Perfect Sesame-free Hummus

 

sesame-free hummus

Hummus is everywhere, over the past twenty years or so it’s become a mainstream classic, one everyone eats and can be found in any store. All commercially found hummus contains sesame in the form of tahini and so is out of bounds for Little S. In fact hummus gave me the Heebie jeebies when Little S was smaller as we’d often come across other hummus eating children at parties and picnics and they’d invariably get the hummus everywhere, all over their hands and everything they touched. Not a fun situation when you’re worried about allergens. There were many uncomfortable moments trying to keep the hummus away from Little S!

I’ve tried just so many times to make a good hummus without using tahini but somehow the results are often just a bit bleurgh – it loses a lot of the moreish umami when the tahini is removed, as well as some of the silky smoothness. Whilst browsing the ‘vegan meringues hits and misses’ Facebook page, I came across the apparently traditional idea of using some of the chickpea water from the tin or cooking (the aquafaba) to give a creamy texture. Boy does it work well! The texture is spot on. By making sure the hummus is well seasoned you can make a pretty delicious sesame-free dip.

Perfect Sesame-free Hummus

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

perfect hummus, no sesame

makes 1 small bowlful

1/2 tin chickpeas

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 clove garlic, crushed

Salt to taste (probably a bit more than you think!)

2 tbsp aquafaba

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

To drizzle: extra virgin olive oil and paprika

  1. Whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. taste and adjust the salt, lemon and cumin to taste.
  2. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and paprika

hummus, no tahini

Lemon curd

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Lemon curd, mmmmmm, so yummy and zingy but also crammed full of eggs and milk – not ideal for us at all! I have such clear memories of not very inspiring school cookery lessons and particularly the one where we made lemon curd – I was so surprised at the ingredients! As a child I imagined lemon curd was made like jam, how wrong was I!

Anyway, I had an idea of making a lemon mousse using aquafaba and lemon curd as lemon mousse was my most favourite pudding when I was little. Sadly that experiment was a total failure, resulting in airy foam suspended above a layer of lemon curd – not nice! Anyway, it prompted me to make some gorgeous egg and dairy free lemon curd. Yes it is possible, in fact it is actually rather delicious, the only real difference being that it doesn’t keep as long as the conventional kind.

Utterly delicious served on toast, with scones or keep some for my divine lemon cake recipe coming later this week.

Lemon Curd (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 1 medium jar or 2 small

  • 1/3 cup oat milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 6 tbsps caster sugar
  • 6 tbsps lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsps dairy-free spread
  • pinch of salt

– Dissolve the cornflour in the water and oat milk. Heat and stir until starting to bubble.

– Add the dairy-free spread, lime juice, zest, sugar and salt.

– Continue to bubble until it starts to thicken.

– When coats a spoon transfer to a non-metalic bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes.

– Cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge.

– This curd will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.

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Black Bean Salsa

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This is a nifty little recipe for an interesting variation on a ‘regular’ salsa. Inspired by a delicious lunch I had at the fabulous the Gate Restaurant the other day, this is my take on black bean salsa. Wonderful scooped up with tortilla chips, as an addition to a wonderful Mexican main course (recipe coming soon!) or a topping for nachos or any tortilla based dish. It’s also the kind of dish that is enjoyable to prepare, just simple ingredients put together in an uncomplicated way.

There’s nothing wrong with a tomato salsa (especially this awesome salsa), but it’s good to have more in your locker, and for me a great new way with beans that is fresh and zingy.

Black Bean Salsa (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • 1 bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1 shallot, very finely chopped
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, chopped fairly small
  • 1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime (or more to taste if you have a dry old line that gives little juice!)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside for about half an hour for the flavours to mingle

2. Taste and adjust the salt and lime juice accordingly

3. Enjoy!

Green olive tapenade

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I seem to always veer towards Mediterranean flavours, but particularly so when the sun is shining – must be all those holidays over the years to various regions of France with my lovely other half that has equated sunshine with the flavours of the Med.

