You asked for it, so here it is! I modified a fatty recipe my aunt had given me for eggplant lasagna, using eggplant instead of noodles. Nifty, huh? Anyway, after some big changes to the recipe (i.e. using tofu instead of ricotta cheese), this recipe turned out to be a winner! Note: it’s not the “prettiest” looking picture but boy does it taste amazing. Serve with a side salad.
-1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced very thin (think: substituting for lasagna noodles)
-8 oz. frozen organic spinach
-2 TB olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1 egg, beaten
-1/2 block firm tofu, chopped and mashed
-4 to 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
-1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
-2 TB dried basil
-1 c. of your favorite tomato sauce (with garlic and/or spices)
-salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare eggplant, cutting extremely thin slices. Lightly saute on medium heat for a few minutes in a large pan with olive oil. Remove and set aside.
2. Once removed, saute spinach and garlic in same pan in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Combine egg, cheeses, and bail and mix together until blended. Note: the tofu should crumble up making a ricotta cheese-like texture. Shake in some salt and pepper to give the mixture a little more flavor.
3. Star layering! Begin with 1/2 c. tomato sauce. Then add half of your sliced eggplant. Top with half the cheese mixture. Then add another layer of eggplant, cheese mixture and finally top with an additional 1/2 c. tomato sauce. Sprinkle top with additional parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
4. Cover with tin foil and bake on 350 for 40 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes. Enjoy!
I’m often asked many questions when it comes to fitness, diet and healthy cooking. Today I was asked on my website what the best options are at the grocery store for healthy cooking that’ll ensure a good look by next weekend. Then there’s my sister who would call me nearly every week when she was in college asking what the “best” or “right” choices are for her meals.
While I’d give her (and many others) my two cents plus some nutritional wisdom, the thing is: there is no RIGHT choice when it comes to what you put on your plate. Sure some options are much better choices than others, but it’s oh so much fun to experiment and try new things, rather than go with the usual boring “health foods.” What’s the fun in same old, same old? Spice it up with a little variety, girl! Instead of loading up on bananas and apples like you do every weekend, buy oranges, grapefruits or berries that are on sale. Tired of the usual rice pilaf? Mix it up with long grain or brown rice with some olive oil and fresh herbs, or substitute a hearty sweet potato for your usual starchy go-to choice. Eat grilled chicken every. single. night? Purchase some fresh salmon or tuna to saute or bake in the oven! Liven up your salads with pretty colors by adding mandarin oranges, berries, avocado, egg whites, sugar snap peas or edamame. And add some spice and zing to your food with garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, cilantro and any other herbs/spices that intrigue you!
Sometimes I buy new, fun things just to try them out and change things up a bit. For instance, they other day I bought fresh corn because it was on sale and some pineapple, even though that’s not a usual staple for my weekly grocery list. I also purchased some fresh dill because I was making homemade salmon and didn’t want to use the usual dried dill flakes; I wanted to make it special. Lesson learned: variety is the key to a healthy, balanced, delicious diet!
What are some funky, delicious recipes you’ve created by adding a little variety?
I’m the girl who in college would be teased by my roommates because my idea of “drunk food” was peanut butter and an apple or fruit and nuts. As my roommates munched on large, extra-cheese pizzas and overflowing chicken finger orders with colossal fries, I’d join in on the fun with a plate of what they called “bird food.” One thing’s for sure, however. While my drunk eats were a tad abnormal and definitely not as fun, I’d wake up feeling somewhat better (minus the pounding headache).
You can image then why I feel so blah today after a weekend of “fun” eating. I have to say while it’s good to eat loudly and proudly most of the time, too much fun sometimes isn’t good…especially considering how I feel now. I always say it’s OK to treat yourself–every day even–but scarfing down chicken fingers, cheesy Reubens leftover from my roommates post-bar “snack” and french fries took things a little too far for me. Not to mention my sister was visiting all weekend, so what can I say? We wined and dined…hard core.
So while I am ecstatic I had a fun, event-packed weekend, I am now paying the consequences on this dreary Monday morning. Another cup of coffee please? Anyway, listen: this happens to the best of us and your body will not feel this way forever, and your diet is not, I repeat NOT ruined. If you follow my little tips to clean up after a weekend of “fun,” you’ll be back to your happy, feel-good, Healthy Chick self in no time!
1. Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat: Yes, six times a day i.e. a wholesome breakfast, a healthy snack, a clean lunch, another healthy snack, a feel-good dinner and something refreshing before bed. So many times I see friends simply not eat the day after a food binge because they think that’ll be the easy Band-aide fix. NO. I’m here to tell you it is not. If you don’t eat for a day, your metabolism will shut down making things worse. Giving up food all day is not the miracle trick to skinny. Really, it won’t to anything but harm. Not to mention you’ll probably become ravenous late night and end up eating your roommates leftover pizza. So eat. And eat often. Really, don’t be afraid to.
2. Go Clean: No, I’m not talking about cleaning the house, although maybe you want to get that out of the way too (especially if these sink is piled high from dishes and your laundry is starting to smell). But back to the point. I mean eat clean. Clean as in fresh, non-packaged, wholesome, natural foods. Clean eats include raw nuts, fresh fruit and veggies, lean grilled chicken drizzled in lemon and herbs, olive oil, etc. Clean-eating is a surefire way to get you back on track by tomorrow morning! Your body and your mind will be thanking you later.
3. Guzzle the h2O: Think you already drink enough water throughout the day? Drink even more! After a weekend of overindulgence, you need to clear out your system with lots of fluids…and I’m not talking about vodka sodas. Guzzle water all day long: in the morning, at work, before your run, after your run, before bed. Don’t stop! Drinking tons of water will encourage you to pee which will clear out your system making you feel as good as new.
4. Go for a light workout: No need to go crazy and spend two hours at the gym today. Let’s be honest: your body isn’t quite ready for that yet. However, a nice two to three mile run outside or some weights followed by a 20-minute cycle of intervals on the treadmill will do the drink! Basically, you want to make your workout short and sweaty. If you break a sweat, you’ve reached your goal. And if you have access to a sauna or steam room I HIGHLY recommend it for the ultimate cleanse.
Cheers to a day of feel good fix-its!
The Healthy Chick