I don’t know where you live, but where I live it is hot outside. Extremely hot. I get home from work, change into shorts and a tank top, and crank the air conditioning as soon as I walk in the door. Then I have to think about dinner… The last thing I want to do when it is 104-108 degrees out is stand in a hot kitchen cooking dinner. This week we have been eating a lot of salads and cold meals for dinner, but last night I really wanted dessert and I didn’t care what the temperature was. I had absolutely nothing sweet or unhealthy and dessert-y in the house, so I had to be resourceful. Our outdoor grill is broken, but I pulled out the grill pan and cut three very ripe white peaches to split with my husband. I cut them in half, grilled them for a few minutes on each side and topped them with fresh raspberries and a little frozen whipped topping. It was the perfect fruity dessert for a warm summer night.
This eggplant parmesan was quite possibly one of the best meals I’ve ever made. It was a few more steps and a few more ingredients than I usually like to cook with (I like fast and easy recipes), but it was so worth it. I have only had eggplant parmesan maybe twice in my life because I can no longer eat dairy. I learned how to make it when I was living in Italy and it was delicious, but so loaded with cheese that I’ve never tried to re-create it at home. For some reason unknown to me, goat cheese has no impact on how I’m feeling, so I decided to look for a recipe that called for goat cheese and no other dairy products. I found one recipe that was eggplant, red sauce, goat cheese, and parmesan and I tweaked it a little to make this delicious meal.
What you’ll need:
1 large purple eggplant
1 teaspoon sea salt to weep eggplant slices
1-2 cups flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup of olive oil for frying
1 jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce (I used an organic brand with few ingredients)
1 small block of goat cheese broken into pieces (crumbled would work too)
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion
4-5 fresh tomatoes, sliced
fresh basil leaves
What you’ll do:
Peel skin off eggplant, and slice length-wise so you have thin slices for layering (like lasagna).
Cover the slices with sea salt to remove moisture. Let sit 10-15 minutes and drain water.
Combine the sea salt and flour and blend together with a fork.
Pat dry the eggplant slices with a paper towel.
Warm oil in a large frying pan.
Dip the eggplant in the egg and then in the flour/salt mixture, and place in pan.
Fry on each side until they start to brown (few minutes), and then lay on paper towel.
Saute onions, mushrooms, spinach, and basil in a frying pan and set aside.
In a baking dish, place a layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplant slices, then the sliced tomatoes, spinach mixture, and a few pieces of goat cheese. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the eggplant.Top with sauce, spinach mixture, sliced tomatoes, lots of fresh basil and goat cheese chunks (or crumbles).
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
Cool and cut. Enjoy!What’s the best meal you’ve ever made?
There is so much information out there about the benefits of eating kale, but some people still aren’t interested in consuming this leafy green. So, I thought I’d try to convert a few folks by sharing what I think kale does for me and why I eat it so often. But for those of you who want “real facts” I added some of those too. Most of my info was found on WebMD.
***Disclaimer- I am not a doctor, I just really like Kale.
10 Reasons I Think Kale is So Awesome
It gives you an immune system of steel so you won’t become sick or diseased (kale is LOADED with antioxidants, both Vitamin A and Vitamin C)
In a fight, kale would kick cancer’s ass (it is a great source of Vitamin K which is believed to help fight cancer)
Sunglasses? Who needs those? (kale is loaded with carotenoids which help prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes).
You won’t get a broken heart eating kale (kale can help lower your cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease).
It makes you skinny (kale has a very low-calorie content so you can eat it as part of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, along with exercise, for weight loss).
It “cleans you out” if you know what I mean (one cup has 20% of your recommended daily fiber which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating).
If you mix heavy kale-eating with heavy body-building, you will get Popeye-sized biceps (like spinach, kale is high in iron).
If you injure yourself during your regularly scheduled body building session, you won’t need to take Advil (kale is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties).
Don’t Got Milk? Don’t need it! (for us lactose-free folks kale is a great way to get your calcium in without dairy).
IT ACTUALLY TASTES GOOD!
So…basically, if you eat kale, you’ll be on your way to becoming Superwoman like me (or Superman, I don’t want to be sexist- men are allowed to eat kale too.)
