In my quest to convert the heathens, uh, I mean, non-vegans, I have found one of the best ways is through a subtle invasion of the taste buds. Not a fan of pushing my beliefs on others, I much prefer the sly approach - a strategically placed plate of cookies at a potluck, a surprise vegan birthday cake, slipping flax seeds into my fiance's coco pops...
One sure fire hit that at least gets the non-vegans to ponder, even for a second, that this whole vegan thing wouldn't be as bad as they thought, is the amazing dip, Muhammara. Pronounced 'Mu ha ma ra ra ra' (just kidding, I have no idea how to pronounce it) it is an amazing dip made with bread crumbs, roasted peppers, walnuts and spices.
Originating from Syria, each bite is a mini taste explosion, and for someone who knows her dips (New Zealand as a country has a slight obsession) this one is well up there, competing with the best hummuses and baba ghanoujes around.
Ingredients (for one hefty portion):
¾ cup roasted peppers (I usually use Tesco brand jarred peppers - so much easier than roasting yourself!)
The bread crumbs from one slice of pan slice bread
1 handful of walnuts, toasted and chopped (just over a third of a cup)
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy)
Olive oil (or the oil from the jarred peppers)
Salt to taste
Blend the bread slice in a blender until it forms small crumbs.
Add all the other ingredients except the oil and blend together.
Add enough oil until you reach a paste like consistency and season with salt.
Serve with crackers or crusty bread pieces.