Healthy Dips

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Smokey Red Lentil Dip/Vegan Pate
3/4 cup split red lentils; rinsed and drained
2 cups water
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or 1/2 onion); minced
1 celery stick; minced
1 carrot; minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Bring lentils and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed. Check so it does not burn, add 1 Tablespoon of water at a time as needed during cooking time if water absorbs too quickly.
In the meantime, sauté vegetables and salt in extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized frying pan with a lid. Start with the olive oil and onions at medium heat, add the celery, carrots and salt, stir, reduce heat to low and cover cooking for 20 minutes.
Add the sautéed vegetables, paprika, cayenne and black pepper to the lentils and blend until smooth. I used a hand held (stainless steel) blender but a food processor or counter top blender will work just fine.
Chill until ready to serve (can be made the morning of or the day before).

Garlic and Herbs Yogurt Dip
1 clove garlic; crushed
1 Tablespoon fresh basil; minced (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1Tablespoon fresh parsley; minced (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano; minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dry)
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme; minced (or pinch dry)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade recipe)

Mix all ingredients together chill until ready to serve (can be made the morning of or the day before).

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