze for the future. To make a silky smooth soup, a high powered blender is best (I use an Optimum G2.1 blender), otherwise use a hand blender. Fresh herbs are always best but apart from a wilted basil plant on the kitchen windowsill, I didn’t have any to hand, so I looked in my dried herb and spice cupboard and decided to use some dried tarragon but if you’re not a fan of its aniseedy flavour, just leave it out or use another herb of your choice.

Asparagus and Swiss Chard Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Number of servings: 1

Per Serving 213 calories

Fat 14 g

Carbs 20 g

Protein 6 g


Asparagus and Swiss Chard Soup


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 100g asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • Large handful Swiss Chard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 350ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, until the onion is soft
  2. Add the asparagus and fry for another couple of minutes
  3. Add the stock, Swiss Chard and tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste
  4. Simmer for 5 minutes, then blend and serve

As it’s asparagus season, this post is being sent off to Simple and in Season, over at Feeding Boys.

More vegetarian asparagus recipes

For other ways to use asparagus, check out these recipes from fellow food bloggers (and another of mine):

Asparagus and Potato Tart by Planet Veggie
Asparagus Tarts with a Pesto Surprise
by Tin and Thyme
Herby Giant Cous Cous with Asparagus and Lemon by The Veg Space
Roasted Orange, Asparagus and Quinoa Salad by Recipes from a Pantry
Chargrilled Asparagus and Courgette Salad by The Foodie Couple Blog
Asparagus Quiche by Thinly Spread
Broccoli and Asparagus Pizza by Supper in the Suburbs
Squash and Asparagus Hash with Poached Duck Egg by Celery and Cupcakes

National Vegetarian Week – 16-22 May 2016

By the way, did you know it’s National Vegetarian Week? For more information, visit the National Vegetarian Week website.

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.

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Courgette & Broad Bean Soup with Chilli and Fennel

Courgette and broad bean soup with chilli and fennel

I’ve made the best soup in the world. Yes, it sounds a bold claim to make but I truly believe this vegan courgette and broad bean soup is the nicest soup I’ve ever had. I used up the courgette and broad beans I had left over in my veg box and to spice it up a bit, I added some chilli and fennel which totally brought the soup to life, giving it a taste not dissimilar to Thai green curry.

If you like a smooth soup, you can fully blend it, or leave it chunky and just blend some of it, as I’ve done here. Blending some of it gives it a wonderful creamy taste and texture without adding extra calories from cream or cashews. As usual, I blended it in my Optimum G2.1 blender – I really can’t recommend this blender enough; it’s revolutionised my soup-making.

By the way, a few weeks ago I bought a big bag of frozen crushed garlic from Asda for 97p. It’s great – it’s 100% garlic and so convenient to have in the freezer on standby in case you’ve run out of fresh garlic (I should probably confess I haven’t bought any fresh garlic since buying this frozen garlic, it’s that good).

5.0 from 3 reviews
Courgette and Broad Bean Soup with Chilli and Fennel
Cuisine: Vegan
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 125g broad beans
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Chilli powder to taste
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until the onion is soft
  2. Add the sliced courgette and fry for another couple of minutes
  3. Add the broad beans, stock, fennel seeds, chilli powder and season with salt and pepper
  4. Bring to the boil and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the courgette and broad beans are cooked
  5. Pour a third of the soup into a blender and blend on high speed, then return to the pan and warm through

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.

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Homemade Almond Milk – Just Two Ingredients!

Homemade almond milk

Since switching from non-vegan instant hot chocolate to vegan not-instant-but-worth-the-tiny-extra-bit-of-time-it-takes-to-make-it (not its official slogan) Cadbury Hot Chocolate, I’ve been through a lot of soya milk. While I don’t believe the scare stories about soya being bad for you and if you eat or drink it you’ll grow an extra head or whatever the latest rumour is, I still like to make my own versions of shop-bought products when I can because a) they’re purer; b) I get to use my kitchen gadgets; and c) it gives me something to write about on this here blog.

Going back to ‘b’ for a moment, when I received my Optimum G2.1 high powered blender, one of the first things that came into my head to use it for was nut milk, especially as it came with a nut milk bag and the blender itself has a pre-programmed setting for nut milk.

