Tag Archives: Eggplant

Making My ‘Scape

I finally made my ‘scape…. my garlic scape concoction! Hi!! I hope you had a great fourth of July!! My weekend has been quite busy, but I’ve had lots of fun. Here’s a recap!

Friday:

Having a Friday off is such a lovely thing. I got up, had a leisurely work out, and then I finally got around to mixing up a batch of garlic scape bean dip. You might recall that I bought some garlic scapes at the farmer’s market a long time ago, and I promised to share my favorite recipe. The original recipe was published in the New York Times last year, and the recipe can be found here. I’ve lightened it up a bit by using only 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, and I don’t think it’s missing a thing! The Times also had a very interesting article, that I really enjoyed. You can check it out here if you’d like to read more about scapes.ScapesScapes are the stems that grow out of the top of a garlic bulb, and they are the part of the garlic that would flower if left intact. They have a very strong garlic flavor, and can be used much as you would use garlic. The tips of my scapes had gotten a bit dried out from all of the time spent languishing in the crisper, but otherwise, they were good to go. 

I removed the dried out parts, and then chopped up 1/3 a cup of scapes. Those went into the food processor with 1/2 tsp. of sea salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper. The scapes have a pretty serious heat on their own, so it doesn’t take a lot of black pepper to spice it up. I also added the juice of a lemon. I whirred it around in the food processor until the scapes were pretty finely chopped.

BlitzThen, I added a can of great northern beans that I had drained and rinsed. I didn’t have cannellinis in the pantry, and I knew that these white beans would work just fine. Hooray for the pantry!!

BeansI continued to puree the mixture. When it was pretty well blitzed, I drizzled in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil with the processor still running and continued to puree until it was smooth.

Mmmm....I love this stuff and eat it as I would eat hummus! The scent of garlic really hits you when you take off the lid. Scapes are amazing!! If you can’t find scapes, you could make a similar mixture with a few cloves of garlic in place of the scapes. 

I put some scape dip into a La Tortilla Factory wrap (I was so excited to finally try these!!), along with some sliced cucumbers and Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar, and voila! I had  a tasty wrap to take to a little pre-National’s game tailgate. 

It's A Wrap!

I was wearing a new dress, and you can see part of it in the photo. It loved it because it had a lot of crazy colors, but… it might look like a tablecloth. 🙂 

I also made a batch of butterscotch blondies (sitting in the chair in the above photo), using a recipe from an old Cooking Light cookbook, “Low-Fat Ways to Cook Family Favorites,” and took some to share with my friends. Sadly, the recipe isn’t on-line and it isn’t my own, so the best I can do is tell you about the cookbook. It’s a good one, by the way!

Butterscotch BrowniesThe Nat’s lost to the Braves, but the game was still fun. The racing President’s are always a highlight.

Poor Teddy!Poor Teddy Roosevelt never gets a break. At least he keeps trying! Way to be a role model, Teddy!

Saturday:

Saturday morning, I went for a walk with my friend, Mrs. W, and then she and I went to the farmer’s market. I loaded up on berries this week, as well as cherries, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and some chive cheese. Yum.

After our walk and our visit to the market, we lunched on leftover gratin, garlic scape and white bean dip, farmer’s market cucumbers and tomatoes, and some Berry Cherry “Ice Cream.” It was a tasty lunch. I love having leftovers that I feel good about serving to a good friend. She happens to be a vegetarian too, so it was awesome that I had my vegetarian gratin to share. Yum!

Last night, I had another friend, MG, over for dinner. I “griddlered” a farmer’s market pork tenderloin, basted in a bit of barbecue sauce, along with some zucchini and yellow squash. I made some oven fries– both sweet and regular potatoes, and boiled up a couple of ears of corn.

Happy Fourth!It was a healthy dinner, but I think it had a fourth of July feel to it. Oh, Griddler. I love you! Did you eat something festive on the fourth?? I forgot to get watermelon, and I was bummed about it!

For dessert we had more blondies and more Cherry Berry “Ice Cream.” Then, we headed up to the roof of my building to watch the fireworks on the National Mall. There is a clear view of the mall and the monuments from our rooftop, and it’s fun to see all of the smaller displays along the banks of the Potomac as well. I wanted to show you my view, but I never figured out how to take a good photo. This should give you some idea:

Boom!!Directly below the fireballs, you can kind of make out the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building if you try. We have a great view, just not an awesome photographer. Ahem. 

