A friend of mine recently asked me to post something a) vegetarian, b) easy to make, and c) appealing to children.
That’s rather a tall order you might think, but I do have the perfect solution(s). For a start I am, essentially, a very lazy person; most of the time I can’t even be bothered to follow a recipe, so both these two qualify as being mind bogglingly simple. I also have a child, so have some understanding of how they can be a bit awkward on occasion, but how you also have to try and give them at least some orange and green vegetables to be a ‘good’ parent. Finally, I have some insight into vegetarianism, having tried to be one for about 3 months. Despite the lure of gammon steak proving too much for me, I still don’t buy much meat as I believe if you are going to eat it it should be really really good (i.e. it’s blooming expensive). I always wonder how certain dishes get characterised as ‘vegetarian’. It’s not like most people who eat meat don’t eat vegetables – food is just food. Anyway, that’s a rant for another time maybe.
The carrot one came from a vegan cookbook my Mum had, and is always extremely popular. The edamame one I don’t have a specific recipe for. All you do is replace edamame for chick peas in a traditional hummus recipe. They are both delicious, the carrot one particularly. They are also very good nutritionally, especially if you are vegetarian, as the edamame provides a good source of protein, as well as omega blah blahs and some other things that sound good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edamame . And they both pass the child test, i.e. they’re easy to eat and yummy. If you aren’t vegetarian then the carrot dip is excellent with all meats, but particularly cold ham (but then, what isn’t good with cold ham?). It’s also a good thing to make for a bbq as it stores well and the sharpness of it helps to cut any fatty or charcoaled meats.
Delicious Carrot Dip
2 pounds of carrot
4 cloves garlic
1/4 pint sunflower oil
3 tblsps olive oil
1/4 pint white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps grated ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsps cumin seeds
chopped chives or parsley to garnish
1) Peel and chop carrots. Plunge in a large pan of fiercely boiling water. Reduce heat and continue cooking for 8-10 mins.
2) Skin and crush garlic. Put in blender with all other ingredients. Drain carrots and add to blender. Reduce to a smooth cream.
3) Transfer to serving dish and chill for at least 1/2 hour for flavours to develop.
Easy Edamame Spread
Follow a normal hummus recipe, but replace the chick peas with edamame – make sure you steam them for about 5 mins before adding them to the blender. I always have a bag of frozen edamame in my freezer so I can make this up in an emergency!