There are tons of different types of kale and they are all delicious in their own ways! I use the softer kale when I am making a smoothie or salad because I will be eating it raw, but the tough kale is also great when steamed or sautéed.
Here are a few ideas for how to eat this lovely green leafy veggie.
My All-Time Favorite, Green Smoothie
1 cup almond milk (I switch off from Rice, Almond, and Coconut Milk)
1 ripe banana, preferably peeled + frozen
2 handfuls kale
1 tbsp chia seeds OR 1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp nut butter, optional
Best Kale Salad Ever
Olive Oil – massage the olive oil and salt into kale to soften and let sit while you add other ingredients.
Any veggies you like!
I have also posted about kale recipes here, and here.
Last night I got home from work and wasn’t all that hungry. The hubby was out playing basketball so I decided to make myself more of a snack than a huge dinner. I had a big bundle of chinese broccoli from the farmer’s market and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I love regular broccoli sautéed with onions, garlic, and soy sauce, so that’s what I did!
For this super easy broccoli you just wash and cut the stems off the broccoli so you have florets. Then saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil. Add Chinese broccoli (regular broccoli would work too but I just loved the Chinese broccoli for this recipe) and saute for a few minutes until it begins to wilt. Add a few tablespoons of soy sauce, some red pepper flakes (I like spicy food so I added lots!) and sliced almonds. Saute for another minute or so, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Delicious and super fast. Enjoy!
I recently stumbled upon the Dashing Dish blog and learned how to make muffins with oats instead of flour and I’m hooked. These muffins were so delicious and much healthier than the average muffin made with flour. They turned out tasting just like banana bread. You can find the original recipe here but I made a few slight changes to mine.
What you’ll need: (my changes were taking out the protein powder, using real sugar instead of sweetener and adding unsweetened coconut)
1 small banana
3/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup oats
1/2 sugar (I don’t like using fake sweetener in my baking)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut (because coconut makes everything better)
What you’ll do:
My favorite part about this recipe was how easy it was! You just combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pour into baking cups (use silicone so it doesn’t stick). Then I added a pinch of coconut to the batter in each muffin tin before baking. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
I LOVE kale. It tastes good and is super duper healthy. It is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, calcium, beta carotene and LOTS more. I usually add it to my smoothies in the morning, or saute it as a side dish with dinner, but I had been hearing about how delicious kale chips were so I thought I’d give it a try. I had a big bunch of Russian red kale so I decided to use it instead of the regular green kale I had. Next time I’ll have to switch it up to see if they taste different. I especially love red kale because of the beautiful purple stems.
This recipe is very easy, and you need very few ingredients – kale, olive oil, and kosher salt.
Wash your kale and peel leaves off of stems. Tear into bite-sized pieces and spread out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on the top (1-2 tsp) and sprinkle with salt. I used the big kosher salt but regular salt would work fine too. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
Carbs. All I ever want are carbs. Carbs carbs carbs. They are delicious and if I could survive on carbs alone (without gaining 100 pounds) I would. But, we all know that eating huge amounts of processed carbohydrates for every single meal is not so good for you. So, I’ve tried to come up with a few alternatives that make me still feel like I’m getting to eat my favorite foods like bread and pasta. I still eat both of those things, but I try to limit them when I can.
One of my favorite ways to make a “pasta” dinner a little healthier is to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles. I usually make it just like I would regular spaghetti, with tomato sauce and sometimes I add ground turkey for a little protein. This time I loaded it full of veggies and it was delicious! (I made it at night so my photo is a little dark)
Spaghetti squash is so easy to make. You can cut it in half, coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes until the outside is soft OR if you’re in a hurry, you can microwave it. This particular day I was starving after work and couldn’t wait for the oven to do the work so I poked holes all over the squash, put it on a plate and microwaved it until the outside was soft. The time will depend on how big your squash is. Mine was small so it didn’t take very long at all. I put it in for two minutes, turned it over, and kept adding two minutes until it was done. Total I think it cooked in about six minutes.
While the squash was in the microwave, I chopped all my veggies. I used mushrooms, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I sautéed them all with some olive oil and white wine. I took the squash out, cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds, and then scraped all the insides out with a fork. Then I added all the squash to the veggie mixture, added a little olive oil and was all done!
What is your favorite way to make spaghetti squash?