An afternoon snack

The main problem with always being so hungry is the endless wait between mealtimes.  The hours that drag on to the chorus of my rumbling stomach. 

The only things that get me through are copious amounts of tea and regular snacks.  This in itself invariably presents a dilemma- whether to go with something calorie-laden and wonderful (pastry please) or something altogether more wholesome and nutritious (and thereby probably not delicious).  

The challenge becomes how to keep my mid-afternoon, post-lunch slumps at bay in a way that leaves me feeling sustained and not too guilty.   So take as an example, if you will, the rice cake.  Virtuous, practically like eating air, these babies are really ideal.  Apart from the fact that they taste like cardboard and you’ll be reaching for the digestives ten minutes later. 

But take a rice cake dressed in dip or cheese and you have something that might be just the ticket.   What follows is hardly a recipe at all, really, but an idea for some leftover butternut squash.  Said squash formed part of a recent supper of squash, sausages and sage.   So really no extra work required. 

Other dip ideas include white bean and dill, carrot and cumin, aubergine and mint and goats cheese, garlic, thyme and honey.  And of course you don’t need to use rice cakes, you could use oat cakes or bread or virtuous vitamin-packed crudités.   Or crisps. 

Spicy Squash and Cumin Dip

You will need:

1/4 squash, cut into wedges and roasted
1 tbsp creme fraiche
generous pinch chili pepper
pinch cumin powder
cumin seeds
olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper


1.  Remove the skin from the butternut squash and place in a blender (or bowl and use a stick blender) with the creme fraiche, chili pepper, 1 tsp of the olive oil, cumin powder, salt and pepper. 

2.  Blend until smooth.

3.  Serve in a bowl, drizzled with a little olive oil and a scattering of cumin seeds.  Load by the tablespoon full onto aforementioned carbohydrate.