Eggplant Parmesan can be heavy and fattening. We prefer it unbreaded and broiled, so it’s a lot lighter and less caloric, yet filling enough for dinner. We make this with plum tomatoes because they aren’t as watery as regular tomatoes. This also means that the sauce will be thicker.
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 1⁄2 pounds
- 6–7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 10 large plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven broiler. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into thin slices (about 1⁄4 inch). Using 4–5 tablespoons olive oil, lightly brush both sides of each eggplant slice.
Place the slices on cookie sheets and broil for 6–8 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Remove from the broiler and turn the oven to bake at 350˚F. While the eggplant is broiling, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook brieﬂy. Add the tomatoes, basil, and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12–15 minutes or until the tomatoes are very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan.
Place one layer of eggplant in a lightly oiled baking dish and top with half the tomatoes. Repeat the eggplant-tomato layer. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 10–15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Makes 4 servings.
Do yourself a favour and buy a garlic press. Although some cooks say pressed garlic doesn’t have the finesse of the chopped kind, for casseroles like this one and for sauces and marinades, it will be just fine.
This is a spicy dish! You can use this as is —but I like to serve it as a salad: cut the broiled meat into slices and put them on top of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber salad (drizzle with vinaigrette). The meat also makes a terrific sandwich filler: spread some crusty bread with mayo lightened with a bit of fresh lime or lemon juice. If you’re following a ketogenic diet and would prefer an alternative, have a look at this delicious cauliflower fried rice recipe. Without wasting more of your time, let’s get to the original recipe.
- 1 small onion, coarsely cut
- 2 large garlic cloves, quartered
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup canned chipotle peppers in adobo
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1⁄2 pounds turkey London broil
Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler with the rack about 6 inches from the heat source. To make the pesto, place the onion, garlic, cilantro, chipotle peppers, 4 tablespoons olive oil, chilli powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano in a food processor and process until pureed.
Brush the turkey with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Broil for about 15 minutes, turning the meat 2–3 times. Brush some of the pesto on the turkey and cook for about 20–25 minutes, turning the meat occasionally and brushing with the remaining pesto, or until it is cooked through.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Lately, I’ve been very into The Fall, a BBC/Netflix show starring Gillian Anderson. I just finished watching season 2. I thought it ended rather off-kilter, but I’m doubtful there will be a season 3, considering how the plot was finished. I’ve also seen the press/rumours that Twin Peaks and the X-Files will both be re-booted as series. That’s some exciting news.
Exciting food news to me is often Asian food, I love, love, love it. I’ve recently noticed improvements in my health since giving up gluten and dairy, and cutting way back on beef and pork. But I still have fatigue issues and haven’t been losing any weight. So I’ve been experimenting with following a no sugar, restricted carbs diet. The ketogenic diet really looks intriguing to me and the two blogs that have caught my attention are Maria Mind Body Health and Ruled.Me. I enjoy each for different reasons: Maria’s blog has very gourmet style recipes and lots of keto treats. Craig’s Ruled.Me blog has simpler fare and he’s a bit less strict on the rules.
I decided to try out Ruled.Me’s cauliflower fried rice recipe and originally meant to have it as a side with a main dish I was working on. However, I was exhausted last night after grocery shopping, house cleaning and laundry, so I opted to have the cauliflower rice as dinner and wait on the rest. I was also experimenting with a sugar free dessert recipe that may or may not end up on my blog, depending on how good it is. With the cauliflower recipe, you grind up the veggie in your blender until it resembles pieces of rice. You then drain it on paper towels to get out a lot of the moisture. After that, you fry it up in sesame oil with some seasonings, adding scrambled eggs and fried bacon at the end.
The only change I made to this is that I used turkey bacon, as I don’t really digest pork very well. I must admit I didn’t have high expectations, I was thinking it would taste very vegetable-like with a hint of Asian flavours. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was so incredibly flavourful! I could seriously eat this every day, it’s that good. The sesame, ginger, garlic, bacon and more all combine into a powerful punch of tastes that will knock you off your socks. Happy Year of the Sheep!
Thanks to Activia, we all know the difference between “good” bacteria AND “bad” bacteria…right? Great. So we’re all together here on page 1. Now let me see if I can’t knock your socks off with some more basic but mind-bending facts (at least to me) that may just make you angry, confused and determined to make a big change during this winter’s cold and flu season.
