BBQ season: best dips for roasted veggies

namazi-4Last weekend was the official barbecue season opening at our house. And we had a good reason for it. We were celebrating the release of a new album of a band my dad plays at. Demolition group. I was growing up with the band and their music, but never considered them like big stars. They were more of a  family. I think it was not until I’ve grown up (hope my dad won’t be reading this. lol) that I realised how significant actually is what they are doing.

It was a lovely day, we had great time and we ate well.

Usually there’s a lot of meat when you organise a barbecue. Luckily I was not the only vegetarian and there was abandonce of meat free dishes. As far as I’m concerned, the best concept for a barbecue is to follow the mezze principle, as I call it. Small, fresh, colorful sides that accompany the main thing, so that everyone is satisfied, veggie and meat lovers. I was thinking, what would go best with grilled vegetables and came up with these three easy and delicious dips:


Greek yoghurt with lemon, mint and black olive paste 


  • 1 kg greek yoghurt
  • peel of 5 organic lemons
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt
  • mint leaves
  • 80 g black olives
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil

For this recipe you will need a cheesecloth


  1. Drain greek yoghurt: put cheesecloth into a strainer and place over a large bowl into which you will collect excess water from yoghurt. Pour in your greek yoghurt, put into the fridge for at least a day. The longer it drains the firmer it gets.
  2. The next day, mix drained yoghurt with salt and peel of 4 organic lemons.
  3. Mix olives and olive oil and grind into a paste using a mortar or food processor. You can also leave larger pieces of olives.
  4. Put the lemon yoghurt into a larger bowl, garnish with black olive paste. Grate zest of 1 lemon and sprinkle with fresh mint leaves. Sprinkle with olive oil.


Chickpea, roasted red peppers and walnut dip


  • 10 -12 long red peppers
  • 1 can chickpea
  • 2 handfuls of walnuts or pecans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt
  • garnish: feta, coriander or parsley leaves, olive oil


  1. Oven roast peppers at 200°C until soft and well grilled. You can also barbecue them. Let cool and remove the skins.
  2. Put skinned peppers, drained chickpeas, walnuts or pecans, garlic, lemon juice, ground coriander and salt into a food processor and mix into a smooth paste.
  3. Garnish with crumbled feta, fresh herbs and sprinkle with olive oil.



White bean and almond butter hummus


  • 1 can white beans
  • 3 big Tbsp almond butter (you can also replace it with 3 handfuls of almonds)
  • 1 small tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp water
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin (Cuminum cyminum) – optional
  • garnish: avocado, olive oil, cranberries or pomegranate, sesame


  1. Make almond butter: you will need at least 400 g almonds. Mix them in a food processor or a blender at highest speed until oils get to separate and grounded almonds turn into a smooth butter. You can substitute almond butter by 3 handfuls of almonds, but the consistency will be less smooth.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and mix into a smooth paste at the highest speed. Add water according to the thickness you prefer.
  3. Garnish with slices of avocado, pieces of cranberries or pomegranate, sesame and sprinkle with olive oil.



Be good! Enjoy in sunny days!

DG – U tvojim očima

Roasted beet and avocado dip


Lately I’ve been going nuts about beets.  It’s probably one of the most amazing vegetables. There are so many things you can do with it, be it sweet or savory. And I just love that color!

There’s more on its health benefits in one of my older post. Anyway, raw, cooked, steamed or oven baked. Everything goes. So here it is, my favorite dip/spread.



  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 medium size beets
  • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1.5 cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum)*
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • some roasted hazelnuts to garnish


  1. Cut beets in quarters, sprinkle with olive oil and bake on low temperature (at 180ºc) until it softens. Cool and peel off the skins.
  2. Finely grind coriander and cumin seeds.
  3. Using a hand blender mix all the ingredients.
  4. Serve with corn tortillas or crackers. You can also use it like this.


*more on cumin – carvi – black cumin here.

Green pancakes with quick avocado & beet spread – gluten free


I started writing this blog because I wanted to give a healthy twist to those traditional dishes. Of course, since I got diabetes, I was mostly trying to find a neat solution to avoid sugar or at least finding an alternative for it. But in the end, everything is sugar. During digestion the food we eat will eventually turn into sugars. The question is how fast? My answer to this is balance. A meal that’s rich in fiber and protein, not only carbs, will rise your blood sugar level much slower and will make you feel full longer. And protein intake can sometimes be a huge problem for vegetarians. I say chickpea, people!

Chickpea is one of those superfoods for me. It has quite some carbs, to give you the energy, but also lots of fiber and protein. Chickpea flour has around 60% carbs, 20% protein and 15% fiber whereas cooked chickpeas will have round 30% carbs, 9% protein and 8% fiber.

When I first heard of Socca that funny word immediately caught my attention. For a reason. Farinata or Cade, as it is also called, is a chickpea pancake brought from Genoa to south of France, Nice and Toulon to be more precise. It’s a street food and there are some variations between the three, but the basic recipe for socca is:

300 g chickpea flour
500 ml water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

The batter is poured into a large iron skillet and than baked in the oven at a really high temperature until golden brown.

So, I mixed a bit and came up with this broccoli chickpea gluten free pancakes, that are way better and certainly way healthier than the regular ones using plain white flour. The batter is less liquid so the pancakes will be slightly thicker, but they sure look nice and make a great contrast with the beet-avocado spread.



for the broccoli chickpea pancakes:

  • 100 g broccoli
  • 75 g chickpea flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 140 ml milk of your choice (I used oat milk)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • salt, pepper

quick beet and avocado spread
(or if you have more time)

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 medium size cooked beet
  • 1,5 tsp coriander seed
  • 1,5 tsp cumin seed
  • juice of half lemon
  • salt

tahini sauce (optional):

  • 1 big Tbsp tahini
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp water
  • salt

handful of spinach
goat cheese
roasted walnuts or hazelnuts


  1. Put all the ingredients in the blender an mix well. Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Finely grind coriander and cumin seeds.
  3. Using a hand blender mix all the ingredients for the spread.
  4. Bake the pancakes at medium heat in non-stick frying pan of 20cm in diameter until golden brown. Do not expect paper thin pancakes, they should be slightly thicker.
  5. Spread the beet and avocado on half of the pancake, fill with spinach, goat cheese, tahini sauce and some roasted nuts.

Orange and chocolate avocado truffles


This are my new favorite chocolates! Rich chocolate flavor and silky texture. And some oranges for nice Christmas flavor.

Pack them in a thin foil box covered with some nice paper and you will get a truly deluxe present!



  • 1 big avocado
  • 40 g pitted dates*
  • 80 g chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • peel of two organic oranges
  • cocoa for dusting


  1. Using a blender or food processor mix avocado, orange peel and dates into a smooth cream.
  2. Mix in 4 tsp of cocoa using a spoon.
  3. Melt chocolate over water bath and mix it in the avocado cream.
  4. Put it in the fridge for 2-3 hours to get firm.
  5. When firm enough, form balls with your hands and dust it with cocoa.

* I find this sweet enough. However, my friend who tested it said it wasn’t sweet enough. I might have lost the perception for sweetness since I don’t eat sugar anymore. Add more if necessary 😉


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