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Lemony Eggplant & Roasted Pepper Dip

November 9, 2015

 

You are probably tired of what they always tell you: a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Eat a whole-food, plant-based diet rich in fiber and antioxidant prevents oxidative damages and enhances your well-being. Blah, blah, blah…

 

Healthy eating in the real world required more than knowing those well-intended advices. Even for clients I have helped who are vegetarians and adores broccoli, vegetables often get shoved to the sidelines, side-dish, I mean. It can be challenging to eat the recommended amount of vegetables on a daily basis.

 

I’m constantly searching for new ways to sneak vegetables into my diet. If you are into salty crunchy snacks and love things like potato chips, Doritos, and fries, you need to give this recipe a try. I admit I am capable of eating potato chips by the bag and salty snacks is my weak spot. In an earlier post, I have shared my take on how to work with (NOT against) salt craving. One of the reason why our body wants more salt is because high stress level decreases the body’s ability to retain minerals and our survival instinct is trying to signal us to add more minerals into your diet. Unfortunately, lots of other minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium) other than sodium has a salty & metallic taste. Our salt craving won’t get solved until we feed our body with the other minerals it needs. This is why eating plenty of vegetables is crucial especially when you are stressed out. Vegetables is one of the best source of dietary minerals. Many vegetable also contain plenty of vitamin C and B, which are key supporting nutrients for the adrenal gland, the place where our stress hormones are made.

 

 

I kept salt to a minimum in this recipe. That said, from a person who can eat a whole bag of chips, this dip is packed with flavour. I can gulp this dip for dinner any day. Adding lemon juice is a good way to cut down salt intake. The tartness help to bring out the saltiness and the smoky flavours from the ingredients. Plus, lemon gives everything a boost of vitamin C.

 

Here are some fun facts of the star ingredients in this recipe. If you like this recipe, be proud of yourself adding these healthy flavours into your diet:

 

Eggplant

  • Good source of fibre

  • Skin contains brain-loving nutrient nasunin and meat contains anti-cancer and heart-healthy chlorogenic acid

Red Pepper

  • Rich in hormone balancing vitamin B6

  • A source of magnesium, nature’s muscle relaxant

  • A good source of eye-healthy and gut-healing vitamin A

I also have shared my other all-time favourite healthy salty snack recipes. Check them out:

 

Quinoa Doritos Crisps

 

Cheesy Kale Chips

 

Lemony Eggplant & Roasted Pepper Dip

 

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

30 min

Total Time

45 min

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant, regular or Italian (yield approximately 4 cups cubed)

  • 1 Red pepper, medium

  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice (juice & zest from half of a large lemon)

  • 1/2 tsp Lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Paprika

  • 1/8 tsp Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease parchment paper with coconut oil.

  2. Remove stem from the eggplant and cut the eggplant into quarters.

  3. Remove the seed and stem from the red pepper and cut into quarters.

  4. Take some coconut oil with your hand and give the vegetables a even coat of the oil.

  5. Roast the vegetables for 20-30 min until they gets tender. Slightly cool the vegetables for about 5 min. Remove the skin from the pepper and eggplant.

  6. Transfer any remaining oil/juice from the cookie sheet and the vegetables into a food processor. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, paprika and ground pepper and blend well.

  7. Enjoy with any vegetable sticks or crackers. Dip away or gulp away as you like. & be proud of adding more vegetables into your diet!

Notes

  • Transfer the dip into a air-tight container and it can be store refrigerated for up to a week.

 

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