Continuing my way through the latest Skinny book I mentioned earlier, I came across the section on a “sick rumor” about bacteria, regarding the use of antibacterial gels. You know, the stuff you squirt on your hands because it’s faster than washing them (otherwise known as hand sanitizer)? Maybe you have a bottle on your desk, or you work somewhere that has those little bottles hanging from the walls everywhere that shoot out a foul-smelling foam? Now let’s keep the plain English going. This is “anti” “bacterial” gel. Right? Right. You’re still with me. I can feel it.
But you know that when you catch a cold or the flu, you’re catching a virus…right?
Ding ding ding! You must be as befuddled as I was when I first saw the light.
I’d heard about the potential dangers of antibacterial gels in the sense that they could contribute to the formation and spread of “superbugs,” but in all honesty, that always seemed so far-removed and “that won’t happen to me.” I mean, I’m taking it a bit more seriously now, but what really gets me here is how duped I feel by a $45 billion industry that’s actually making us sicker, not keeping us healthy like they’re trying to make us think!
So my message today is short and sweet: Freecycle that hand sanitizer, baby, or at least stop using it so psychotically because you think the snot running down your niece’s nose won’t “get you” that way. It’s a virus, sweet pea. Save the hand sanitizer for the diaper bag, wash your hands more often (with soap!) and stop contributing to what could end up being a major health crisis during our time. Stay healthy with all my latest tips and tricks and you won’t wind up in the hospital — where MRSA first cropped up, due to a built-up resistance to what? Antibacterial cleansing wipes. Doesn’t get much more convoluted than that, now, does it?
Eat well. Exercise.
That’s the simple mantra for a healthy life. You can make it complicated – eliminating certain foods, eating a strict diet, and sticking to a regimented and punishing gym-schedule. But most of us don’t have the time – and for most of us, any kind of exercise is better than none.
So, here is my ultra-simple list of five incredibly simple exercises you can do – no gym membership, no equipment, and dead easy for beginners.
Walking is the easiest, simplest way to get some activity into your life. Walk to the shops. Walk to work. Walk to a friend’s house. Walk around the block. Walk through the forest, up the mountain, across the fields.
Walking is incredibly under-rated as a mode of transport. You can walk a lot further than you think, and it’s a lot less stressful than driving. It’s easy to fit into your day-to-day life too – in fact, why don’t you go for a walk right now? This blog will still be here when you get back.
2. Starjumps, squats, pull-ups, press-ups
I know. I hate repetitive, routine exercises too. So the easiest way to work the jumps, splits, squats, pull-ups, press-ups and other bodyweight exercises is to vary it up. Combine different movements. Make it playful – remember when you were a kid, and you used to just randomly run around and jump on things? Moving is fun, and playgrounds are great places to go if you just want to climb trees, have a go on the monkey-bars, and play ‘lava-monsters’.
Dancing is amazing. Okay, it’s not quite minimalist in that it requires a source of music, but I’m going to assume that if you can read this post, you can get onto YouTube. Go find some upbeat music, and dance like you’ve never danced before. Nobody’s watching, so just let yourself go crazy.
As a variation, try some martial arts. Pretend you’re Bruce Lee being attacked by a hundred ninjas, and get those high-kicks and super-quick punches flying.
You might want a mat. But you don’t need one, really. I can’t praise yoga enough. It’s one of those things that always makes me feel better, even if I just find five minutes to really stretch. I don’t need to go into much detail here, as the famous Everett Bogue has already written the best guide to minimalist yoga around. I should note that I’ve been using his routine very successfully for the past few weeks.
5. Play with some kids. Outdoors.
Children are whirlwind dynamos of energy, and keeping up with them can be hard work. So do your local stressed out parents a favour, and take their kids for a day out somewhere. Go to a park, and play football or frisbee. Explore the woods or some caves. Play old playground games, like ‘stick in the mud’. Or just chase them around until they or you collapse!
Now here’s the catch. To make it worth doing, you need to keep doing it. So slow down. Make it a habit to walk to work. Agree to take the kids out once a week. Make Tuesday night the night you put on your sequins and turn the volume to eleven. Make yoga part of your nightly wind-down routine.
Now – wasn’t that easier than you thought it would be?