While MG was over, I also made an overly gooey batch of brownies to repay him for watering my plants while I was in Alaska. I do have my kitchen flops, from time to time, and I shouldn’t have tried to do a minor tweak to a previously untested recipe! Silly junior mints. The brownies tasted good, but a spoon might not be a bad choice of utensil. 😦 Sorry, MG. I say– microwave them and top with with ice cream. Yes. I’d eat that for sure!

Sunday:

I woke up with a serious hankering for French toast. I haven’t had it in ages! I mixed 1/4 cup of eggbeaters, 1 1/2 T. of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, 1/4 tsp. of sugar and 1/8 tsp. of vanilla extract together. I soaked two slices of multi-grain bread in the eggbeater mixture, and then I cooked the slices in a nonstick skillet coated with butter flavored cooking spray. I had some lovely raspberries that I bought at the farmer’s market yesterday as my side dish, and there was a little bit of maple syrup on the top. I love that I could taste the vanilla in the egg mixture. I didn’t completely drench it in syrup, the way I would have back in the old days, and I like that it stayed a bit crisp as a result. It really hit the spot!

French ToastAfter my special breakfast, I decided to take Coby out for a ride on the Custis Trail. Get ready for a quick switch from French toast to feet. I thought I’d warn you. There was no good segue that I could think of for this one! 

Along the way, I did something rather ungraceful while turning abruptly onto a little wooden bridge on the trail. Yes. My toenail is purple. Coby is fine, and the rest of me escaped unscathed, but I’m just not sure what this purple toe is going to do. I guess we will wait and see. I strongly suspect the toenail will not be with me much longer. Ewww, right? I hope I didn’t gross you out too much. At least I didn’t post a photo. I thought about it. 🙂

Ok, back to food…

I wanted to use the rest of my garlic scapes as well as two eggplants I bought at the farmer’s market so I decided to make a quick stew for dinner. I had to improvise a bit to avoid taking my purple toe to the store, so I used things from the pantry. Here’s what I came up with:

Din Din“Not Going to the Store” Garlic Scape, Eggplant and Red Lentil Stew

Ingredients:

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

cooking spray

1/2 medium sized onion, chopped

1/4 cup of garlic scapes, chopped

2 medium sized eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (undrained)

1/3 cup dried red lentils

1 1/2 cups of water

Salt to Taste

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a deep sided skillet. Add the cinnamon, chili powder and cumin, and heat the spices, while stirring, for thirty seconds. They should become fragrant. Add the onions, garlic scapes and a few sprays of cooking spray. Cook over medium high heat for seven minutes, or until the onions start to soften.

Add the eggplant to the pan, along with 3/4 tsp. of salt, stirring well to incorporate the onions, and let the mixture cook down for eight minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the can of tomatoes, the lentils and the water. Stir well. 

Increase the heat as needed to bring mixture to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, testing to be sure the lentils are tender. If the lentils need longer, make sure that there is still some liquid in the pan, adding a splash more water if necessary, and let it simmer a bit more. Mine were done in 20 minutes.

Give it a nibble and add extra salt, if needed, to suit your tastebuds.

Red lentils are key in this dish when it comes to using dried lentils. They cook the fastest of all of the lentils, and they will get tender in the time it takes for your veggies to nicely stew. If you wanted to substitute any other lentils, I would recommend cooking them first. If you decide to do that, I would reduce the water in the stew to 3/4 a cup.

Makes approximately 6 one cup servings

FinThis stew made a yummy dinner atop a bowl of rice, and my apartment smells amazing!! I’ve used the rest of the scapes, and my eggplants have been saved from a few more days in the crisper drawer. Hooray!

I worked out with my trainer this evening, despite the purple toe, and I think I may need to put some ice on it now. The pain wasn’t bad during class, but now it is not feeling so happy. I’m off to find an ice pack.

Thanks for making it to the end of this very long post. I had a lot to tell you about!

I hope you have a great week!! Ciao for now, y’all. 🙂

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Filed under Cooking Light, D.C., Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

What I Ate Thursday!

Oat Bran with BerriesThis lovely Thursday morning started off with a great bowl of oat bran. I’ve seen other bloggers use tea in the place of water, and I’ve started doing that myself. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, bloggies! That was a great idea. I don’t know who came up with it, but I am glad that the idea made its way into my bowl. Thanks to you, whoever you are! I brewed up some sticky toffee tea that I got in London a couple of years ago to use in making my oat bran. After the oats were cooked, I added 1 Tbsp. of maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. of chopped walnuts, 1/4 package of vanilla whey protein and some blueberries. It was gooooood! I also had more of the tea with a bit of almond milk, but I apparently cut it out of the picture. Oops!

