Thanks to Uncle Cyril, we can now enjoy a crisp glass of wine with our friends!!
But, considering how important it is to keep our immune systems in tact, let’s get rid of those pro-inflammatory fried potato chips and dip into something that’s much more nutritious and healthy.
RED LENTIL HUMMUS
This Red Lentil Hummus has everything you love about traditional hummus, but made with gorgeous red lentils that boast a sweet and nutty flavor. It’s lemony, smooth, creamy, and perfect for a nutritious and satisfying snack. Lentils are a great source of plant protein and a vegan favourite. High in cancer fighting phytoestrogens, these little bombs are high in fibre and have a low GL providing a steady release of energy.
2 cups water
1 cup dried red lentils
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tahini paste
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice from a lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika (unsmoked will also do)
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Prep the lentils: Bring the water to a boil and add your lentils. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, it should take 15 to 20 minutes. Let the lentils cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Make the hummus: Add the cooked lentils to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until everything is blended and smooth.
Serve: Scoop the hummus into a bowl, garnish with smoked (or not) paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
AUBERGINE & ROASTED GARLIC PATE
Also known as Baba Ganoush, this recipe takes it a step further with roasted garlic, which adds a delicious earthy flavour to complement the crunch of the toasted pine nuts. A real treat this one is. Aubergines are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins B1 and B6 as well as potassium and magnesium. And, we all know how effective garlic is at protecting our immune system. Those who cannot tolerate the nightshade veggies will need to give this one a skip.
1 garlic bulb
5ml cumin seeds, ground
30ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml tahini paste
50ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
50ml pine nuts, toasted
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Prep the garlic & aubergines: Slice the garlic bulb diagonally through the middle, so that each clove is halved crosswise. Place the two halves facing downwards on a baking tray. Prick the aubergines and add them to the tray with the garlic. Roast until the aubergines are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Make the pate: Scoop the garlic and aubergines out of their skins. Place the flesh in a food processor. Blend until you have a coarse or smooth consistency, whichever you prefer. Fold in the cumin, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and season.
Serve: .Place the pâté in a bowl, sprinkle with the pine nuts, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
This beetroot dip is a taste sensation of freshness with a zesty tang of lemon juice, not to mention the vibrant splash of colour it adds to your table. Packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Being one of our red vegetables, beetroots have been associated with numerous health benefits for our blood including improved blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
Salt (Maldon salt being your best option) and black pepper
375ml full fat, plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Preheat the oven at 220°C.
Prep the beetroots: Roast the beetroots for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing the skin.
Make the dip: Chop the beetroots into chunks. Place the beetroot chunks together with all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy.
Serve: .Place the dip in a bowl and garnish with some fresh mint leaves before serving.
These dips can be served with fresh baby vegetables i.e. baby carrots, baby corn, baby tomatoes and baby cucumbers.
It’s lovely to serve these dips with thinly sliced toasted sour dough bread strips brushed with olive oil (add garlic and herbs to add to the flavour) or toasted whole wheat pitta breads cut into 8 triangles. Seed crackers are also a great option.
Tahini is a Middle Eastern paste made from roasted sesame seeds. You can purchase it ready made at any of your local grocery stores or easily make it yourself.
Maldon Salt can be found at Woolies or Dischem and is a very pure clean salt proven to be healthier than Himalayan Rock Salt.