Nikki M: Raw and vegan in NYC

Nikki comes from halfway across the world.  I was living in Los Angeles when I first met her nearly 5 years ago.  She is a woman after my own heart (ie. desserts addict!).
Below is her journey to veganism and how it helped overcome various physical ailments.
The Basics:
Nikki Mitchell, lives in New York but originally from Long Beach, California.  Now works at one of the best NYC wine and cheese restaurants located in Hell’s Kitchen.  Being a vegan, she does not consume cheese anymore (or tries hard not to! She may taste here and there so she has a general idea of the taste and can describe items to customers).
Nikki M

Nikki M

Why veganism?
What got me on this road to drastically change my eating habits?  Its hard to pin point a specific day but when I was 18 I met my first vegan.  Her mother was diabetic at the time and had really bad legs due to bad circulation and she was severely obese.  Her name was Brie and she was really skinny and super serious about what went into her body. I remember chowing down on rice and vienna sausage out of a can and thinking…..you don’t eat sausage!!  Also, my grandmother suffered from weight issues and various cancers through her life, and I took care of her at the age of 9 til she passed away in 97, I was 18 and broken-hearted.
A few years later I wanted to be a make up artist.  At the time I worked at Borders Book store and bought books on how to take care of your skin as I felt this was the real beauty secret and make up was just the fun stuff for special occasions.  I was hype to study skin and tackle my own problems as I knew I was gonna get asked about my own skin regiment and I wanted beautiful skin.  At the time it was oily and the pores were big.  Not horrible skin but not great either.  I had no idea at that time that the real cure was food. 
During my time at the book store my allergies became increasing horrible.  I was sneezing and coughing and everything set it off.  First thing in the morning my throat and nose was itchy and scratchy.  I was constantly doped up on anti-histamines and just miserable.  I had no health insurance, which would only shove experimental allergy drugs my way, and again a feeling like I can take care of this problem came to me.  I studied on my lunch breaks at the bookstore on how to cure allergies.  I believed in prevention and not pharmaceutical addiction.  Taking care of my grandmother for years and all the meds she took left a bad impression on me.
With some solid research and a willingness to take a risk I bought a juicer.  A juice man juicer.  I bought the Bragg’s apple cider vinegar book and all its amazing cures, that I still use til this day.  So here I was 23 yrs old ( I am now 34).  I have my juicer and decide to fast for 3 days.  What I learned was that I was toxic and I needed to clean my system.  My boyfriend at the time thought I was crazy and laughed.  But I was high just thinking of how this might change me from the inside out.  I was so depressed and miserable and I wanted to be a make up artist with good skin and not show up to work with puffy eyes and a red irritated nose.  Juicing was great for skin as well!!
“6 months later I was cured (of all my allergies).  They have never come back like they were when I was 23.  Here and there when Spring comes I will sneeze once or twice.  Everyone around me is miserable with their seasonal allergies and taking drugs for them.  Nope not me.  But I was young and still felt invincible.  I was a vegetarian for about a year not too long after I cured myself of allergies. “
I ate cheese and french fries.  Now I was suffering from constipation.  haha..
Falling off the wagon…
So finally I got my dream job working for M.A.C. cosmetics and it was stressful and I was living on my own and I was single.  I started to drink more alcohol and I was not a vegetarian anymore.  My morning breakfast was a sugary coffee of some sort and a croissant, sometimes a cinnamon roll.  Ugh…..thinking about it now I cannot believe I was not bigger.  I was a mess and my mouth paid for it.  Before I moved to New York I took advantage of my insurance and went to the dentist.  I had 11 cavities.  Yes….11.  Disgusting.
I moved to New York, mouth filled with porcelain and a new attitude.  Long story short…bad intimate relationships followed more heavy drinking and bad eating…wham….bam…..150 lbs at my heaviest, a constant bloated belly, constipated, irritable and unmotivated.  I was a mess.  To top it off my apt was burglarized and not too long after that I was homeless.
A few friends took me in and I had the couch.  No computer, a crappy job at Sephora I had a lot of time to think by myself.  My health and spirit in a prison of self pity, but again I was determined to change my situation.  I found solid work in 2010, where I am now.  I bought all my stuff back that was stolen from me and started buying kitchen machines.  I knew I had to get my health back.
Getting back on the vegan track!
