It’s Juice Day

When I first started to consider vegetable juicing, Zak was skeptical. He didn’t understand what the point was or what was so great about it.

“Why not just eat a salad?” he asked.

Well sure, you could just eat a salad, but you’d have to eat A LOT of salad to reap all the benefits from the live enzymes and chlorophyll you get from a small glass of green juice. Or a big glass for that matter.

I was holding off buying a juicer because I felt some resistance and was not yet prepared to shell out big bucks on an experiment, but thank the heavens the juice gods smiled at us and the rest is history.

This same man that was so skeptical is now a green juice addict. He said yesterday he needs to know what the juice schedule is. I don’t think he cares so much about the health benefits of fresh vegetable juice as he does about the taste. And I’ll admit, it is way tastier and refreshing than I ever expected – thus we are still drinking it regularly nearly two months later.

How about every other day, does that work? We had juice on Wednesday, so that means today is juice day. I think we’ve got ourselves a schedule.

Zak left early to swim laps while I puttered around the quiet house and lugged the juicer out around 6:30.

It's Juice Day

Oh how I love the grinding sounds of a juicer in the morning.

My usual: a head of romaine, 1 cucumber, 2 apples, 2 lemons and a couple inches of ginger. Enough juice for two.

It's Juice Day

I’m a lean green juice drinking machine!

Lean Green Juice Drinking Machine

The girls are with Ellen today per our usual Friday routine. I’ve got a laundry list of things to do and am hoping for an uber productive child free day.

I waited to go for my run, it’s so chilly in the mornings I decided to work through my usual AM run time and hold off until this afternoon when it’s a bit warmer. I love my early morning runs but with a good 6 months of cold mornings in front of me, I’m going to take advantage of the warmer running while I can.

This morning’s fuel was delivered via a bowl of chocolate banana fruit cereal goodness.

Friday Fruit Cereal

2 diced small-ish bananas, tossed in ground flax seed and unsweetened cocoa powder. Topped with sliced almonds and a spoonful of almond butter and a pour of unsweetened chocolate almond milk. Talk about dessert for breakfast. This my favorite fruit cereal combo yet, thus why I’ve eaten this exact combo over and over again.

The skies are looking kind of dark, looks like I better get my sneaks on and head out the door before my warm afternoon run turns into a wet one!

The Marathons are Over

A whirlwind day yesterday with so much going on, thank you all for all the birthday wishes for my baby girl!

After Maxine opened her gifts from us in the morning I got started on her cake. I used a chocolate cake recipe I’ve used in the past.

Dark Chocolate Cake
2 c boiling water
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter, softened
2 1/4 c white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms of cake pans with parchment paper and grease sides. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Slowly add flour and cocoa mixture to batter, alternating flour and cocoa until completely combined.

I greased two cake pans with coconut oil (forgot about parchment paper until I was writing this post!) and lined cupcake pans with muffin tins.

Two Cake Pans Cake Batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (20 – 22 minutes for cupcakes.)

I cooled the cakes in their pans for about 15 minutes, then removed from pans and let finish cooling on a rack. This recipe made two 9 inch cakes and 16 cupcakes.

Once completely cool, I used a serrated knife to level the cakes and cut off the top layer to make them flat.

Leveling Leveled

For the filling I made a chocolate butter cream frosting.

1/2 c butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz heavy whipping cream

Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cocoa powder and continuing creaming until well blended. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Blend on low until moistened and well combined. Add more cream if necessary, beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

Filling Filled

I used a wide frosting blade to cover the leveled side of one cake, and then laid the top layer leveled side down so I would have a nice flat surface to frost later.

Two Layers

Cake in the fridge to set, I whipped up two sun dried tomato hummus sandwiches for me and Zak and we were out the door to take Ava to her homeschooling class in the city.

Two Sandwiches

After dropping Ava off the three of us spent some time at a park waiting for Ava to be done with her class.

Playground Birthday

We got home with an hour to spare to decorate the cake and finish getting the house ready for visitors! I used the same buttercream frosting recipe for decorating, without the cocoa powder. I tripled the recipe and had MORE than enough for the cake and cupcakes.

The birthday gal got some fun gifts and then it was time for CAKE!

