Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beginnings and Eggplant!

Hello There~

I'm a believer that food and fitness go hand in hand. "Well of course" you might say. But I don't think a lot of people realize how much of an impact food has on their fitness journey! I think people, especially starting out, think they can eat what they want as long as they stay within calorie range and put in the time at the gym. I was like that when I first started out on my "get fit and healthy" journey. Then after busting ass for 3 mos and not seeing anymore than a couple of lbs difference, I was discouraged and upset. Then I started to really research eating clean. Now, don't get me wrong. I do love to eat and I'm not going to deprive myself a treat when I want it. But it's learning how to moderate those cravings. After time, I realized that I wasn't craving fast food burgers and fries but salads and egg whites instead.

When I say "eating clean" to me that means, No processed crap, No fast food, No soda pop, No white flour, pasta or rice. Now I do have 2 kids and a husband that are willing to try my healthy creations but I must transition them slowly.. so if I make pasta I might mix in some whole wheat with the white so they don't go running for the door.

Homemade burger, onion rings and tarter
I love to cook, so now when I want a cheesburger and onion rings, I'd rather make them from scratch at home. There are a couple reasons for this,
1. It's cheaper
2. It's going to taste better than any burger and onion rings I could by from some fast food joint
3. I can monitor the ingredients.

So for my first blog post I have a delicious recipe for anyone who loves Eggplant as much as I do.

Eggplant Balls~ makes about 12

You will need~
2 Eggplants
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg beaten
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/2 cup onion diced finely                                                     
1/2 cup Crimin mushroom diced finely
1 clove minced garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
                                                           1/3 cup breadcrumbs, to make it healthier you could substitute the bread crumbs for oats that have been processed a bit in a coffee grinder or even almond meal.. that's what I thought of when I saw the almond meal in my fridge. By that time I had already made them.

Peel eggplant and remove top and bottoms, then cut into fourths lengthwise. Grate, put into a bowl with 1 tsp salt. Let sit for a few mins. Then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Saute onions and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and soft and the mushrooms have rendered some of their liquid about 5 -7 mins, then add in garlic and saute about 2 more mins. add into squeezed eggplant. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. roll into golf ball sized balls. if mixture seems to wet add a bit more breadcrumbs. You want it to hold together nicely but not leave moisture in the pan. I was bad and added a small piece of Mozzarella into the center of my balls by cutting up a string cheese into 12 sections. Then I used my finger to make a small hole in my ball and added the piece of cheese and then sealed it in.

Cook in oven at 350 for 15 mins or until tops are nicely browned then flip balls over for another 15 mins.

These are really good. You could use them on pasta or in a sandwich like I did. I'm sure you could find other things to use them in too. And don't be afraid to play around with this recipe. That's the fun of cooking you can take a recipe and tweak it to suit your taste buds!
Let me know what you think!

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