I’ve promised another healthy recipe, so here it is.
Today, I’m sharing 2 recipes with you that are great to use as dip, accompany a salad, or use as appetizer.
For those of you who are in Belgium in December: I organise the last vegan cooking workshop of the year on December 9.
Before we switched to the healthy lifestyle, we used to enjoy appetisers all the time. It’s the kids’ favourite time as well. Or instead of cooking a full meal we would make all sorts of small tapas.
Today, we still love those moments, but the crisps, sausages, nachos with cheese dip, mini pizzas, etc. have been replaced by kale crisps, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, humus, olives, vegan dips, gluten-free crisp breads, etc.
So here is a basic recipe for humus:
- One can of chickpeas
- two tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
- one clove of garlic
- salt and pepper
- olive oil (or other plant-based oil) -> quantity will depend on texture you want, so the more oil, the smoother the humus
- A bit of lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in blender and your basic humus is ready. Now starts the creative part. I would suggest you experiment and make all kinds of humus. Because you can really vary a lot and it is so tasty!
I’ve already added some fresh parsley or coriander. When you have less time, you can add curry powder or ras-el-hanout for more taste. But you can also add beetroot, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, olives, or anything else that you like. It’s that easy! It’s also healthy and full of essential nutriments.
What we often do is use this home-made humus as a dip with the appetizers (served with carrots and crisp bread, for example) and then with the left-overs, we make sandwiches for lunch. Your basic sandwich spread is then the humus. On top you can add all sorts of vegetables (raw or grilled) and/or an egg (if you eat those, not for vegans!)
The next quick recipe is an exquisite beetroot mayonaise that I discovered in a vegan cooking book of Marie Laforêt.
And what a discovery! Because our eating habits are shifting more and more and it’s always finding new recipes and getting accustomed to our new lifestyle.
To give you a quick summary of what my family’s been through over the past 10 years:
Our first phase was to reduce as much processed foods, junk food and GMO’s as possible. And because my children and I we don’t digest milk well, we have been on plant-based milk for years, but my husband only stopped drinking cow’s milk about 2 to 3 years ago.
But when I got pregnant from Arthur (our first-born son, who is now 9 years old), I got diabetes. I was hungry all the time and I kept eating unhealthy things packed with refined sugars. When I had to reduce all sugars of my diet, I felt a lot better, but I was advised very poorly by the hospital’s nutritionist, so I developed heavy oedema.
I gained 28 kilos (a lot of fluid as well). After birth I lost all of those kilos very quickly thankfully, but the nutritionist of the sports centre I went to advised me to switch to “light” products. When I read what was on the ingredients list and researched a little on the “light” products, I realised it was pure junk. So I started digging a bit more.
Anyhow, jump to a couple of years later when we moved to the country side. We then started our own vegetable garden and started eating more organically. I started baking a lot, but I noticed that gluten made me bloated, nauseated and that I quickly gained a kilo or two when eating too much gluten.
So we started eating more gluten-free, eliminating a lot of dairy products as well.
Then we realised, we were eating too much meat as well, so we reduced our meat consumption. And then in 2017, it all got a bit more drastical and extreme.
After having read so many books, articles on health, nutrition, digging into research done, statistics, watching eye-opening documentaries, etc. we got disgusted by what was on our plate. So today, we eliminated 85% of the refined sugars (but we still have some supermarket cookies in the pantry for the kids at school… Hoping to erase that 15% as well one day), we eliminated all dairy products, except some cheeses (which is my son’s addiction, so difficult to get rid of. I told myself: one step at a time, otherwise he’ll hate me for the rest of his life 😉 haha). We also banned meats from the house. Once a month, the kids ask for fish, but I’m having more and more difficulties eating fish… But I tolerate it (one has to be flexible 😉 ).
We reduced our gluten consumption drastically, and mostly eat gluten-free cereals, such as oat, buckwheat, spelt, rice, quinoa, sorghum. So basically our diet consists of these cereals, lots and lots of vegetables, legumes, plant-based “dairy”, healthy oils, nuts, seeds and fruits.
In the beginning when we switched to more composed salads, we used honey-mustard dressings or yoghurt-based dressings. Then we switched to more healthy oils, but we got quickly bored by that taste. So I was desperately looking for a new kind of mayonnaise or dressing that is very healthy and vegan. And here’s where the beetroot mayonnaise comes in!
- One beetroot (cut in cubes, raw!)
- 100 to 120 grams of cashew nuts (soak them in water first)
- juice of one lemon
- plant-based oil such as pumpkin seed oil or sunflower seed oil (couple of tablespoons, depending on how liquid/smooth you want your mayo)
- one table spoon of mustard (mild one)
- pepper and salt
After one hour of soaking, take cashew nuts out of the water and mix all the above ingredients together. Done! and delicious!
So today, we can incorporate this delicious mayo into our salad bowls, but we also use it as a dip or as mayo with the oven-baked potatoes. It’s really nice and has that beautiful purple colour. So if you want to impress your guests, then this is definitely a recipe I would recommend. Everyone that has tried it at our place, loves it.
This picture above shows the purple beetroot mayonaise on the salad. The whole plate is a recipe from one of Marie’s cook books. It’s butternut pumpkin with caramelised tempeh, mixed salad and gluten-free vegan cornbread with cranberries. Just looking at this picture, I get hungry again.
So for those of you who have just joined me on this blog: I am what we call in Belgium a “Bon-vivant” -> I love eating, trying out new things, travelling, enjoying life. So for those of you who are like me: it is possible to remain a foodie AND be vegan! I am discovering great foods and recipes every day.
Two weeks ago, I was in Paris and I discovered this Vegan Cheese shop which was so exquisite and inspiring, that I am trying to convince my local organic shop to buy and sell their high-quality and very tasty products. And this was all thanks to Thomas, from Paris Vegan Walkabout Tours.
So if you go to Paris soon and want to learn more about Veganism as well as taste everything, then please book a tour with Thomas. He is very passionate about what he does, which makes it the experience even better. Please, let me know if you’re going to Paris for this tour, I can offer you a discount that I generously received from Thomas.
Hoped you enjoyed reading this one and that this article has inspired you.
Let me know how it tasted and please share your own humus combinations or recipes.
Talk to you soon,