Dolly

My cake decorating skills are amateur at best, but I was still pleased with the way it turned out. Maxine was delighted and that’s all that mattered.

Maxine's 3rd Birthday Cake

I had very specific instructions for “An Ariel cake, but no fish and no crab”. OK kid, your wish is my command.

Lesson learned from Ava’s 5th birthday: make lots of cupcakes, just in case. I made Ava a Backyardigans cake for her 5th birthday in March and she loved it SO much that she absolutely screamed like I was cutting into her flesh when I tried to cut and serve it. I had to cut the few extra cupcakes I’d made into tiny portions served with big scoops of ice cream. Fortunately everyone laughed and were good sports but I wasn’t going to risk that happening for two birthday parties in a row!

Cupcakes

Maxine had no problem cutting into her cake – I’ve got lots of cupcakes left over. Want one?

It was right about this time that I realized I was having cake and ice cream for dinner! Oops! Oh well, at least it was real butter and sugar instead of partially hydrogenated goodness and high fructose corn fun.

Dinner

Green juice was most definitely in order for this morning after my 4 mile run. I need to detox the sugar and butter from my cells! (But it was totally worth it!)

Green Juice For Sure!

The two big events that were on the calendar are now behind us! The half marathon and Maxine’s birthday and celebration – and I feel like I’ve run two marathons back to back. How is it Wednesday already?

Re-Runs

With the girls with Aunt Ellen for the day, I spent yesterday chained to my desk. A forgotten pleasure.

Friday Salad

I unlocked the chains long enough to make a big salad mess. A far-from-forgotten pleasure. A re-run I’ll happily enjoy day after day.

Before the girls came home last night I ran to the marathon expo with my running partner Shawn. Well, we didn’t really run, we drove. You never can tell so I figure I better clarify.

This year I took advantage of the sneaker recycling program they offer and brought my old sneakers to donate to this “Re-Runs” Program.

Re-runs

Those are the sneakers I ran the marathon in last year! I probably should have had them bronzed. Could be cool but then it would just be one more thing to dust.

Dropped Off Sneaks

Bahahaha who am I kidding I never dust.

This is the journey any pair of running sneakers of mine are destined to take:

First, they are born. Born to run.
Then, they run many miles and grow old. A new pair is born and they are free to retire for walks and visits to the playground.
Next, when a third generation is born, they graduate to lawn mowing.
Eventually, they are left to live in the garage due to grass stains and clipping stick-age. Spiders lay eggs in them and they are thrown out.

Thrown out, or in this case donated to needy people. Don’t ever say I don’t do my part for the community.

OK, just kidding. That pair never made it to the Land of Lawn Mowing and Spider Eggs. I tried to donate a lawn mowing pair but when I reached under the bench to grab them without looking I didn’t realize until it was too late that I grabbed two right shoes. (I have two of the exact same retired pair out there in Spider Valley.) I think a higher power intervened and was trying to tell me not to be an idiot. I tossed them and now have two left shoes in my garage that are being converted into spider condos.

This would be me posing with my tech shirt! WOOT one of the first 1500 to register and get a free tech shirt! Wow, a race shirt I’ll actually be able to run in – go figure. (Cotton is the enemy! Hisssss!)

Tech Shirt

Zak pointed out once that I always cock my head to the left when I’m getting my picture taken. Why do I do this? Someone tell me why!

A nice little message.

Run Happy

Actually, I prefer to Run Angry. WHY WOULD I RUN HAPPY?? TELL ME WHY! Don’t boss me around! Jerk.

*Ahem*

I’ve been contemplating my mid-run fuel and have opted to go with Sport Beans because I’ve used them before. I like dried fruit or could make some of Brendan‘s fuel recipes, but I’m sticking with the “nothing new on race day” approach and going with what I know works.

I picked up these beans up at the expo. The watermelon are mine and the cherry are Shawn’s. He gave them to me so he wouldn’t forget them. Nice. So if we both bonk tomorrow it’ll be all on me. They’ll have gels on the course but the beans are easy to keep in your shorts pocket and pop a couple as needed. Less messy and that little bag fits perfectly in the inside pouch my running shorts too.

