What Do You Eat?! Vol. 25 – Baba Ghanoush

Eggplant

What a weird name for this plant. I mean, it’s not an egg, obviously. It tastes nothing like an egg. It doesn’t really look like an egg. Okay, I just looked it up. I guess early forms of this plant were yellow and looked more egg-like. Also in England they’re called Aubergines? Super weird.

eggplants

When it comes to eggplants, I’ve really only met two types of people. People who hate eggplant or people who like eggplant. Mostly people who hate eggplants. My first experience with eggplant was eggplant parmesan. Which I was super into, but then again…anything smothered in tomato sauce and cheese is sure to be a hit with me.

cut

Shortly after giving up grains and legumes, I realized that this meant having to give up one of my favorite things to eat: hummus. Then I remembered hummus’s kid brother who everyone thinks is annoying: baba ghanoush.

I’d tried it years ago and decided i hated it. But then i realized that I had also hated hummus when I first tried it. Then I forgot about hummus for a while. Then I acquired a ton of eggplant and had nothing to do with them. So I decided to go ahead and try to make my own baba ghanoush.

precooked

I used this recipe except I added salt, about a 1 1/2 tsp of cumin, a tbsp of dried parsley, and probably two more cloves of garlic. Because…why not. Garlic is always great.

ingredients

How do you think it turned out? It was delicious, obviously. Maybe it was the garlic that I added or maybe it was just the fact that I made it myself but I would eat that over hummus any day.

cooked eggplant

Bad, bad oils

Now that I’ve been adding some grains and legumes back into my diet (mostly rice and lentils), I’ve considered buying those prepackaged things of hummus from the store but of course as usual, I have to read the ingredients first.

Turns out, they make that stuff with industrial seed oil. One of the most popular brands of hummus uses soybean oil instead of olive oil and my favorite brand lists: oil (olive and canola) in the ingredients. I’m not really into hummus made with oil that isn’t olive oil so I think from now on I’ll stick to the baba ghanoush or maybe make my own hummus. For now, the baba ghanoush is just fine.

finished

I’m sure you’re wondering what I ate the baba ghanoush with, since normally it’s eaten with bread and bread isn’t really my thing. Vegetables like cucumbers, celery, and peppers make a great subsitution for bread or chips when it comes to hummus/baba ghanoush (even salsa!). You should definitely give it a try some time!

Do you love hummus? Have you ever tried baba ghanoush or making your own hummus? How’d it go? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Debbie

    Hi Alysia! This doesn’t really have to do with this post, but that looks really good and I love eggplants, so I may have to try this. I’m considering starting the Whole30 eating plan after the new year – I want to start now but what’s the point? I know I can’t stick to it for 30 days with Christmas coming up and all. Have you heard of this plan? It eliminates everything good (LOL!) – sugar, carbs, legumes, wheat, oats, dairy etc. I’m sure it’s a variation of what you follow.

    I guess my question to you is – what do you eat for bread with sandwiches? I have no idea what to substitute breads with. And frankly, I cannot stand the smell of store bought bread anymore. It turns my stomach. But I do love to eat turkey sandwiches for lunch sometimes. What would I use?

    Also, with the above recipe you are using crackers or chips – aren’t those gluten products? If not, what exactly are you using?

    Also, I’m Italian. I love pasta. What do you eat instead of spaghetti or any other pasta product?

    I need to do something drastic with my diet. I am having chronic headaches and dizzy spells and I know it’s the food I’m eating. I don’t eat horribly, but I have been eating A LOT more sugar than I usually do, cheeses and breads. I need to step away and reassess, which I’m doing now.

    Sorry so long!

    • http://www.equallyyolkedblog.com/about Alysia Caringi

      Hey, that’s great! I’ve definitely heard of the Whole30, it’s pretty much the diet that I follow except really strict. I think it’s great that you want to try it! And I totally agree that waiting until after the holidays is a good idea.

      I don’t really eat sandwiches but if I wanted to eat something like that, I’d probably just make a wrap instead of a sandwich and use lettuce. There are recipes for grain-free bread using almond or coconut flour but those types of things aren’t allowed on the Whole30, plus making your own bread all the time isn’t really realistic. This article has some great ideas: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/15-mouthwatering-no-bread-sandwiches although, not all of those things are allowed on the whole30 (tofu, cheese, etc). But I love the idea of doing a portobello “bun” for a hamburger, I’ve been meaning to try that.

      I don’t use crackers or chips, if you check the pictures I’m dipping veggies instead! If there’s ever any type of dip I want to eat, I’ll usually use veggies. Celery, peppers, and cucumbers are all great substitutes. I’ve also tried this recipe: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/09/plantain-crackers-nut-free-egg-free.html which uses plantains to make gluten-free crackers and they are super delicious if you have the time to make them.

      Instead of spaghetti, I use spaghetti squash. I actually like spaghetti squash better than normal noodles and it’s easy to quickly cook up in the crock pot. I’ve also made zucchini noodles but I don’t like those as much. If you look through my “what do you eat!?” you’ll find a lot of great options for substituting foods including info about spaghetti squash and zoodles (zucchini noodles).

      I think one of the biggest tips for success during a Whole30 would be to prepare so it’s great that you’re thinking about all these things now! Let me know if you have any other questions, and you’ve been to the Whole30 website, right? They have loads of great information there.

      Hopefully changing up your diet will help with your headaches and dizzyness! Let me know how it goes! And if you have any more questions.

  • Debbie

    Thanks Alysia! I tried spaghetti squash once – and I do remember your post on that – and I didn’t like it. But I baked it. Maybe I’ll try it in the slow cooker and see how it goes. It is going to be really hard for me to give up pasta, my mom cooks it all the time and so do I. I suppose I can stop making it and have it as a treat at my mom’s. We’ll see.

    Thank you for the links, I will check them out. I know I have to do a lot of research and maybe purchase a few cookbooks so I can make something good for dinner/lunch – hopefully. LOL! If I have any other questions, I’ll definitely ask you.

    • http://www.equallyyolkedblog.com/about Alysia Caringi

      No problem!

      Once you’re done with your Whole30, I’d suggest trying rice noodles instead of wheat noodles. My mom bought some that only had brown rice and water as the ingredients and I couldn’t even taste the difference. Rice is usually a pretty safe grain, I’ve added white rice back into my diet with no negative effects.

      • Debbie

        One more question – why are beans a no no? (Other than green beans).

        • http://www.equallyyolkedblog.com/about Alysia Caringi

          Beans and legumes are generally not allowed because they have a high amount of phytic acid which binds to the nutrients in the food making it difficult for you body to absorb them.

          They also have a high amount of lectins which can damage the intestinal wall and cause leaky gut. Lectins are the reason beans give you gas.

          That being said, I do eat lentils now because I’ve found they don’t upset my stomach at all and I’ve found that I need more carbs in my diet since I exercise a lot. However, I tried eating pinto beans and that was not as pleasant…so I’m just sticking to lentils, specifically sprouted lentils because sprouting the beans reduces the anti-nutrients (lectins and phytic acid).

          Here’s a great post that goes more in depth on why legumes aren’t allowed: http://paleodietlifestyle.com/beans-and-legumes/

          • Debbie

            Thank you! Great information!