Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ba Ba.....

Ganoush! Not black sheep, like that old folk tale song thingy from childhood.

I told you I would make my version of it and I did and now I will share with you that recipe, but before we get to that I just want to inform all of you about a scam that restaurants have been pulling on all of its patrons. "What is it?" you may ask. Well have you ever seen on a menu eggplant caviar? Well guess what it is. Yup babaganoush! They just call it by a fancier name so they can charge you an outrageous price for it. Now that you know exactly what it is, maybe next time you will just make it yourself.

What is babaganoush? It is a middle eastern dip. You can eat it with pita, veggies, along with hummus, or add it to a sandwich. A normal recipe calls for the eggplant to be roasted, the skin burnt, removed and then "mashed" with some spices added to make the dip. My version keeps the skin in the dip to add texture, nutrients, and I just plain like the skin of the eggplant. I was never one to really keep by dips smooth. Even my hummus is chunky, what can I say, I like my food to have texture.  Also, I roast the eggplant with some seasonings, then make it into the dip. So here is the recipe for my babaganoush.


1 large eggplant, or 5 small eggplants
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
4 dashes cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon tahini
1 handful of fresh parsley and lemon basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cube the eggplant, toss it with the onion, oregano, black pepper, salt, coriander, and oil.

Roast the eggplant for 30 to 40 minutes, until they become soft and lightly browned. (It really depends on how small you cube the eggplant.)

After they are done, put the eggplant in a food processor and pulse 10 times.

Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, and the tahini. Processor until almost smooth.

Slowly add the lemon juice until the dip becomes well combined.

Add in the fresh herbs and pulse 20 times to incorporate the herbs.

There you go. It is rather easy to make. And you can eat it like I did. On some cucumbers (from my garden), jicama, tomatoes from my garden, and roasted chick peas.


I also made some bars for my friends birthday present. They can easily be made vegan by using a vegan butter substitute and a vegan sugar. These bars had regular butter and sugar.

Chocolate Strawberry Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch square pan and then place parchment paper in the pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Mash in the butter either using a pastry blender or your hands.

Once the dough becomes crumbly, press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of the pan.

Top with the jam and fresh strawberries.

Lightly press the strawberries down into the bottom crust.

Crumble the remaining batter over the strawberries. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly firm when touched.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the bars and then allow it to cool. Cut if up and eat.

Everyone really liked them and I can't wait to try out this recipe in vegan form.

Banana soft serve up next, I hope.

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