Easy Pizza Dip with Cream Cheese


It's one of our family favourites. We had some last night actually. My mother-in-law Jean made some individual pizzas with mini rolls. She sauteed off onions and mushrooms before adding them to the pizzas. They were soooooooo good. We had them with some giant potato wedges and sweetcorn. A simple but rather fabulous meal. Cooper was delighted and ate three.

photo: Tesco
Of course pizza doesn't have to be on a traditional dough base. We sometimes make them with English muffins (nothing like sweet blueberry muffins, for any of my US readers, more a bread type bake that is yeasted but has a sweetness to it. They are wonderful toasted and spread with butter).

We also make pizzas with naan bread, flour tortillas or puff pastry.

This time I made some pizza dip. It is hot, oozy and tastes like pizza. Luxurious!

Dunk breadsticks, vegetable sticks or nachos in this dip. Look at it stretch. Demonstrated by my able assistant Cooper.

It's simple to make too, only a handful of ingredients. Cream cheese (Philadelphia), mozzarella, veggie style parmesan and tomato sauce are the main ingredients. I used my quick blender pizza sauce, which is super tasty, but you could use jarred tomato sauce. I topped it with slices of cherry tomato, but that is optional.

Go on make a note of this and make it for movie night, you won't be disappointed and it will go down a storm with your friends and family.

why not try ...............

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Easy Pizza Dip
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • 100g Philadelphia soft cheese
  • 50g mozzarella, grated
  • 20g veggie style parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 100ml pizza sauce (or shop bought tomato sauce)
  • a good grinding of black pepper
1. Preaheat your oven to 200c/180c fan/400f/gas mark 6.2. Rub an ovenproof dish with the cut garlic.3. Mix together a third of the mozzarella (roughly), the onion powder, parmesan, cream cheese & black pepper. Spread this mixture evenly in your dish.4. Spoon the pizza sauce over the cream cheese mixture, then top with mozzarella and any toppings you wish to add. I added a few slices of cherry tomato. Fresh basil would be nice either in the tomato sauce or on top.5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown at the edges.6. Serve with crudites.7. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Makes 1 large bowl of dip

photo: Ren Behan
Here are some more mouth-watering pizza-that-isn't-pizza recipes:

For more pizza inspiration follow my Pizza Board on Pinterest.

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (27 July 2015)


Have you wondered where I've been?

It's so unlike me. I always post 3 or 4 times a week. On a bad week maybe twice but never just once.

I had great plans and great intentions. I even brought recipes with me, all written up, with photos.

So where are we? In North Cyprus and boy it's hot, although it's been cooler the last few days. The first week it was just too hot to do anything but swim and stay near the pool.

We had a heck of a time getting here. A couple of days before we were due to fly we discovered Cooper's passport was about to run out. I know, I know. So stupid, but we just didn't realise his was so short.

The passport office will only issue same day passports for adults, so in the end Graham flew out on the original date and we flew out 10 days later. We did get a few days together before he had to fly home. So Cooper and I are still here enjoying the sun at his Baba Anne (grandmother) and Dede's (grandfather) villa in Girne (Kyrenia), North Cyprus.

We are having a lovely time, but my poor wee blog and my lovely readers are being neglected.

The food, well it's been great. There has been plenty of pizza, pasta, salads and home-cooked meals. Not much in the way of Cypriot food as it's mostly meat based in restaurants, although I did have a really tasty durum made with fresh flatbreads.


So now we've had a wee catch up, it's time for the recipes. As usual we have had some gorgeous dishes submitted from all over the world to help you plan your week. 


Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Wheat-Free Meat-Free


Malaysian Paneer and Vegetable Kebab Bowl with Brown Coconut Rice

Malaysian Paneer and Vegetable Kebab Bowl with Brown Coconut Rice
Food to Glow


Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks

Portobello Carpaccio with Grilled Tofu Steaks
The Taste Space


Antalyan Bean Salad

Antalyan White Bean Salad
The Tofu Diaries


Sweetcorn Cauliflower and Quinoa Soup

Sweetcorn, Cauliflower and Quinoa Soup
A Travelling Cook


Crushed Minted Peas on Toast with Radishes

Crushed Minted Peas on Toast with Radishes
Veggie Desserts


Mushroom Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Mushroom Spinach and Chickpea Curry
Fab Food 4 All

And as ever some bonus recipes (pity there's not more days in the week):

Thanks to everyone who contributed this week.

