Posts tagged dip
Date and walnut butters... seriously addictive!!

I have made both versions of this addictive 'butter' twice now... the second time was supposed to be given as a gift to friend. Ummmm.... that didn't quite happen. A spoon and my mouth happened ;-/

walnut butter 3a.jpg

Oh well... there is always another time (my friend got another gift instead- in case you were wondering!)

So, these 'butters' are seriously addictive.


And they take barely any tip to whip up. 


They tickle the 'sweet' tastebuds without being overly so, the delicate rich flavours of the toasted walnuts are beautifully complimented with the dates. The chocolate version gives you your chocolate hit, again without taking you to sugar overload. Being so dense in nuts, a spoonful will be enough to hit the spot. I guess in many ways you have a kind of 'trail mix in a pot'.

I originally got the idea for semi-sweet nut butter spreads here on Ricki Heller's site, she uses purely stevia as a sweetener as dates are a no go for her, but I loved the ideas and options she suggested, so I went to have a play and a tweak myself.

I spread these butters on crackers, sandwiched between cookies, stirred through ice cream, blitzed into a milkshake. The list is pretty much endless- though I will admit I mostly ate it straight from the spoon. I may need to learn a little self control.

Nut butter... sweet or savoury? How do you eat yours?

I have loads more 'nut butter' recipes currently under creation... I am in the midst of creating yet another free book for the Real Food Source, and this one is dedicated to nut butters! We hope to release in in the next month... I will keep you posted!

walnut butter 5a.jpg

Recipe: Date and walnut butters

Each makes 2 smallish jars

Ingredients- The 'Regular'

  • 2 cups heaped walnuts- lightly toasted
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

Ingredients- The 'Chocolate'

  • 2 cups heaped walnuts- lightly toasted
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs raw cacao nibs
  • few drops stevia if extra sweetness desired


Roast the walnuts for about 5 minutes- you want them to be lightly toasted, make sure there are no burnt bits as it will impair the favour.

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and easily spreadable, stirring cacao nibs through last (if using)

These will store in a jar on the counter for a few weeks- mine didn't last longer than a week (and that's pushing it!)

walnut butter 1a.jpg
walnut butter 2a.jpg

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Spicy Carrot Pickle

I want to start by saying I love this stuff!!

I've been eating it dolloped on top of soups..... mixed through a sty fry..... to jazz up a plain tomato sauce.... as a cracker topping with hummus....  the list really could go on and on!!

Before I go any further I give full credit for this recipe inspiration to Paul's Pickles as I originally bought a jar of his version from a craft market some weeks back and then when i ran out I went through the ingredients list and recreated my own, it tastes almost identical and so now i'm curious to go along the shelves of the supermarket checking out ingredients lists and making more of my own intriguing flavours :-)

Here is the original... if you are ever in the area and see Paul's stall he has loads of yummy things to offer- apparently this pickle in his best seller!

carrot pickle 5a.jpg

The pickle is packed full of strong flavours and Indian spices, it's powerful stuff eaten straight off the spoon, and tastes best mixed with another 'milder' flavour, veggies and sauces.  It also tastes better over time (three days onwards) so don't worry if the vinegar flavours stands out a little when freshly made as this mellows right back. I have used cider vinegar but you could use an alternative vinegar.

It's so so easy to make, once you've got the various ingredients to hand,  and would make the perfect gift by making a few jars in a batch... I originally made a coupe of jars but then made four more jars at the weekend. I am not too sure how long this stores for but since it's a pickle I would imagine a good few weeks minimum in the fridge. 

Let me know what you think of you do make it, and what your favourite way to serve it is!

A couple of my own serving suggestions are below.

carrot pickle 2a.jpg

Recipe: Spicy carrot pickle

Makes approx. two jars


  • 4 medium grated carrots (use a coarse grater or mandolin slice or both)
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar (or mild light coloured vinegar of choice)
  • 2 tbs oil (I used olive)


  • ¼ cup fresh coriander- chopped
  • 1 tbs crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic
  • 2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs galangal paste (or grated ginger)
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 1 scant tsp salt
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds


Mix the top three ingredients together and then add the spices- you could add them directly to the carrot mix or mix them together first and then add- it doesn't matter as long as the resulting pickle is well mixed.

Pack into a jar or two, store in the fridge or a cool place.

Simple mixed through plain quinoa and endamame

Simple mixed through plain quinoa and endamame

Dolloped on top of soup....(recipe for soup to come!)

Dolloped on top of soup....(recipe for soup to come!)

More quinoa.....

More quinoa.....

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Raw red pepper ranch dressing

As part of the IIN coaching course we are encouraged to be experimental with our dietary choices as we learn more and more about the different options and influences open to us. The majority of module covered so far have focused heavily on whole foods and in particular veggies... so obviously that's right up my street!

dressing 2a.jpg

A few weeks back we listened to a lecture by David Wolfe on raw foods. It was clear he has such great passion for raw foods and his energy and inspiration revved everyone up to give raw foods a try. I'd been meaning to include more raw foods in my diet anyway and so this was a great incentive to do so, though to be honest, as we transition deeper into the winter months I'm not sure it's something I'll be able to maintain as much as I would like.... I love hot soups and stews so much!!

I did a little bit of googling to search for a alternative raw version to my favourite dips. My PB lentil dip and bean & pea dip are my go to dips and spreads for raw veggies but they require cooking. I came across this recipe on the DAMY Health website and was intrigued to give it a try. I actually changed very little- other than the type of mustard (because I couldn't find the type she'd used!)

This raw salad dressing is a fabulous way to dabble with the raw food philosophy. Use it as a dip or for dressing a huge salad and you're good to go. 

So quick and versatile...this recipe is definitely a keeper!

dressing 4a.jpg

Recipe: Raw red pepper ranch dressing


  • 2 tbs raw almond butter

  • 1 tbs lemon juice

  • 1 heaped tbs wholegrain mustard

  • 1 red pepper- cut into chunks

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3 tbs nutritional yeast

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • black pepper to taste


Blend everything together until quite smooth. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week and use as a dip or salad dressing.


dressing 1a.jpg
dressing 6a.jpg
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Dip ya bones!!

It's very nearly halloween...and this is my second seasonal post! Look at me go, this must be a first.

bone dip 3a.jpg

It nearly didn't happen as this dip had originally been planned as a 'monster mash' of sorts  after I was inspired by this recipe by the PPK and wanted to create my own.  I tried a couple of different ingredient combinations but it just wasn't holding up the way I wanted to. I was so close to scrapping the whole thing BUT it tasted good and i didn't want to waste my efforts before binning it so I thought i'd spread a bit on some raw veggie sticks and crackers...and then it was suddenly obvious. I had made a yummy dip!

Happy times after all :-) 

The first time I made this I used sweet potato and kale, then the second time I made it with cauliflower and kale. Both work well and you can sub roughly the same quantities for each. The photos show the cauli version and so that is what i have based the recipe below on.

If you not a fan of kale... you could go for this bean and pea dip, even quicker to whip up! 

I think my main mistake in failing in the monster mash was not allowing the veg to drain and dry well enough- particularly the cauli version. If you want to try and make some little monsters, be sure to pat the veg dry before blending, then try piping it through a large piping nozzle and decorating.  If it fails...well, you have a fab dip ;-) 

Oh... a quick note on the crackers! I made a 'human' variation of this peanut butter dog cracker recipe still using the spelt flour and ingredients as noted but adding extra salt, spices and some nutritional yeast to taste. You could also use this gluten free cracker recipe which I think would also work really well. Use a bone cutter for the ultimate effect!! :-)

Last but not least!  Let me welcome my little monster friend to you all. I carved him this morning to sit at the reception desk of the wellness centre where I work. I know I should have been studying but sometime other things take priority... and I got a little carried away. We've been playing a 'name the monster'  game over on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so why not join in! What should we call him (or her).....?



Recipe: Halloween dip (1 large dip or 4 small monsters)


  • 2 cups chopped packed kale
  • 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs cashew or almond butter
  • salt and pepper (plus other spices if desired) to taste


Cook the kale and cauliflower for approx. 8 minutes unit cooked (steam to retain nutrients). Drain (see note) and add remaining ingredients to the pan. Blend with a hand blender or transfer to a small blender and blend until creamy and green!

Best served immediately whilst hot with raw veggies or crackers or decorate as desired. 

bone dip 1.jpg
bone dip 2a.jpg
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Potato coleslaw

It’s all ‘red white and blue’ everywhere you look! Any one would think there was a celebration coming up…!

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a pretty big deal, it’s not every day that comes around, plus we all get an extra days bank holiday! That said, I have been a little slow on the uptake and my patriotic baking creativity hasn’t really happened…but I may have a little something up my sleeve for Tuesday (the day of the Jubilee itself) but you’ll have to wait for it. Plus I will have another reason to celebrate on Tuesday…you’ll have to wait for that too.

In the mean time I thought I’d share some patriotic baking of another kind….these cakes were baked and decorated by the kids my mum looks after (she’s a childminder), I think the iced tops were supposed to resemble Union Jacks….not so much, but still pretty cute!