I reopened books I had carried with me from working at Borders.  My juicing books and holistic books on everything from detoxing mind body and spirit.  I saved like crazy to buy a Vitamix blender, I got a food processor as a gift as I was always talikng about getting one.  I bought expensive German knives.  I started Youtubing on how to use knives correctly and also found herbalist and a vegan/raw community on Youtube.  These people have helped me in so many ways, its incredible.  But I definitely owe it to Kristina, from Fully Raw Kristina who continues to teach the amazing benefits of raw food and its amazing ability to cure mind body and spirit.
Going gluten-free
In the course of all this change for me I was experiencing some serious energy drops after I would eat.  I couldn’t stay awake and I was so dehydrated.  I couldn’t understand, I was juicing again, cutting back on meat to just fish.  Than one day it hit me.  Gluten…..my body was not responding to it in a good way anymore, if it ever really did.  Years of eating bread and pasta and sugary gluten goodies.  My body did not know how to process it.  So to use energy to break down the gluten and other food I would knock out in a hard sleep while my body spent the energy in my tummy breaking it down.  I have been gluten free since January of 2013 and lost 20 lbs, and have been incorporating a more raw food lifestyle as well.
A typical day for me:
My day starts off with watermelon juice, and either chopped apple or pineapple to follow.  I am energetic with the natural sugars and feel like I had a cup of strong coffee but no refined sugar and no dehydration.  I have a sugar tooth so staying away from refined sugar can be challenging.  I try to make raw deserts and my own nut butters.  I make my own vegan nutella using coconut sugar and vanilla extract for sweetness and flavoring.  This is my go to for when I get a sweet attack.  I’ll dip apples in it or bananas. Every Monday I grab my rolling cart and head to the store and literally pile bags of oranges, mangos, pineapple and watermelon into my cart. I get home and clean my fruit and chop it up for the next few days.
Food as medicine:
One personal thing I want to share is I have fibroids.  About 8 of them, and one connected to my uterus that causes me to bleed heavily every month and makes me mildly anemic.  Juicing has helped to incorporate greens for iron in my body that I would not normally eat daily. I believe the fibroids are there because the body manifested them.  Stress, bad eating and a negative mind created them.  Now I have to reverse their hold on my body and set them free.
“Good eating, a positive mind and a true understanding that mother earths foods are, our best medicine.  I cured my allergies, I am no longer constipated, I have energy and a healthy weight that does not hold me back from being active.  Dairy, refined sugar, and flours are killing us slowing.  We have to educate ourselves to change our minds about what health is.  And what it should feel like and look like.  You will smile more, love stronger and feel amazing.  This is what has happened to me.  Try not to judge others but be an example.  This is a real challenge as you want to share with others your small miracles.  And you can, but actions are better.  This has been my lesson.  I am so grateful for the humility as it has been a great teacher.  This life style can bring amazing vitality and a sensitivity to all living things.  That is GODLY!”
Accountability.  Responsibility.  This is where you will find the greatest strength to make changes in your life.  I had to take responsibility for my health issues and reverse the damage.  No blame.
Advice to newbie vegans
Take it slow.  If you don’t you will cheat.  Start to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily life.  It’s pretty simple.  It’s great because you are adding instead of feeling like you are sacrificing something out of your life.  Try not to talk too much about what you are changing, just be about it.  This will allow less stress on you while you are building confidence and learning about healthier habits for yourself.  Your actions will speak for you.  If you are looking for a community and want to share, this is great.  Seek like minded individuals who share your philosophy.  Watch videos, make a new dish once a week..a smoothie, dessert or main dish, etc etc.
“When you get in your kitchen and start looking out for #1, your labour will turn into love, I promise.”
Biggest misconception about vegans:
One of the annoying things about food transitioning is the bad “media” about ppl who go veg!  A lot of times vegetarians and vegans get a bad rep about being self-righteous and preachy.  Or controlling in some way about what they eat and begin to make others feel judged.  This does exist, but this is not about feeling labeled and excluding yourself or others.  This is about “living”.  And living honestly, with food that is going to give you continued energy and vitality.  Where disease does not exist and Dr. visits are just for a regular check up, nothing more.  You can take pride in your efforts and changes, but be grateful that you have the luxury to choose.  People naturally resist change so you have to be patient with others and yourself.
Life philosophy:
“There is no try….it’s do or do not”.  I try not to talk up my ideas before I’ve had a chance to experience them.  That goes for anything in my life.  ‘Im not perfect but everyday I get closer and closer to my goals.
Nikki’s Vegan Nutella
vegan nutella