If you're a blogger and post a veggie recipe this week, link to this post and add your recipe to the linky below to be featured in next week's Meat Free Mondays. I can't wait to see the veggie dishes you create (main meals only please and one per blog).


Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (20 July 2015)

I'm a little late in posting this today. I was busy sunning myself  and swimming today, then out for dinner tonight, but a promise is a promise, so here are seven delicious veggie recipes for the week ahead and as usual a few bonus recipes too.


The Lazy Vegan Baker


Silvered Veggie and Soba Salad with Maple Tofu
The Taste Space


Mexican Style Rice, Achiote Tempeh 'Steaks' and Guacamole
Allotment 2 Kitchen


Apricot snd Cherry Mostardo
Wheat-Free, Meat-Free


Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Pasta
Easy Cooking with Molly


Cauliflower Hummus
Veggie Desserts


Cherry Tomato Tart Tatin
The Veg Space

And now for a few bonus recipes:

Thanks to everyone for submitted and linked up such gorgeous recipes this week. 
There's no need for anyone to say they don't know what to cook for the week ahead.

Thanks to everyone who contributed this week.

If you're a blogger and post a veggie recipe this week, link to this post and add your recipe to the linky below to be featured in next week's Meat Free Mondays. I can't wait to see the veggie dishes you create (main meals only please and one per blog). 


Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto

A flowery blue bowl filled with Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto

Don’t you just love pasta?

It’s so quick and easy to make and there are hundreds of shapes and sauces. According to I Love Pasta, there are more than six hundred shapes and types to choose from. Hmmmm! Maybe I need to introduce a bit more variety to my store cupboard.

A close up of Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto

My pasta staples

  • My go-to shape is penne, which really holds a sauce well and I tend to coat it in a tomato-based sauce, but I’ll use it for just about anything. We eat so much of this one, that I buy it in bulk. 
  • I like spaghetti with a bolognaise or just simply dressed with some olive oil, chilli flakes and veggie parmesan. 
  • I coat tagliatelle in creamy sauces
  • Bow pasta or farfalle as it is also known, is paired with pesto
  • If I am making a pasta salad I like to use messicani, which I call belly button pasta. It's such a fun shape. 

And that is it, just five pasta shapes. Not very adventurous when you consider there are over six hundred out there.

two jars of vegan pesto from Sacla and Mr Organic
I used farfalle for this dish, mixed with veg and coated it in homemade vegan pesto . It's a one-pot dish too, so less work and less washing up.

You can use shop-bought pesto. I like Sacla dairy free or Mr Organic Basil Pesto, which is also vegan.

Pesto is so tasty it doesn't need cheese.

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Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto
Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto
A tasty pasta with dairy free pesto, broccoli, spinach and peas. Super tasty and healthy, but filling too. This pasta dish is good hot or cold as a pasta salad.
  • 500g farfalle (bow) pasta
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 90g cashew nuts
  • 30g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas (you don't need exact measurements for this one)
  • 3 cubes frozen spinach or two big handfuls
  • a good grinding black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then cook the pasta according to the packet or until al dente.2. Whizz together the pesto ingredients (oil, nuts, basil, garlic & black pepper) in a blender until just about smooth. It’s nice to have a bit of a crunch to the sauce, so don’t over-blend it.3. A few minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the small broccoli florets and spinach to the pot and right at the end add the peas. They don’t take long at all. 4. Before draining the pasta, reserve 3 tbsp of the cooking liquid to add back into the sauce. 5. Drain the pasta and vegetables and return to the pot with the reserved cooking liquid and the pesto and stir well.6. Serve while hot with a good grinding of black pepper.7. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4-6

 black bowl full of Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce on Spaghetti

If you like this recipe why not try my Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce for Spaghetti?

Lean Green Tropical Smoothie Plus 9 Incredible Green Smoothies Everyone Should Try

Lean Green Tropical Smoothie. A fruity start to the day.

I'm going all fruity today with this lean green tropical smoothie. It's super fruity. 

