Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomato Stuffed Eggplant

I was bored and we needed to use eggplants and tomatoes from the farm basket... I started looking up recipes for 'eggplants' and 'tomatoes' and found one that had breadcrumbs and cheese and oil and was like 350 calories each. It looked delicious, but I eat all day every day, and can usually not afford to have 350 calories come any single item in a meal.

I got to thinking - what if I just stuffed the eggplant with homemade salsa? It's easy, low calorie and fat free. Winning combination. Now - I will preface this with I used 2 eggplants and said the serving size was 4 people. This would be ideal for lunch, if paired with hummus and a protein; a light afternoon snack; or a side at dinner.

Even though I had already had dinner and dessert, I decided I was still hungry, and rather than indulging in speculoos right from the jar (that can get ugly quickly), I had one as a second dinner, and it was just enough to 'hit the spot' as my dad would say.

I'm going to do the step by step with pictures, because - why not.

1. Hollow out the eggplant. I found it easiest to carefully cut 'cubes' without piercing the shell before scooping it out with a spoon. Save the insides from one of the eggplants for step 3.

 2. Place eggplant shells in a casserole dish and preheat oven 450 degrees.
 3. Use a handy dandy food chopper and dice the eggplant really finely. Transfer to a small bowl. 
 4. Do the same thing for the tomatoes and garlic. If you have really juicy tomatoes, drain some of the liquid first.
 5. Mix together your salsa, season with salt, pepper, cayenne to taste.
 6. Dice 1/2 of each chive. Cut the remaining 1/2 in half for garnish.

7. Spoon salsa into eggplant shells. Top with diced chives and garnish with the larger pieces.

8. Bake at 450 degrees for 30minutes and enjoy it pipping hot! 
I would assume it would be good cold as well. That's how I plan to eat it tomorrow at lunch with a dollop of Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus and some Trader Joe's Meatless balls for protein.

Rough Nutrition Breakdown:

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Total Cholesterol Dropped 27%!

For work, we have to get Biometric Screenings done to reduce our out of pocket health insurance costs. I've always had high cholesterol, it's hereditary. 

As you all know, I went Vegan January 1st, and while dropping my cholesterol levels wasn't my reasoning for making the change, it's always been in the back of my mind. When I reviewed my most recent biometric screenings this morning I was thrilled to see I had the following drops in Cholesterol over the past year:  

27% drop  in total cholesterol
7.7% drop in HDL
21% drop in Ratio
42% drop in LDL.

There are so many things that keep happening that are convincing me that this lifestyle is a great fit for me and as I keep hitting these milestones or getting solid evidence (hence #'s above) I'll post them. I hope they prove to be motivating factors for anyone reading this blog. Not in the 'go vegan it's the only way' type form of motivation but motivation that if you stick to a healthier lifestyle with diet and exercise, you can improve your overall health.

Here are the actual numbers, and a brief explanation of what the test shows, and how it plays into risk of heart disease.

Inline image 1

Note: I started at my company last year and had a reading in June and October. There was a huge flux between the two periods and I'm not sure if it had to do with my crazy travel schedule leading up to June (Chicago, Switzerland, Austria) where I didn't have a chance to pig out as much as normal, or what - but I included all the values for the entire picture.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Roberto Martin's Whole Wheat Waffles with Maple-Berry Syrup

I'm in love. There, I said it. I have always had one go-to cookbook and blogger, and that is Lindsay Nixon of But for my birthday I received Roberto Martin's cookbook, and hands down - if the past 9 months of being vegan wasn't enough to convince me that this life style and diet was awesome, this cookbook put me over the edge. Roberto Martin, as perfectly stated by Portia de Rossi in the forward (he's Portia's and Ellen DeGeneres' personal chef), Roberto doesn't make vegan food, he makes food vegan.

Hello there handsome. I love you and your recipes.

This morning we tried Roberto's Whole Wheat Waffle with Maple-Berry Syrup, and WOW.


For the Maple-Berry Syrup - I used 5oz frozen raspberries, 1/4 cup water and 1/8 cup of maple syrup. We let this simmer until it was ready to serve (compared to removing from heat as directed). It was awesome.

We made the following changes to the Waffle recipe:
1) Cut everything in half. I'd consider us having a large waffle iron, and by cutting the recipe in half, we got just over 2.5 waffles. 
2) Used Organic Pasty Flour instead of whole wheat flour, we didn't have whole wheat in the house, but didn't want to lose any elements of texture or flavor by using 100% all-purpose flour.
3) Added 2 servings (26g) of Bob's Red Mill Chia. We try to add chia to any baked goods as it's an easy way to add protein and fiber.

Here is a picture of the crispy goodness still in the waffle pan.

Adding the raspberry sauce.

I tried to use self control, but just dumped the entire batch of raspberry sauce on top of my waffle.
Thank goodness Matt doesn't like berries because I don't think I would have shared either way!!!

I took a breath to take a quick picture. I cooked it for 6 minutes in my waffle iron, I probably could have done 7 minutes, since it was a tad soggy in the middle. It could also be that I added the entire batch of raspberry sauce and it soaked in.. Who knows, who cares, I ate the whole darn thing and then licked my plate clean!