We just finished a 30 day pescatarian diet with no dairy, carbohydrates, or sugar. Oh. My. Word. That was an incredibly hard challenge. It was harder than our 30 day vegan challenge! The no dairy thing wasn’t the issue. It was the no carbohydrates or sugar that I had a hard time with. We used fruit as a way to satiate our cravings for an after-dinner dessert, but that only lasted for a little while. By the end of the second week, I was jonesing for bread and butter, frozen yogurt, cookies, and chocolate. And do you know what was the worst tease? My work place had a Strawberry Day event with all things strawberry desserts, and a few going away parties with the best cake from my favorite bakery, and I couldn’t have a lick of it. Ugh. I think I was drooling as I watched my coworkers eat cake, pies, tortes, strawberry punch, and cookies. Such a tease. Sigh. The diet was worth it, I guess 🙂
To celebrate our first day of eating carbohydrates, I decided on a Middle Eastern and Greek meal centered around a filthy amount of pita bread. Yes. I said it. I am a glutton for pita bread. Okay. So, honestly, we only ate one pita bread for the vegan seitan gyro sandwich, alongside a few wedges of pita dipped in some baba ghanoush. But nonetheless, I still heart carbohydrates.
3 medium globe eggplants, cut lengthwise (about 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to your liking
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush cut side of eggplants with extra virgin olive oil. Place eggplants cut-side down on baking sheet and roast until until very tender, about 40 minutes.
Scoop the eggplant flesh into a large bowl, and discard skin. Mash the eggplant with a fork until it is smooth, but still has some texture. Stir in the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with pita, pita chips, vegetables, or however you fancy baby ghanoush 🙂