Veggie Challenge: Kale Chips & Eggplant Dip {gluten free, vegan, paleo}

Hi friends! Happy Thursday :)

Today is Amy’s (other Amy!) veggie challenge link-up. Amy came up with an amazing idea that I am so happy to be a part of: The Veggie of the Month. Each month, she will choose one vegetable (and fruit) to try, create a recipe and share via blog-land. You can read more about it here [and check out her awesome blog while you’re at it!]

Veggie of the month

This month’s veggie is… EGGPLANT!

I was so excited to participate because even though I love eating all kinds of vegetables I often find myself cooking the same veggies. It is simple to steam broccoli, roast zucchini and sautee spinach, so this challenged me to step outside my comfort zone in the kitchen.

Ready to tackle these eggplants!

Amy and eggplant

I decided I wanted to make an eggplant dip. I was pretty comfortable with this idea but what could I dip into the dip? Pita? Boring. Crackers? Eh. Kale? Um okay…

Confession: I don’t love kale. I know, I know… all these healthy foodies are eating it, raving about it, blogging about it etc. Honestly, not the biggest fan. I find it pretty bitter and all I have ever done with it before was put it in a smoothie (and that basically masks the flavor).

Kale chips seemed easy enough so I gave it a go… first, tear the kale leaves off the stem, wash and dry them…

Fresh kale

Little olive oil, little salt, bake for 12 minutes and voila! Kale chips.

Actually delicious. Crunchy, a little salty and classifies as a legit vegetable chip in my books (not the processed junk advertised as “healthy”). Can I call myself a kale fan now?!

Then I got working on the dip and I was pleasantly surprised with how easy this was to make. I called Grandma up for some pointers because I know she makes a delicious eggplant dip.

Dip1

Yum! A delicious appetizer or side dish. Grandma recommends topping it with some diced tomatoes…

Dip2

There. Isn’t that prettier?

I definitely stepped outside of my usual comfort zone for this one! You never know until you try right?

Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Carefully remove the stems of the kale and tear into bite size pieces.
  3. Wash and dry kale pieces with a salad spinner (make sure they are totally dry).
  4. Toss the kale with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  5. Line a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper and spread kale pieces out (make sure they have room to breathe).
  6. Sprinkle with salt (I sprinkled about a teaspoon).
  7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes (until the edges are slightly brown).

Click here for tips on how to avoid soggy chips!

 

Eggplant Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 small eggplants
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • diced tomatoes (optional)

Directions

  1. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and brush cut side lightly with olive oil.
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, place eggplants cut side down.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, until tender.
  5. Allow eggplants to cool for approx. 15 minutes.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop the eggplant flesh out.
  7. Combine the eggplant flesh, 1 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and honey in a food processor until mostly smooth. [still retain some of the eggplant’s texture]
  8. Top with diced tomatoes and serve with kale chips.

 

I am officially inspired and excited to start cooking with other veggies. On my list:

  • Brussel sprouts — just discovered how much I love them but so far have only roasted them with balsamic. Any other ideas?!
  • Cabbage — I love coleslaw but not the creamy kind.
  • Beets — Smoothies?! Salad?! I will get experimenting!

Thanks Amy for the challenge and hosting the link up! Be sure to check out all the other amazing recipes on her blog: Long Drive Journey.

Have a great day!

 

How do you use eggplant? How about kale? Hate them both?! 

Do you ever feel yourself sticking to the same vegetables or foods?

Any suggestions to add to my new-veggies-to-cook-with-list? 

30 thoughts on “Veggie Challenge: Kale Chips & Eggplant Dip {gluten free, vegan, paleo}

  1. Love this idea for a challenge! I tend to stick to eating/cooking the same veggies too, so it’s nice to get a little push out of our veggie comfort zone every once in a while.

    I love both eggplant and kale! I’m so glad the kale chips made you a convert. :D I’m a big fan of using kale in stir fries and massaged kale salads. And for eggplant I like to grill/roast it or use it in ratatouille.

  2. Confession: I don’t love kale either. Or eggplant :( Those two veggies are on my hit list. BUT… I think I may just be holding on to some lingering biases after having bad experiences with them in the past. I have yet to try kale chips (which I keep hearing are delicious), and you can never go wrong with a dip. Thanks for sharing these, lady! I definitely need a little push to add more veggie variety into my diet.

  3. Make me Kale chips!!!! I’ll make you the oatmeal in return yes? Brussels sprouts grilled on the bbq with just a bit of olive oil and salt are bomb! Oh and cabbage as sauerkraut is awesome too and as it turns out not that hard to make (thank you U of T trade school and my fermentation class lol)

  4. Yum! I would NEVER think of making an eggplant dip! How unique! You know that I love your recipes and end up talking about them forever (i.e. the zucchini muffins), so I will definitely have to try this one! Thanks for all the love, and for linking up!

  5. Hi there! I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award, a fun little blogging community award. I have nominated you to keep the trend going! You can read all about it over at my blog. (P.S. this is just a fun little blogging community award, but I promise it’s not spam!)

  6. YUM! Your eggplant dip looks delicious! Love me some good roasted eggplant.
    I often get stuck making broccoli over and over again. I’m trying to mix it up!

  7. This dip sounds incredible! I don’t usually like the texture of eggplant so I love the sound of it in a dip. Great recipe!
    You should try sautéing kale in vegetable broth with onions or shallots- it’s amazing and not bitter at all!

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