Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eggplant Parm

Hiya everyone! It's officially Thursday and I am officially off the clock for 5 whole days - can I get a woohoo?! I am desperately in need of a mini-vacay, so I am leaving Derek and the poochies at home and heading to see the fam for Memorial Day Weekend.

Woman with Luggage Cartoon

Today, I am busy with packing and errands and hopefully lunch with my hubby if the timing works out, so I'm going to get right to it and share what I promised. Eggplant Parmesan. Do you love it? Ever had eggplant before? This is a great way to introduce eggplant to your palate -- d'uh doesn't everything taste fabulous when smothered in marinara and cheese? I'd have to say heck yeah!

Eggplant Parmesan
Recipe inspired by Clean Green Simple
Serves 3

1 pkg spaghetti (I used brown rice pasta)
2 - 3 c. favourite marinara sauce (canned or homemande)
1 eggplant
1 c. almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/4 c. brown rice flour (or other flour of your choice)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 c. breadcrumbs
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Peel and cut your eggplant into slices.

Place on a cookie sheet or cutting board and sprinkle liberally with salt on both sides. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the eggplant to 'sweat' out some of its moisture. Once 30 minutes has passed, rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry using a piece of paper towel.

Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

You will need 2 shallow dishes (I used pie plates)  for dipping your eggplant. In the first, dump in your breadcrumbs. In the second, combine the milk, flour, apple cider vinegar, salt and Italian seasoning. Mix well. 

Dip the eggplant slices into the batter mixture followed by the bread crumbs and then place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 6 - 8 minutes per side until the breadcrumbs become a golden brown.

Once the eggplant is baked, top with 2 - 3 tbsp of marinara sauce and some of the shredded cheese. Return to the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt. 

While the eggplant is baking, prepare your noodles according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add your marinara sauce and cover with a lid. I find that this heats the marinara enough, but you could heat it up by returning the pot to the stovetop on low. 

Serve the pasta onto oven safe plates. Top with the eggplant cutlets. If you want to add more shredded cheese, do so at this time and place the plates in the oven for just a few seconds to allow the cheese to melt.

I topped mine with a pinch of Italian seasoning. Other optional toppings might be parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper or red pepper flakes.

Serve and enjoy!

This takes a few steps to put together, but it is delicious! I liked this because I was able to make eggplant parm for myself and using the exact same directions, I made chicken parm for Derek. The only difference was that the chicken took a little longer to bake.

Now, without further ado, I must bid you farewell. I have lots of packing to do!! Next time we chat, hopefully I'll be sitting on the deck with my parents in Kentucky! I promise to take lots of pics and share all my great eats!!

Have a wonderful day,

What are your fave snacks to take while travelling?
What vegan cheese do you love the most?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!! Oh yeah kids, it's that time again already; Time for What I Ate Wednesday! Isn't nice to have a holiday Monday to help the rest of the work week fly by?!

I've found myself craving lots of fruits and veggies the past few days now that the temperatures have gotten a little warmer and the sun has started to show it's gorgeous face. Today, is all about good eats to satisfy my cravings and keep me fueled  from morning to night. It's also about being a conscious eater so I can drop these 10 pesky pounds I seem to have inherited!

Early mornings + Circuit Workout at 6:15 a.m. = Breakie on the Go. This morning I took a green smoothie to go in my all-time fave travel cup. This smoothie had frozen banana, frozen strawberries, baby spinach, water and Vega Vanilla Almondilla smoothie powder. It was really good!!

By the time I finished my workout and got to work, the growly hunger monster was starting to rear its ugly head, so I whipped myself up a banana with all natural peanut butter for a snack. I have been LOVING this snack lately!! Sometimes I get strange looks from my co-workers as I cut up my banana and smear it full of PB ~ I just smile and take a great big bite because I know they're all just wishing I'd make them a snack too :-)

Yes, I might have had a couple of nibbles before snapping this pic :-)

For lunch I had two lefover eggplant parmesan medallions (check back tomorrow for eggplant parm recipe)!Usually this goes with pasta, but I didn't want to overload myself on carbs and have a sleepy afternoon. Instead I served the eggplant parms on wilted spinach and marinara sauce. Delicious and satisfying! I also had a V8 Juice on the rocks :-)

I sipped on water all day and during the afternoon lull I had a divine piece of dark chocolate to perk me up. Ok, ok maybe I had 2 pieces ;-)

What is with that cup?! It just keeps popping up everywhere!!

I've been super busy at night trying to get the house in order, our yard looking half-way presentable and myself packed for my weekend away with the fam. I've been opting for quickie meals and tonight was about as quick as you can get. I had a 6" Veggie Delite Sub on whole wheat bread from Subway. I load my veggie subs with swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, cukes, green peppers, lots & lots of olives and honey mustard; d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!! I actually bought a footlong, so the other half will be my lunch for tomorrow. I can't wait!

