It may seem impossible with a busy work week; or perhaps it’s the last thing on your priority list, but preparing your own foods is always the healthiest option. To start off, try keeping in your pantry Mediterranean staples to help inspire the impulsive chef you may be. As taught by my mother, a good Lebanese woman, (or man), will always keep in their pantry: Olive oil, Tahina, Garlic, Lemon, fresh, as well as dried mint.
Want popcorn? Make it with olive oil! Need an instant salad dressing? Mix olive oil, lemon, garlic, and dried mint. Any vegetable dish always tastes better with olive oil drizzled. In fact, you may be surprised by the bright flavors in grilled zucchini drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh mint! But for this blog, the spotlight is on the EGGPLANT prepared as a simple (and fast) recipe you can enjoy called: Baba Ghannouj. This versatile dip can be served as a delicious snack in between meals, or is worthy enough to serve as an hors d’oeurvre. Having a “meatless Monday”? – Enjoy baba ghannouj as a spread for your wraps!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the eggplants into a hot oven for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, (or until the eggplant is completely soft). Allow to cool. Remove the skin carefully, while holding the stem. Discard the stem. Place into a food processor as shown below. Add the 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil and 5 Tbsp of Tahina, and squeeze the juice of one medium lemon. Blend until creamy. Prepare a garlic paste by adding a little salt to the garlic before crushing. (As shown in picture, I squeezed a bit a lemon first to hold it together.) Combine in a dish all the ingredients and mix well. Add additional salt to taste and place in a serving dish. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil before serving.
In Summation: Making your foods with a Mediterranean spin is actually easier than expected. I am a busy mother and a wife; and I work just like the rest of the world, but I delight in knowing that I am also the self proclaimed nutritionist in the house who aims to serve only the best for my family. It’s funny. Before I sat to write these final thoughts, I served my husband the pictured dish with the fresh vegetables. And do you know what I just heard my husband say as I type this? “Mmmm. I love eating healthy foods…Healthy foods made by you. Mmm, the garlic in it is good too. Mmmm.” Now that’s what I like to hear! I will tell him what I always say… “Sahtain”! – Which means “may it be toward good health”!