Sport Beans

I’ve never had the caffeinated sport beans though. So I guess that will be new on race day. Oops. I haven’t had a cup of coffee or any caffeine for that matter for the last two weeks. When I go a while without coffee I can really feel the effect of caffeine. Caffeine can definitely be a performance enhancer. I fully expect these to turn on the turbo boosters and allow me run like someone said “Free Larabars at the finish!”

So I’m going to segue now into a bout of seriousness and honesty. I know, I know. Humor me here.

In the past I would totally splurge on a fun dessert leading up to the race, like cake or ice cream for a pre-run treat/carbo load! Yes, even two nights early. It’s not that I feel like I “deserve” it, more like “I’m excited about a big event let’s do something fun!” And I totally felt that pre-race excitement/sugary instinct last night! But after reading Thrive (and I’ve still got a full review coming, I promise) I’ve come to understand that this is pretty far from what you might call a good idea.

Brendan writes that processed foods can actually hamper your performance. Refined sugars and carbs put stress on your system, and it takes a lot of energy and taxes the body to digest these foods. This is true no matter when you eat them, but going into a big race? The last thing I want to do is waste precious energy digesting food!

In the past I would totally think “oh, I’m running XX miles this week, I can totally have a piece of a cake. I’m carb loading!” A piece of cake is fine now and then and I certainly allow room for treats in my life, but I now fully realize that if there’s any time to focus on WHOLE foods that are easily assimilated into the body – the days leading up to a race or big event is definitely the time to do it. If it were a 5K I might be a little more lax, but considering I want to really perform well tomorrow I’m taking this very seriously.

Home after the expo I snacked my way through some carrots, banana chips and dried apples and then realized I better make something. I didn’t want to have to tell Zak we were having banana chips for dinner. I ended up going with the same black bean burgers I made on Tuesday. Another re-run but that’s how you know it was good! This time I wanted to add a little flour to the mix but I didn’t have any.

I remembered a comment left by Shawna from Balancing Me on my Tofu Cakes post from Thursday. Shawna reminded me that you can make your own oat flour by processed some rolled oats.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Oat flour

In the bowl: 1 15 oz can of (rinsed, drained, mashed) black beans, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup chopped (in my mini chopper) sun dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped sunflower seeds.

Mush

In the pan dusted with a Misto‘d with a little olive oil, it’s already getting a thumbs up because I know how good it’s going to be!

Thumbs Up

On a toasted Ezekiel bun with mustard, spinach and a pickle. The oat flour definitely made this even sturdier than the one on Tuesday. Zak and I agreed that these were the best home made veggie burgers yet!

Black Bean Burger Kiss It Goodbye

Oh yes you can totally kiss that sucker good bye.

Zak went out to lunch yesterday with his coworkers and brought fortune cookies home for the girls, and even one for me. I found meaning in my fortune.

Fortune

So I lied, I guess I did eat some processed grains and sugar yesterday! Crap I’m such a hypocrite.

This morning after I dreamed of becoming somebody, I awakened to make my vegetables become something. Juice.

Red Juice

The usual crowd: Romaine Jackson, Coolio Cucumber, Sir Beet Feet, Apple of My Eye, Ginger Rogers and Lemon Lemone.

Later this morning, the re-run I’ve been waiting 24 hours for… Chocolate Banana Fruit Cereal.

My two bananas, diced and coated in ground flax and cocoa powder.

Breaded Bananas

The exact same breakfast I had yesterday.

Fruit Cereal Re-Run

On any other day I would have just skipped posting about the meals from yesterday, but I thought I would share my new Thrive-inspired approach to fueling for a big event. Veggies! Healthy Fats! Fruit! More veggies! We’ll see how it goes.

The race starts tomorrow at 7:45AM. My goal is to come in under 2 hours. A time of 1:59:59 means an average pace of 9:08/mile. I hope to run much faster than that but I’m glad to have a minimum pace in my mind.

In a perfect race day world, I would love to come in under 1:50. A time of 1:49:59 means an average pace of 8:23. I believe I’ll be able to finish in less than 2 hours, but less than 1:50? I’m not so sure.

The whole fam is heading over to Shawn’s house tonight for dinner and to finalize our race day approach. It will be another day of re-runs. Veggie burger for lunch, a huge salad for dinner. No pre-race pasta ritual for this chicka! Not this time. I’ll be on the Veggie Highway.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a full race report! Send me all the fast mama vibes you’ve got, I’ll take everything I can get!

