Thursday, September 29, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Contrary to popular belief, I haven't given up on PractiGanic! This summer has just been too much fun with the kids, my Etsy Store has been taking off, I've accomplished another triathlon and working on strengthening my yoga practice that they computer has taken a back seat (can you blame me?!). Hopefully now with two in school and only two at home ... Francesca is already 6 months and the coolest baby ... I should be able to start tackling my laundry list of blog posts that I have been backlogging. So, without further ado, my new dip love ... Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush!

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

I will be the first one to tell you that I don't like eggplant. Okay, so maybe not entirely true ... you know how I always tell you that "it's impossible to dislike a vegetable, you just haven't had it prepared the way you like it yet?" Well, the way I like eggplant is breaded, deep-fried and smothered in cheese. Let's just say, I usually only eat eggplant once a year! However, I still buy it at least 4 times a year making different things and telling myself, "This is it ... Get ready to love eggplant!" Time after time, the eggplant gets choked down and I am sad about dinner and vow not to buy eggplant again.

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Old habits die hard. I was at the farmers market and there is the most beautiful stand off eggplant, miniature eggplant, Japanese eggplant, striped, white, purple ... they had it all! I couldn't help myself and I had to buy one. When I got home, I stared at my lone purple eggplant thinking, "Now what am I going to do?!" In my experience, I have learned that if I have to hide a vegetable in a meal, put it in a dip or a burger. I had a party in two days so I decided to go for the dip. A simple baba ganoush but I had to give it a twist in order for this to hopefully be a winner. I decided to try a roasted red pepper baba ganoush (seriously, isn't it the best word to say??). I added my favorite seasonings in the whole world ... paprika and coriander, crossed my fingers and pureed that eggplant and you know what? IT WORKED!

With every visit to the farmers market, I am now buying eggplant! The whole family is digging in too (even Francesca is loving her newest 'baby food') It's lighter than hummus, but just as flavorful ... and, no oil needed! I finally found the way that I can enjoy eggplant and still be healthy!


Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Makes 2 cups

1 large eggplant
1 red pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 T tahini
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t paprika (smoked or regular)
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Cut eggplant into quarters and deseed the red pepper. Lay them down on a sheet tray with their skins up. Broil for about 5 minutes or until skins on pepper are blackened and the eggplant is shriveled. Let them cool and the skins will peel right off.

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Add all ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy!


Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vegetarian 'Crab' Cakes

Do you ever have those days that you can't decide what to make for dinner? I know, silly question, but lately I have found myself having those all of the time. In my head, I go over what is in the fridge and panty constantly throughout the day and keep drawing blanks. Knowing that the hearts of palm is in there I always want to make another dip. Knowing that I can't serve my kids dip for dinner (every night!), I decided to go to my next favorite ... a patty ... I honestly don't know what I would be if I didn't have my dips and burgers!

Vegetarian 'Crab' Cakes

I am addicted to hearts of palm. I don't know what it is about it, it doesn't have an insane flavor or anything, but I love it. I am a big texture person, and it has a great texture. I have been loving making different dips with it, besides just my Faux Crab Dip. Let's just say, I always have a few cans in the pantry!

Now, with the hearts of palm dips and the faux crab cakes, I need to start buying hearts of palm in bulk!


Vegetarian 'Crab' Cakes

Vegetarian 'Crab' Cakes

Makes 6-8

14 oz can hearts of palm, drained and chopped
1/2 c onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed
1 egg, or flax egg
1/4 veganaise
2 T parsley, chopped
2 T chives
2 t dijon
1 t paprika
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t worsteshire sauce (Annie's makes a great vegan version)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 1/3 c breadcrumbs (I like panko, gluten free or regular)

Oil

In a pan, heat up a little bit of oil, Add the hearts of palm and onion. Cook until the hearts of palm are lightly browned.

In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Heat up a little more oil in the pan. Scoop out 1/3 cup of the 'crab' mixture. Fry on both sides until it is nicely browned. Drain on paper towel and serve right away.

These are even better with a little vegan tarter sauce ... a little sour cream, parsley, lemon juice and chopped pickles and served with some Drunken Fries!


Vegetarian 'Crab' Cakes

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Smoky Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

This past weekend, we visited a friend. They had a gigantic bag of rhubarb on their counter. Of course, I had to comment because I'm in constant rhubarb envy. However, we finally had a turn ... after two years after planting my first rhubarb, I finally saw life this spring. Maybe in another two years, I'll finally get a harvest!

Smoky Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

After talking a little too much about their rhubarb, they felt bad for me and decided to offer me the entire bag! I realized I was probably a little too pushy about it but they got it from their grandma and they were seeing her the next day and going to get another bag of this size (it was about 5 lbs of rhubarb!). I had to take them up on the offer! Thanks guys!!

Because of our expanded garden, we aren't doing a CSA and therefore not getting amazing bulk fruit. I used this opportunity and use a huge chunk of the rhubarb to make jam for the year. Well, that got me through about 3 pounds. So, I decided to make a simple syrup for some cocktails .. rhubarb and blueberry margaritas or mojitos anyone?! I was down to the last little bit and I decided that I would save it for the weekend and make rhubarb salsa. After getting everything done for the afternoon, I still had about 45 minutes to spare before I needed to pick up Gabriel from school. The bag of rhubarb was just staring at me. It would be nice to just be done with it, but I didn't have the rest of the ingredients for salsa.

My little lightbulb went off and I decided to quickly throw together a barbecue sauce. I seriously threw it together too! Everything all in a pot and done! Best part is, I love it! It's sweet, it's tart, it's a little spicy. I had some leftover walnut burgers in the fridge so I chopped them up, added the barbecue sauce and we had walnut barbecue for dinner and in case you're wondering, dinner paired great with the rhubarb blueberry mojito!


Smoky Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Smoky Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Makes 2 1/2 cups

4 c rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 c onions. diced
2 cloves garlic. minced
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
6 T ketchup
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T worsteshire sauce
1 T dijon mustard
1 T liquid smoke
1 T smoked paprika
1 t tabasco (more if you want the heat)
1/2 t pepper

Put all ingredients into a pot. Cook over medium heat until rhubarb is so tender it turns to mush as you stir it.

Smoky Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Refrigerate until you are ready to use.


Smoky Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

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