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.

Green Lentil and Chilli Hummus
Recipe Type: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
A gorgeous alternative to the more traditional chickpea hummus
Ingredients
  • 1 390g tin green lentils, drained
  • 1/2 cup (150g) tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 whole dried chilli
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  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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Veganuary: Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart

Vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart

Hallelujah – I cooked something that wasn’t stodge! This vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart is something I’ve cooked before, at least a variation of, anyway. Usually when I make it, I cover it in cheese, like I’ve done previously on my leek, mushroom and goat’s cheese tart, mushroom, leek and mozzarella tart, and my courgette and tomato tart.

I’ve got to admit, I had a bit of a pang when I took both mine and The Meat Eater’s tarts out of the oven, and The Meat Eater’s was covered in bubbling, oozing Cheddar but the pang faded as soon as I started eating.

This vegan tart is a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge – you can substitute the leeks, mushrooms and spinach for whatever you have to hand.

Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart
Recipe Type: Pastry
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Two-thirds of a 375g pack of vegan ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the leeks for about 3 minutes
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and rosemary and fry for another 3 minutes
  3. Add the spinach and stir until wilted
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Cut the pastry in half so you have two rectangles
  6. Score a 1cm border round each rectangle of pastry and top with the leek mixture, keeping within the border
  7. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes

 

Veganuary Day 12 – Lunch

Warburtons Thin salad sandwich

Yesterday’s lunch was a Warburton’s Thin with spinach, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, hummus and vegan mayo. Do you like my new plate? I got it in Tesco for £3. It’s almost as nice as the penguin slippers I also bought (£6).

penguin slippers
Gratuitous pic of penguin slippers




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Vegan Lunch Tapas Style

Vegan tapas

My healthiest meal of the day by far is breakfast. I used to make a smoothie in my blender most days but then I jumped on the Nutribullet bandwagon and now have a Nutriblast of spinach or kale, fruit and coconut water each morning.

I love my Nutribullet. I love it so much, I’ve also been having a Nutriblast for lunch – albeit a bigger, thicker one made with frozen banana, whatever fruit I fancy (most recently pineapple and kiwi fruit), a handful of cashews for protein and some Alpro soya yoghurt (man, I love that stuff – it’s so much nicer than the dairy yoghurt).

Although I love my Nutriblasts, sometimes I want something more substantial for lunch and, in the summer, that something is usually salad and although I love the usual salad combo of leaves, raw veg and dressing, recently, I’ve been enjoying a tapas-style lunch.

stuffed vine leaves, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, tofu, hummus, roasted peppers

I generally don’t eat much out of jars but I can’t resist the supermarket shelves laden with artichokes, stuffed vine leaves, sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers and olives. I love to serve them with hummus (shop-bought is delicious but if you want to make your own, here’s the best ever hummus recipe) and marinated, baked tofu.

Despite this being a healthy lunch, it’s calorie-laden as the jars are packed with oil, so if you want to save some calories, pat everything (no, not the hummus!) dry with kitchen roll to mop up a load of oil.

Marinated Baked Tofu
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1/3 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • Marinade of your choice (I used Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce)
Instructions
  1. Coat the tofu in the marinade and leave to soak in for a few hours
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and bake the tofu in the oven at 200C for about 20-30 minutes

 

 

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Recipe: Marinated and Grilled Tofu In Pitta Bread

Marinated tofu

A lot of people don’t know what to do with tofu. I’d have included myself in this group of people until just a few months ago, but now it’s rare for me not to have a packet of tofu in the fridge or freezer (tip: tofu is firmer if you freeze it first, then defrost it). I’ve even started to have it for lunch on an almost daily basis, usually marinated and grilled on my George Foreman grill, as it’s just so easy and tasty.

Tofu is bland by itself, so it’s best when as much water as possible has been squeezed out of it (just wrap it in kitchen towel and squeeze, or press between two plates with something heavy on top) and marinated for a few hours.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been marinating tofu in the gorgeous lime and chilli dressing from Scarlett & Mustard a friend sent to me but you can use whatever you’ve got handy – in the past I’ve used BBQ sauce, Peri Peri sauce, liquid smoke and sriracha, and even a combination of all of them.

Just cut a chunk of tofu off the block, squeeze the water out, generously coat in your marinade and leave the tofu to soak up the flavours for a few hours. Bake, grill or put in a George Foreman grill for about 10-15 minutes until the outside has crisped up a bit. I put my tofu on top of a toasted pitta bread stuffed with rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and loads of homemade hummus.

Alternatively, prepare the tofu the same way, but chop it up and have it in a wrap instead.

Marinated tofu wrap

Marinated tofu wrap

What do you like doing with tofu?

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Recipe: Dehydrated Raw Chilli Crackers

Raw cashew and chilli crackers

Raw cashew and chilli crackers

Why did I wait so long to get a dehydrator? What I’ve eaten from it so far has made me want to give up pizza and become a raw foodist. Well, that might be a bit hasty, especially as it’s Friday and Friday night is chippy chips night, so any new raw foodist lifestyle will have to hang on for a bit.

Chilli, cashew and sunflower seed raw crackers

But, these raw crackers I made are amazing. I tried some raw crackers a couple of years ago when I bought some at VegFest but I didn’t like them. So I wasn’t expecting great things from these but now I never want to eat anything else, ever. They’re especially good spread with the best ever hummus and topped with olives.

Raw crackers with hummus and olives

The original recipe is here but I added chilli flakes because, well, you know… chilli…

Dehydrated Raw Chilli Crackers
Recipe Type: Dehydrator
Cuisine: Snacks
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup soaked cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 large spring onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 whole dried chillies
Instructions
  1. Put everything in a food processor and blitz it all up
  2. Spread the mixture evenly on your dehydrator trays
  3. Dehydrate on 48C for 15 hours (score lightly with a knife after about an hour and this will make breaking the crackers up easier when they’re done)

 

 

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Review: Scrubbys Vegetable Crisps

Scrubbys Vegetable Crisps
Scrubbys Vegetable Crisps
Scrubbys Vegetable Crisps

I love crisps but I’m only too aware they’re not the healthiest snack around so I’m always on the look out for a healthy alternative. Therefore, I was keen to give Scrubbys a go when they got in touch recently.

Scrubbys is an award-winning vegetable crisp brand available in two flavours – Beetroot, Sweet Potato, Parsnip & Carrot with Sea Salt, and Parsnip Crisps with Chilli & Lime Zing. Neither flavour contains artificial colourings or flavourings; they’re gluten free as well as being suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They also contain at least 30% less fat and 18% less calories than other standard fried vegetable crisps. Even the name Scrubbys has a link to their nutritional value; unlike other brands, Scrubbys aren’t peeled but scrubbed clean, leaving the skins on, before being sliced and gently fried and we all know that the best bit is just under the skin, don’t we?

Scrubbys and hummus
Scrubbys and the best ever hummus

Being a chilli-lover, I tried the chilli and lime flavour. They had a great crunch to them and went well with my homemade hummus (click here for the best ever hummus recipe) but the flavour was too subtle for me – I expected much more chilli and lime to come through. Seeking a second opinion, I asked The Meat Eater to try one and he agreed with me.

Leaving the slight lack of flavour to one side though, if you’re looking for a healthy crisp to dip into your dips – Scrubby’s are for you as they’re large which makes them ideal to use as an edible spoon.

Scrubbys dipped in hummus
Like an edible spoon

Scrubbys are currently available in 40g (RRP £1.25) and 100g (RRP £2.49) packs and stocked in the ‘free from’ aisle at Waitrose and online at Ocado. The range is also available at independent retailers throughout the UK.

For more information:

Visit Scrubbys website
Follow Scrubbys on Twitter
Befriend Scrubbys on Facebook

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Crispy Baked Tofu

crispy-baked-tofu

I can’t believe how simple this is to make and how it totally transforms tofu. I could eat this as sweets, it’s that good. All you need to do is press your tofu (I used the one made by Cauldron Foods), marinate it in whatever you fancy (I used equal amounts of Sriracha, Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce and some Jack Daniel’s Extra Hot BBQ Sauce), leave it to soak in for an hour or so, then dredge in some potato starch. Line a baking tray with some baking paper and cook at 180C for about 20 minutes or until crispy.

crispy-baked-tofu-wrap-humus

I had some in a wrap with salad and home made hummus. So quick, so simple and so unbelievably crispy.

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Microwave Hummus

microwaved-hummus

I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve never been able to make hummus as nice as the ones in the supermarket. Until now, that is. I was browsing the Minimalist Baker website yesterday and stumbled across their microwave hummus recipe. They reckoned it was the best ever hummus so, naturally, I was sceptical but I’ve got to agree with them – this is definitely the best ever hummus and I’m never going back to shop bought. I’m no scientist but the microwaving bit must soften the chickpeas and bring out their flavour, resulting in a smooth, creamy and delicious hummus.

microwaved-hummus-recipe

Microwave hummus
(adapted from the Minimalist Baker website)

1 can chickpeas, undrained
3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Microwave the chickpeas and garlic for about five minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil and blitz in a food processor, while drizzling in the olive oil, until smooth and creamy.

Leave to cool in the fridge.




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