Eggplant Pizza

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday. Wooohooo. This has no meaning to me since I only have class two days a week, which is amazing. It can be a little exhausting because my classes are all in a row on Monday from 3-9, but I can deal with it. Nothing too bad. Plus it allows me to explore the city a bit right now while I still have somewhat of free time apart from reading my books and making notecards. Plus I get to go to Boston next week! I’m so excited. I’m going Thursday-Monday (don’t worry I get back way before class starts)! Today I have an awesome recipe for ya’ll. One of my more recent favorite vegetables has to be eggplant. You can make all kinds of dishes with it. Italian or Asian or really any type of cuisine. I went with a more Italian style of preparation on this dish and made eggplant pizza.

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Eggplant Pizza

1 large eggplant
1/2 c of shredded cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes (edit: 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
1 garlic (or only half – depending on how garlicky you want this)
1/2 c of chopped basil
salt
garlic powder
oregano

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1. Preheat the oven to 375. First you want to slice your eggplant into 1/2 inch slices (maybe a little more, depending on how thick you want the pieces to be).

2. Place them on paper towels and salt both sides. This is to help make the eggplants “sweat” and get the water to start coming out. While this process is occurring, about 30 minutes, you can start the sauce.

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3. Chop up the garlic pieces. Place a small amount of olive oil in a pan and add in the garlic. Start cooking the garlic until you can smell it strongly in the kitchen. Beware, so that you don’t let it brown too much.

4. At this point, you need to start chopping up your basil and getting all of your spices ready.

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5. Once the garlic is cooked enough, you want to add in your cans of diced tomatoes. I made the mistake of only adding one can, but you definitely need to have two cans to cover the amount of eggplant you will have. Then you want to add in some basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir well. As the sauce may lose some juice, you may need to add a tbsp or 2 of water every now and again. You want to try to smash the diced tomatoes too as the sauce is cooking.

6. Once the 30 minutes has passed for the eggplant, and the sauce is cooked to your liking, you can place the sauce on top of the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Then proceed to top with cheese and the leftover chopped basil (or you may chop more if you like basil).

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7. Then place in the oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes. Just keep an eye on it, so the eggplant doesn’t turn into complete mush and that the cheese doesn’t brown. You want it to just be melted to perfection so it spreads across the eggplant.

8. ENJOY!

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I know, I know. It looks like a pile of mush. It is not a very visually appealing dish. It is packed with a ton of flavor though and is definitely worth making. The basil gives it such a nice herby taste. The eggplant is soft, but not too cooked. I hate when it becomes actual mush. That is just not a tasty meal to eat when that happens. The sauce had to many flavors packed into it from the garlic, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Of course you know the cheese is one of my favorite parts. It melted perfectly, for like the first time ever. SUCCESS. Cheese makes anything ten times better. I made so much of this from one eggplant that I had leftovers for three days. Now that is my kind of dish!

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Healthy and delicious. That is definitely my kind of recipe. I have a rule that I only eat out one day a week, which is Saturday for me, so I have been trying to cook all kinds of recipes to keep things creative and so I have delicious things to share with ya’ll on the blog. I am going to have some awesome foodie posts this weekend. I have a dessert recipe planned for tomorrow, I am going out on Saturday to some foodie places, and on Sunday I’m going to this event called Smorgusburg, which is like pure foodie heaven. I’m excited to go wild there. Plus its Yom Kippur starting tonight for all my Jews. I unfortunately won’t be fasting this year, but I believe in always asking for forgiveness for the not so nice things I’ve done this past year. I like that part of the holiday. Starving myself, not so much. Have an awesome weekend ya’ll!

What is your favorite recipe with eggplant?
Do you have a favorite vegetable?

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Eggplant Parmesan Gets Healthified

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a good Saturday. I swear I am getting so forgetful these days. I just remembered that I had a paper due at midnight tonight in my online philosophy class. It is not a fun assignment either. Boo to doing work. Luckily my mom and I are working on a delicious baked good hat I will definitely be sharing with ya’ll in a couple of days. Until then I’m going to have to share another delicious recipe with ya’ll: Eggplant parmesan. Eggplant parm can pack in a ton of unnecessary calories, but if you follow this recipe then you will be able to lose weight while eating great!

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Healthified Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant
1-2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh tomato
1/2 c. of tomato sauce
6-8  thin slices of mozzarella
1 tbsp of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
pinch of salt

photo(5)1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice eggplant lengthwise into slices and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on top of the slices and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on each piece.

2. Cook in the oven for around 20 minutes or until the eggplant appears slightly brown.

3. Then place a small amount of sauce on each slice of eggplant (I had around four slices of eggplant, so it didn’t take that much sauce to cover lightly). Then add on 2-3 slices of tomato on each piece of eggplant. Next you add 1-2 slices of the mozzarella cheese (make sure that each slice of cheese is pretty thin that way you won’t be consuming a ton of calories and you will get the great meltability that you want). Finally sprinkle on some breadcrumbs and place into the oven.

photo(4)4. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese is completely melted. Then remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes until warm enough to take off the pan.

photo(1)I am in love with this dish. A great thing to serve along with it would be spaghetti squash (just another vegetable that I’m obsessed with). The cheese, when it melts, provides a nice creamy flavor to the crunch of the crisped breadcrumbs. The eggplant is soft from being cooked, yet it is crisp on the outside. It provides a nice contrast in your mouth. Also by only having a thin amount of sauce, there is not a ton of mess from this fantastic dish.

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Italian food is one of the best good genres in my opinion, well besides Asian of course. However Italian food comes along with tons of empty calories and high fattening foods, so it is important to either modify the recipe or make smart choices when you are eating out! I hope ya’ll like this recipe because I know I did. Have an awesome rest of the night. I’m going back into the nerd world of writing papers. The things I do to make it to graduation.

Belated Birthday

Hey ya’ll! This week is sort of crazy for me. I’m taking the GRE on Thursday night, so I’ve been devoting my life to studying for it. I am praying that I do good, so I don’t have to take it again. That thing is freaking expensive. To be honest, I don’t really think you need to be skilled in geometry or have a high vocab to get your masters in nutrition and exercise physiology. Anyways this past weekend it was my mom’s birthday! I seriously love my mom to death, she is pretty awesome.

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Funny story actually. So on Friday we went to this place called Hey Cupcake to get my cousin a few cupcakes for her birthday (yeah, all of my relatives are born at the same time – weird), and my mom decided to get one for herself for her birthday. The guy working there was like well how old are you and she was like guess how old my daughter is, so he looks at me and goes 16. REALLY DUDE? Like really? I’m 23, but sure 7 years off isn’t bad. He then proceeds to flirt with me and talk about how tall women are beautiful. Umm okay, you just thought I was 16 about 5 seconds ago.

DSCN0160For my mom’s actual birthday, we ended up going to the Whole Foods in downtown Austin to pick up lunch and about 5 million desserts. Okay, I exaggerated a bit. Only like 6 desserts because there was a surprise waiting for my mom at home. We first went to go get my mom a chocolate covered caramel apple at the chocolate bar in the Whole Foods, and that is where I saw some pretty cool stained glass chocolate. I love that chocolate is an art form. I also love the way it tastes. You are probably a deeply disturbed person if you don’t like chocolate.

DSCN0167For my lunch I had a salad from the hot and cold food bars. I piled it on with delicious goodness. It had spinach leaves and romaine lettuce, eggplant with miso glaze, roasted zucchini, grilled mushrooms, pesto roasted tofu, edamame, and some roasted tomatoes. Healthy and delicious. That is my style. My brother and mom split a sandwich called the Mopac. I know ya’ll are telling me to shut up about the food and just get to the desserts, so lets do this.

DSCN0171That is beautiful. I have a weakness for cherries. Oh and if you didn’t already know chocolate too. I love chocolate. This was a black forest cake in a cup. I love when Whole Foods smashes up a dessert and puts it in a cup to go. This dessert was probably my favorite of all the ones we picked out to have. It was so rich from the chocolate and it was moist. Thank god because I hate when cakes or brownies are like crispy instead of squishy.