This pic doesn't thrill me. The sub was much more fabulous than it looks here!

So there you have it. Another week, another post with lots of great and easy eats.

Check out Jenn's site at Peas & Crayons to see many other amazing meal ideas by some of the most amazing food bloggies on the Net.

As usual, I want to hear about your fave meal over the past week. You readers inspire me as much as my bloggie friends!

Have a happy day,


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Potted Herb Garden

Happy Tuesday! Sadly, all good things must come to an end and all of us who enjoyed a long weekend are now back to the daily grind. Luckily for me, I only have to work a couple of days and then I'm off again for a mini-vacation to see my family. I can't wait & I hope these days go really fast!

I can't believe it but yesterday I posted my 100th post. Time has flown by since I started my blog and I just wanted to say thank you so much to all of my bloggie friends who follow me, who support me and who make me smile on a daily basis by the comments you leave and the amazing posts you share on your own sites. I have changed since starting the blog. Instead of just living life and passing through each day in a monotonous routine, I have really opened my eyes and started to SEE the things around me. I see everything in a more positive way and am always looking for the joy and humour in the small things. Dare I say I'm evolving into the person I've been longing to be? I think I am officially on the right path in my journey to the "good" life and alot of that has to do with YOU - so again, Thank You!
You guys are the absolute BEST!
We were very fortunate to have beautiful weather for most of our long weekend. Rain and storms were in the forecast for a good part of the weekend, but most of that surpassed our area. I wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and spend time outside doing some things I'd been putting off because of all the rain we'd been having.

The first thing I wanted to do was set myself up with an herb garden. We have a large property with a pretty big backyard, but we also have 2 big rottis who think the yard is their playground. We've talked about having a garden over the years, but we just don't have any easy way to block it off from being trampled, peed on and pulled out. So this year, I decided I was going to come up with some cute and easy way to grow at least some herbs.

On Sunday, I went and picked up some herbs, some potting soil and a bunch of cute little pots from the dollar store. In total I spent under $25 and I now have 8 pots of herbs sunning themselves on my deck.

Aren't these pots adorable? My fave is the little cow - too cute!!

I planted:

- rosemary
- basil
- oregano
- curly parsley
- stevia
- mint (Mojitos are on the menu this summer my friends!)
- sage
- chives

Hopefully with a little luck, my sweet little plants will flourish and we'll have fresh herbs to enjoy all summer long. I'll make sure to keep you updated as the weeks fly by.

Do you plant a garden at your house?
What is your favourite herb to have fresh?

Have a great day!!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Sweet Potato Waffles

Happy Monday! Are you off for Victoria Day today? Woot woot to all you fellow Canadians who are putting your feet up and enjoying the day off! I just LOVE long weekends. I get an extra bonus because next weekend I am flying down to see my family for Memorial Day, so I get two long, special weekends in a row!

I am happy to say that I seem to have left my funky mood in the dust. Yesterday I spent a lot of time outside enjoying the gorgeous Ontario weather and today we still have sunshine (for now). It's calling for storms later today, so I'm enjoying the nice weather at the moment and have all my windows cranked open to air out the house. I am planning to go through my closets and get some stuff ready to donate to Goodwill. This is housekeeping chore that I don't like to do and if you could peek into my closet you would see that I haven't done it in way too long! I expect that I'm not going to be happy with the fit of some of my clothes, but instead of being all gloomy and depressed, I'm going to use today as my inspiration for dropping the 10lbs I gained  over the winter.

The dogs didn't get the memo that today was a holiday and they were up bright and early wanting to get up and get their day started. I pretended to be asleep for a bit, but eventually caved and got up with them. Since I had all morning to relax and be leisurely, I decided to try my hand at a new recipe I've been wanting to make for quite some time. Sweet potato waffles. Do I have any sweet potato casserole fans in the house?? If you like sweet potato casserole, you are going to love my spin on waffles. I have to warn you that this takes a bit of time to put together and definitely is a recipe for a leisurely Sunday. This recipe made 8 waffles, so I froze 4 that can be pulled out and toasted for a weekday breakie.

Sweet Potato Waffles
Recipe adapted from the Whole Grain Gourmet
Makes 8 waffles (this will depend on your waffle maker of course!)

This is a super yummy recipe for a lazy Sunday morning. It uses whole wheat flour and just 1/4 of brown sugar. The flavour of the sweet potato paired with some crunchy pecan pieces puts this recipe over the edge to pure decadence!

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 c. almond milk (any type of milk would work)
3/4 c. sweet potato, mashed
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter), melted
3 eggs (yokes and egg whites separated)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat and oil your waffle iron according to its directions.

