Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
26 Sep

Baba Ghanoush with Squash Chips

product2 1Confession: The squash chips failed miserably. Or rather, I failed miserably at the squash chips. I gave it the old college try after reading about Diana’s new love affair, but to no avail. I used a conventional oven to try and “bake” the squash slices, but the chips barely resembled something edible at the end, let alone a chip. They burned easily the first several trials, and instead of crunchy they came out oily, wilted and too-salty. Nothing I would eat if it was served up to me alongside a bowl of baba ganoush!

The baba ghanoush on the other hand was delicious.

And it’s simple to make. Just poke a few holes in the eggplant it to prevent explosion, pop it in the oven on a tray for 30 minutes, remove, peel, pulverize and mix in the other ingredients. It’s a fantastic alternative to non-Primal dips.

Now back to the squash chips. We’ve offered up some chip alternatives in the past, but I’m still curious. If anyone’s had success with squash chips I’d love to hear how you did it. Diana? Anyone? Share your knowledge in the comment board. I’ll be forever grateful. Thanks, everyone!

Ingredients:

ingredients1

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1-2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Cardamom (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees. To prevent the eggplant from exploding, pierce the vegetable four or five times and cook for 30 minutes on a regular baking sheet.

When eggplant is done, place on a cutting board and slice off both ends. In colander over the sink, begin to peel away the skin. Allow the body to drain, by cutting the eggplant in half lengthwise and lightly squeezing above colander so that some fluid drains out.

Place eggplant slices into food processor and blend until thoroughly pulverized. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients, mixing until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

product1

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve never tried to make squash chips, but if I did, I’d dry them out first, either by salting the slices and letting them sit on the counter or by using a dehydrator. Slicing them thinly and drying them first should help them bake to a nice crunch. Dehydrated squash slices taste quite nice without further preparation, for removing the water concentrates the flavor. I dehydrated some plums recently, too, and they taste like tart candy!

    Sonagi wrote on September 26th, 2009
    • Pappadams. Which are made from dried lentils can be obtained at any Indian market plain or spiced. The are shaped like corn tortillas But not as high in carbs as corn. They are more protein. They can be air fried without oil in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or roasted in a high heat oven till crispy. No fat but quite crispy like corn chips that have been fried. Would be perfect with baba ghoush or other dips

      Leslie wrote on September 26th, 2013
  2. Yay! I love it when you go on recipe blitzes! Thanks!

    Karell wrote on September 26th, 2009
  3. I love everything eggplant

    Ann wrote on September 26th, 2009
  4. Suggestion: I know it’s a month away but time flies and I would love to have some more Primal Ideas for Halloween (especially what to do for the seedlings that DOESN’T involve candy!) Can it even be done??

    Ann wrote on September 26th, 2009
    • dried fruit?

      SB wrote on September 26th, 2009
    • I was thinking about this earlier… trick or treating is decidedly unprimal (hello — its purpose is CANDY).

      If I had kids, I’d be hosting a halloween party for my kids and their friends. Primal food, maybe something to look scary, watch “scary” movies (depending on age), have a costume contest, and take a long walk as a parade… maybe even making floats out of wagons or cardboard boxes or whatnot.

      Lots to do that doesn’t involve sugar.

      FlyNavyWife wrote on September 26th, 2009
    • I stocked up on mini play-doh containers from the dollar store to give out alongside some M&M fun size packs. I still feel like I should give out some candy. I don’t want to be TP’d either!

      Tamara wrote on September 30th, 2009
  5. for a spicier option check out Indian recipes for “Baingan Bharta” aka eggplant curry.

    SB wrote on September 26th, 2009
  6. We make our baba ganoush with fresh lemon juice – it helps the texture and flavor. To really add a nice twist, try adding parsley to the food processor with the eggplant.

    Another optional twist: add chopped eggs. It takes the shape of a vegetarian ‘chopped liver’.

    BTW, we grill the eggplants whole on the outside grill or under the broiler in the oven until they are charred (black, coal!) on the outside on all sides. Then, slit length-wise and scoop out the insides. The charring gives it a really nice flavor but the charred skin is discarded, of course.

    Tip: if you make multiple eggplants (because they really reduce to not-very-much), taste the flesh of each one after its cooked and before mixing into the salad b/c they can be very bitter and one bitter one mixed in can ruin the entire recipe.

    About the chips – I don’t know, but it also goes nicely on sliced tomatoes and with crispy cuke slices.

    Hope this helps!

