Dressings, dips and spreads all have the power to transform a vegetable, salad or sandwich from ok to wow. They also have the power to add loads of calories, sugar and bad fats to your diet. Making your own spreads is one way to ensure you’re only getting the good nutrients. These 3 protein rich dips are healthy, easy to make and don’t cost a lot. They all use pulses as the base which are one of the most nutritious and affordable plant-based proteins. Use one of these 3 protein rich dips as a post gym snack with vegetable sticks, add them to wraps and sandwiches or dollop them into food bowls to bring all the elements together.

  1. Hummus

This basic hummus recipe comes together in 5 minutes. Make it your own by adding in different spices or toppings.


1 Can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 garlic clove, minced

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup tahini paste

2-3 T water, to thin the mixture out as needed

½ t paprika

Salt to taste

A few dashes tabasco

Olive oil and zaatar for garnishing (optional)

To Make

Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Transfer hummus into a bowl and top with a drizzle of olive oil and za’atar

Nutrition per 1 tablespoon: 32 calories |3g carbs |2g fat |1g protein | 1g fibre


  1. Minty Green Pea Avocado Dip

Frozen peas are good for more than an accompaniment to mashed potatoes. Blend them together with mint and avocado for a refreshing dip.


1 C frozen green peas

1 Avocado, peeled and pitted

8 sprigs of fresh mint

2 T lemon juice

Salt to taste


Place green peas in a pot with water. Boil over a medium heat until just tender – about 5 minutes. Don’t overcook you want them to be bright green. Remove from heat, drain and allow them to cool.

Once the peas have cooled, place in a food processor/blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with mint leaves / peas.

Nutrition per 1 tablespoon: 17 calories |2g carbs |1g fat |1g protein | 1g fibre


Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Dip

Lentils are one of the best plant based sources of protein. They’re also rich in iron, a nutrient that runners, especially women are often lacking. Roasted red pepper sweetens them up and nutritional yeast adds a cheezy flavour.


1 red pepper, roasted, skin removed and deseeded.

½ Cup uncooked red lentils

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 t olive oil

½ t paprika

Salt to taste


Cook the lentils according to the package instructions (it should take about 15-20 minutes). Once completely cooked, remove from heat drain and allow to cool.

Whilst the lentils are cooking you can roast the red pepper. Place the red pepper in a preheated oven at 250 C. Grill for 10-15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until the skin is black and blistered. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, peel off the skin – it should come off easily so you can use your fingers to peel it off. Remove the seeds and chop.

Place the roasted pepper, lentils and the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer into a bowl and garnish with paprika.

Nutrition per 1 tablespoon: 38 calories |6g carbs |0.5g fat |3g protein | 1g fibre

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