Let’s Switch

The girls were with Aunt Ellen today and my mom happened to have the day off from work. We decided to take the opportunity to have a little mother-daughter day together. We headed out to eat at a small, local restaurant called Aladdins Natural Eatery. Their menu touts fine, fresh ingredients to make delicious, healthy meals. Well what do you know, I’m all a-tout that myself.

Aladdin's Natural Eatery

Aladdin's Menu

We decided to split the babaganoush for an appetizer.

Baba Menu

I’ve made babaganoush but was never quite sure it turned out like it was supposed to either time. It was like a mystery waiting to find out what this was actually supposed to taste like.

baba

This was great! I think I put too much tahini in mine – it was nice and subtle here. I was very ready for lunch by the time we sat down and between the two of us we easily made this disappear.

We sat on the upper level and enjoyed watching city life go by while we chatted and noshed.

Terrace

For our lunch, mom ordered the Melazangna.

melanzagna

She shared a (very generous!) bite with me, it tasted just as good as it looks!

lasagna Cesear Salad

I choose the Spanakopita. This is one of my favorites and I also like to try and order things in restaurants that I wouldn’t normally make for myself at home.

Spanakopita

Spanakopita

After our fabulous meal and conversation, we were off to catch Julie and Julia!

I don’t get to the movies often these days, so if there’s any movie I’m going to see this summer it’s got to be the one about a food blogger!

Julie and Julia

It was a really cute movie, Meryl Streep was so convincing as Julia Child! I of course had to come home and find Julie’s blog. If you’ve seen the movie, have you found her blog yet?

Plenty full from lunch we didn’t need anything to eat in the movie theater. I snacked on this guy that my mom brought me to try when I got home.

sesame bar

She said it tasted like peanut brittle but with sesame seeds – and that’s exactly what it was like! It was interesting and I liked it.

Home just in time to head out again for the next thing on the schedule – a family picnic at Zak’s mom’s house to visit with some family who were visiting from out of town.

From the looks of what’s on my camera, I was too busy carrying around a shy Maxine to take pictures of anything but food.

Dinner was a bun-less veggie burger (with Nances mustard!) and pasta salad and tomato, cucumber, basil salad.

Picnic Food

I had my eye on other carbs and was willing to spare a roll for my veggie burger.

Chocolate Cake

Maxine ate a few bites of her child sized portion of cake and then eyed my piece and said “how about we switch?”

*Blink blink*

My cutie girl

It’s a good thing you’re cute, kid.

She didn’t mess around here. She spun my slice right around and dug straight into the frosting and chocolate shavings on the back of the cake.

Let's Switch

Way to keep it real. Why even mess around with that cake part, it’s all about the frosting!

I passed on any wine tonight and stuck with water because I’ve got a long run planned for the morning. Got the carbo loading all taken care of though, lots of chocolate goodness to fuel my run in the AM. That’s how ya do it.

If cake is your thing, what’s your favorite part? The cake? Or the frosting?? I’m definitely a frosting girl myself.

Stolen Wishes

Continuing with today’s fruit for breakfast theme, I polished off a bunch of a cantaloupe as I got us packed up and ready to the head to the museum today.

more fruit

This was also about the same time that Ava learned the internet was down.

Internet Down

I can totally relate, kid.

So off we went to the Museum of Play.

Strong National Museum of Play

We played.

Maxine Playing With Cars

And waited for butterflies to land on our shadows.

waited for butterflies

Have I mentioned that my legs have grown longer? I think it’s all the green juice.

Long Legs

But then I found a cookie on the floor that said “Eat Me” and it shrunk me back down and did something weird to my head too.

eat me

That’ll teach me to eat a cookie off the floor. Especially one that seems a little suggestive.

And on that note I think it’s time to segue into lunch, wouldn’t you say?

Lunch From Subway

I had packed homemade garlic hummus and salsa and some vegetable sticks, but was feeling a bit hungrier than I expected (hello only fruit for breakfast) and ordered a salad from Subway in the food court of the museum.