vegan nutella

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middle eastern mania: 3 dishes in 30 mins for a party of six

raw baba ghanoush

raw baba ghanoush

When travelling abroad, falafels have always been a safe choice for me.  It’s a traditional Arab street food which is served in pita bread (like a sandwich or wrap) and sometimes topped with salads, pickled veg, hot sauce and lashings of tahini-based sauces such as hummus. When made with chickpeas, falafels are rich in protein, soluble fibre and complex carbs.  The only bummer is that falafels are usually deep fried.

Chickpeas are low in fat, salt (if possible make your own out of dried chickpeas; if you buy the canned version, rinse them a few times under running water to reduce the sodium content) and contain no cholesterol. Its key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, Vitamin C, thiamine, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B, and folate.  Because of its high fibre content, it’s effective in lowering blood cholesterol.

Baba ghanoush is made of eggplant mashed and mixed with olive oil and various herbs and spices.  The process usually involves oven roasting or wood-firing the eggplant prior to mashing it with the other ingredients.  I’m a huge eggplant fan! Eggplant is rich in a myriad of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  Some of these are:

  • dietary fibre
  • manganese
  • potassium
  • vitamins C, K, B6
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • folate
  • niacin
  • nasunin and chlorogenic acid

Here is a comprehensive nutritional profile on this humble vegetable.

Tabbouleh is an Arab salad.  I’ve usually had tabbouleh comprising of couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and various other seasonings.  It can also be made of bulgur wheat.

So the challenge was:  how to veganise (and uncook) traditionally deep fried or wood-fired dishes like falafels and baba ghanoush?  Although there are far greater ‘unhealthy’ foods, I wanted to reinvent tabbouleh too!  Mission accepted. The guests were die-hard onmivores. The odds were stacked against me.  Cue cold sweat here.

A true litmus test is when non-vegans gobble up the food.  Hurrah!  Big sigh of relief.

I also created the tabbouleh again for a potluck picnic where the response was overwhelmingly positive.  So as promised, here they are below – quick, easy and super fresh.

Raw Baba Ghanoush

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant, diced frozen and thawed
1-2 heaped tbs tahini
lemon juice
olive oil
sea salt
paprika (to sprinkle on top)

The day before, dice and freeze the eggplant.  The eggplant will need to be thawed before you start.

In a food processor with the “S” blade fitted on, add diced eggplant until it forms a chunky paste.  Add the remaining ingredients (except paprika) and process until creamy.

Empty into a bowl and sprinkle paprika on top.  Drizzle with additional olive oil if you want.  Serve as a dip for flatbreads or smother onto pitas, add the falafels and devour!

raw cauliflower tabbouleh

raw cauliflower tabbouleh

Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh

1 large cauliflower head – florets only
1 cucumber, finely diced
black pepper
3 cups parsley
2 tomatoes, finely diced
1/3 cup onions, finely diced
juice of 4-5 limes
olive oil
1 tbs sea salt

Whizz cauliflower until it resembles couscous in a food processor.  Don’t over-process as you want to maintain that ‘crunch’ factor.

Empty into a big bowl and add other ingredients.  Mix well and let sit for a few minutes to let the flavours develop.

Sprouted Chickpea Falafels

2 mugs sprouted chickpeas
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/3 c dried parsley
1 tbs tahini
1 tbs chia seed mixed with 3 tbs water, whisked and left for 10 mins (this acts as an egg replacer which binds the felafels together)
3 tbs almond meal (you can also use rice flour or potato flour)

the humble falafel

the humble falafel

Process the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, parsley in a food processor until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl, add almond meal and chia mixture and mix well.

