Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Having many green thumbs in your family means occasionally having to come up with creative ways to use fresh produce.  This was the case this past summer with a seemingly endless supply of eggplants from my parent’s garden. I used this opportunity to make baba ghanoush, a roasted eggplant dip, which just so happens to be one of my favourite dips.  As I was browsing through recipes I realized how the ingredients in baba ghanoush were almost identical to those in hummus, so combining the two just made perfect sense!

The result is a deliciously creamy dip, with just a hint of smokiness from the roasted eggplant, and a nice kick from the garlic and fresh lemon.  The roasted eggplant serves two purposes: one to add extra vegetables into your diet (always a bonus!), and two it adds extra moisture so you don’t have to use a ton of excess oil.  You can find tahini, or sesame paste, in most super market alongside other nut and seed butters.

This dip is great served with whole-wheat pita, tortilla chips, cut up vegetables or as a substitute for mayo in sandwiches or wraps.

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Recipe by Kirsten, makes ~ 3 cups of hummus.  

2 globe eggplants, or 4 Japanese eggplants.
2 lemons, juiced
¼ cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 19oz (540ml) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed under water.
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Smoked paprika (optional garnish)

 Directions:

  1. Roast the eggplants: using a fork pierce the eggplant a few times then place on a on tin-foil lined baking sheet.  Roast at 400F for 30-40 minutes, until insides are soft and the outer skin is slightly charred and wrinkled.
  2. One cooled, slice eggplants in half and scrap out inside, leaving the charred skins behind. Set aside
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the eggplant, into your food processor and blend together.  Next add the roasted eggplant and pulse a few times to combine.  This will yield a slightly chunky dip so if you prefer a more creamy consistency continue to blend.  Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. If needed you can add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture seems dry.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Garnish with smoked paprika and a drizzle of good quality olive olive.

Turkey Stew with Herbed Cheddar Biscuits

Turkey Stew with Herbed Cheddar Biscuits

For me, this recipe is the definition of comfort food; a hearty stew with chunks of tender turkey and vegetables, all topped with flakey biscuits, what more could you ask for?   This is one of my favourite ways to use up leftover turkey, say after Thanksgiving, but I’ve been known to cook chicken with the sole purpose of making this dish.  It’s just that good.

And don’t throw away those leftover turkey bones, make your own stock! If you don’t have time right away you can freeze the bones in a sealed plastic bag, and then when you are ready simply cover the bones with water in a large stock pot and simmer uncovered for a few hours.  For more flavour I like to add chopped onions, carrots, and celery as well as a good pinch of salt.   Once you strain the stock and skim off the excess oil,  I suggest you portion the stock into small containers (of about 1 cup)  and keep them in your freezer.  This way you have stock on hand which can be quickly defrosted and added to soups, risottos or any dish that calls for stock.

What’s your favourite way to use leftover turkey?

Turkey Stew with Herbed Cheddar Biscuits

Recipe by Kirsten, makes one 9×13 inch casserole dish, serves 4-6 people

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced in ½ inch cubes
¼ cup all purpose flour
3 cups of stock (preferably homemade)
2 ½ cup cooked, chopped turkey or chicken.  (1 turkey breast or 2- 3 chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper

Biscuits:
2 cups of white or whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery, sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in ¼ cup of flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Add stock, potatoes, and thyme, stir to combine.  Turn heat to medium-heat and cook for 10 minutes until sauce thickens.  Note: Potatoes will be slightly crunchy but they will continue to cook in the oven.  Stir in cooked turkey and parsley.  Transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 F
  4. Prepare biscuits: In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cheese and parsley.  Mix in oil and milk until just combined.  Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times to form a ball.  Press into a ½ inch thick circle.  Using a cookie cutter or a round glass, cut dough into rounds and place on top of the stew.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the stew is bubbling and biscuits are golden brown.

Turkey Stew with Herbed Cheddar Biscuits

Gingersnap Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

Gingersnap Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake {by breaking bland eats}

I am very fortunate to have a close extended family that gets together every few weeks for family dinner.  I usually bring dessert, one because I love to bake, and two I get to test out new recipes without having tons of leftovers tempting us at home.  I’m sure my family doesn’t mind being guinea pigs!

This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving a week early and instead of the traditional pumpkin pie I decided to make a pumpkin ice cream cake. Don’t get me wrong I love pumpkin pie; there is something so comforting about pumpkin combined with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger.  This ice cream cake has all of these traditional flavours but the addition of ice cream and a gingersnap crust makes for a refreshing finish to your Thanksgiving meal.

It comes together easily, requires no baking, and can be made days in advance.  I recommend making it at least a day ahead so it has time to freeze.   Make sure you look for 100% pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, and a good quality ice cream.  When ready to serve simply take out of the freezer for about 15 minutes then slice with a sharp knife, running knife under warm water between slices.

So what are you making for Thanksgiving this weekend? May I suggest this super simple pumpkin ice cream cake?

________________________________________________________________________________________

Gingersnap Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

makes one 10-inch springform pan, enough for 16+ people, recipe by Kirsten.

Crust:
2 cups of gingersnap crumbs (I used a 250g package of cookies and blended them in a food processor)
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons white sugar

Filling:
1 – 796ml can pure pumpkin puree
1.65L container vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
¼ cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup slightly crushed gingersnap cookies

1 cup of pecans for garnish (optional).

Directions:

  1. Take ice cream out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or until softened but not completed melted.
  2. Lin a 10-inch springform pan with parchment or wax paper.  To make the crust combine gingersnap crumbs, melted butter and sugar, press into a 10-inch spring form pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix together pumpkin puree, spices and brown sugar.  Once ice cream is soft enough stir into pumpkin mixture until well combined.
  4. Add ½ of the pumpkin ice cream on top of the gingersnap crust and then sprinkle with crushed cookies and chopped pecans.  Top with remaining pumpkin ice cream.
  5. Garnish with pecans and cover with tin foil.  Freeze for at least 24 hours.
  6. Take out ice cream cake 15 minutes before serving and run knife under warm water between slices.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake {by breaking bland eats}