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Tahini is a Middle Eastern sesame paste packed full of protein and flavor. It looks like peanut butter and can be used in place of any type of nut butter. It has a stronger, slightly bitter taste, but is very delicious and creamy. It also makes a fantastic addition to a number of different recipes. Given its strong flavor, it’s a great way to pack a punch in your Meatless Monday meals. Try out our favorite tahini recipes from all over the web.

Perhaps the most common use for tahini is in Middle Eastern dip hummus. The now familiar combination includes chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil and, of course, tahini. Our raw version omits the chickpeas for a hummus based entirely on the rich flavors of the sesame seed paste. Hummus lovers will have a new version of the classic to add to their repertoire, delicious when served with pita or crudités.

falafel balls

Image: yummyporky

Felafels are a no-brainer when it comes to Meatless Monday meals. These crunchy little croquettes are made with chickpeas or sometimes fava beans and deep-fried. To make them a little bit more weekday-friendly — and waistband-friendly, this baked felafel recipe is perfect. Paired with a flavorful tahini sauce and perhaps a bright Israeli salad, they’ll be a great addition to your next Meatless Monday meal.

avocadoorangetahini1

Photo Courtesy of Avocados from Mexico

Avocado and oranges pair perfectly with tahini sauce. This simple salad is drizzled with a dressing made from tahini and Greek yogurt. A touch of arugula adds a bit of green and its trademark peppery flavor.

halva

Image: Ігор Туржанський 

Tahini may seem like a savory ingredient, but like other nut and seed butters, it goes great in desserts as well. Perhaps the most well known is halva, a dessert that has existed for over three millennia in the Middle East. While its origin is disputed, it’s beloved in Israel, where this version comes from. Both sweet and savory with a crumbly texture, halva is yet another way to get to know the complex flavors of tahini.

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Top Image: jules : stonesoup