Shape mixture into balls or patties.

If you let these sit in the fridge for 30 mins, they will firm up nicely.

There’s 2 options:  you can serve them as is (bring out of fridge about half hour before serving) or put them under a grill on the lowest setting if you want a falafel with a harder outer shell and a still-chewy inside.  However, this means it’s not entirely raw.

Happy eating! 🙂

The Dairy Debacle + 4 vegan alternatives

One of the most successful cons out there is that dairy does a body good.

I used to consume copious amounts of it, mistakenly believing I was preventing osteoporosis in later life, that it was good for my overall health.

Dairy products are marketed as high calcium foods that assist in strengthening bones.

However the most ideal foods for bone health are foods that are not only high in calcium, but reduce calcium loss in the body.  Namely… fruit and veg.  Fruit and veg also contain boron, which assists in reducing calcium loss.

Dairy is an acidic food, along with meat, white flour and sugar.  Studies show consumption of an acid-producing diet will lead to four times more bone fractures.

Acidic foods age and degenerate your skin.  Eeps!  Those expensive miracle creams are wasted if your diet is highly acidic.

Have you ever wondered when you’re feeling under the weather, why the doc tells you to up your liquids (clear soups, herbal teas, water) and steer clear of dairy?

Two reasons.

In order for our bodies to digest lactose (lactose is the sugar found in dairy), we need an enzyme called lactase.  From when we are 18 months to 4 years old, up to 95% of this enzyme is lost.  So put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Undigested lactose + acidic nature of milk = breeding ground for intestinal bad bacteria = higher cancer risk

Dairy products produce mucus, and the body’s natural self-defense mechanism is to develop a cold or an ‘allergy’.

Dairy does not deter osteoporosis.  Its high protein content leaches calcium from the body by sucking calcium sources from the bones to balance the pH in our blood.  Foods even lower in calcium such as meat and eggs cause even greater losses.  This explains why blood tests show you have adequate amounts of calcium if your diet is based around dairy and meat.  It is no coincidence the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis (USA, Sweden, Finland) are the biggest consumers of meat, milk and other animal foods.

A host of other problems have been linked to the consumption of dairy: acne, anaemia, anxiety, arthritis, ADHD, autism, cancers of the breast, prostate and ovaries, fibromyglia, heartburn, indigestion, IBS, joint pain, colic, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and Crohn’s disease.

It’s not all doom or gloom though, folks.  The good news is there are plenty of alternatives.  It’s all about substitution!

DAIRY ALTERNATIVES

I thought I would feel deprived until I discovered the joys of milk alternatives such as almond milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk… even mung bean milk!  Same story with cream and condensed milk – swap over to coconut, nut or tofu based substitutes.

When it comes to yogurt, I am about to experiment with making my own.  If you can’t be bothered then COYO is delish, found in many health food stores and some IGAs.

Cheese – There are plenty of ready-made alternatives out there whether you want.  Brands such as Notzarella, Vegusto and Tofutti are pretty tasty.

As for icecream, buy sorbet or get creative by making your own.  There’s so many recipes out there, with most of them being comprised of some sort of non-dairy milk, tofu, or frozen bananas.  Coco Luscious makes a range of ready-made non-dairy ice creams which are *to die for*

Below are some tried and tested recipes for dairy alternatives.

Basic Almond Milk

1 c raw almonds (soaked overnight in filtered water)
3 c filtered water
optional: agave or stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon

Discard soaking water and rinse nuts.  Place nuts in blender and add filtered water.  Blitz until smooth.  Add sweetener to taste (optional).

Place a bowl on kitchen counter.  Slowly pour milk into a nut milk bag and catch liquid in bowl.  Squeeze nut milk bag gently until no liquid remains.  What’s leftover in the bag is almond meal you can use for crackers, cakes, cookies, replacing flour etc.  Leftover almond meal can be frozen for later use.

homemade almond milk

homemade almond milk

Pour strained milk into glass mason jars and store in the fridge.  Keeps for 3-4 days.

Tip:  A favourite of mine is using hazelnuts.  Smells rich and chocolatey.  Add cacao powder and 1 tsp vanilla essence to make chocolate milk.

