Katie Cooks for Casey!

In the allergy friendly food world, finding dips and spreads for chips and veggies can be challenging, either from avoiding dairy, seeds (tahini is in EVERYTHING lately) or beans and legumes can be challenging.  I wanted to get some more veggies into Casey, and he’s been intrigued by dips lately so into kitchen Katie goes…🏃🏻‍♀️👩🏻‍🍳 

With hummus immediately being out (Case is allergic to beans and legumes-except peanut, go figure), my first thought was baba ghanoush.  For those unfamiliar with it, baba ghanoush is a beautiful Middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip.  I had to leave out the tahini paste (yup, he’s allergic to all seeds too), but there definitely had to be that nutty, deep flavors that it offers.  Lightbulb moment 💡!  I made it but substituted natural peanut butter in its place knowing that anyone can add in their safe nut butter or “not butter” substitutes easily with getting almost the same flavor.  Here comes in your Wowbutter, sunflower butter, or even nut butter or tahini if that’s cool for you.  Paleo peeps, any of those options except peanut or soy work for you! 

After a few tries adjusting flavor it was on point.  I served it with crudité and the homemade tortillas I make for him for appetizers a few weeks ago before Sunday dinner.  Success!  For a 4-year-old to eat veggie dip…yes.  I’m very ok with that!

Give it a try!  I ate this for a few days with roasted chicken, salmon and veggie sticks and chips. It stayed really well, it just needs a little stir.  I hope you can sneak a little veggie dip action into your little’s repertoire.  Be safe and enjoy! 💙👩🏻‍🍳

Ingredients and Substitutions

Eggplant – A nice large eggplant works well here.  It needs to roast for about an hour but honestly, that’s the longest part of the prep!  Find a smooth eggplant with no bruises or soft spots.

Tahini/”Not Butter”/Nut Butters – Like I said before, this is the gray area that you fill in for your needs.  Traditionally this would take tahini so if you are not seed allergic, then use this.  Otherwise, use your safe subs!  Soy butter, sunflower butter, almond butter or peanut butter are great options.  For Paleo use tahini, nut or seed butter.  Soy and peanut are not Paleo friendly but eh, I won’t tell if you use!  Natural styles work better as they have similar consistency to tahini. 

Spices – This is a loose take on baba ghanoush so you can add spices and flavors to your liking.  I liked it with some paprika.  Cumin would be a nice addition with its smokiness. 

**As always, please use what products are safe for your needs.**

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: about 1 hour for eggplant roasting, 10 minutes for mixing

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Chill Time: 1-2 hours for best texture and flavor but not necessary

Total Time: 1 hr. 10 minutes-3 hours, depending if you chill the dip

Yield: about 3 cups, depending on eggplant size

 

 

Ingredients

  • One large eggplant (different sizes may be used, but roast time and other proportions will have to be altered)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves or 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 Tbls. tahini, safe nut butter alternative, seed or nut butter (natural style is best for consistency)
  • 2 ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbls. olive oil or melted coconut oil (start with 2 and increase to desired consistency)
  • Optional: ½ tsp. cumin, paprika, oregano
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Equipment : Blender or immersion hand blender

Method

NOTE: This recipe is very much based on favored taste, textures and necessary safe substitutions.  Adjustments from my base recipe might be needed, have fun and make it your own!

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Wash and thoroughly dry your eggplant.
  2. Place eggplant on a foil lined sheet pan and roast, turning every 15 minutes for approximately 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the size of the eggplant. It should feel soft as the flesh steamed itself inside the skin.
  3. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it sit a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Cut the eggplant lengthwise and scoop all the flesh into a bowl or blender.
  4. Add tahini/safe alternatives (see above), minced garlic, tahini or alternative (see above), 2 Tbls. oil of choice (reserve 1 Tbls.), and desired spices.
  5. Using either a blender or an immersion hand blender, puree the mixture until no lumps remain but still with some texture.
  6. Add extra oil as needed to thin out the dip. Different “butters” will have different viscosities.  If you like it very thick or thin, adjust to your taste.
  7. Season to taste with kosher salt and ground pepper.
  8. Refrigerate at least 1-2 hours for best flavor and texture but the dip can be enjoyed immediately. The roasted eggplant dip will keep 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  • This dip keeps great for a few days, but natural separation will occur. Just stir before serving.
  • This dip doesn’t freeze well, it becomes quite watery when it defrosts.
  • Adjust all flavors and taste as you prefer and need, this is a very base recipe that goes to your needs!
  • I loved this dip alongside my dinner for a few days, roasted chicken and salmon were particularly tasty!

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Disclaimer

As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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