It’s basically everything I’d get on a sub! It worked perfectly with my packed salsa and hummus, and I totally loved the banana peppers and pickles on a salad! Talk about dressing built right into a vegetable! I ordered a side of red wine vinegar but didn’t end up using it. I ate all the veggies and left most of the ice burg lettuce because they were more than generous with it.

And a Ginger Snap Larabar for dessert.

ginger snap larabar

This is the second time my girlfriend Sharon noted that I needed to post a picture of what the actual Larabar looks like as she said it didn’t look anything like she expected until I shared one with her one day.

So here ya go – this is for the rest of you Larabar Virgins out there. You can thank Sharon for this shot.

larabar inside package

After more playing, we hit up everyone’s favorite part of a museum. The gift shop.

And Maxine found a new friend.

New Friend Hug Dolly

Frolicking in the garden outside the museum before we got the hell out of Dodge, we snacked on my favorite Turkish Apricots.

Our favorite Turkish Apricots

Probably a good thing the apricots are out of focus – I don’t blame the camera for focusing on the kids after last nights award show.

Maxine apparently snagged a few wishes out of the fountain while I was busy eating apricots with my eyes closed. Whoops. Hope they weren’t anything too important.

Stolen Wishes

For dinner tonight I decided to make an Indian dish I haven’t made in a while, dahl. Dahl – pronounced like commonly used phrase – Alison, you are such a doll.

Red Lentil Dahl

1 Tbsp +/- extra virgin olive oil
1 medium green bell pepper (or chili pepper if you like it spicy), diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 glove garlic, minced
1 – 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
8 oz red lentils
3 cups of water
1 Tbsp cumin (more or less to taste)
1 tsp roasted red pepper (omit if you prefer it mild)
splash of lime juice

Started like I start a good majority of my recipes it seems, sauteing green bell pepper, onions and garlic in EVOO. Except this has some ginger in there too!

peppers, onions, garlic and ginger in EVOO

Once vegetables are soft, add lentils, water and spices.

Cumin red lentils

Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook on low, stirring occassionally for 40 minutes or until lentils have dissolved. Keep an eye on the liquid content, add more water if needed.

We love cumin so I add more than a tbsp. Adjust for your own tastes.

Dahl is not complete with out of a side of naan! Indian style flat bread that I picked up today when I snagged a few groceries after the museum.

naan toasted naan

2 “loaves” to a package, I cut one in half and warmed it up in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Naan is chewy and dense, I love it.

dahl

Maxine is either giving me the sign to steal second base or she’s trying to convince me to break my piece of chocolate into two. You decide.

Sign to Steal Second

Zak’s working late. I’m still living dangerously plugged directly into the DSL modem and about to disconnect. No work out. Maybe those were my pennies Maxine snagged from the fountain today.

Stay At Home Thursday

This morning I was ready to whip out my young coconut meat. Although that might be misconstrued as something inappropriate for those under 18, really it’s just me getting the scraped out guts of my young coconut from yesterday out of the refrigerator. Sorry to burst your dirty mind bubble.

Let's make mama a smoothie

I first learned about the wonder of young coconuts from The Raw Food Detox Diet.

Note that a young coconut is something different than a mature coconut – the brown hairy thing we all know and love. One of the beautiful things about a young coconut is the coconut water. The water turns to “milk” as the coconut matures. Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes, has more potassium than you can shake a banana at – it’s like all you could want from a sports drink and more.

After you slurp out the water, you are left with a relatively thin layer of soft coconut meat that you scrape out and can do a variety of fun stuff with. A smoothie seems like the best option in my mind, mainly due to the fact that I am unsure of the other “fun stuff” I speak of.

With my coconut meat booty, 1 banana lightly frozen, a little vanilla almond milk and a blender that wishes it was a VitaMix, we got down to business.

coconut smoothie goodness

Holy goodness in a glass. You are reading the words of the human vacuum who sucked up every last bit from the bottom of the blender with that there straw once my glass was sucked dry.

Moving on.

Lunch was the last of the leftover lentil tacos, but this time as an actual taco instead of taco salad.

lentil taco

A whole wheat tortilla, 1/4 of a sliced avocado and some mango peach salsa.

With my favorite side of carrots and oh yes, more salsa.

carrots and salsa

After lunch we had some company – my girlfriend Sharon entrusted me with her first born while she ran some errands. During a lull we popped up some cheap entertainment.

