Unexpected “Fries” Surprise! (+ A Kickin’ Tomato Dipping Sauce)

Rachel Druckenmiller, health coach and local blogger

Rachel Druckenmiller, health coach and author of Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen

We’re pleased to share a cross-post from customer, blogger, and health coach Rachel Druckenmiller’s blog, Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen. As a wellness consultant and certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Rachel uses Hometown Harvest bag ingredients to craft tasty, interesting recipes that are healing and nutritious. Enjoy!

I like eggs. I love plants

But for some reason, I’ve never been much of a fan of eggplant…And really, couldn’t we have come up with a better name? It’s called “aubergine” in French. Doesn’t that make it sound more appealing? 🙂

I’ve eaten it a few times, mixed in with a ratatouille, fried as “chips” when I was in Spain, and probably thrown into a soup at some point (people are sneaky!). I don’t know if it’s the texture or what, but I’ve never been crazy about this odd-looking vegetable.

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As I experiment with recipes each week, I like to incorporate foods I’ve never eaten before or try them using a new preparation. In my Hometown Harvest bag this week, I came across none other than…eggplant!

I’ve never actually bought or cooked eggplant before, but I’m up for the make-eggplant-taste-good challenge!

Whenever I need inspiration for recipes, I check out the dozen or so cookbooks I have, browse through my favorite blogs, or search on Pinterest. I found two yummy recipes and am sharing both with you today!

Baked Eggplant Fries & Kickin’ Tomato Dipping Sauce

**The KEY to making sure these don’t become limp, soggy eggplant mush is to put them on a paper towel on a baking sheet and sprinkle salt on them to pull out the water. Let them sit for about 25 minutes and pat them dry. The more moisture you pull out, the “crispier” the fries will be.**

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The crispy baked fries are on the left and the easy paleo fries are on the right

Ingredients

Eggplant Fries – Version 1
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup almond flour/meal + 2 tablespoon arrowroot powder OR 1 ½ cups cornmeal (Both work – your choice!)
1 ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil, melted
2 free-range organic eggs

Almond meal/flour can be on the pricy side, but I usually find a good deal at Trader Joe’s, or you can click here for how to make your own

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 14 oz can crushed red tomatoes
zest of half lemon
1 tablespoon oregano

Click here for the full recipes for the crispy fries and tomato sauce! Also, check out my step-by-step pictures below for how to make the fries!

Here is the recipe for the Easy Paleo Eggplant Fries – Version 2

I didn’t know what to expect because I have only really ever had mushy eggplant, but the “breaded” fries held up really well! There is a nice crunch when you bite into them, and the breading is delicious. The kickin’ tomato sauce is really tasty, and that is coming from someone who doesn’t like “spicy” food!

Rotate the fries halfway through cooking for even browning and then dip in tomato sauce - YUM!

It was my first time cooking eggplant, so I have a lot more I want to learn, but I would say this first attempt was a success 🙂

What did you think? Do you have any other eggplant recipes that you like to make? Feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments below!

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About racheldruck

I love to cook, and I am passionate about spreading the message of how delicious, simple and nourishing real food can be. Check out my blog for posts on healthy recipes, tips and tricks, and lessons learned on my healthy eating journey! I'm passionate about educating, teaching and equipping you with the skills, tools and inspiration to live a purposeful, energized life! I live in Baltimore with my husband, my college sweetheart, and work as a wellness consultant and health coach. I also teach healthy cooking classes. I love what I do!

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