Before I headed off for my lunchtime kickboxing class, I had this Siggi’s orange and ginger with a chopped up date. I’ve been trying to figure out what was missing from this little cup for several weeks now. Today, I nailed it: Dates! This was such a good combination. I’ve always loved dates and orange together. It was so obvious! I don’t ever want to have Siggi sans dates again!

Date with SiggiKickboxing was good, and it seemed challenging enough, but my heart rate monitor told me that I had only burned 350 calories. Huh? It seemed harder than that. Anyone with a heart rate monitor knows that they aren’t infallible, but I checked mine from time to time and it didn’t seem to be doing anything weird. It never told me that my heart had slowed to 10 beats per minute or anything too unbelievable. I used to burn around 700 during a class, but I’ve seen the number drop as my body has adjusted to the new moves. Overall, I don’t want to complain because this is a big sign of progress. I was just a little puzzled by it.

At any rate (excuse the pun), I was hungry when I got home, and I had a huge bowl of food. There is a serving of my bulgur chili in the bowl along with a corn vitatop, an ounce of Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, a Tbsp. of 0% Fage and a spoonful of salsa for a little extra kick. This was a cozy bowl of goodness! I love working from home because I can add little embellishments like the salsa and yogurt without having to drag in extra containers. Even so, I may be dragging in some extra gladware tomorrow, because this combo was awesome!

Bulgur ChiliDespite the huge bowl of food, I still needed some dessert. The dessert I had today is going to be featured as my favorite weekly snack tomorrow. I’ve been enjoying it a lot this week. Because I don’t want to spoil my own surprise, here’s a placeholder. Oh, the suspense. 🙂 I did not eat the glass bird or the rose, by the way. 

Secret SnackAs the afternoon wore on, snacktime grew closer. I had another of my favorite yogurt combos today. I’ve probably posted pictures of this particular mix at least four times now. In the bowl: Lemon yogurt, Fiber One and blueberries. Seriously, lemon and blueberry together with a crust like crunch of Fiber One can fool me into thinking I’m having dessert. I love this mix!

Yogurt CombiSince my kickboxing calorie burn was less than I had hoped for, and because I had some spare energy lying in wait, I decided to put my dinner in the oven and head to the gym to burn a few more calories. I never work out twice in the same day, but I was just kind of in the mood. Plus, I hadn’t showered since kickboxing so I was already stinky anyway. 🙂 My time in the gym was even more intense than usual. Weird! It was a strange sort of workout. I really pushed myself rather than just slogging along as I sometimes do. I’m wondering if it is because I knew that it was “bonus,” and that I could stop any time without guilt. Whatever the reason, I felt great!

Before I headed up to the roof (my gym is on the roof…), I had a piece of Nature’s Own Double Fiber bread with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB and sugar free raspberry jam.

Dark Chocolate Dreams and ToastAfter my second workout of the day, I came home to find that my dinner was ready. I’m so excited! I tried the baked tofu that I’ve seen other people raving about. Gliding Calm, this is genius! I used the measurements for the rub provided by Kath. Oh my good gravy. Look at that tofu. It had a crunchy outside, a perfect inside and the flavor was amazing. I’m so glad that I tried it. I’m going to have to try the barbecue sauce method next. I put a little bit of Virginia Gentleman Bourbon Barbecue Sauce on the sandwich thin along with some lettuce. This was good eating! Back in the corner, you see some of the baba ghanouj that I made last night. It just gets better with age. I had it with my bright little veggies. All in all, this was a very enjoyable dinner!

Dinner!

Of course, I needed dessert. I had a peanut butter vita top with a bit of fat free Cool Whip and a sliced red pear. I’m out of my usual strawberries, but at least the pear is red. 

Vitatop and Red PearAfter a long bath, I decided that I needed something more. Here’s a problem: I wasn’t really hungry. I’ve eaten several things over the past few days when I haven’t really been hungry. Part of me says that it’s fine because I haven’t exceeded my points for the week. The other part of me says that I should be more concerned with responding to my body with a sense of reason than satisfying a mathematical equation.

The part of me that likes chocolate and peanut butter trumped everybody else. I think I’m ok with that. I’ve had this can of cocoa mix in the cabinet for a bit, and I’d like to use it up along with all of my loose tea. I love using things up. It makes me feel like I didn’t waste my money! I decided to put half a serving of cocoa mix in a bowl of oat bran. I also had a tablespoon full of mighty maple.  The oat bran turned a lovely chocolate color once I stirred in the cocoa mix. Sorry I didn’t snap another pic! I kept the peanut butter in the spoon and sort of dipped little bits of oat bran into it a little at a time. I feel like I enjoy the peanut butter more when I can see it than I do if it is all blended in. This bowl was the perfect mix of flavors to satisfy my chocolate and peanut butter craving, and now I have a great use for the cocoa mix. Hooray!

