Sauteed Eggplant with Honey & Thyme

My parents were given an eggplant and had no idea what to do with it, so they gave it to me. I absolutely love eggplant and have used it to make baba ganoush, ratatouille, and eggplant parmesan. But I also have zucchini from their garden coming out of my ears and plan on making zucchini parmesan this week. So, what to do differently with this eggplant?

Evernote Food is my favorite app. I house my online recipes in the cookbook and can search recipes when I’m looking for something new. I made this eggplant with honey and thyme last night. It was delicous! I used almond milk and coconut flour instead of dairy or gluten. The coconut flour gave it an extra bit of sweetness in addition to the little bit of honey. I think you could probably even sprinkle some goat cheese or parmesan cheese on top and it would be divine. Enjoy!

Sauteed Eggplant with Honey & Thyme

Easy Low or No Sugar Eats Over the Last Week

Of course trying to write another blog is a big undertaking, so I’m going to have to change my strategy. So, here’s a list of make-ahead and easy, fast recipes I’ve made over the last week with little or no sugar with links directly to the recipe. Enjoy!

From Edible Indy

Gazpacho – I didn’t have sherry vinegar so I just substituted a bit of red wine vinegar, white vinegar, and apple cider vinegar and it still tasted delicious!

Mushroom Risotto – This takes an hour or so, it’s a great make ahead dish and you can fresh portions for another day. My favorite risotto is butternut squash.

Cucumber, Yogurt, & Horseradish Soup – I had a hard time finding horseradish root, so I just skipped it and added a little dill and mint.

Living Strawberry Shortcake – I would like to try this with blueberries since they’re in season. I tried it with blackberries and they’re just too tart.

Zucchini Parmesan – I didn’t use any mozzarella, but I’m sure it’s just as delicious with the added cheese. Just substitute any gluten free flour to make it gluten free. I used coconut flour.

Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes – These are so easy! You can roast over bacon or sprinkle bacon bits (real, not the fake crap!) to add some meat flavoring if you want.

Zucchini Blinis
recipe from I Quit Sugar
This is a great make-ahead recipe for a breakfast item. I have giant zucchinis from my parents’ garden that make these delicious. I would eat about 4-5 blinis each day and it was so easy and fast.

Serves: makes 8-10

  • coconut oil, butter or ghee for frying
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • homemade cream cheese, to serve
  • chopped chives, to serve

Grate the zucchini using a food processor with a shredding disc – you need 2 cups of grated zucchini. Sift the coconut flour into the eggs and beat them together until smooth. Mix in the zucchini, salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and spoon in dollops of the batter. Cook until golden on both sides. Serve warm with cream cheese and chives on top.

From I Quit Sugar

Lack of Sleep Makes Us Go Ga Ga for Junk Food

I just read an article yesterday about a new study showing how sleep loss adds to weight gain because “a sleepy brain appears to not only respond more strongly to junk food, but also has less ability to rein that impulse in.”

I am a firm believer that there is a strong correlation because I’m a long time sufferer of sleep deprivation. I even woke up this morning after two nights of poor sleep craving caffeine and sugar. Why I’m not sleeping well is still a mystery, but I know it started with stress related to work, which led to my passion of helping others create work + life balance. I also know constant lack of sleep contributed to my weight gain over the last two years. I would be so sleepy that I barely could make it to work on time and rarely did, started drinking coffee and soda to stay awake during the day so I could function, and then was still so tired that I stopped exercising, including rarely practicing yoga (one of the things I love the most!). I know that 5HTP helped me start sleeping again, but getting my sleep back in order has been a real challenge. I’ve been off the 5HTP for a few weeks because it’s not recommended to be on it for extended periods of time, but now I’m having trouble sleeping again. The underlying cause of all this? STRESS. Take care of yourself now!

On another note…here’s a hearty breakfast recipe. It’s easy to make this ahead of time and eat during the week. I ate some this morning with Traders Point Creamery’s new single serve yogurt. They are in stinkin’ cute and reusable/recyclable containers.

Black Bean Vegetable Hash

Serves 4

2 cups diced red potatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup diced Spanish onion
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon mild paprika
¼ cup frozen corn kernels
¼ cup small diced green bell pepper
1 cup medium diced fresh tomato
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place the potatoes in a steamer basket and set in a pot with enough water to reach the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil, cover, and steam until tender, but still maintain their shape, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, and paprika and sauté until spices release their aromas, about 1 minute.

Make sure pan is still over medium heat. Add the potatoes and let brown on all sides. Do not stir continuously but flip potatoes as they brown. Add corn, peppers, tomatoes, and beans and gently stir to combine. Stir in the salt and continue to sauté until vegetables are tender and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve garnished with the cilantro.

From Kripalu

Baba Ghanoush & Baked Pita Chips

One of my favorite shows is My Family Recipe Rocks on the Live Well Network. In fact I’m watching it right now and copying and pasting some Mexican and Italian recipes I want to try into Evernote. I made this Baba Ganoush recipe last week and ate the last of it tonight. I just loved watching this episode and how the chef cooked the eggplant directly on the burner to give it a smoky flavor. While pita bread tends to have some sugar in it and definitely isn’t gluten free, you can eat it the first two weeks of the I Quit Sugar program. As an alternative to bread, I suggest a variety of vegetables or making your own gluten-free pitas. If I ever try to make them, I’ll share the recipe. Right now, I’m good with veggies such as celery, zucchini, and carrots.

Baba Ghanoush

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
4 medium eggplants
4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sumac (or paprika)

Directions
Grill the eggplants whole over a gas flame, turning with tongs until the skin is evenly blistered and the flesh is soft. Allow to cool. Scoop out inner eggplant flesh as close to skin as possible to gain maximum smokiness.

Crush the garlic with salt to form a thick paste. Mix the tahini with water, lemon juice and salt to taste. It should be thick and tangy.

Blend eggplant flesh with the tahini mixture, garlic and salt until well combined and creamy. You may wish to add extra tahini, lemon juice or salt to taste.

Scoop into a serving bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the oil into the well and sprinkle sumac or paprika on top. Serve with baked pita crisps.

Adapted from My Family Recipe Rocks

A great analogy as to why I began this blog

Play into consumers’ existing behaviors and expectations

In my day job I peruse articles on marketing, sales, social media, philanthropy, etc….so much so that sometimes my head could explode with information. I read this article today and it describes the exact reason why I started this blog. I believe the I Quit Sugar program is fabulous; however, I think it’s difficult to sustain for the majority of human beings. I believe in meeting people where they are and I wanted to develop no- to low-sugar recipes that are quick, easy, and budget friendly as well as not so radically different that the majority of the American population, including my family, would give up after just a few days.

Spicing Up Last Night’s Leftovers – Southwest Omelette

ImageI’ve been trying to figure out how I can make more time for the things I love, such as yoga, biking, cooking, and writing. Plus, I know that when I get my new doggie this weekend I’m going to have to wake up at the same time each day because she will have to pee. It makes sense to me to get up earlier in the morning, get my yoga practice in and cook breakfast at home instead of making something half-ass at the office and eating it at my desk. Now this means possibly shifting my meditation practice to the evening, but I’m still playing around with that schedule.

So, this morning I woke up and practiced a 30-minute shoulder opening sequence led by Jason Crandell on Yogaglo. Practicing with other teachers provides me with inspiration for my own classes. This week I wanted to work on helping my students with repetitive shoulder and wrist issues, especially the ones at my corporate warehouse site in Stringtown.

After practicing and planning this week’s Vinyasa class, I decided I wanted an omelette. This weekend I chopped up zucchini from my parents’ garden and some onion to have available for quick cooking in the morning. I started to pull it out when it struck me that I could experiment and use last night’s taco mix instead. Why not? I still

Southwest Omelette

-1 tablespoon of pure olive oil
-1/4 cup zucchini, chopped (or any other veggie)
-2 eggs
-pinch of salt
-pinch of pepper
-1/2 cup of the taco mix from last night’s dinner
-1/4 cup black beans
-1/4 avocado
-cheese (optional)
-hot sauce or salsa (optional)

Heat small saute pan on medium heat and add olive oil and zucchini. Saute a few minutes and set to the side. Crack the eggs and whisk in a bowl. Cracking on a flat surface rather than the edge of the bowl works best. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into pan and work it around so it gets the edges.

In the meantime, I just heated up the taco meat and beans in the microwave, but you could add a tiny bit of water and do it on the stove in another saute pan.

Flip the omelette over so the other side can cook. Add the filling (zucchini, taco meat, beans) and serve hot. I added a little avocado on top because it’s good for the liver. And I’m a huge hot sauce fan so Frank’s Red Hot is on all of my egg concoctions.

I wouldn’t recommend eating this every day or adding bacon on the side, etc. But I know I feel better eating more healthy fats and proteins and less sugar and breads. Plus, I feel fuller for longer rather than wanting to snack two hours later, and I have more lasting energy throughout the day. Pay attention to your body. Everyone is different.

Sugar Love. A Not So Sweet Story

I was surprised when I saw the cover of this month’s issue of National Geographic was about sugar and why we can’t resist it. So, I grabbed it and read the article this evening. The article is fascinating and real eye opening to the turbulent and greed-filled history of sugar cultivation that led to our current state of sugar addiction. It also touches on the health issues that have occurred as a result of sugar addiction, including a drastic increase in Type II diabetes and high obesity rates. Read the article.