Raw Cashew Cheeze

1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons water
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Drain nuts and place them food processor or blender. Add 1/4 cup water and the rest of the ingredients, and mix until thoroughly puréed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl every so often.

Add a little more water if necessary and blend again to adjust the consistency; the cheese will get a little more solid as it sets.

Transfer to a bowl, cover, and let stand somewhere cool for 24 hours before placing in the fridge, keeps for 5 days.

Rawmesan (Parmesan alternative)

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
sea salt

Blitz almonds in food processor until crumbly and resembling grated parmesan.  Add in nutritional yeast and sea salt to taste.

Sprinkle on top of pastas, pizza, salads…  Refrigerate unused rawmesan in airtight container.

Raw Pistachio Icecream

1 ripe avocado
4 chopped frozen ripe bananas
2 tablespoons agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1/4 cup pistachios

Throw everything in a food processor with the ‘S’ blade.  Process until smooth.  Scoff!

Happy experimenting 🙂

Warren G: A scholarly take on veganism

This is a profile of a man who now calls Fremantle home, after living in cities such as New Orleans, New York, Minneapolis, Melbourne, Townsville and Perth.  He has been vegan since 1974, and is who I’d classify as being extremely advanced in the kitchen and more knowledgeable still about all things veganism.

I’ve sampled many of his delectable creations, such as whipped cashew and pear dip, chia guacamole, cauliflower ‘rice’, sprouted quinoa salad and was even given an impromptu ‘Sprouting for Dummies’ crash course.

His fascinating and detailed story spans over 5o years.

The Basics:
A 63 yo, New Orleans-born Cornell University-graduate, Warren Gossett is the son of a pharmacist and school teacher.  He was a computer programmer for the University of WA prior to retiring in 2005, and still occasionally tutors primary school and first year university students.  He spends his time engaging in the private study of  whatever interests him: mathematics, chemistry, physics, music, dancing, history.

Warren had a typical American diet up until he was 16.  This was highly processed fare such as hot dogs, bacon and eggs, Kellogg’s Cheerios and Wheaties, fried chicken, ice cream, buttered corn, fairy floss, lemon meringue pie, and Whitman’s sampler chocolates.

Vego since: 1966
Why go veg?
A mystical experience in August 1963.  I read a public library book which talked about the selfishness of killing animals and the karma it created.  I first read the word vegetarian.  I finally applied the idea to myself in 1966 when I finished high school, moved away from home and could start choosing my own food easily.  Except for about five months in 1972-73 when I decided to accept a girl friend’s diet I have been a vegetarian or vegan ever since.

Note that I started out as a vegetarian for what could be called spiritual reasons.  I knew nothing of the other reasons for being a vegetarian and I had never heard the word vegan during this college phase (1966 – 1972).

I was a summer hippie in California 1967 and 1968 and had brown rice and macrobiotic food the first time.  Now of course I avoid alcohol or drugs.

I came across a book call Dweller of Two Planets by Phylos the Thibetan (Frederick S Oliver).  It turned out to be a fascinating explosion of mystical philosophy from 1899 California.  It suggested a beautiful path that we followed through this life and many lives because reincarnation was central to the book.  I was in!  There were mentions of the value of studying vegetarianism, astrology and numerology as well as science.  I did so over the years.  The reason given for vegetarianism was that it was selfish to kill animals and the karma it created was bad.  You couldn’t compensate the soul of an animal for the loss of its life experiences. Compensating a plant soul was possible or at least more possible.

This has remained a key part of my philosophy and mystical view of life over the last fifty years.

Vegan since: 1974
Why the next step?
When looking for a new house to share I met potential housemates.  One was a vegan and gave me two books when we met, along with  with another guy, to consider the house-share possibilities.  We never lived together nor met again but this meeting had a lasting influence on me.  The last things for me to give up was goat cheese and choc chip cookies.

I was especially influenced by Viktoras Pisces Kulvinskas’ second book in 1976, Survival into the 21st Century.  I learned about and tried fasting, sprouting alfalfa, mung beans, fenugreek and sunflower seeds.  He mentioned exotic things like wild food, unfired food, fruitarianism and breatharianism and the Aquarian diet.  Now instead of Kulvinskas’ term unfired food we usually say raw food.