Hot Cocoa Peanut Butter Oat BranI really enjoyed doing today’s post. I didn’t start my blog with the plan to keep a daily food journal. I do that elsewhere, although not with photos. After posting pictures of a day’s worth of food a number of times now, I have to say that I really kind of like it! I’ve always loved reading everyone else’s, and I’m thinking about starting to do it twice a week instead of just on Thursdays. I seem to learn a lot about my eating habits when I see my food staring me in the face. If you are a blogger who frequently posts all of your daily eats, I’d be interested to know what you have found to be the most useful part of that exercise! If you don’t blog about it, but you keep a food journal, I’d like to know how that has helped you as well. I’m always so happy to read comments, and I often find them incredibly useful! Thanks to those of you who chime in!

I hope everyone has had a great day. Tomorrow is Friday, and I’m so glad because this week has seemed very long. I always look forward to my Friday’s off from the gym too. I do love working out, but a girl has to have some balance… and time to socialize! Have a good night, kids! I will see you tomorrow with my weigh-in results (I think it is going to be exactly the same again, by the way… hmm… ), and my surprise snack. It isn’t anything exotic, but it is really good!

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Filed under diet, Fitness, Food, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

Looks Aren’t Everything… for example…

Baba GhanoujBaba Ghanouj. It isn’t pretty, but it is very tasty. I made a batch this evening, and realized that it isn’t the most photogenic food. Like many things, looks aren’t everything!

I hope everyone made it through humpday. We saw the sun today for the first time in several days, and it perked me right up! All the gloomy days just make the sun seem sunnier! I had a good day at work, and then came home to the rest of my egg salad from last night’s batch. I’m going to have to make some more. I forgot how much I like it! I also came home to an eggplant:

EggplantI’ve had plans for this eggplant for several days now, and I finally got the chance to turn him into Baba Ghanouj. If you are a fan of hummus, I think that you might really dig this dish too. There are about a zillion baba ghanouj recipes around, but the recipe I use is based on a recipe from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

Eggplant and Tahini Dip “Baba Ghanouj”

based on the recipe in Arabesque, p. 248, by Claudia Roden

Ingredients:

1 eggplant

1 1/2 Tbsp. of tahini (Sesame Paste)

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 tsp. salt

 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

chopped parsley

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Prick the skin of the eggplant four or five times with a fork, and place the eggplant on a baking sheet. Roast it in the oven for 45-55 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant. It should look shriveled and be soft. Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow it to cool. When it has cooled, remove the skin and place the flesh of the eggplant into a strainer or sieve. When removing the skin, I just sort of tear the skin apart and scrape the flesh off of the skin with the side of a fork or knife. Press out as much liquid as possible, and then use a spoon to chop/mash/pulverize the eggplant while it is still in the sieve, allowing the juices to continue to escape.

In a bowl, beat the tahini and the lemon juice. I just used a fork for this. It may take a minute for it to really turn into a nice paste. After it becomes a smooth paste, beat in the yogurt. Add the mashed eggplant, the garlic and the salt and beat it vigorously with the fork. Adjust the salt and garlic to taste. I like a lot of garlic so I used 2 cloves instead of one.

Ms. Roden suggests spreading this onto a flat serving dish, drizzling it with the olive oil and topping it with a sprinkle of parsley. I’ve certainly had it that way when dining out, and I’d do that if I had guests. Since it is just me (and since most of it was going in the fridge for later), I mixed it all together in another piece of my retro pyrex that is made for fridge storage. I went ahead and mixed in the olive oil after snapping the photo too. Oh, and I didn’t have any parsley, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over that. 🙂 If I happen to go to the store tomorrow, I might pick some up because it is kind of nice on top, but it isn’t necessary. 

This makes 6 unofficial 1 point servings.

You’ve seen the eggplant before roasting. Here’s the after:

Eggplant AfterI also wanted to show you a photo of the eggplant being mashed in the sieve. It was really pretty bland looking so I posed my little chef smurf nearby to add a little hit of smurfy color:

Smurfy SmashHe tasted the final product and thought it was quite good. I have to agree with him! I have some yummy veggies that are going to go very well with this tomorrow. Tomorrow is a food diary day, so expect to see a delicious pile of this glop! 

Now, I’m up past my bedtime so I need to make some tea and head to bed with my book. I have a little bit of a cough, and I think that peppermint tea may really hit the spot. Good night, kids!

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Filed under Cookbook Review, diet, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers