Eggplant & Tomato Tahini Twist

There are few things I wouldn’t put tahini on. This recipe is an acceptable pairing, but you should just see the ways I’ve found an excuse to use tahini. From breakfast to dessert, it has become a mainstay these days. Last night I mixed the tahini with honey and melted chocolate and ate it by the spoonful. So good.

You can’t go wrong with a recipe as simple as this. The eggplant’s mild flavor is accentuated by a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and the sun-dried tomato adds a comforting texture. The tahini makes the dish a bit more unique for the palette and gives some earthy overtones.

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Eggplant & Sun-Dried Tomato Tahini Twist

by GK

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp tahini

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in lukewarm water for at least an hour, or until they are soft and plump. Drain them from the water and put them in a serving dish. Let the sun-dried tomatoes sit in the dish with 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick discs and lay each one out onto aluminium foil. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil atop the eggplant pieces so they are evenly covered. Cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

When the eggplant is slightly browned, remove from the oven and put into the dish with the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the chopped scallions. Toss the ingredients together until olive oil evenly coats them. Season with salt and pepper to taste with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

As a finishing, but delicious touch, drizzle the dish tahini.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Collard Rolls

In a rush?

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Lunch goes like this: grab whatever green leaf you have on hand (although collard greens work best) fill it with a mashed starch (squash or sweet potato), add in avocado and sundried tomatoes (that have been soaking in water for at least an hour), season with salt and pepper and a dollop of mustard, and there you have it. No recipe necessary!

Just watch and learn:

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Repeat until full.

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Nom nom nom…

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Enjoy!

xo Aylin

Roasted Garlic Hummus

What’s not to like about hummus? It’s deeply satisfying, nutritious and an all-around crowd pleaser. And while few people, I among them, ever get sick of the go-to version, it’s always fun to try some new things (have you tried my roasted red pepper hummus?)

Tonight I was in the mood for a rounder flavor, so I pulled out the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes and tossed ‘em in a wonderfully warm (the roasted garlic was still steamin’) and taste-bud gratifying hummus.

Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

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Ingredients:

– 1 head of garlic, roasted (it sounds like a lot, but the flavor tempers when roasted)

– 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 can chickpeas (14.1 oz)

– 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for at least 15 minutes and then chopped

– 1 1/2 tsp cumin

– 1 tsp salt

– Juice of 1 lemon

– 2 tbsp tahini

– 1/4 extra virgin olive oil

– up to 1/4 cup room-temperature water

Serves: …Please. One.

 

Directions:

Start with the garlic since it will take about 30-45 minutes to roast to perfection. First, take a head of garlic, chop off the tip of one end to expose the garlic.

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Place the garlic in the center of aluminum foil, which you should scrunch up the sides of to mimic a bowl.

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Drizzle about 1 tbsp of extra virgin atop the garlic.

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Pop in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes.

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While that roasts, prepare the rest of the hummus.

To a food processor, add the drained/rinsed chickpeas…

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Next, chop the soaked sun-dried tomatoes and add to the chickpeas.

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Next come the cumin and lemon juice.

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When the roasted garlic is soft (you can check by poking it with a fork), then you can use a fork to comfortably pull out the cloves.

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Add to the food processor with the other ingredients.

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Some salt…

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And, don’t forget the tahini and olive oil, as I almost did Winking smile

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Pulse away until creamy. Depending on the dryness of chickpeas, the lemon and other various factors, you might want to add about 1/4 cup of room-temperature water to thin out the hummus, as it could be too thick for you taste. This won’t affect the taste.

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And serve!

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Eat with vegetable crudités or pita.

Bon apetit!

x Aylin

Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Marinara

My favorite raw dish by far is zucchini pasta. It’s just so damn fun to make. Very few people have tried zucchini in its raw state, and it’s actually quite soft and slightly sweet–not crunchy or uncomfortable to eat in the least!  Sure, it’s no white flour pasta, but it’s delicious in its own right and leaves you with a whole lot more energy than, say, macaroni and cheese.

The marinara sauce is raw in this recipe, but you could easily heat it up. The fun part about zucchini pasta is the variety of sauces you can come up with.  I’ve stuck to this marinara recipe, but will change it up slightly depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I’ll add basil, sometimes I’ll omit the olives, etc.  Because the olives contribute saltiness to this dish, I did not add salt or pepper. You can adjust that to your liking. Have fun with it!

Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for approx 30 minutes in water
– 1/4 cup assorted black olives, pitted
– 1 large tomato (or 2 medium sized)
– Small bunch of parsley
– 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/4 cup water
– 1-2 zucchinis, spiralized

Directions:

Soak 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in water to soften them up.

Cut them into chunks so they will blend easily.

Assemble the olives.

Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are, you’ll need 1 or 2. My tomatoes aren’t very juicy, so I began with blending one, but later added about 1/2 of another.

Gather your chopped ingredients, including the parsley, and add them to the blender.

Pulse the mixture, adding 1/4 cup of olive oil slowly as it blends. You may need to add up to 1/4 cup of warm water to help get it going. You may also have to stop blending to toss it around so it mixes more effectively.

The sauce should be thick.

Set the sauce aside (or begin to warm it up in a saucepan if you want it hot). In the meantime, cut off the ends of the zucchini to begin spiralizing.

See how it fits?  You simply rotate the right-hand side of this gadget so that the left-hand side pops out pasta-shaped zucchini babies!!

All that’s left of the zucchini are these mushroom-like tops. Pop them in your mouth, or let them lounge on the edge of a glass of cold water with mint leaves for an aromatic and entertaining beverage.

The rest of the zucchini is now pasta!

So easy to make with a spiralizer (which runs for $25, but it comes in handy and worth the buck).  Pour on the marinara…

I only spiralized one of the zucchini for this dish, because I realized I wanted more sauce than pasta tonight.  You can shave some cheese on top (unfortunately, I didn’t have any on hand).

Such a feast for the eyes and absolutely delicious.  The sauce is creamy and dense by virtue of the sun-dried tomatoes and olives, but it is not overpowered by either.  The pasta itself is light, easy to chew, and complements the sauce perfectly.

xoxo