At the 1978 North American Vegan Society convention in rural Pennsylvania I learned about sprouting, factory farming, vegetarians in sports and first heard of a group called Sea Shepherd.

“I learned there wasn’t just my one reason for being a vegetarian or vegan, spiritual, there were several others: ethical (animal rights), economic (it was cheaper), ecological (less polluting and better for biosphere), health (many factors), and aesthetic (wasn’t it more beautiful?)”

the effervescent Mr G

the effervescent Mr G

Influences: The books were Love Your Body by Viktoras Pisces Kulvinskas and Mother Nature’s Guide for Folks Who Like to Eat by Dick Gregory.  The arguments in the books convinced me that I didn’t need to eat dairy products and that the dairy industry was harmful in several ways.  I had already given up eggs because of boredom, concern about cholesterol… plus I had too many of them in college.

Philosophy: Still oriented to mysticism and science.

A typical day’s meals:  My diet is easy to arrange.  I just go to Coles, Woolworth’s or occasionally Manna Wholefoods, Peaches or Kakulas Sisters and get vegan things.

Idiot-proof meal?  I like organic pasta and black eye peas, they’re my fail safe meals.  I also like rice, potatoes and pumpkin.  I’ve discovered that celery is very versatile:  It lasts well in the fridge and can be consumed raw, cooked for 20 minutes or juiced.

 “I moved to Australia in 1980 to eventually work as a computer programmer.   Some people in Minneapolis had thought Australians drank a lot and ate a lot of meat so how would I fit in.  My mother assumed it was part of my travelling phase and I’d be back in six months. But I knew it was a warm country with lots of fruits and vegetables.  I had enjoyed the two week holiday in New Zealand and Australia I took earlier that year for my 30th birthday.”

Warren’s Whipped Cashew Dip

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 30mins)
2 pears (goldrush)
optional: vanilla extract, lemon juice, agave / stevia (to taste)
Throw away soaking water from cashews.  Peel and core the pears.
Blend in a food processor until smooth (about 3 minutes).
Taste – add optional ingredients if your tastebuds want and blend again.
Add filtered water if you like a thinner dip.

Serve with vege crudites, crackers or toasted bread.

Faultless foul (fool): Discover a famed Arabic favourite

I visited a friend who’s husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer just over 2 months ago.

Bizarrely, he looked even better than when we last met.

The diagnosis had prompted him to kick several habits:  smoking, white sugar, 3 x cokes a day, penchant for red meat and all things classified as junk food.

He’s been on a vegetarian diet ever since and he certainly does not look like a man who has undergone three courses of chemo.

Below is a cartoon that hubby forwarded to me last week.  It serves as a timely reminder you won’t be able to take care of anyone else, if you neglect to take care of yourself first.

Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re selfish for wanting to make time for yourself!

So go ahead.. the dishes / laundry / cooking / < fill blank here > can wait an hour or two while you take care of you.

hobbs

calvin and hobbs cartoon

As an ode to him and his battle, I wanted to share a recipe he made for us a while back.

Being of Arabic descent, he made us a traditional dish called fool (also spelt foul in some instances) which is comprised of fava beans.

He recalled this dish as being for the ‘working class’ as it has very simple and few ingredients.  Don’t let that “fool” (insert cringe here) you into thinking this is an ordinary dish.  The flavours are sensational, and it’s usually served with felafels and pita bread.  I’ve also substituted the fava beans for whatever I have on hand – it works equally well with borlotti, butter or kidney beans too.

Arabic Foul

1 tin Fava Beans
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 tbs tahini
Olive oil
Salt
Parsley
Lemon juice (one whole lemon)
Chilli flakes (optional)

foolin' around. ok i'll stop now.

foolin’ around. ok i’ll stop now.

In a bowl, mash half the beans and mix the tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon juice with it.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Add the other half of the beans and mix together.

Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with chopped parsley, chilli flakes and lashings of olive oil.

Hubby likes to add a chopped tomato on top for extra colour.