Chickpea Sauce (updated)

It’s true, I like Mediterranean flavors and spice combinations, as I’ve mentioned before.

I needed a sauce that is not tomato-based, since I already have one of those that is full of flavor, and it needed to follow the strict “no salt/no oils added” rule of Eat To Live.  This turned out well, and is a repeatable, storage-friendly sauce that I can keep on hand.

Tonight, I ate it as a topping for my baked eggplant slices, and some steamed cauliflower and broccoli, and it was perfect for my tastebud cravings.chickpeasauce

1/2 cup Chickpeas (I boiled the dry beans at home, but canned is also okay, if you can find the “no salt added” type.)
4 mushrooms (steamed ahead of time.  I always have some ready for recipes in an airtight container)
1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
1 tbsp dried black ancho pepper, chopped
3 tbsp tahini paste
1/4 cup fruit vinegar (I used Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chia seeds, ground
2 tbsp turmeric root, minced (or 1 tbsp tumeric powder)
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1/2 tsp thyme, ground

Combine ingredients in a blender, puree, adding tbsp of water as needed for desired consistency, usually about 1/3 cup.
Heat in small pan, or microwave, before using as a topping.
Makes about 1.25 cups.

For the sliced eggplant, I sliced a large eggplant length-wise, with a slice of onion and lemon, and baked for 45 minutes, covered, at 380 degrees.
I added the sauce in generous amounts.

Serves 2 as a main dish, more if served as a side.

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Eggplant Stuffed Pepper

One night this past week, I was trying to create a recipe that would use my aging eggplant and bell pepper I had bought a few days before.  My Mediterranean food cravings having taken full charge of my senses, this is what I came up with, and it is definitely repeatable.  (No pictures this time, unfortunately.  Next time.)

1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 bell pepper (I used an orange one)
1 medium-size onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp tahini paste
1 small lemon
1/4 cup of freshly minced parsley
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Blanch whole bell pepper for a minute or two to soften the outer skin, then place the whole pepper into the oven at 375 for about fifteen minutes.  The pepper should still have enough structure to allow for the stuffing.  Allow pepper to cool.  Cut pepper in half crosswise, and clean pulp out, if desired.  Trim stem of pepper so that the top will lie flat in the baking dish when stuffed.

Add remaining ingredients, except the lemon, to a blender, and run the blender at a medium speed until the texture is to your liking.  I kept mine slightly rough in texture.  Pour mixture into each half of the bell pepper, and add a slice of lemon to the top of each half.  Place halves into a baking dish, cover and bake for about 45 minutes at 380.

After taking the peppers out of the oven, remove cover and squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon onto each half.

Serves 2