Yesterday's dinner time was a good opportunity to see what the garden had to offer. My mum wanted to dig up some of the potatoes she’d planted to see if they were ready. 

Um, that will be a no then....

I posted this photo via Instagram on twitter yesterday, so some of you may have seen it there.  I have recently joined Instagram, and the link to my profile is now added to the top of the page so please come and find me!

I had originally planned a potato salad with homemade mayonnaise, but due to the potatoes being less plentiful than hoped for, I made a potato coleslaw of sorts which was pretty good with great texture. I had no cabbage to hand so once i’d cooked the baby potatoes and coated them with the mayonnaise, I grated some raw carrot and courgette over the top and mixed it through.

A lovely simple side dish. This would be great served up with these burgers!

Whether you are celebrating or not, I hope you have a great weekend…I hope the Queen does too!

Recipe: Vegan Mayonnaise

Makes ¾ cup


  • ½ raw cashews (or 1/3 cup cashew butter)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup soy milk (I imagine water would also suffice)
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch ground cayenne or parika
  • 2 tbs olive oil


Grind the cashews along with the garlic to a paste (or use cashew butter). Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth and creamy.

Stores in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days.

For potato coleslaw, coat boiled new potatoes with the mayonnaise and stir through raw grated carrot and courgette. Sprinkle with fresh herbs or seasonings if desired and serve immediately.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
peanut butter and lentil dip

I love this dip so much I haven’t really had much need for exploring other dip or hummous type recipe in recent weeks…and that is very unlike me! I’m actually surprised I haven’t got it up on here before now.

vegan Peanut Butter & Lentil Dip

So simple. I use my freezing method and whip up a big batch (often doubling the recipe) and then freeze dollops ready for when I need a dip or sandwich filler at short notice.

This dip is deliciously smooth and creamy and with a lovely warming amount of spice. Not overly spicy (well that’s up to you!) but just super tasty and also smoky if you use smoky chipotle sauce (I really recommend you do!) I love the peanutty taste, if you make your own PB make sure you roast the peanuts first to give it a great depth of flavour. You could of course use other nut butters if you fancy, although I find peanut butter has a strength of flavour that works really well with the lentils.

I nearly always serve this dip warm with a load of raw veggie sticks, as that’s my personal preference, but if you prefer it cold….go right ahead.  If serving from frozen, defrost a ‘dollop’ and then mix through with a spoon, adding a splash of oil or milk alternative as necessary to get a good cream texture. Warm through in the microwave for a few seconds…and there you have it..

So, how would you dress this dip up? When I’m not simply ‘dipping it’, I use it as a base for a sandwich or a wrap, I have also used it to fill a jacket potato…now that was yummy! With a little more liquid it would probably make a great pasta sauce too.

Get creative…have fun!

Recipe: Peanut Butter & Lentil Dip

Makes approx. 3 cups worth


  • 1 tbs oil

  • 1 onion- chopped

  • 1 cup red lentils

  • 2 cups veg stock

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

  • ½ tsp each garlic powder, cumin powder, chilli or smoky chipotle sauce


Cook the onion in oil for approx. 5 minutes to soften. Add the lentils and veg stock and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the lentil mixture and return to a food processor/blender. Add the remaining ingredients and puree all together to get a thick smooth dippy paste.

Store in the fridge (eat within 2-3 days) or spoon serving sized dollops on a baking sheet and freeze individually on the sheets before removing and storing together in the freezer.  Simply defrost to serve. Also created warmed through as a hot drip, dressing or sauce.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Peanut Satay Sauce Skewers

It’s still sunny and it has been all week! Today I sat outside at my dad’s house writing up some posts to schedule whilst I am away on holiday next week. However I didn’t sit out too long as it wasn’t the most comfortable bench in the world! I’m just hoping the weather holds next week for my family break in Cornwall…well as long as we have some sun I will be happy!

Anyway, time for food……….

Remember my little teaser from this post at the weekend? Well, the wait is over and if you hadn’t guessed it already this is my current favourite, simple, speedy, no-fuss, super yummy (all my favourite words)… peanut satay sauce.

Even before I became a fan of peanut butter I always loved peanut satay sauce. Particularly on chicken skewers in a Thai restaurant! But now I have my own. I can’t believe I haven’t made it before. To me it tasted pretty much like the real thing but with only 4 ingredients and 2 minutes of time. Yes this is another one of my 5 minutes recipes.

As it was such a lovely spring day last Saturday I fancied a simple light lunch but wasn’t in the mood for salad. So instead here we have simple grilled veggie skewers with a satay marinade and drizzle sauce. It was so good. The drizzle sauce is quite light in colour as it is simply a thinner version of the marinade, you could add extra soy sauce or maybe even a touch of molasses if you want extra colour and depth. I felt it was perfectly tasty enough without.