Froothie Optimum G2.1 blender touchscreen

Nut milk bag

I had a nose around the internet for an almond milk recipe and a lot of them involved dates and vanilla and stuff, so I decided to make my pure almond milk purely out of almonds and water – nut milk doesn’t get any simpler than this. As you’ll know, almonds aren’t cheap, so this almond milk isn’t as cheap as a carton of almond milk you can buy in the shops but you can keep the almond pulp to use in other ways, so there’s no wastage. And in case you’re thinking, ‘I bet the nut milk bag is a pain to clean’ – it’s not. I thought it would be but it’s not like muslin/cheesecloth and it rinsed clean in a bowl of soapy water in a few seconds and if you haven’t got a nut milk bag, you can get one on Amazon for a few quid.

Homemade Almond Milk - Just Two Ingredients!
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 750ml
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups water
  1. Put the almonds and water in a high speed blender and process on high for 2 minutes (or if you have an Optimum G2.1, choose the 'nut milk' option in the menu.
  2. Strain through a nut milk bag, keeping the pulp for another use and store the milk in the fridge

This almond milk is lovely in hot chocolate – just be prepared to be asked ‘how do you milk an almond?’ if you tell your friends you made it.


Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.


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Courgette, Tomato and Halloumi Tart

Courgette, cherry tomato and halloumi tart

Originally, I was going to call this courgette, cherry tomato and halloumi tart, ‘Leftover Tart’, as I made it from the courgette and tomatoes left over from last week’s veg box delivery, along with the leftover puff pastry that was in the freezer. Then I realised it sounded like a derogatory term for someone’s ex, and this puff pastry tart deserves more respect than that and, while ‘Courgette, Tomato and Halloumi Tart’ doesn’t sound particularly exotic, it is at least descriptive.

It was a night for leftovers, as I’d taken out of the freezer the leftover Chinese takeaway (tofu for me, chilli beef for The Meat Eater) from a few months ago, then decided not to risk my life by eating it, and made the tart instead. The Meat Eater, on the other hand, decided to risk the possibly-food-poisoning-inducing takeaway but I can report that he didn’t die in the night.

I roasted the vegetables in oil and some Schwartz Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Recipe Mix before putting them on the puff pastry and you can use whatever vegetables you have lying around in your fridge, such as these tarts I’ve made in the past:

Vegan Leek, Spinach and Mushroom Tart

Leek, Mushroom and Goat’s Cheese Tart

Mushroom, Leek and Mozzarella Tart

Courgette and Tomato Tart

Courgette, Tomato and Halloumi Tart
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 1-2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ⅓ pack ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, pricked once with a knife to prevent them exploding
  • ½ packet Schwartz Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables Recipe Mix (or use whatever herbs you fancy)
  • 100g halloumi, sliced into strips
  • Olive oil
  1. Drizzle the courgette and tomatoes with a little olive oil, then coat evenly with the herb mix
  2. Spread the vegetables in a roasting tin and roast at 200C for about 10 minutes, until the courgettes are tender
  3. Lightly score a 1" border around the puff pastry, then layer the courgettes and tomatoes on top, keeping within the border
  4. Lay the strips of halloumi on top of the courgette and tomatoes and return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and the halloumi has lightly browned

For more inspiration, have a look at these tarts from my fellow food bloggers:

Creamy Courgette Puff Pastry Tart by Family Friends Food

Honeyed Fig and Goat’s Cheese Tarts with Walnuts and Chocolate Balsamic Sauce by Tin and Thyme

Harissa, Kale and Roasted Vegetable Tart by Celery and Cupcakes

Mushroom and Walnut Tart by Supper in the Suburbs

Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Tart by Coriander Queen


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Strawberry and Coconut Energy Bars


I took part in a 78-mile cycling event yesterday and, although I’d bought a Bounce Energy Ball and a Clif Bar to take with me, because I’ve got a bigger cycling event coming up in a couple of weeks and a) shop-bought products are expensive (the Bounce Energy Ball was £1-something and the Clif Bar was a smidge under £2); and b) I wanted to try a variety of different energy bars to see which I liked best, I wanted to make some of my own.

