Thursday, September 22, 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip

I apologize in advance for the fact that I have no pictures to go with this post, but to be honest, despite its deliciousness, this is not the prettiest recipe in the world anyway!

Though it is very easy, this dip takes a little bit of time because the vegetables have to roast. But, depending on where you live, it may even take less time than going to the store and back to buy your own dip! And you can do other stuff in the meantime! And this dip is healthy, cheap and versatile!

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip

1 eggplant
1 head of garlic (yes, an entire head)
mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, etc
your favorite vinegar
your favorite oil
salt & pepper
any other spice or condiment you might like!

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Chop the top third or so of the head of garlic off, exposing the cloves. Wrap head of garlic in foil.

Wash the eggplant and prick it several times on all sides with a fork. Place this and the garlic on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the garlic and roast for another 15 minutes.

When that's all done, squeeze the garlic out into a blender, food processor, or bowl to be used with an immersion blender. Slice open your eggplant and scrape the skin into the bowl. Puree!

Now it's time to get creative and make this dip to your own tastes! I use a dollop or so of mayonnaise or sour cream, a couple tablespoons each of olive oil and red wine vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Then I'm ready to mix it up and chow down with some tortilla chips! This could also be a nice sandwich spread or dip for healthier things, like veggies.

Get your dip on!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beluga Lentil Tabbouleh & Spice Bread

Okay, these two recipes really have nothing to do with each other culturally, and probably aren't even supposed to be eaten together. But I made them at the same time because, what can I say, I'm a convention-pushing badass like that.

This tabbouleh (you say taboule, I say tabbouleh) recipe is the first I've ever tried, and I just love it. It is so simple and healthy, and a good excuse to try bulgur wheat if you never have before!

Tabbouleh

1.5 cups cooked black lentils*
1.5 cups cooked bulgur*
2 T. olive oil
2 T. rice vinegar
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. oregano
salt and pepper




ALSO PARSLEY.

*I honestly don't know if my proportions are correct to this recipe, but if you don't mind the lentils coloring the bulgur, here is the lazy way to cook this stuff. Boil 3/4 cup lentils in at least 6 cups of water for 15 minutes. Then add 3/4 cup bulgur to the pot and cook for another 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the lentils and bulgur. In a small bowl, whisk together everything else. Pour over the lentils and bulgur, and toss til well coated. Chill for an hour or more to blend the flavors.




Last step: gorge yourself to death.

Recipe adapted from The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook!

I just let the tabbouleh chill during the time it took me to make this bread. To be honest, I didn't have all the real ingredients required for this, so I made a lot of substitutions and the bread came out less than optimal. It was still tasty and sweet, but kinda chewy, in the way that a quickbread should not be! But for something that is only good for leveling your Cooking to 40, what are ya gonna do?

Spice Bread

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
1/3 cup canola oil or applesauce



I think to avoid the chewiness, you want to stick with oil. I didn't have enough left at the time, so I used applesauce. It is a lower-fat option, but it is more likely to take the moisture out of the bread quicker, especially if you overcook the product, which I tend to do with absolutely everything. Alas...

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a small saucepan over low heat, cook and stir brown sugar and milk for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In another bowl, combine the eggs, agave, oil/applesauce and brown sugar mixture. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes.




Recipe adapted from this!

Enjoy!

Also, here is a hilarious gif my awesome friend Becky made for me, quicker than I could find out whether I even still had Photoshop or not!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hot Gingered Apple Cider



I know it's only mid-September, but as far as I'm concerned, cider season starts as soon as it gets below 70 for more than two straight days! Bring on the hot dranks!

This entry will be short and sweet just like the recipe. Nothing is easier than this! You only need a few things, and if you aren't like me and actually keep stock on healthy things, you might already have them all in your pantry.

Note: this does not include alcohol, so you're on your own for hard cider!

Ingredients

16 whole cloves
4 apples, quartered
2 quarts (== 8 cups, 1/2 gallon) apple cider
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

First things first, get yourself a reliable kitchen helper.


He specializes in tripping the lead chef, and getting hair in absolutely everything.

Second, push 1 clove into each apple segment.

In a soup pot, combine everything and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.

Serve hot with an apple chunk in each mug!




There's no picture of mugged cider, because I was too busy burning my tongue trying to drink this immediately.

Recipe adapted from The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook.