Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is amazing, but if you bread and fry your eggplant before layering it with tomato sauce and huge amounts of cheese, it’s not as healthy as it could be. Why not find a way to cut down on the fat without compromising the taste of this classic?

That is what I set out to do this week, as I had a beautiful little eggplant from my CSA share begging to be eaten. I also had fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic from my share, so I decided to make a fresh tomato sauce. When I realized how the sauce and eggplant could be paired, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind!

I didn’t have bread crumbs and was weary of improvising with oats or another type of grain, so I forewent that step altogether. As a result, this eggplant parmesan doesn’t have the usual slight crunch you might expect. However, I made up for the lack of crumbs by making a ginormous batch of roasted garlic and using the mashed up, sweetened cloves as a delicious layer in between my eggplant slices. The taste is out of this world, and the consistency of the mash is similar to soft cheese, so I was able to skip that extra cheese as well.

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Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is so good. Seriously — there are very few situations in which I would refuse a grilled cheese sandwich, I am kind of obsessed.

But, unsurprisingly, I am always looking for ways to make my grilled cheese sandwich better. More interesting. More delicious!

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Fresh Tomato Sauce

What do you do when you get tired of eating tomatoes raw?

You make tomato sauce of course!

Lots of people seem to shy away from making their own tomato sauce, and I think that’s a real shame. Yes, I often use prepared sauces when I’m in a rush or don’t feel like cooking, but that’s never as tasty as making sauce from scratch — plus, it’s much healthier. It’s also impossibly simple, and doesn’t take much time either.

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Roasted Garlic

Garlic is outrageously delicious. I love it almost as much as I love olive oil — in fact, I came this close to naming my blog “Don’t Forget the Garlic.”

Roasted garlic may be even better than regular garlic, because it gets soft and loses its harshness (which a lot of people dislike — I am not one of those people). As the garlic roasts, it takes on a sweeter flavour, and is amazing as a spread or incorporated into other dishes.

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Spinach and Asparagus Lasagna Roll-Ups

When I was home in Vancouver over the summer, we had my sister’s violin teacher Adrian and his wife Paige over for dinner. I had found this untraditional lasagna recipe and was dying to test it out myself, but of course no recipe I touch goes unchanged, so we made a gluten-free, vegetarian version to accommodate our various diners’ dietary needs. We even made our own tomato sauce from scratch!

The results were undeniably scrumptious. We made a double recipe and had enough to feed the five of us, plus leftovers for my mom, sister, and I for the following two days (as my dad was away for work, he missed out). Adrian and Paige emailed us the next day asking for the recipe. I have been dreaming of it ever since.

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Jalapeno Cornbread

Cornbread is one of my favourite foods. It’s one of those things that I don’t think of often, but every time I eat it, I feel like I’m in taste bud heaven.

I got a fantastic recipe for cornbread muffins from a friend of mine, who had come across it online while looking for a way to use yoghurt in her baking. I’ve modified it by adding fresh jalapenos to up the taste factor, and I’ve baked it in circular pie pans. However, you can make this into a loaf or in muffin tins if you’d like!

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Chicken Stuffed with Sundried Tomatoes, Cheese, and Fresh Herbs

I think chicken is probably my favourite kind of meat. It is widely recognized as the most versatile meat there is out there, and because I recently reintroduced meat and poultry into my diet, I feel like I’m discovering a whole new world of options and recipes.

I visited my friend Brandon in Toronto a few weeks ago and we whipped up a delicious dinner based on ingredients we found in the fridge: chicken, herbed cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil and sage. We grilled some asparagus and made a salad, and had ourselves a veritable feast!

It was a feast, I tell you! A feast!

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The Healthiest Homemade Granola

My old housemate Marlaina is possibly just as zany as I am when it comes to finding and creating new healthy yummy recipes. One morning this summer, she showed up to my house as usual for our daily exercise video (that makes it sound like we’re grandmas, but we were actually huffing and puffing through Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred — not a grandma workout, let me tell you!). With her was her newest creation: yet another version of homemade granola.

Now, I have a bit of beef towards granola. It is constantly touted as an extremely healthy breakfast and snack option because it packs a lot of fibre and protein. While all this is true, it is also very high in fat, since those delicious clusters are held together with oil. Thus, even the smallest portion will eat up a considerable percentage of your recommended daily fat intake, and clock in at a few hundred calories. It just seems to me that granola balances precariously between the healthy and less healthy food zones.

But Marlaina’s most recent creation was different, in that it doesn’t use any added fat at all. Her secret ingredient?

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