I drink green smoothies nearly every day. It's hard to go back to pure fruit smoothies once you start to drink green smoothies. I don't know what it is about them. They are definitely addictive.

This time pineapple is the star of the show and it's wee friend coconut is along for the ride.

I used dessicated coconut as I didn't want to open a tin of coconut milk for a jug of smoothie. It's a pity they don't sell it in bottles in the supermarket.

I also added protein powder to my smoothies. Extra nutrition? Yep, it's a no brainer. This  week I have been trying out Lean Greens. It's suitable for vegetarians, a mixture of 5 grasses, 3 superfood vegetables, 2 berries, 6 digestive enzymes & 2 metabolic ingredients including spinach, wheatgrass, alfaalfa, spirulina, broccoli, blueberry, ginseng and green tea.

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Lean Green Tropical Smoothie
A fruity green smoothie with the flavours of pineapple and coconut.
  • 1 medium pineapple
  • 2 red apples, halved
  • 1 block frozen spinach (or 1 large handful of fresh spinach)
  • 4 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1 tbsp lean green protein powder
  • a tray of ice cubes
  • enough water to fill the jug half way up (approx 1 litre)
1. Prepare the pineapple and apple and cut into large chunks.2. Add all ingredients to your blender jug.3. Whizz until smooth.4. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Makes 6-8 large smoothies


A few things to be aware of:
  • If you use dessicated coconut and you don't have a super duper power blender you're likely to have bits. Not everyone likes bits, so unless you are one of those who don't mind, upgrade to a super blender or use coconut milk. 
  • If you don't have a power blender, cut your fruit into smaller pieces.
  • If you don't have a power blender, never add ice to your ingredients, it will just burn out the motor. Always add it to your glass instead. 

My blender of choice is the Optimum 9200 Next Generation from Froothie. It's the most powerful domestic blender. It's cheaper and more powerful than the top blenders from other well known brands.

Right now there's £60 off. Just use the code 60SUN  It's worth every penny. I use it more than my cooker.

Have a look for yourself.

9 Incredible Green Smoothies


Disclosure: Lean Green kindly sent me some powder to try. I was initially sent an Optimum blender to review, I loved it so much I started to work with the brand. I was not required to write a positive review for either brand and any opinions expressed are my own. 


Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead

How to make homemade yogurt flatbreads

It's Monday and time for some more recipe inspiration.

Meat Free Mondays has been running for a few months now and I've been truly inspired by the recipes that have been submitted every week.

This week's featured photo is a flat-bread making collage from Kate over at Veggie Desserts. Doesn't she make it look easy?

Now for some recipe inspiration to take you through the week ahead.


Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel and Apple

The Veg Space


Herbed Bruschetta

Wheat-Free Meat-Free


Pea and Kale Soup with Mint

Veggie Desserts


Italian Orzo Salad

Veggies Don't Bite


Watermelon Feta Salad with Quick Sumac Yogurt Flatbreads

Veggie Desserts


Slow Cooker North African Couscous

Vegan in the Freezer


Red Lentil and Cauliflower Tomato Pulao

Lisa's Kitchen 

And a few bonus recipes:

Thanks to everyone who contributed this week.

If you're a blogger and post a veggie recipe this week, link to this post and add your recipe to the linky below to be featured in next week's Meat Free Mondays. I can't wait to see the veggie dishes you create (main meals only please and one per blog).


Sunday Giveaway - Holland & Barrett Hamper worth £54.76

Holland & Barrett Hamper Giveaway

Holland and Barrett have developed a new Free From website, which is super easy to use. You can find products suitable for vegetarians and vegans without searching for that elusive ingredient list on each and every product, one at at time. A few clicks. Whizz Bang Pow! And you have a comprehensive list of products suitable for your family. They cover lots of other diets and allergies too. Go on have a look!

To celebrate this shiny new website, Holland and Barrett are providing a tasty hamper for one lucky reader.

So what does the winner get?
Total value: £54.76

All packaged in a beautiful hamper that will be great for picnics or a rather stylish storage solution.

So hands up who'd like to win this rather fabulous prize?

To enter:

Leave me a comment telling me what you will tuck into first and enter via the rafflecopter box below. This giveaway is UK only and closes on 2 August 2015.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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