Mediterranean Eggplant Dip

Mediterranean Eggplant Dip via Semi-Vegetarian.comPart hummus, part baba ganoush, this Mediterranean eggplant dip is 100% delicious. It’s packed with fiber and protein, and as a rich, velvety texture that’s perfect for dipping. We also enjoyed it as a spread in a pita with fresh veggies, crumbled feta cheese, and tangy kalamata olives. 

When it comes to roasting eggplant, everyone seems to have their own method. A lot of people like to slice and roast it with the skin on, then peel the skin off afterwards (it slides of fairly easily). Personally, however, I have not found a way to do this without burning my fingertips and muttering expletives under my breath. I prefer to just peel it with a vegetable peeler before slicing. The skin can sometimes be thick and slippery, but once you get the first strip off try starting the next strip with the tip of the peeler on an already peeled area. It sort of helps the blade grip the eggplant a little better.

Another key to making eggplant taste delicious and not bitter is to rub a generous amount of kosher salt on each slice and place in a colander over a bowl for 10 or 20 minutes. You’ll see light brown liquid pooling int he bowl after it sits, and you can rinse each slice very well and pat dry before continuing the recipe. You wash off all the salt so it doesn’t really increase the sodium.Mediterranean_Eggplant_Dip_Nutrition

Mediterranean Eggplant Dip
Serves 6
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Prep Time
40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium eggplant
  2. 1/2 cup chickpeas
  3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning blend
  5. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  7. 1 tablespoon water
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel the eggplant and slice in to 1/2 inch rounds. Rub each round generously with kosher salt and place in a colander over a bowl. Allow to rest 10 - 20 minutes them rinse each round very well and pat dry.
  3. Cut the eggplant in to cubes and toss with one tablespoon olive oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine the eggplant, chickpeas, salt, Greek seasoning blend, lemon juice, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, water, and ground black pepper in a food processor.
  5. Process until dip is smooth and creamy (stop to scrape down the sides occasionally).
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My Personal Health Journey: Part 2

This is the second installment in a two part series. Click here to read Part 1

My Personal Health Journey: Part 2 via Semi-Vegetarian.com

This whole process (slow gain, slightly quicker loss) occurred over a span of about two years in my early/mid-20s. I lived alone during much of this time period and would often turn on the Food Network station on television when I was home for “company” even if I wasn’t really watching. Racheal Ray, Giada DeLaurentis, and Ina Garten were some of my favorite hosts on the Food Network and, though I feel silly saying this, these women taught me how to cook. They made preparing food seem exciting and beautiful and completely doable (even for people like me whose culinary skills were subpar).  

At the time, the internet wasn’t the robust repository of recipes it is today, so I bought a few cookbooks and tried my hand at different recipes. There were a LOT of disasters, but some wins, too. My confidence and my cooking skills grew over time and so did my passion for cooking. The process of taking simple ingredients and turning them in to a meal was completely gratifying. I loved that it was the sort of project in which you could see the beginning, middle, and end in a relatively short period of time. 

Fast forward a few more years and I got married and began cooking for me and my shiny new husband. I loved making meals for us, and around this time I started straying from recipes a bit to try and create my own. Honestly, there were a lot of flops and “Maybe I should have just stuck to the recipe” comments over the dinner table in the beginning, but it was really fun anyway.

Knowing my husband and I have a strong interest in health and wellness, my sister-in-law (who is a super talented artist!) gave us the book The Blue Zones which chronicles the author’s journey to discover the shared traits of the longest living people around the globe. One trait he uncovered was a diet high in vegetables and low in meat. This piqued my interest as I was gaining a general interest in vegetarianism around this time, too.

I began trying more vegetarian recipes and we loved that it was a way to greatly increase the amount of produce we consumed. Though we were already eating pretty healthy before, the addition of more vegetarian meals added even more vibrancy to our daily lives.

For me, choosing to be healthy and choosing to eat less meat is not about being skinny or being “good”.

It’s about having energy to devote to my family and friends.

It’s about feeling my best.

It’s about being able to run and play with my son for years to come.

It’s about growing old with my husband.

For me, choosing to eat well and exercise regularly is like saying, “I love you” to my family and friends.

While nothing is guaranteed in life, it’s my best shot at being able to be around for a long time, and not be a burden to my loved ones.

My Personal Health Journey: Part 2 via Semi-Vegetarian.com

What’s your story? Why do you choose to be healthy?

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