Italian Eggplant Marinara

Eggplant Marinara

This recipe has become one of my absolute favourites to have in the fridge. Not only does it go so well on top of pasta, but it makes an incredible side dish for meat, fish, tofu and legumes.If you are not a fan of eggplant, it is still worth it to make this marinara sauce! It is my go to homemade pasta sauce. A good tomato sauce isn’t really about the quantity of ingredients but more about the quality. From my travels throughout Italy, I realized how SIMPLE every dish was. When you have great quality fruit, veggies, oils and so on, your meal will be amazing without having to do much to it. So for a healthy and truly delicious meal, spend a little extra money on your ingredients and you will notice a huge difference in flavour. Hope you love this recipe as much as I do. It will keep you nice and toasty as we head into fall.
Eggplant MarinaraEggplant Marinara

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 shallot (chopped)
• 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
• 1 cup red wine (I like any Chianti)
• 2 cans San Marzano tomatoes in puree
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
• 2 tbsp basil (chopped)
• 2 tbsp salt (or to taste)
• 1 tsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
• 4 italian eggplants (diced)

Directions for sauce

1.In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent, then add garlic.
2.Stir in the wine and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add your tomatoes, chilli flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Using the back of your spoon, break apart the tomatoes until desired texture is achieved. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.For a smoother sauce, transfer to a blender.

Directions for eggplant

1. While the tomato sauce is simmering, clean and cube eggplant. Steam the eggplant for 8-10 minutes. This ensures a really tender eggplant without having to fry it in loads of oil.
2. Once the eggplant is tender, transfer into tomato sauce and serve!

Eggplant Marinara

Homemade Hummus

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Chickpeas are an incredible vegetarian source of protein and fibre.They have a low glycemic index which helps leave you satisfied.Garbanzo beans also contain vitamins and minerals which help boost your intake of manganese and folate. The mineral manganese helps support bone development and wound healing and also helps carry out chemical reactions important to your metabolism. They also help lower LDL cholesterol!

Hummus is a versatile dip that can accompany meat, veggies, crackers and sandwiches. Buying hummus from the grocery store is convenient and a healthy way to add nutrients to your dishes. However grocery store brands add more canola than olive oil (sometimes none) with a nice price tag. For about half the cost you can make your own hummus with extra virgin olive oil and have double the amount. Plus it is SO easy. All you need is a food processor or an amazing blender. This recipe is for basic hummus but the possibilities for flavours are endless! Add roasted red peppers,olives, chilli peppers or herbs. Bon appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas or one (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for dried chickpeas only)
• 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and smashed
• 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (about one lemon)
• 1/4 cup roasted tahini
• 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
• 8-10 dashes hot sauce (I always use Frank’s Red Hot)
• Salt

Tip if using dried chickpeas:
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with at least twice their volume of cold water, leaving them to soak overnight. The next day, drain them, and saute them in a medium saucepan with the baking soda (which many find reduces the gassy effects of fresh beans) for about three minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups water and bring it to a boil. Skim any foam that floats to the surface. They’ll need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes even longer, depending on freshness, to become tender. When tender, one will break up easily between your thumb and forefinger.Drain the chickpeas (saving the chickpea broth for soups or to thin the hummus, if desired) and cool enough that you can pick one up without burning your fingers.

Directions:

1.In a food processor, blend the chickpeas until powdery clumps form, a full minute, scraping down the sides. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend until pureed. With the machine running, drizzle in water or reserved chickpea cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get very smooth, light and creamy mixture.

2. Taste test! Add more salt, lemon juice, garlic or hot sauce to your taste!

3.To serve, drizzle with olive oil and lightly dust with paprika.