I have to say that it took me some time to come round to olives – I couldn’t bear them when I was younger, so much so I’d pick off an individual one on a pizza and leave it looking forlorn on the side of the plate! To me they just seemed so very salty and unappetising! Then, I’m not sure why, but in my mid twenties I was brave and gave an olive a chance – maybe my taste buds had matured, or perhaps it was a particularly good olive, but there has been no turning back, I now love olives (except bad quality, over salty ones!)

Tapenade is a wonderful savoury spread/dip but is so often fishy with anchovies, or contains traces of nuts – besides anything freshly homemade has to be far tastier – right? This simple green olive tapenade makes a wonderful addition to any sandwich, would be great to stuff vegetables such as mushrooms or simply to dip breadsticks. I have given 2 variations, one using capers which gives the most authentic flavour, or one using white wine vinegar for a more subtle kick.

Green Olive Tapenade (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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Makes 1 small bowlful

  • 1 cup green olives (rinsed if kept in brine)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped OR 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped (about 1 tbsp)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

– In a food processor, whizz together the olives, garlic, mustard, capers/vinegar and thyme until well chopped.
– With the motor running drizzle in the oil until it makes the desired consistency. It should be firm enough to spread (ie not liquid) but soft enough to dip in. Like the consistency of tomato purée. Taste and season if necessary.

 

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Brilliant barbecue sauce

20140626-190337.jpg The weather has been glorious (never a given in the UK, even in the summer!) – perfect for picnics and barbecues. I think a barbecue needs more than the grill and a few salad sides, it also needs a great sauce! Used to marinate, baste or as a condiment this sauce delivers all the punch and power required. In my mind a barbecue sauce needs to be sweet, salty, sour, tangy, spicy with tons of umami – this sauce certainly has that flavour profile! It also keeps well for a few weeks in the fridge – perfect! So fire up that barbecue and enjoy! Barbecue Sauce (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian, vegan) 20140626-190316.jpgMakes a small jar ful, multiply as necessary

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or use 1 tsp marmite if avoiding soya)
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder (leave out if mustard a problem)
  • 1 tsp vegetarian Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Dried herbs of choice, I used herbs de Provence
  • Chilli (optional)

– Sweat off the onion in the oil until soft but not coloured – Add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant. –  Add all the other ingredients and cook for a few minutes. – Taste and adjust as desired. – Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge 20140626-190251.jpg

Smoked Paprika and Parsley Falafel Patties (with Lemon Egg-free Mayo)

For some reason I got to thinking about the combination of smoked paprika and parsley (I do think about food a lot on my long, gruelling commute!) and pondered how I could combine them in a interesting way. Obviously smoked paprika works perfectly in stews or sauces, but I had a feeling that some kind of patty would also work well. In fact these little burgers of chickpeas, parsley and smoked paprika work a treat and will make a good choice for a picnic or barbecue. They work especially well with the lemon and garlic mayo. The only question is what to call them – they’re a kind of falafel as they’re made of chickpeas, a kind of burger, patty, cakes – in the end I opted for falafel patties to cover as many bases as possible!

Smoked Paprika and Parsley Falafel Patties (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan – to make gluten-free use gluten-free flour)

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makes 6

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika, use the sweet variety unless you like it HOT!
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained (or use soaked and cooked dried beans – I just didn’t have the time!)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • big handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp smoky chipotle sauce (optional)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

– Fry the shallot in the oil until soft

– Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, set aside

– Blitz the chickpeas in a food processor until resembling breadcrumbs.

– Add all the other ingredients and pulse until well combined

– Turn into a bowl and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour to firm up

– Form into 6 patties and leave in the fridge until ready to use

– Fry in a little sunflower oil until golden brown

– Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the lemon and parsley mayo.

Lemon and Garlic Egg-free Mayo

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  • 2-3 tbsps egg-free mayo
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • salt
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced

– Combine all the ingredients

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