Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been grumbling about my husband. You see, at the start of summer, we planted my little garden, but then I told him that I was considering rejoining a local CSA. I wanted the full share – for a family of 4 (which we are) – because of the variety. He said ok, and I signed us up.

Supportive, right? Well, what my husband didn’t mention was that he didn’t plan on helping me eat any of the fruits and vegetables that we got. My two little ones helped some, but here we are, about halfway through the summer, and I’m more or less eating bunches of vegetables meant to serve a family of 4, all by myself. Oh and my garden is starting to produce, so I’ve got that on top of it!

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

Needless to say, I’ve been getting creative with my veggies, in an attempt to get through them each week and to be excited about new and interesting preparations.

That’s part of the reason I love #FarmersMarketWeek. I always find such fun new recipes to try that highlight local harvest. As usual, you can search the hashtag on social media to find both this year’s and last year’s recipes shared by my blogging friends as well as checking out the list of recipes at the bottom of my posts this week.

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

The first recipe I’m sharing with you (and I’ll be sharing 3) is for entertaining and/or snacking – Baba Ganoush, aka Roasted Eggplant Dip. This Lebanese appetizer is an easy way to sneak in some veggies. It’s not exactly uncommon, but if you haven’t had it before, my version is a bit like hummus. Basically roasted eggplant is pureed and takes the place of chickpeas. Add some garlic, spices, tahini, and olive oil and you’ve got yourself a healthy, flavorful appetizer.

Serving Suggestions:

  • pita chips (my favorite)
  • fresh pita
  • sliced veggies
  • spread it onto some crusty bread (or pita) and pile high with veggies or your favorite toppings for a sandwich

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

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Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 82 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 lb. eggplant (1 medium eggplant)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • 2-3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Roast the Eggplant:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Slice eggplant lengthwise and place, cut-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until flesh is very tender and soft, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until cool enough to handle.

Bake the Roasted Eggplant Dip:

  1. When eggplant is cool enough to handle without burning, flip over and scrape the soft flesh away from the skin, discarding the skins. Transfer flesh to a sieve set over a clean bowl and allow excess water to drain out, pressing down as needed.

  2. Transfer drained eggplant to a food processor, along with garlic, lemon juice, salt, cumin and tahini. Pulse several times, until starting to come together but is still fairly chunky.

  3. With the food processor running, add olive oil until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl and run again, if needed. Taste and add more seasonings, if desired.

  4. Serve at room temperature. If not serving immediately, refrigerate covered for up to 4 days, allowing to come to room temperature before serving.

This recipe was adapted from Cookie and Kate.

Baba Ganoush is an easy dip that highlights summer eggplant. Eggplant is gently roasted and then pureed, mixed with a few pantry staples as well as tahini, and served at room temperature for a healthy appetizer or snack.

Monday’s Farmer’s Market Week Recipes

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball

Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

Where has November gone? I always feel like the last two months of the year pass more quickly than others, and of course, are always packed with fall and winter activities, shopping, entertaining and family… but this month has been way crazier than previous years.

We took a long weekend and went to visit some family. It was a quick trip, but between traveling with little kids and having that travel take more than half a day each way, it was a bit exhausting. The few days were a whirlwind of visits and activities. While it was a great weekend, I totally came home feeling like I needed a day to recover from my vacation.

Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

After that quick trip, I was finally starting to feel settled again when my husband took off for a work trip. With our new school/childcare schedule, that meant really short workdays for me – always fun when you’re doing two jobs at once and training someone new coming in. The kids were really good though, and I kept the cooking to a minimum. Sandwiches for lunch, leftovers for dinner. And maybe a little take out. I actually do get into a good routine when my hubby is gone, and amazingly, I’m usually able to keep the house cleaner when he’s away (think that is saying something? 😉 ).

And this week is a full house. My mom is here all week, helping with childcare while schools are on short days or closed. But we’ve had family trickling in throughout the week for Thanksgiving. By tomorrow, I’ll have 4 kids under the age of 6 and 14 adults in the house for the big day. What are your plans?

Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

This Bacon Ranch Cheddar Cheeseball isn’t on the menu for Turkey Day, but may be making another appearance during the holiday season (perhaps at our holiday party?). The cheddar and ranch flavors were light but enjoyable. I loved the crunch from the pecans and the saltiness from the bacon. I used the homemade ranch seasoning that I shared earlier this week in this recipe, but you can totally use a store bought packet if you prefer. My husband – the ranch lover of the family – LOVED this recipe, so I know that I’ll be making it again soon. (I do think it would be a great addition to a game day spread, don’t you?)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

Bacon Ranch Cheddar Cheeseball

Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 162 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. cooked and chopped bacon (about half a 12-oz. package, cooked)
  • 2 Tbs. ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/4 c. chopped scallions
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Combine cream cheese, cheddar, bacon, ranch seasoning and scallions in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl, if you prefer to use a handheld mixer). Beat on medium speed until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a ball.
  3. Spread chopped pecans in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Remove cheeseball from plastic wrap and roll in pecans until covered. Transfer to a serving dish. Add extra pecans to the dish, if desired.
  4. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

The original recipe called for 1 c. of chopped pecans, but I had quite a bit leftover, as you can see from the photos (and why it looks a bit more like a dome than a ball!). Therefore, I adjusted the portion called for slightly, so that there isn't as much leftover.

Salty bacon, zesty ranch and crunchy pecans make this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheeseball a hit.

This recipe was adapted from Chef-in-Training.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip #Choctoberfest

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest. Our generous sponsors have provided products for a giveaway for our readers, and may have provided product to bloggers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

We’re over a month into the new school year now, and things are getting a bit crazy. I was so pleased with how the start of the school year went – everyone adjusting to new schedules well, me keeping on top of the chore list, cooking healthy dinners, etc. A month later? We’ve started to slip a little bit.

It hasn’t helped that work has been tough – I’ve been doing 80 hours worth of work in 30 hours a week. Someone finally showed up, so I’m hoping that I’ll have some relief soon, after he gets trained up. But the past few weeks? Ugh. They’ve been pretty stressful. I’ve craved junk food and an evening glass of wine. I’ve arrived home exhausted, both mentally and physically.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

But I really have no excuse to not have fresh fruit on hand for snacking, especially when I can whip up this dip to satisfy my sweet tooth in just a minute or two. While I want this dip in my fridge at all times, just for snacking, it’s also great for setting out when entertaining, to make a fruit tray a little more exciting. I chose to make my fruit platter with apple slices, bananas and strawberries, but use whatever you and your family would like!

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe calls for powdered chocolate peanut butter. I have also made this with powdered peanut butter, and it was really good. Powdered peanut butter varieties are easily found at most grocery stores, at least in my area, but there’s also an Amazon (affiliate) link at the bottom of this post, in case you have trouble finding it.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

Don’t Forget:

    1. To scroll to the bottom of this post and check out the other #Choctoberfest recipes that went live today! Or, search the hashtag on social media and drool a bit over the deliciousness of the day.
    2. Enter to win one of the prizes donated by our sponsors in the Rafflecopter below. For information about the PRIZES, check out this post.
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Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert. 

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. powdered chocolate peanut butter
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1 8-oz. container whipped topping I used fat-free Cool Whip

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered chocolate peanut butter and cold water until combined. 

  2. Fold into whipped topping.

  3. Store in the refrigerator until serving. 

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.


This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest. Our generous sponsors have provided products for a giveaway for our readers, and may have provided product to bloggers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Today begins our second annual #FarmersMarketWeek, a week full of recipes to take full advantage of the beautiful, fresh produce found at your local farmers market. Or perhaps, in you own garden. This week is hosted Ellen at Family Around the Table and Christie at A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures – big thanks for hosting Ellen and Christie!!

Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Last year, when I planted my garden, one of my goals was to grow what I needed to make and can salsa. I had one attempt at that and it came out terrible. I felt like I dipping my chips in tomato and straight vinegar.

After that attempt, I switched to this recipe. I’m not sure it’s safe to can, but it’s damn good. Fresh flavors get a bit of smokey flavor from sticking them under the broiler to char. I probably shouldn’t admit how quickly the batch disappeared. And it’s the perfect recipe to make a sizable dent in the big bowl of tomatoes from my own garden.

Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Be sure to come back on Wednesday to see what else I’ve prepared for #FarmersMarketWeek. Search for the hashtag on social media to get some other great inspiration for your local farmers market or garden! Enjoy!

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Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Calories 17 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. roma tomatoes (10-12) halved lengthwise
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion (white or red) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 jalapeno stemmed and halved (discard seeds to reduce heat)
  • 1/2 a bunch of cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the upper third of your oven. Preheat broiler.

  2. Arrange tomatoes and jalapeno on baking sheet, cut side down. Add unpeeled garlic and onion. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are starting to char. (May need to cook a little longer if the rack wasn't close enough to the broiler.)

  3. Remove baking sheet from oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes, until garlic is cool enough to handle. Remove skin from garlic.
  4. Toss garlic, roasted vegetables, cilantro, lime juice, salt and cumin into a food processor. Pulse until desired consistency. Taste and season with additional lime juice or salt if needed.
  5. Transfer to a mason jar or other airtight container to chill until serving.

Recipe Notes

This recipe yields approximately 4 cups, or 16 1/4-cup servings. 

 

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

Garden fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are charred before being pureed into a smokey, simple Restaurant-Style Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Monday #FarmersMarketWeek Recipes

Guacamole

Creamy avocado, tart lime and spicy (or mild) jalapeno quickly come together to make an addictive dip, sandwich spread, or topping for your next Mexican night in.

Homemade Guacamole - Creamy avocado, tart lime and spicy (or mild) jalapeno quickly come together to make an addictive dip, sandwich spread, or topping for your next Mexican night in.

Happy Hump Day! I love Wednesdays… when I can see an end in sight to my week.

Now let’s talk guacamole. It’s one of those things that I don’t make often because my husband will devour the bowl of it. I may or may not have a hand in making it disappear. Not only is homemade guacamole easy but it blows store-bought guacamole out of the water in terms of flavor. We like ours on the chunky side, with just a little bit of heat and a generous dose of lime juice.

Homemade Guacamole - Creamy avocado, tart lime and spicy (or mild) jalapeno quickly come together to make an addictive dip, sandwich spread, or topping for your next Mexican night in.

While we could happily eat it by the bowlful with tortilla chips, as seen in the photos above, the last time I blogged guacamole, it was as a topping for Turkey Chorizo Burgers. Not only was the photo not my finest (will be redone as soon as it’s warm enough to grill!), but the guacamole was a footnote in the recipe. And let’s be honest, guacamole is so yummy that it deserves a post to itself.

Homemade Guacamole - Creamy avocado, tart lime and spicy (or mild) jalapeno quickly come together to make an addictive dip, sandwich spread, or topping for your next Mexican night in.

How do you like your guacamole? Creamier or chunkier texture? Mild or spicy? With any unusual mix-ins? Favorite way to serve it? Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite guacamole. Bonus points if you leave the recipe. 🙂

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Guacamole

Creamy avocado, tart lime and spicy (or mild) jalapeno quickly come together to make an addictive dip, sandwich spread, or topping for your next Mexican night in.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 170 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Remove flesh from avocados, keeping 1-2 pits on the side. Lightly mash avocado with a fork. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder, lime juice, and cilantro. Continue to mash until desired consistency. Add additional salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro, to taste.
  2. Return pit(s) to guacamole, to help the guacamole from browning, if not serving immediately.

 

Homemade Guacamole - Creamy avocado, tart lime and spicy (or mild) jalapeno quickly come together to make an addictive dip, sandwich spread, or topping for your next Mexican night in.