Posted by: saramcglothlin | May 14, 2012

Farmer’s Market Makings

Today I was able to incorporate all the goods I got over the weekend.  For a while, I had been stuck in such a rut with my meals, using the same ingredients day after day, it is no wonder I have gone a little overboard decided to switch it up a little.  Last night I admitted to never having cooked an eggplant; I felt very lost when trying to figure out what to do with it.  But just you wait…it’s amazing what a simple Google search can do (although I must say, sometimes I do miss a good ole’ fashion cookbook…but there is just so much to offer out there on the world-wide-web!)

Workout

I took a break from exercising yesterday so this morning when I woke up I craved me some cardio.  I headed to the gym with my Oxygen magazine in one hand, Real Simple  in another with the intention of doing a 45 minute circuit using various machines.  However, the Oxygen magazine got me through 40 minutes on the stairclimber (something I’ve never done as I usually get bored after 20 mins).  After that, I was done.

Work was supposed to slow down a bit relative to the past 3 weeks, so I was able to take some time this morning to prepare both breakfast and lunch.  On the menu:

Oatbran with 1/2 c coconut milk, 1/2 c water, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 egg white, cinnamon, strawberries, almond butter blob

Green salad with chicken curry (pulled chicken, whole-grain mustard, black pepper, curry powder to taste), walnuts, avocado, grapefruit

After work I was in the mood to get my hands dirty in the kitchen.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to be really picky about my almond butter.  I’m a “crunchy” girl at heart, but my grocery store has only offered smooth for the longest time.  So, what do I do? Make my own:

Read ingredients: “dry-roasted almonds.”  I know you can buy a jar of almond butter that is just that, but nothing beats the consistency of the homemade stuff.  I urge you to try it, it’s worth the hassle.  I’ve even read about including honey, cinnamon, etc, but I have yet to try it.  I don’t really like my almond butter very sweet as well.  Yes, I was a picky eater as a child.

Within 5 minutes I realized what I wanted to do with my eggplant.  After a quick Google search I decided on “Eggplant Pizza.” I was excited two times over as the inspiration came from a favorite blog of mine:  Healthy Tipping Point.  I took the basic concept of her recipe and made it my own, as I tend to do.

Pesto Eggplant Pizza

  • One eggplant cut in half
  • 1/3 c chopped onion
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/3 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 c black olives
  • 1/2 c chopped green bell pepper
  • spinach
  • 1/2 c white beans
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • red pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the eggplant in half.  Scoop out the insides and dice.

Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and veggies of your choice.  Saute for about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, spinach and white beans and saute an additional 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the veggie mixture to a small bowl.  Add dollop of pesto and mix

Spread evenly in the eggplant shell.  Top with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper (optional; I like some heat).  Bake for 30 minutes

Serve with side of your choice.

It was a dessert kind of day, so I topped 1/2 Banana Oat Muffin with almond butter and a piece of dark chocolate

I am really proud of myself for 2 reasons.  First of all, I incorporated a Farmer’s Market find into every meal.  Most importantly, since I didn’t know that much about eggplants, I took it upon myself to do some research (you’ve heard that before) and looked up the nutritional content and benefits.  I also stumbled upon the “history” of the eggplant and how it got its name, but I will save that for another day.

Eggplants are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and rate very low on the GI scale.  It is also a good source of Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber (especially if you leave the skin on!).

Of course I noticed the lack of protein, so I added the white beans.  Caitlin from HTP added tofu, which I can imagine would be good as well.  There is so much flexibility with this recipe, which is why I believe I have found a keeper.

Question: How do you like your nut butters? Crunchy or Smooth?  Have you ever made your own?

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Responses

  1. Dinner looks delicious! But it’s that DESSERT that’s really calling my name. Do you just pick it up and eat it with the chocolate bar on top? I feel like I’d wanna melt it and eat it all together with a spoon :). And I’m proud of your accomplishments too!

  2. […] delivery service she uses.  She asked me about some ways I cook eggplant, and I raved about the Pesto Eggplant Pizza I made recently.  She looked at me confused, and now I know why.  There is no way you could […]

  3. […] almonds in a food processor until the point when it is just about to form “the ball.”  Add the other 2 ingredients.  Use your hands to knead the dough into a ball, and then using a […]


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