These strawberry and coconut energy bars are based on this Sunshine Bars recipe and they got me happily through 63 miles of cycling. I then had the Clif Bar, felt sick and abandoned the last twenty miles of the ride and got the train home instead. There’s something to be said for the ‘never try anything new on race day’ advice. But if you want something homemade with the right nutrients to get you through a long sporting event (don’t confuse protein bars with energy bars – protein bars contain a high amount of protein and are best after exercise to help repair the muscles, whereas energy bars contain a high amount of carbohydrate to fuel your muscles during exercise), these bars are for you. They taste amazing, too. I used dried strawberries from Urban Fruit because their dried fruit contains fruit and nothing else. I was shocked a few weeks ago after buying a bag of dried cranberries, to find out that cranberries were only about 40% of the ingredients.

Unfortunately, they’re not vegan, as most rice crispies contain Vitamin D, which is made from lanolin – a secretion from sheep skin, found in wool (and now I’ve just typed ‘a secretion from sheep skin’, I feel as sick as if I’d just eaten another Clif Bar) and I also bunged in a bag of Munchy Seeds honey-roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds that I had lying around in the fruit bowl that never contains fruit. However, vegans need not despair – after finding out that all major supermarkets’ own rice crispies contain Vitamin D, I’ve found a vegan-friendly brand: Kallo Organic Wholegrain Breakfast Puffs, that you can get from Ocado or Holland & Barrett.

Strawberry and coconut energy bars

Strawberry and Coconut Energy Bars
Recipe type: Energy Bars
Serves: 9
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 50g dried strawberries or other dried fruit, chopped
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 25g puffed rice cereal
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • 25g cashews or other nuts, chopped
  • 25g sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 60g Golden Syrup
  • 50g butter or spread
  1. Mix the fruit, oats, cereal, nuts, seeds and coconut into a large bowl and mix well
  2. Gently heat the sugar, syrup and butter/spread in a saucepan until the butter has melted, then simmer for a couple of minutes
  3. Stir the syrupy mixture into the dry mix and combine thoroughly
  4. Tip into a 8" square tin and press down firmly (I do this by putting a piece of baking paper over the mixture, then rolling a tin backwards and forwards on top of it)
  5. Bake in the oven at 180C for about ten minutes, or until lightly browning at the edges
  6. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up
  7. Cut into 9 pices



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Green Lentil and Chilli Hummus

Green lentil hummus with garlic and chilli

Riverford sent me some celery. I don’t hate celery, per se, but I don’t like it cooked in stews or anything like that and I certainly don’t want to make a soup out of it and I don’t really like it raw in salads either. As far as I can see, celery’s only role in life is to be an edible spoon for hummus. Which, as roles in life go, isn’t a bad one – in fact, it’s to be commended, but I didn’t have any chickpeas with which to make the best hummus in the world ever so I was stuck with celery and nothing to eat it with.

So, as I knew I had a tin of green lentils, I pondered on Twitter whether green lentil hummus was a thing.

and received this reply from my Twitter friend, Healthy Hornett

and I reckoned she (actually, I have no idea if it’s a girl or boy Hornett so, if you’re reading this, @healthyhornett, sorry for assuming you’re a she) was right and, after promising to report back, I went off and made some green lentil hummus.

Well, two days later I did, anyway. And, do you know what? Green lentil hummus is most definitely a thing and an excellent alternative to the more traditional chickpea one.

I made this hummus in my Optimum G2.1 blender which whizzed it into smooth and creamy hummusy perfection in a minute but if you haven’t got a high powered blender, you might want to add a bit more olive oil to help it along.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Green Lentil and Chilli Hummus
A gorgeous alternative to the more traditional chickpea hummus
Recipe type: Vegan
  • 1 390g tin green lentils, drained
  • ½ cup (150g) tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 whole dried chilli
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until everything's combined
  2. Add the olive oil and process until smooth

For other alternatives to chickpea hummus, try this beetroot and cannellini bean dip from Fuss Free Flavours, or Tin and Thyme’s smoky red pepper dip and chive guacamole.

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