Okay folks, National Hummus day is May 13th so I wanted to get you excited with a fun, new recipe so that you can whip this up. I know a lot of you have been requesting spring and summer plant-based recipes and today’s recipe is ideal for warm weather entertaining. It’s healthy, which your guests will love but it’s not screaming ‘granola-ish health food’ all over the place, so even if you’re as posh as a yacht club this summer, you can tote this app along and certainly impress your friends. Or, if you’re like me, make this, serve it to your neighbors and sit outside on the front stoop of your apartment and watch the downtown people pass by. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to dine outside. There’s something so fun about eating outdoors, isn’t there?
It reminds me of being on vacation.
Even when I was a kid and my mother served us dinner outside, my sister and I thought it was such a treat. Paper plates, no shoes, dirty from playing in the grass all day, but super hungry for real, wholesome food and outdoor dining. Can’t beat that, folks.
So, since the weather has warmed up, the flowers are popping up and the leaves on the trees are blooming, it’s time to start thinking about fresh, easy recipes that you can enjoy in the sunshine al fresco.
Now, let’s talk about this ‘eggplant toast’, shall we?
Everyone has been in love with the idea of avocado toast lately but since I can’t eat many of the breads out there, I was never a fan. Instead, I make my ‘bread’ out of veggies like sweet potatoes, zucchini and eggplant sliced thinly lengthwise and it’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G plus it’s yeast and grain-free so any of you with stomach issues will keep your belly’s happy without all that starch. So, to fill myself up when I don’t eat yeasty breads, I use a protein-rich hummus like the one I used in this recipe. You can use any flavor you’d like but I chose the Roasted Red Pepper flavor by Sabra because I’ve been enjoying their hummus for a few years now. They recently went Non-GMO and are verified Non-GMO so I’d rather use their hummus instead of a hummus that isn’t Non-GMO. The reason I love using Sabra is because it’s quite honestly the best tasting hummus I’ve ever had. Seriously. It’s thick, creamy, filling and so flavorful. I’ve also been to their CHICKPEA FARM in Richmond, Virginia and absolutely fell in love with how clean and beautiful their farm and brand new facilities are. Trust me, I’ve been on a handful of press trips where the facilities were gross and I stopped eating their products so I’m always So happy when I see the cleanliness of a brand and how they’re using their space to create food that is a heck of a lot healthier than serving Ranch Dip.
Catch my drift?
Let me walk you through how to make these cute little eggplant toasts that are fun served as an appetizer or side dish. We’re going to start off roasting the eggplant slices and a red onion, then we’re going to stack these ingredients on top of the tender roasted eggplant: the roasted onion, massaged kale, baby spinach, hummus (obviously), yellow bell pepper, purple cabbage, fresh basil and hemp seeds. Can I get a Whoot-whooooot? How fabulous does that sound? It’s full of protein, fiber, antioxidants and all the goodness of vitamin C, A, magnesium and a handful of other nutrients. You can easily use a red or orange bell pepper in this recipe, but I’d stay away from the green because they don’t have as much flavor and they’re boring. That’s just my opinion. Play around with the flavor of hummus you’d like to use, but in my opinion the Roasted Red Pepper is the bomb and so it’s the star of this dish.
Like, for real. You know your mouth is watering.
And lastly, forget about being all formal. The weather is warming up, get yourself outside, have a picnic, have fun, let go of having to make everything a perfect meal and pretend your a kid again. That’s where the real joy of life is. That’s all I’m doing with my healing journey. Getting back to my roots; feeling alive again and letting go of everything I thought was the right way to live. Eat with your fingers. Forget your rules. Serve your family fun finger food and YES eat it with your fingers, call everyone into your kitchen (or outdoors to your al fresco setup) and put on some good music.
Hang out with the people you love, spend time connecting with them, squeeze in an unofficial meal with your favorite people and gather around the table, laugh with your mouth full and enjoy life a little bit more. Because real food doesn’t mean it has to be a sit-down meal; you can enjoy this appetizer as an Unofficial Meal and call it whatever you’d like. No rules. Just fun and lots of really tasty and nourishing bites to nibble on.
Come and get it and go dine outside tonight!
- 1 large eggplant, sliced thinly lengthwise and ends trimmed
- 2½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), divided
- 1 large roasted red onion, sliced into quarters
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 head flat dinosaur kale, finely chopped and ends trimmed
- 1 cup Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, plus more if needed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 handful fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tsp. hemp seeds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the eggplant on one of the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Pour 1 Tbsp. of the oil in your hands and coat the eggplant slices-both sides of each slice. (Do not drizzle the oil directly onto the eggplant or it will seep into the eggplant and you won't be able to spread it on the slices). Then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Place the onion quarters on a separate large rimmed baking sheet and use the remaining ½ Tbsp. of oil to coat the onion quarters. Then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Roast the eggplant for 20 minutes or until it's tender and golden brown. Roast the onion for 10 more minutes (30 minutes total).
- Meanwhile, massage the kale with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil with your hands until the kale is very tender and soft and turns a dark green color. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper; toss with your hands again and set aside.
- Remove the eggplant and onions from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Pull apart the onions so you have multiple slices/pieces to use.
- Lay the eggplant on a flat serving dish and top with the massaged kale, onion slices. yellow bell pepper, a dollop of hummus, purple cabbage, hemp seeds, and sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately
This post was sponsored by Sabra. All opinions are my own.