Baba Ghanoush

Share your favourite cuisine.

Today was a tough one to settle on, as even after so many years on this planet I’m still not 100% sure what my favourite cuisine is. If you asked me as a child, I definitely would have said Italian. I loved pasta. Mexican was also up there. Since my tastes have developed (thank goodness), I enjoy newer favourites of Japanese, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Indian and Moroccan, to name a few.

But at the end of the day, the decision about what to make was influenced strongly by the supply of eggplants in my kitchen. And so I turn to Middle Eastern cuisine to bring you this simple version of baba ghanoush. I call it a simple version as instead of holding eggplants in a flame or under the grill to blister the skin, this is a kind of ‘express’ baba ghanoush for when you want the dip but without all the messy peeling and time spent standing over a burner. In skipping this part a little of the smoky flavour is lost, which is why I like to add a dash of liquid smoke – what a cheat!

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Baba Ghanoush

2 medium eggplants
generous amount of salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp tahini
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
dash liquid smoke (optional)
olive oil for cooking and extra to drizzle on top

Peel eggplants and slice into inch thick rounds. Sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander to drain for about 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 280C and line a baking tray with paper. Lay eggplant on tray and brush with olive oil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, flipping once. Remove from oven. From here, you can either use a blender or just a fork depending on what consistency you prefer. I like a little chunkiness, so I transfer the eggplant flesh to a bowl and mash with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.

To serve, top with olive oil and some fresh parsley (and with some pita chips!)

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tomatoweb

Simple Hummus

I don’t think I’ve ever posted just a plain old hummus recipe, so here you go. I shouldn’t say ‘plain old’, the humble hummus is a friend of many, loyal and reliable, delicious and nutritious, saving vegans from hunger at parties since forever. Let’s hear it for hummus!

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I’m sure you all know the drill with old mate hummus – flavours can be altered with the interchanging of spices and the addition of other tasties like roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and herbs. But this here is what I’d call my standard hummus.

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Simple Hummus

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
2 Tbsp unhulled tahini
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
Salt (optional)

Making hummus isn’t rocket science – you can just chuck all the ingredients together and blend them up. But I do have an order of preference – I start with the lemon juice, garlic and oil and blend until smooth. Next add the tahini and blend again until combined. Then add spices and chickpeas and blend until smooth. If mix is too thick, try adding a little more oil or some of the juice from the chickpeas (or water). Taste for seasoning, and serve with some olive oil and fresh parsley.

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See you in a few days, MoFo’s!

A Simple Salsa

This is a super quick post, as I think my laptop charger just blew and I don’t have much battery left. It’s a race against time!

I just wanted to share what we ended up doing with those Late July cornchips we got the other day. As we had a bunch of tomatoes left over from the markets (possibly back in Mackay even?!) starting to look a bit sorry for themselves in the heat of the van, we decided to make a simple salsa to accompany our chips.

This is how it turned out (excuse the dodgy pics)

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The corn chips were good – nice and crunchy and you could definitely taste the chili. Not sure they are something I could regularly justify spending $6 on, but definitely worth trying (and a bit fancier than your average corn chip).

The salsa recipe is super simple, but I’ll share it with you anyway. Ordinarily I’d add some fresh coriander, but we are being super frugal at the moment as our travel expenses are high.

Simple Salsa
(makes about 2 cups)

1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp oil
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
3/4 cup corn kernels
1 red chili, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp lime juice
Salt, to taste

Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat and add onion. Cook for a couple of minutes, until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring frequently.

Add ground spices and chili, and sauté until fragrant, about another 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Add the capsicum and tomatoes – this should deglaze the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes break down.

Add lime juice and corn, and cook for another couple of minutes until heated through. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy! We topped ours with some avocado mashed with lime juice, salt and pepper.

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We had plenty of leftovers, so the next day we had a salsa salad topped with avocado. This was so good, possibly even yummier than with chips the night before. I think Mexican style food always tastes better the next day though, must be the flavours all oozing into one another…mmmm….

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veganmofo