Eggplant Parmesan Dip

Eggplant Parmesan dip logo | Kale and Ale

Eggplant Parmesan dip

I love to snack. A lot. Like, too often. I enjoy savory snacks, crunchy, spicy and creamy snacks. Hummus with crackers or carrots is my go-to, but all kinds work. A tapas-style dinner is always my favorite kind. Speaking of, dinner-inspired dips always win. Speaking of, my favorites right now are pizza dip and buffalo-cauliflower dip.

Inspired by these, I came up with this eggplant Parmesan dip. I love eggplant, but it’s often difficult to make at home, often coming out with mixed responses. But this dip is consistent with depth of texture and flavor, creamy and comforting, giving people with strong willpower no reason to stop!

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free (as long as you aren’t using crackers to dip) and has little hands-on time, only 15 minutes. It tastes exactly like eggplant Parmesan as a snack and treat.

Eggplant Parmesan dip 3 | Kale and Ale
Eggplant Parmesan Dip
Print Recipe
The perfect appetizer or party version of a classic Italian dish, this is vegetarian and gluten-free, warm and comforting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 10 minutes
Eggplant Parmesan dip 3 | Kale and Ale
Eggplant Parmesan Dip
Print Recipe
The perfect appetizer or party version of a classic Italian dish, this is vegetarian and gluten-free, warm and comforting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place eggplant in a colander and put salt on it to sweat out the liquid. After 10 minutes dry off the eggplant.
  3. Put the eggplant and garlic on a baking sheet, top with oil and salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until roasted. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
  4. Once roasted and slightly cooled, place in a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the eggplant and garlic with the marinara and cheese. Mix and put into an oven-safe bowl.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Once cooled somewhat or room temperature, serve with crackers or vegetables.
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Recipe: Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries

Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries | Kale and Ale

Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries

I really love cranberries, especially fresh, but I don’t seem to eat them except around the end of the year. Since I see them in the store at a great price, I grab them without knowing how I will use them or what I’ll make. Enter a food I’m trying to eat more of: Brussels sprouts.

RELATED: Make cranberry salsa out of leftover cranberry sauce.

Brussels sprouts can be bitter and cranberries are tart, so there is a balsamic and maple syrup glaze to bring a nice balance to all the flavors without one overpowering any of the others. The beauty is this only takes about 30 minutes start to finish, or even less if you are like me and bought a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts.

This is a healthy, flavorful side dish that brings together the flavors and colors of the season.

Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries | Kale and Ale
Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries
Print Recipe
A healthy, flavorful side dish that brings together the flavors and colors of the season.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries | Kale and Ale
Roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberries
Print Recipe
A healthy, flavorful side dish that brings together the flavors and colors of the season.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spread the Brussels sprouts evenly on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly crispy, stirring halfway through.
  3. Place cranberries in a baking dish. In a small bowl mix maple syrup and vinegar together and pour over cranberries. Put it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring and cook for 5-10 more minutes, until sauce thickens and cranberries open.
  4. Mix together Brussels sprouts and cranberries and top with nuts or seeds, if using.
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Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad

Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad | Recipe | KaleAndAle.com

Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad

As the weather gets colder, I gravitate toward warmer, heartier dishes. However, my love for salads doesn’t subside just because the temperatures drop, so a heartier and warmer dish is in order. Like many who live in cold and snowy (although not yet, I’ll take it!) climates, I am looking for more substantial food in the winter. Combining kale with the Minnesota favorite wild rice creates a filling and chewy salad that holds up as either a side or a lighter main dish. And the deep red pomegranate seeds provide a pop of flavor that is worth the minimal effort of getting the seeds from the fruit. (Learn how to deseed a pomegranate.)

I love making this salad because the vinaigrette only gets better over time, so make it on a Sunday and have it as an easy side dish or quick lunch early in the week. The recipe only calls for half the vinaigrette for the kale, but it’s a warming topping full of flavor that if you are like me, you’ll be adding more to the salad so the rice can soak it up.

Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad dressing | KaleAndAle

It’s important to massage the kale with the vinaigrette so the kale wilts a little.

By leaving out the optional parmesan or feta cheese, this gluten-free recipe is also vegan, or is vegetarian with the addition of a salty cheese. And because the salad tastes good cold or room temperature, it makes a festive holiday dish that everyone can enjoy. Because you are cooking the rice while getting the rest of the salad ready, it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad | Recipe | KaleAndAle.com
Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad
Print Recipe
A hearty and filling wither salad that is great as a side dish or main meal.
Servings Prep Time
3-6 people, depending if main or side dish 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-6 people, depending if main or side dish 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad | Recipe | KaleAndAle.com
Kale, wild rice and pomegranate salad
Print Recipe
A hearty and filling wither salad that is great as a side dish or main meal.
Servings Prep Time
3-6 people, depending if main or side dish 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-6 people, depending if main or side dish 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Vinaigrette
Salad
Servings: people, depending if main or side dish
Instructions
  1. For the vinaigrette, in a bowl or shaker add the cumin, vinegar, oil and salt and pepper and blend. Set aside.
  2. Place the kale in a large bowl, top with half the vinaigrette and massage into the kale to slightly wilt for a few minutes.
  3. Fold in the rice and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Top with cheese or nutritional yeast (if using) and more vinaigrette if desired. Can be eaten right away or later to let flavors develop, cold or at room temperature.
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Recipe: Pumpkin maple tofu

Gourds2015 | KaleAndAle

Gourds and squash from my CSA

Have you been consumed with pumpkin like me? You aren’t alone, In the last 30 years the amount of American farmland devoted to pumpkins has tripled according to NPR, and its often for decoration. Learn more in the short audio here:

If you follow this blog you know I tend to favor savory over sweet, so I have to be careful how and when I use pumpkin.

In an effort to balance savory and sweet while capturing autumn in an entree, I have come up with a recipe for marinated and breaded tofu featuring pumpkin, maple syrup and bourbon based off bourbon maple chicken wings.  The sauce is great so while I used it on tofu to make nuggets, I can see it being tasty on chicken, eggplant, portobellos, etc. And while I breaded mine (the inspiration recipe isn’t breaded), you don’t have to, I just love the texture and crunch.

This recipe works because the bourbon gives it a little kick while the maple syrup gives it a sweet gooeyness. The addition of pumpkin adds a little sweetness and fall depth, and rosemary keeps it more earthy. The longer you marinate, the deeper the marinade will sink into the tofu. I had mine with fried green tomatoes from my garden and a sweet-tart apple from my CSA for a great balance of flavors.

See the recipe below or view past pumpkin-flavored recipes I’ve made:

Maple pumpkin tofu | KaleAndAle

Maple pumpkin tofu with fried green tomatoes.


Maple pumpkin tofu | KaleAndAle
Pumpkin maple tofu
Print Recipe
A fall entrée that is sweet and savory with depth at the same time.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30+ minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30+ minutes
Maple pumpkin tofu | KaleAndAle
Pumpkin maple tofu
Print Recipe
A fall entrée that is sweet and savory with depth at the same time.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30+ minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30+ minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add the bourbon whisky, the maple syrup, pumpkin, rosemary, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Bring to a low simmer.
  2. Marinate tofu in sauce for at least 30 minutes, up to a few days.
  3. If coating, combine the panko and nutritional yeast in a bowl and dip the tofu pieces into it to coat.
  4. Roast the tofu at 350°F for 20 minutes, then turn over and roast them 10 minutes more, or until nicely browned.
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