    BestSelf wrote on September 26th, 2009
    • I second Best Self here–for the baba, lemon & grilling make for the best flavor. Lemon adds brightness, grilling adds that essential smokiness. My hubby is Lebanese American, so we make this often from his grandma’s recipe (straight from the old country)

      marci wrote on September 27th, 2009
  7. A little note on the squash chips that might help. I had lots of trial and lots of error- lol.

    1) Cut the zucchini at least 1/4 of an inch thick. They’ll shrink down quite a bit and if you cut them too thin you’ll have zucchini paper. Half inch is a bit too thick, but would make a nice sturdy “cracker.”

    2) When baking simply set the oven on low, place zucchini on the racks, and let bake with the door cracked open. This will take a good 24 hours at least. A dehydrator really speeds up the process.

    3) If you want to help the process along, lightly salt the zucchini slices and let them rest for 20 minutes. Water will begin to seep out. Pat them dry then put them in the oven.

    Other than that, I can’t think of where things would go wrong. I didn’t use any oil of any sort, even when putting the squash on the oven racks. They did stick just slightly, but if you cut them thick enough they’ll just pop right off.

    Hope this helps! I can’t wait to try the baba ghanoush recipe. It sounds delicious, and I’ve never had it before.

    Diana Renata wrote on September 26th, 2009
    • I will have to give it a try again, with your tips. I guess I cooked mine too high/too short…
      Also, I bet parchment paper would help them to not stick at all… just a thought.

      FlyNavyWife wrote on September 26th, 2009
  8. I made those chips for a recent family cookout and like Diana Renata mentioned, if you slice them too thin it doesn’t really work. My first batch was made in a dehydrator and I cut them too thin, so when they were hard enough you couldn’t really scoop anything because they were falling apart.
    My second batch I cut thicker and I also seasoned them a bit for the chips to have a bit of flavor. Unfortunately, after a day or two they become soft again.

    chocolatechip69 wrote on September 27th, 2009
  9. You have to put them in boiling water for 1 minute then put them in ice water for 30min. They come out perfect…Tried this with butternut squash and zucchini and it was great..

    Steve wrote on September 27th, 2009
    • Steve, is that all you do or do you then put them in an oven or dehydrator?

      Sharon wrote on September 27th, 2009
  10. I just took out a tray of dried zucchini and summer squash chips from my cheapo Ronco dehydrator. I had sliced them thin, but not paper thin, and they were perfectly firm and crunchy. Even in a sealed container, dried squash and eggplant will absorb moisture from the air and soften over time, so if I wanted to eat these dried chips next week, I’d probably bake them in the oven first. Ronco is the cheapest dehydrator and gets the worst reviews. I would not use it to make jerky or to dry watery fruits like plums and tomatoes, but the cheap 5-tray, no-fan model I have is fine for drying slices of squash, egglant, and peppers.

    Sonagi wrote on September 27th, 2009
  11. My extra chips are in a freezer bag, in the freezer. When I want chips I just pull out a serving and warm them in the oven for a bit. They crisp right up, plus they’re all warm and toasty. They do get a bit soft over time, even in the freezer.

    Diana Renata wrote on September 27th, 2009
  12. yum!

    littlelam wrote on September 28th, 2009
  13. Sharon, You can just fry them or put them in the oven from there. Just make sure to pat them dry good..

    Steve wrote on September 29th, 2009
  14. I made Squash “chips” that were really good, but less crispy/hardy than traditional chips/crackers or something like a sweet potato/yam/yucca chip. They are more like kale/spinach chips – tasty but not so good for dipping.

    Basically I cut them just under a 1/4″ thick (this is super easy with a mandolin) and coated them with olive oil, some rosemary, and a small amount of sea salt (remember, they shrink, so use about 1/2 the amount you would if they were just normal salted veggies).

    The one thing I want to note is that the TYPE of squash you use makes a difference. I found that the basic yellow squash works best – zuccinni squash was slightly mushier.

    This part is critical – I baked them on a broiler pan (one of those pans that has slots in it so there is air underneath). I put them on the middle rack, 400 degrees about 15 mins on each side (until they are a dark golden brown). You can adjust the temperature for browning vs drying to your preferences.

    Katie Vonderhaar wrote on September 29th, 2009
  15. For those of you in Texas who have HEB or Central Market near, you can get already grilled frozen HEB brand eggplant strips if you are in a rush. I’ve used them many times to make a quick babaghanoush and it is so easy- just defrost and then add the rest. Yummy!

    Colleen wrote on October 5th, 2009
  16. Pork rinds make a decent “chip”

    Tom wrote on November 24th, 2009

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