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Dips and spreads

Pea Hummus and our review of the Vitamix S30 Space Saving Blender

Prep time 10 minutes | Cook time 30 minutes
yields 3 cups

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published September 22 2019
Updated December 27 2019


1 cup frozen peas, blanched
1 14 cups fresh coriander stems removed
1 cup chickpeas, cooked (approximately ⅔ of a can)
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra as required
sea salt and pepper, to taste


Simply combine all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides several times. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.

Store remaining hummus in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days.

Pea hummus, a variation on a theme

If you were a purist pea is either a modern adaptation of a classic or the bastardisation of one. Either way, this is good, no it won’t replace avocado on toast but it isn’t supposed to. This is for when the avocado season is done, $6 per avocado done. But peas are great, highly underrated, to me peas are an acceptable source of protein, 6.8 grams per cup. I eat peas often. This resultant recipe was my attempt to find alternate ways to consume peas, this and the pea soup, both easy, both wonderful without sacrificing anything. Preparing your chickpeas from scratch; soaked and properly simmered on the stovetop one evening is far more economical, if time allows, or if you are purist. That said, canned is still going to be great and you’re already avoiding single-use plastic containers. One thing at a time. These photos were shot and styled in about 15 minutes, we had just received our bread delivery, and so this pea hummus was lunch. And we were hungry. We prepared toast, photographed toast and ate. I would have otherwise paired this hummus with homemade pita but those are for the weekend, and this was a Tuesday.

A review of the Vitamix S30 Space Saving Blender

The Vitamix S30 is not an ‘expensive’ version of the Nutra Bullet, it neither a compact version of the Vitamix 750 Professional Series, the latter of which I personally own. It is as I recommended it to Amandine; a quality build, designed for performance that is going to blend everything you would possibly want to make, dips, hummus - all the hummus, our favourite mac and cheese sauce and then of course smoothies, coconut milk — any milk and if you have the patience, soup. Volume is your limitation. If you batch prepare your hummus, soups, want to make raw cakes and slices, then you need a Classic Vitamix. If you are not one for making ginger slice and chocolate tortes like I am, then the S30 is going to do everything else, and take up less space on your bench.

It was not until I first used Amandine’s Vitamix that I realised you had this flexibility to prepare small batch, cup quantities, enough for a meal as opposed to a week! That said, I am the kind of person that wants to soak and cook up four cups of garbanzo beans and make copious amounts hemp seed hummus, my favourite Little Bird Organics recipe from Megan May’s first book — the ginger slice requires a large blender. I think that is how I approach food, I like to make it myself, from scratch and sometimes I like to be prepared and the 750 is what I need for that, what I need to prepare my two favourite soups, this chilled pea soup and a kumara pumpkin millet soup. Both of which I don’t want to live without during the winter months, and yes gazpacho. I use my blender a lot. And I still think to this day that it is one of the best purchases I have made in the past few years — and if you don’t need a large capacity blender, the kind that prepares entire meals then you are going to feel the same way about the S30.

Which brings me to one of my favourite points to make about slow food: you reduce the amount of food packaging you bring into your home. Reduce the amount, not to zero. Zero waste in itself is alienating and I understand people who feel isolated by the zero waste movement — it is one that often lends itself to promoting consumerism rather than the fundamental principles of zero waste which are concerned more with cultivating self-sufficiency. And I think this is why I cook, why I even enjoy it. I did not start cooking until I was thirty, I lived at home. Enough said. Lofty goals aside; start with the easy meals, ones with few ingredients like pasta and soup. Safe meals. Focus on cooking pasta correctly, making a decent pesto or bolognese sauce. Learn skills that translate across recipes, and prepare basics that can be repeated every week. Invest in a good blender. As an aside, committed to quality and durability Vitamix also sell certified reconditioned blenders which start at more accessible price points, at the time of writing, NZ$460. And read your recipes first, generally, it's good to start with what takes the longest so you’re not waiting around for it to finish when you’re done with everything else. Time is precious.

Today I cook most nights, most days, I photograph much of what I make and the rest is either pea or pumpkin soup prepared in double batches for days I know there will not be the time to prepare food during the day, for nights I know will be owned by editing. For the nights I don’t want to resort to avocado on toast. Sometimes you need to be strategic. During what I refer to as my ‘work experience marred by my unrealistic expectations of said work experience’ I spent hundreds of dollars a month on green smoothies, coffee — my liquid breakfast and kale salads. Eating out definitely never did my financial state any favours. It was not until recently I started setting time aside an hour once, twice a week to meal prep, often just grains, pesto, hummus, soup, what would enable me to pull together a meal in twenty or so minutes. That is a wonderful thing. Not sure where to start, we prepared a guide on meal prep and you can access your free copy here. I’d also highly recommend investing in some quality containers. My favourites are these Pyrex 4 cup glass containers with tight-fitting lids and for small volumes these glass storage jars and these 500 ml wide mouth mason jars.

Don’t waste your money on meal kits. I think meal kits are worse and if we were, to be honest with ourselves, we could do better. Described over on The Dieline as “just Lunchables for adults who are thirsty for a little mise en place”, it’s just a lot of sample-sized single-use packaging waste. Meal kits perhaps convenient are arguably unnecessary and perhaps one of the finest examples of anti-environmentalism.

While packaging has a role in protecting food and extending shelf life, many packaging applications, such as those intended for takeaway and pre-prepared food, are resultant of our convenience culture and often linked to higher levels of waste. Although evidence would suggest the average weight of plastic packaging has fallen since 2004, trends towards multi-material, flexible packaging, combined with the growing demand for convenience foods has resulted in packaging that is increasingly complex and difficult to recycle. According to "Unwrapped: How throwaway plastic is failing to solve Europe's food waste problem (and what we need to do instead)", small format packaging and other examples of packaging practices linked to higher levels of food waste including multi-packs and convenience ready meals are implemented to support marketing and brand objectives or economic efficiencies at the expense of everything else. Buying a can of beans is not the issue here. If you are cooking your own rice, then you are already winning. This is what I remind myself of when I want things to be perfect. Because who is that for? Nothing is perfect and we do not need perfect. Start with making your own hummus. It’s nothing insignificant and you do what you can when you can.

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