Popcorn Fun

Popcorn Excitement

And had a popcorn party. Apparently Max was the only one who read the invitation closely enough to notice that it was a Pink Tutu Affair.

dress_code

Sitting at the table is highly overrated.

the_horses

I received a look of utter disgust when I asked Maxine if she wanted to be a doggie too. I was promptly lectured on where the popcorn is supposed to be eaten.

Where the Popcorn Should Go

My share, that I didn’t dare eat anywhere but the table lest I be lectured again.

My popcorn

Mid afternoon I was feeling the urge to eat but wasn’t actually hungry – so I continued on with Operation: Use Up Stuff in the Cupboard and remembered this Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla White Tea Chai.

Sweetened with a tsp of agave nectar and a splash of 1% milk – because it’s chai!

tea_today

Salad for dinner is actually code for “Zak’s going to be late and I’m sick of eating leftovers”.

Salad Tonight

Red leaf, green leaf, feta cheese, a diced granny smith apple, extra firm tofu chunks, raw cashews tossed in miso dressing.

I had to snap this picture fast so I could quickly lick up that almond butter drip before it fell and I’m labeled an AB Abuser.

Hurry!

No almond butter was harmed in the photo shoot of the Green and Black 70% Dark Chocolate. What happened AFTER the picture was taken? Well yeah, that got pretty ugly.

New Friends

Hello. Meet my lunch.

Simple Sandwich

A delectable vegetable sandwich on scrumptious toasted Ezekiel seven grain bread with a smattering of homemade two-day-old guacamole, freshly sliced tomatoes and store bought, hand washed fresh from the fridge romaine lettuce.

Side View

My sandwich has a friend I’d like you to meet too.

A mumbo jumbo plate of steamed cauliflower, shredded carrots and zucchini steamed in only the finest tap water this side of the Mississippi, topped with the Parmesaniest cheese this side of Wegmans.

Plate O'Veggies

Hey. Kid. Get your fingers out of my food. I’m trying to do introductions here.

Get Your Fingers Out of My Food

Now that you’ve met my friends, let me tell you about my favorite colors, Green and Black. With a bite missing.

G&B

Next I need to tell you about a miracle. No, not the PB Cookie Larabar that I snacked on today. (Although it is a miracle I finally found this flavor.) The miracle that is bulk nut butters found at my local food coop. Today’s “Mystery Butter”? Mixed raw and roasted almond butter for 1.99 a pound.

PB Cookie

Yes, that’s right. That’s not a typo. A DOLLAR NINETY NINE A POUND. Apparently there are “some people” who only want raw AB or only roasted AB, thus a mix of the two is less desirable. Lucky for me I am not “some people”.

And finally, a recipe to share with you this evening.

Eggplant Parmesean A LA Alison

2 medium eggplants
Salt
Tomato sauce, prepared as desired
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan cheese

Step 1: Pre heat oven to 350

Step 2: Slice eggplant into 1/2 in slices. Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt to remove bitterness. Basically, make your eggplant sweat like it just ran around the block.

Salted Eggplant

Step 3: Meanwhile, get started on your sauce if you’re gonna make it yourself. If you’re going to dump it out of a jar, move on to Step 4.

Optional Step 3a: I prefer to make my own sauce, and I start by sauteing onions, garlic and mushrooms in a little EVOO.

Saute Mushrooms and Onions

Step 4: After about 30 minutes, rinse salted eggplant and bake for about 5 minutes. (You did pre-heat the oven, right?) Flip and bake for another 5 minutes.

Roasted Eggplant

If you’re making your own sauce, keep working on it while the egg plant is doing it’s sweating, rinsing and baking thing.

After my mushrooms and onions are soft, I added a can of 15 oz diced tomatoes, a 4 oz can of tomato paste, a little water, dried oregano, basil, S&P.

The Sauce

Step 5: Shred your mozzarella.

shredded mozz

In 9 x 13 inch pan, spread a thin *layer of tomato sauce. Top with a layer of eggplant. Sauce. Mozz. Parm. Repeat once more from *.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven

Ready for my mouth.

Ready for my mouth

And this concludes my strangest post of the week.