DSCN0170That cloud of fluffy icing looks like a nice pillow that I just want to lay on and eat it up. Maybe not exactly, but I definitely want to gobble it up. This is the tres leches cake at Whole Foods. If you haven’t had it, you seriously need to get in your car and go pick one up immediately. This is probably the moistest cake I have ever had, and also the best tres leches cake I’ve probably had too. Whole Foods does a perfect job of incorporating the classic flavors of this traditional Mexican dessert.

DSCN0163The surprise that was awaiting my mother. A Banana Fosters birthday cake. Yes, I know. This actually exists in reality. Thank you Whole Foods for being the greatest place in the world. Okay I wouldn’t go that far, but I do love the Whole Foods. Really just the one in Austin because it is the headquarters and far superior to any other one in the world.

DSCN0169This cake was heaven. It had a thin layer of caramel for every icing layer within the cake. The bottom of the cake was surrounded in dehydrated bananas, I was a fan and no one else was. The icing was fluffy and delicious, while the cake was not dry and had so many flavors packed into it. It was sort of overwhelming, but in a good way.

DSCN0173I ended up having some fruit salad, so I could pretend that I didn’t eat all of that dessert. I’m not that much of a fatty. I only had one or two bites of every dessert that we actually got. I liked the fruit salad though. It was only filled berries and pineapple. I was glad because I’m not a fan of honeydew and I hate when people put it in fruit salad. Gross.

DSCN0161I just thought this was really neat. We obviously didn’t buy a huge thing of chocolate, but I love how they do all these cool artsy pieces in the display case at the chocolate bar in the Whole Foods. I do wonder if someone actually buys these things. I wouldn’t mind if a guy bought me that key in dark chocolate.

DSCN0162We know I love cupcakes. My weakness in life. Whole Foods does such a good job at making the cupcakes look crazy adorable, so people will buy them. This one was my favorite one that day. It was an icecream sunday on top of a plain vanilla cupcake. I’ve had their cupcakes before, so I didn’t want to get one. I love the icing, but the cake is just sort of a cake. Whole Foods is obviously somewhere you don’t go to get the cupcakes, but still most of their desserts are pretty mind blowing.

What is your favorite dessert?
How often do you go to Whole Foods?

A Late Night (WIAW)

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I have been all over the place, but school is crazy right now. I have two labs where I have to go in later in the week in order to check on bacteria growing. Maybe I just love bacteria cultures so much that I actually do this for fun instead of for class? No, just kidding. I’m not that nerdy. Anyways it is time for my favorite day of the week: What I Ate Wednesday. Shout out to Jenn for coming up with such an awesome idea!

Look at those bad boys. Pumpkin Belgium waffles. Yes, I definitely scored that morning before class. My amazing roommate has a waffle maker! I just recently found this out even though I’ve been here about a month. How slow am I? Obviously I am definitely going to be taking advantage of this. I realized I didn’t have a lot of ingredients though, so I threw these waffles together.

Nom. These were amazing. I used some bisquick gluten free pancake and waffle mix, threw in some almond milk, egg substitutes, and canned pumpkin. Topped it with some banana slices and sugar free syrup. Delicious. I was so full that I didn’t have to come home in between classes to make myself a snack. Success.

For lunch I had a black bean burger that had black beans, garlic, red pepper, oats, onion, and a few other goodies. I placed the patty on top of some chopped lettuce and topped it with some dijon mustard.

This was a delicious meal. Due the large amount of fiber in the burger because of the oatmeal and beans it was super filling. It had the right amount of spices added to it, so it wasn’t just a plain tasting burger. I will definitely have to make these again sometime soon and topped with onions, tomatoes, and avocado. Mmmm. Can’t wait.

On Monday it was Rosh Hashana, which is the Jewish new year. I spent it having a nice meal with my dad’s side of the family at my grandparents new house. It was actually really delicious. I mean the chef was beyonce’s chef for the summer in Marfa, TX. Obviously I’m a true diva now. He also cooked for Johnny Depp, but Beyonce is just way more fab.

Since I’ve gone vegetarian, I could not eat any of the meat that the chef had prepared, but I did not really care. Instead I had a pile of vegetables and a rice dish. The vegetables included grilled eggplant, squash, onions, some broccoli, a salad, a carrot pudding, and some peppers. The eggplant was by far my favorite thing. I really want to get the recipe to recreate it because it was just that good.

I even made my own gluten free challahs to bring for myself to eat. Obviously I didn’t eat two entire challahs. I brought one to the dinner and I froze the other one to bring to my apartment. I ended up eating about 5 pieces to go with my vegetables, so I would have a substantial meal. The challah actually turned out pretty great too. My mom and I were worried about how it would come out because the flour is completely different than regular flour, but I thought it was quite delicious. I’m still enjoying the challah right now, microwaved, and topped with raspberry jam. Delicious.

Hope everyone has survived halfway through the week! I can’t wait for the weekend, but not really because I will be doing a lot of studying. Anyways I have to get back to writing my epigenetics paper. Boo.

 

WIAW #6

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been absent from the blogging world. I just have so much going on right now. My volleyball team and I leave this Friday, so I’ve been having last minute practices, dealing with volleyball team drama, and convincing some public school volleyball coaches to let my girls miss tryouts to come with the team. Luckily everything has worked out so far! Also my internet is very bad, so it is pretty hard to write posts too. It takes me a couple of hours to get things working unlike at my apartment where it takes me at the most about 30 minutes.

Enough with all the drama! It is on to my favorite day of the week: What I ate Wednesday. Thanks so much to Jenn for hosting this day. It is a once a week event where bloggers can share what they have been eating in a friendly and awesome environment. I love it. It always gives me a lot of great ideas about what to cook.

Lets see what I have been eating lately in my absence.

I’ve been eating a ton of eggs. I just love omelets. It is something about the gooeyness of the cheese with the soft texture of the eggs and the crisp vegetables. Eggs are great because they are a great source of protein and it is a really filling breakfast that will last you for a couple of hours. This is important because it keeps you from snacking throughout the day, and by eating a healthy breakfast it keeps your metabolism going.

I have an extremely large sweet tooth. One thing I can’t resist in life, even though I eat really healthy, is candy. Recently I have rediscovered the greatness of Jelly Beans. My older brother had gone on a business trip near a Jelly Belly factor, and picked me up a bag of Snapple Jelly Bellys. That was the start of an addiction. Thank you. This is a mixed bag of jelly beans for my trip, but I have been sneaking a few out every day. Lets just hope I don’t eat them all before I leave on Friday.

Another snack I’ve been enjoying are these Lemon flavored meringues. I got them at Sprouts Market the other day when I was there with my mom. Not only are these pretty low calorie, but they are also gluten free (I’ll go into the importance of this in a couple of days). They are a really tasty snack, and the lemon flavor is not too subtle or too strong.

For lunch, a Whole Foods salad. I’m sorry, but not sorry that our Whole Foods is supreme to all other ones. Not only do we have one amazing Whole Foods, but Austin is currently in the process of building another one the exact same size near my mom’s! So excited. Anyways, the downtown location has the greatest salad bar ever. There is about 4 or 5 long buffet style stations filled with delicious goods.

In the salad was spinach leaves, balsamic roasted tofu, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, quinoa, edamame, raspberries, and blueberries. I love fruit salads, so this was a perfect lunch to have. It was huge too. A refreshing lunch.

I know this looks really disgusting, but it is actually crazy good. It is pan fried tofu with a eggplant and vegetable sauce. My mom and I had gotten an eggplant at Central Market a while ago, and were wondering what to do with it. She decided to make a sort of chunky sauce with it. The sauce had tomato paste, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and red onion in it. I then added my tofu in it, and it lead to an amazing dinner. It was sort of an Italian tofu dinner.

I’ve been on a huge reading kick lately. I can read about two or three books a day when I have the time to, which is pretty nice. These are the current ones I have checked out from the library. If you liked The Hunger Games then you should definitely check out the Divergent book series (Insurgent is the second book) and the Matched series. I have finally gotten Fifty Shades of Grey from the library. I requested the book two and a half months ago. It is about time.

Hope everyone has a great Wednesday, and hurrah for it almost being Friday!

Do you have any good book recommendations?