Combine your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together the almond milk, sweet potato, brown sugar, melted Earth Balance, egg yokes and vanilla. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until they form stiff white peaks.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Fold in the egg whites and pecans.

The batter seemed way too thick to me at first,
but the egg whites did add more liquid than I was expecting!

Pour the batter into the waffle iron and cook according to your iron's directions.

Wholesome and delicious waffles.

Serve your waffles with your favourite toppings. I used Earth balance, maple syrup and a sprinkling of more pecans. The original recipe suggested Honey Vanilla Whipped Cream, which sounds amazing, but was not something I wanted in my house to tempt me!

We also had a side of banana chunks drizzled with syrup & pecans! It was AMAZING!!

What is your favourite breakie on a leisurely day off?
Are you off today? If you are, what are you up to?

Enjoy your day!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Learning to Love Yourself

Happy Sunday! To all my Canadian friends, isn't it wonderful that we still have one more day to our fabulous long weekend? The sun is shining and the birds are chirping and I have a feeling it's going to be a great day!

I apologize for being AWOL the last couple of days. I had a teensy weeny itty bitty breakdown on Thursday. I started pulling out my summer clothes and let's just say my fave jean shorts are super duper tight. I'm starting to sport a muffin top and I am not happy; yes, I know there are bigger things in the world to have a breakdown about, but I've been working really hard at being healthy and while I feel great, my bod just isn't showing the results that I want.

I've spent a couple of days pouting and whining  reflecting on the past few months to try and figure out what is going on. I think I entered a 48 hour funk. I was feeling very emotional and irritable. I didn't feel like sharing on the blog or doing anything. I just wanted to hide in my bedroom under the sheets and feel sorry for myself. We all have a day or two like this don't we? Please tell me I'm not nuts!


Last night we had a friend's birthday and at first I really had no desire to go, but I knew I had to because it was a good friend and he was celebrating a milestone birthday. So, I painted my fingernails with my new OPI black, threw on a new pair of cropped jeans and a hot pair of heels and slowly I started feel better about myself. Getting dolled up in my fave clothes paired with painted nails and high heels always make me feel good.

At the party, as I looked around the room, I realized that Derek & I are very, very lucky. We have great friends and family who love and support us for who we are. The fact that I gained a few pounds doesn't make them look at me any differently or care about me any less. I am still the same caring, fun, devoted friend and that is why they love me. I don't love myself the same way and that needs to change. I need to be forgiving and understand that I won't fit my perfect standards all the time. If I fall off track or things go awry, I need to pick myself up, know that I can make changes and strive to be the best that I can be.

love yourself tattoo. love yourself images. solved?

So, where do I go from here?? Good Question. I need to accept myself as the wonderful person that I am ( giving yourself a little pat on the back once in a while is healthy friends ). In fact, I really need to take a lesson from my husband who is the definition of unconditional love. I also am going to work towards losing my 10 extra pounds because that is where I feel most comfortable in my skin. Am I going to deprive myself of all the foods I love and work myself to the bone? No. I'm going to fuel my body with healthy, whole foods like green smoothies and fresh salads and workout 5 - 6 times per week, so that I can be lean and strong. I'm going to treat my bod with respect, so that I can be strong, healthy and happy.

In fact, I've already started....check out that smile :-)

When was the last time you found yourself in a funk?
What did you do to get yourself out of it?

Have a lovely Sunday afternoon,


July 18, 2011 - Check out my new Love Yourself tab. Each week I'm going to talk about ways we can love and accept ourselves for the wonderful beings that we are!
PS - Check back tomorrow for an amazing recipe. I have a really yummy dinner planned, as well as some new and fun ways to use asparagus and rhubarb! It's going to be a delicious Holiday Monday at our house!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizzas


Well, maybe not everywhere, but 80% of my body hurts. Real bad.

It's a good hurt, sort of. It's a result of a seriously awesome, kick-butt circuit workout that I did on Tuesday morning. It was really challenging and included about a bazillion walking squats and lunges, so my pain is not exactly a surprise, but the intensity of the pain is just a little more than I was expecting.

Yesterday I gave myself a rest day and today I headed off for a 6:15 a.m. spin class, so chances are my suffering is going to continue on into the weekend. Why do I do this to myself you might ask?? I was asking myself the same thing when I literally had to crawl out of bed at 5:30 a.m. this morning, but I've been on a workout roll lately and I didn't want to waver from my routine!

Of course, in order to distract me from the pain last night, I headed straight for the kitchen. There's nothing like some good eats to make me feel better; especially when it's pizza that I'm about to chow down on! But today it's no ordinary pizza. I tried my hand at a roasted veggie pizza on naan bread and of course I had to break out my Indian Masala spice once again! This isn't the healthiest pizza recipe I've ever made, but it was delicious and if you limit yourself to a couple of slices paired with a salad full of veggies you end up with a great meal! I ate a whole flatbread, but you just do as I say and not as I do...ok?!    :-)

Roasted Veggie Pizza on Naan
Recipe inspired from Club House Canada website
Makes 2 flatbread pizzas ~ serves 4 when paired with a salad or serves 2 if you're like me and once you start eating pizza you just can't stop until it's all gone :-)

2 naan bread
4 tbsp Earth Balance, softened
1 1/2 tsp Indian Masala spice
1/2 - 3/4 c. diced veggies (I used mushrooms, zucchini, tomato, pepper & onion)
1 tsp olive oil
pinch sea salt
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together the veggies, olive oil and sea salt.

Spread veggie mixture evenly out onto one of the cookie sheets and roast the veggies for 12 minutes. Make sure you flip the veggies once during the roasting time.

While the veggies are roasting, mix together the Earth Balance and Indian Masala spice. 

You can adjust to suit your tastes by adding more or less of the spice.

Spread this mixture out evenly over the 2 naan breads.

This looked & smelled pretty darn good on it's own. You could probably bake this up in the oven and serve it on it's own without even continuing with this recipe!

Once the veggies are done roasting, turn the oven temperature up to 475.

While the oven is heating up, spread your veggie mixture evenly out over the naan breads and follow with your cheese.


Mouth watering yet?

Bake the naan pizzas for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the naan is starting to turn a golden brown.

The smell wafting through your house is amazing by this point!

Remove the naan pizzas from the oven and let sit for 3 - 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve. 

Soooo tasty!!

I love pizza of all varieties and this was a nice change to one of my all-time favourite foods. Every now then it's good to mix things up, don't you agree?!

Do you like your pizza on a flatbread or a thin crust or are you a big thick crust kind of guy/gal?

Have a wonderful Thursday --- for all you fellow Canadians, the countdown is on ~ one more day to the Long Weekend!!! I, for one, cannot wait!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome to Wednesday! Oh yeah baby, it's that time again. The day where I get to share some of my great eats with you, so that you can be inspired to whip up some super quick and healthy meals.


Our house has been full of fresh, local produce this week. In fact, when I got home from work yesterday, there was yet another full bag of fresh asparagus hanging from my door knob. I 'm very lucky because my in-laws are great people who would never let us go hungry ~ they certainly know the way to my heart!!

First of all, I have to toot the horn of whoever invented this. I love, love, LOVE this cup!  I don't what it is, but I have to tell you, I am drinking a massive amount of water. I fill it up first thing in the morning with a couple of fresh lemon slices and I sip away all day. I'm easily getting my 8 glasses of water in now! Maybe it's the fact that it's cute and pink and girlie or maybe my early morning workouts and the warmer temperatures are making me thirstier...I truly don't know what is going, but whatever it is, I'm so glad it's working because finally I've found a way to stay hydrated!

For breakie, I have been stuffing myself with rhubarb apple bread and a little alot of Earth Balance. I am so addicted to this bread! I finished the last piece this morning and I've been trying to figure out when I'll have time to bake another loaf. I'm thinking by the weekend at the absolute latest!!

For a mid-morning snack, I've been loving a banana smeared with all-natural peanut butter. Heaven! This is one of my all-time favourite snacks. I had this snack at work today and I forgot to bring my camera, so you're just going to have to use your imagination. All I do is cut my banana into bite size chunks and smear a little PB on each piece. It is so good and it makes me feel like I'm eating some sinful treat! Here's a PB and banana image to get your imagination going and your taste buds dancing.

Lunch this week is all about leftovers. So far one of my favourite lunches has been a lightened up version of Angela's Protein Power Goddess Bowl. I loved her original recipe and I love this lighter one even more! This is a great meal idea for days when you've gotten in a good workout session or have spent a lot of time doing yard work and gardening and you need a good healthy meal that packs a mean punch of protein! This bowl is packed full of veggies, lentils and quinoa and dressed with a delicious lemon tahini dressing.

For dinner, we've been enjoying lots and lots of asparagus. I love it roasted, barbecued, steamed or just about anyway you can possibly cook it. Here, I'm having garlic roasted asparagus with a baked sweet potato and some teriyaki tofu! Healthy, filling and deeeelish!

Well, there you have it. Another week and lots more great meal and snack ideas! Do you see anything that suits your fancy?? If you're looking for even more inspiration, check out Jenn's site where you'll find tons of ideas!, I just realized that there is virtually no sweets in my eats, so I'm going to have to say 'bu-bye' and rectify that situation RIGHT NOW ~ dark chocolate, here I come!!

What was your favourite meal so far this week?

Happy Hump Day!!