<![CDATA[Healthy Nicolita - Blog]]>Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05:03:30 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Vegan Eggplant Dip]]>Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:39:21 GMThttp://www.healthynicolita.com/blog/vegan-eggplant-dip
OK, first off - I do realize that this is only my second recipe and so far, both of them have eggplant in the title.... What can I say? I LOVE eggplant! They're hearty & filling, but low in calories and there's so much you can do with them! Plus, they've been really abundant and beautiful at my local supermarket lately so I've been unable to resist. I hope y'all are fans too! 

All week, I was trying to come up with a healthy party-food option for tomorrow's Super Bowl Potluck goers. Last year, I made some badass Buffalo Cauliflower and I wanted to do that again, but it seems like the secret is out on that one (I've seen at least 4 different versions on Facebook this past week) Then - sort of by accident - on a very tired & lazy evening a few nights ago, this Vegan Eggplant Dip was born. And I am in love. 

This is one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. It was as simple as roasting some veggies and head of garlic, throwing it all into a blender with some tahini, lemon juice,  salt & pepper. I thought it might need some extra flavor, but keeping it simple worked out fabulously! 

The recipe made just over a pint and the ENTIRE thing has about 550 calories (way less than a traditional babaganoush since I didn't use any olive oil). That means you can eat half a cup of this stuff, and still be under 200 calories. My kinda snack! I had it with some baby carrots, celery sticks, and store bought pita chips. The next day, I put it on my morning toast. I also had a stroke of brilliance where I considered using it as a pasta sauce with fresh basil, but it was almost gone by then.  My plan was to make another batch of this to actually BRING to our Superbowl potluck, but my boyfriend decided to make one of his Italian specialties for that instead. 


And you'll be shocked when I tell you what he made...
Yup.... EGG. PLANT. PARM. 
​#WeHeartEggplant #EggplantRules.


Hope you all have a fun & safe Superbowl Sunday! Xo.

Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 sweet bell peppers (I used one yellow and one red, but any combo is fine - just no green!)
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tsp kosher salt 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Rinse & dry the bell peppers & eggplant. Using a fork, pierce the eggplant on all sides and place on the baking sheet with the bell peppers. Peel & quarter the onion. Lay the quarters out lengthwise onto a piece of aluminum foil, wrap tightly and place on the baking sheet, seam side up.
Remove most of the papery garlic peel and chop off about 1/4 inch from the top, just enough to expose most of the garlic cloves. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil, seam upward. Place on the baking sheet along with the other veggies. Put the baking sheet into the oven for one hour. At 30 minutes,  turn the eggplant and peppers over, being careful not to split them. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes (I recommend splitting the eggplant open at this point... your knife should go through like buttah, and the innards will cool faster, making it easier to scoop later). Once cooled, start by peeling the skin off of your peppers with your fingers. It should come off quite easily. Slice each pepper open and remove the stem and as many seeds as you can and discard. 

Then, scoop out the meat of the eggplant, right into the blender. If you wish, you can separate some of the larger sections of seeds, but don't go too nuts about it. They will blend up. Remove the garlic cloves and add to the blender along with the onion, peppers, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smoothe. Taste and add more salt & black pepper as needed. Blend for another 10 seconds. 

Serve with veggies and/or pita chips and enjoy! 

(Note: Most homemade roasted pepper recipes require fully blackening the pepper, and then covering them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum to loosen the skins. You can do this if you want, but I did not require this extra step at all. The skins loosened on their own as the peppers cooled. Below is a pic of what everything looked like after it cooled. )


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