I think this may even become my new quick snack recipe alternative to veggie sticks and dipsthe whole meal took no more than 10 minutes, and you could easily add some carbs or lentils for a more substantial meal. Want more peanut recipes? Well, I would suggest giving this unusual but yummy soup a try…plus I might just have a PB&J granola recipe currently undergoing a few tests….nom nom nom.

Recipe: Peanut Satay sauce Skewers

Makes one ramekins worth (for roughly one serving of veggie skewers)


  • 2 tbs peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs soy milk
  • Approx. ½ tsp hot sauce or chipotle pepper sauce (to taste depending on what type you use)
  • Additional 1-2 tbs soy (or other) milk to thin out once the veggies have been basted in half the sauce.


Mix together all the ingredients to get a fairly thick paste. Coat the veggies and feed onto skewers for grilling. Grill for up to 10 mins turning once.

Meanwhile, you should have about half the sauce remaining. Add additional soy milk until you reach a drizzle consistency. Taste and add extra soy sauce etc if required. Heat the sauce in the microwave for approx. 1 minute on 50% power (not full power as I found it burnt the sauce).

Serve along with the skewers.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Dutch crunch rolls (aka tigerbread)

It’s that time of the month again…the Daring Bakers Challenge.  This month it was tiger bread, or Dutch Crunch as it’s also known…though I has never come across that name before (I like learning random new things!)

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

In the UK we say  ’tiger bread’…well most of us do, other than this one little girl who had other ideas! 

(source) (I would have to agree that giraffe bread is indeed much more appropriate!)

I decided I would try a couple of options for my bread rolls, My favourite spelt flour rolls made in my Thermomix plus a gluten free version.  Considering I’ve never attempting gluten free bread before…was a DB challenge really the right time to start? Well the result was definitely edible but very dense and not very ‘bread like’. I will have some further attempts and post a winning recipe at a later date. So for now, below you have the spelt option, but of course you could use any soft topped roll/loaf recipe you like and simply add the tiger bread paste prior to baking. 

The tiger bread topping it certainly something I’ll be experimenting further with, I was even wondering whether these flatbreads would accommodate a topping even though they are grilled and not baked…curious now! I also wondering whether the topping could be sweetened and used in a semi-sweet tea bread form.

The second half of the challenge was to make a sandwich from the bread. My filing consists of spinach leaves and a ‘dip’ which I often also use for my sandwiches  (though these days it’s rare that I have an actual sandwich so this was quite a novelty).  I love a creamy spread but don’t want to resort to fakes vegan cheezes or butters if I can help it..  This is a lentil and peanut dip, the recipe for this specific dip is not yet up on the blog, but for a similar filling option check out this dip . I love how versatile dips can be…sandwich fillings, pasta sauces…er ok, well that are probably tons more ways to use them too!

Back to the tiger bread topping. I loved the fact that this was such a simple recipe and easy method, and it is naturally gluten free made with ingredients I typically have in my baking boxes anyway.  I did a little research and read a few comments from others in the forum and decided to opt for a sesame paste with a little molasses and marmite for extra colour and kick. It made the bread super tasty!

My lentil and root vegetable dip (or sandwich filling). 

Recipe: Easy rolls

(made in the Thermomix, kneading times etc may need adaptation without)

  • 280g cold water.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tps salt
  • 520g wholemeal or white spelt flour


Add the water, sugar and yeast to the TM and heat sp2 for 90 seconds. Add the salt and spelt flour and knead for 4 minutes on the dough setting.

Leave in the TM bowl for the dough the rise for approx. 1 hour. (Allow the dough to roughly double in size).

Remove from the bowl and shape into rolls. Place on a parchment lined baking tray and leave to rise for another hour. Before baking at 200C for 10-15 minutes until golden (keep a close eye to check for colour).

Recipe: Dutch Crunch topping

(note- begin preparing the bread topping 20 mins before the end of the final bread rising period)

  • 6 tbs rice flour (white or brown non-glutinous)
  • 65ml warm water
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp molasses
  • ½ tsp marmite
  • 1 ½ tsp dried yeast


Add all the ingredient s to a small bowl and mix well together to form a smooth paste. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, paste onto the top of the bread rolls/loaf…thickly spread for large cracks and thinly spread for small subtle cracks.

Bake the rolls immediately.

(note- some suggest leaving the bread with the topping to sit for 10 mintues prior to baking but others say there is no need for this. I didn’t wait)

 These are the gluten free attempts. the topping didn't crackle as well and the rolls themselves are very dense.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF