Emily Alvers



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Being the hummus addict that I am, going Paleo has posed some challenges in the snacking department. There are times when hunger may creep in between meals or times when when I need to bring something to a social gathering that's tasty, easy-to-grab, and also healthy.

Babaganoush to the rescue! This dish is like a vegetable based version of hummus and is actually much lower in calories. Plus, because eggplant is the main ingredient, it's high in fiber and bursting at the seams with antioxidants.

-1 medium size eggplant
-2 Tbsp. sesame tahini
-1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 tsp. sea salt
-2 cloves garlic (pressed)
-cilantro or parsley (small handful chopped)
*Optional garnishes (extra virgin olive oil, chili powder/paprika, chopped roma tomatoes, additional cilantro/parsley)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick eggplant with several small slits and place directly on oven rack. Allow to roast for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is very tender.

Step 2: Remove eggplant with oven mittens, set aside, and allow to cool a few minutes.

Step 3: When eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut down middle and peel away purple skin. Should peel away easily leaving only flesh.

Step 4: Add eggplant and all remaining ingredients to food processor. Blend until smooth. (If you prefer your babaganoush chunkier, then mash ingredients together in bowl with a masher or pestle). Taste and add additional lemon juice or salt according to taste.

Step 5: Garnish with diced tomatoes, 1 tsp. evoo and additional cilantro. Chill at least 1-2 hours ahead and serve with raw veggies, whole grain crackers, pita, or even some meatballs or grilled kabobs.

I am loving some babaganoush right now! Once again, going Paleo has motivated me to try something new, and I will definitely be making this again in the future. It's almost unbelievable how low cal this is! Next time you need a healthy appetizer or snack, try this one out. You'll never spend $5 on a tiny little container of store made babaganoush again! Double or triple the recipe if you're serving a large party.

Nutrition Facts for Entire Recipe (using 1 eggplant):
397 calories
24 g fat
40 g carbs
12 g protein
16 g fiber
*Based on entire recipe made with 1 eggplant and garnished with 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup diced roma tomatoes. Even if you ate 1/4 of the recipe yourself, it's less than 100 calories!

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