Giving

The past few days I feel like I haven’t slept… I wake up tired…

Today, I hit the snooze alarm until the last possible minute. I finally got up, slammed a bottle of water and headed off to the blood bank. I try to make it a point to donate blood as often as I can… Mostly for the free Nutter Butters that follow…

I’m totally kidding! I am a universal donor and love feeling like I’m saving lives for the 1 hour I take to donate!

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Following my donation, a little blurred vision, and getting my purple badge of courage, I meandered over to the canteen. The older volunteers are so sweet there! One of them showed me a variety of K cups to choose from and brewed me a Southern Pecan coffee. I sat down at one of the tables, and after examining the goods (ie. the snacks), I switched up my usual Nutter Butter craze for an adorable two pack of Oreos! Who doesn’t like chocolate in the morning??

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Afterwards, I snuck into Barry’s house to wake him up to go to Cowtown. I know I was just there, but the day was beautiful, Barry had never been, and it kept us out of the house. We explored for about 2 hours, and I showed him around the barns. My last stop of the trip was to an older gentleman that I always buy gladiolas from. These are my moms favorite flower and since we have been getting along the last few days, I wanted to surprise her. The generous man, then asked if I like eggplant and gave me one for free along with a handful of jalapenos!  How nice!

Mom had picked up eggplant on Saturday when we went and now with all the eggplant in the house, it was time for Eggplant Parm (but we’ll get to that in a second)!

As we drove over the Delaware Memorial, Barry and I could both feel hunger approaching, as neither one of us had really eaten and it was much hotter day than we anticipated. I suggested Saladworks, one of my favorite places to eat out, and their was definitely no regretting this decision.

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Both, Barry and I, got the “Create-your-own” option. Mine consisted of spring mix, egg whites for protein, roasted red peppers, corn and bean mix (so sweet), cucumbers, and chopped tomatoes with fat free Balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I like to load up on toppings with moisture and and high flavor so it limits the amount of dressing I need. I adored the colors and fragrant of my salad! Its so pretty! I omitted my beloved wheat roll, but I really didn’t need it. One thing I adore about the Saladworks website is that I can calculate everything on their without a hassle!

Barry and I were content with our meals and it really hit the crisp stop that was need to break up such a warm and humid day! We took advantage of an hour to watch some Twilight Zone in the new living room, at Barrys, after which we went separate ways… Barry to the firehouse, and I home.

I couldn’t wait to play with the Hungry-girl eggplant parm recipe. I was inspired by my salad today and decided to add roasted red peppers to dinner. I have grown up on eggplant unlike Barry who only recently tried it when I made stir-fry. My mom always double breaded and fried it. Don’t get me wrong… its delicious… but it pretty much takes every thing nutritious out! My mom would make eggplant parm layer upon layer of the breaded, fried goods, with lots of full fat cheese in between the slices. I have learned ways to stretch flavor, resources and calories, and this dish was created with huge portions!

Eggplant Parm

serves 4

  • 1 large eggplant

Breading:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/2 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesean cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • WP_0038511/4 cup liquid egg substitute

Sauce:

  • 1 cup jarred sauce, plus 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

The Rest:

  • 2 oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/2 tsp basil

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut the end off of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in large coins, to produce about 10. Dab the sliced with a paper towel to try to grab some excess moisture.

In a food processor, blend all the breading ingredients, except egg, until the cereal becomes a bread crumb texture. Dip both sides of the eggplant slices in the egg and then coat with the bread crumbs. Transfer the coated slices to a well sprayed (with non stick cooking spray) baking sheet/ pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the coins and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, over low heat, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. In the mean time, Further chop the shredded mozzarella cheese (this helps the cheese spread more). Then chop the roasted red peppers. Set aside until assembly time.

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Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non stick spray and spread a thin layer (about 1/4 cup of sauce) evenly over the bottom. Lay half the baked and breaded eggplant on top. Sprinkle half the chopped, shredded cheese, and 1 Tbsp grated parm over the eggplant. Spoon about another 1/4 cup of sauce over this, and top with the remaining cheeses. Lastly, Pour the remaining sauce over the entire dish and sprinkle with basil.

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Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and let set for about 3-5 minutes. Cut into 4 squares and serve it up.

We paired ours with salad.

I love the sweetness that the roasted red peppers add to the dish! MMMM! I forgot how much I loved roasted red peppers!!

It was so good, nothing was left! Not a drop in the pyrex! With so much eggplant on hand, I made another, this one turning out even better than the first. Whats also nice about this is that it can be frozen.

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Nutrition: (1/4 recipe)

Calories: 160, Fat: 1.5g, Sat. Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 6.2mg, Sodium: 648.7mg, Carbs: 33.1g, Fiber: 14.8g, Sugar: 8.4g, Protein: 12.7g

A big topic of conversation at dinner was the madness that ensure in college town last night. Main Street was flooded with kids, jumping on cars, yelling, etc… I thought it was about the Eagles winner! I was wrong! Apparently, the cops broke up a huge party and the 1000 kids flocked to Main Street and swarmed! Thats just dumb! It caused enough of a ruckus, though, that not only did campus police get involved, but also, city, county, and state! Here one guys YouTube video of the events…

Blew my mind! I’m so glad I was in the safety of my home, last night, 20 minutes away from the mayhem!

Mad Cow

I arrived at work, last night, and was somehow relieved to be in a 1:1. I wouldn’t be tempted to nibble. I spent the next 8 hours watching movies and reading up a storm! My friend from high school was always a writer. He recently sent me a copy of his pilot for a miniseries he wrote to proof. He and I both were in theatre. I was honored to finally read his work  and took advantage of this night shift to read it. It was fantastic! His descriptions were so vivid, it was like I was watching it! I was disappointed when it ended when the pilot ended. Wheres the rest? I kept thinking, scrolling with the mouse as if I had misplaced the page on the screen. Don’t leave me hanging!

Around 2 am, I took a brief break and enjoyed the broccoli salad I had made. It was better now than it was before! It was so filling, too, that only around 5am did I start to get a bit hungry. I curbed this with two saltines and, sticking with my green theme of the night, a reduced-sodium miso soup. I love these packets! Only 25 calories and I’m content!

WP_003790It was a great shift and I felt great when I left. I then met dad at my mechanics to drop off my car. By the time we got home, I was starving. I had bought dad Dunkin to begin his day of work. I got home and wanted a breakfast sandwich. Alas, I could not bring myself to do it and I really wanted breakfast meat. I was still pleased with the end a result. I made the messiest and ugliest lean beef scrapple, swiss, and spinach omelet over half a toasted english muffin. With hot sauce, of course.

To make my day even better, I was full and spent it with my mom. We drove out to Cowtown, New Jersey and then to the Farmers Market. Unfortunately, I was surrounded by the smells of indulgence! I called this the Cowtown Devil: Its a pretzel  braid, sliced lengthwise stuffed with cheesesteak! The smell wafts around the market. Its almost impossible to resist!

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Also an irresistible treat to look forward to at Cowtown is this lemonade. Lots of places serve fresh squeezed lemonade, but Duke’s is where its at!

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I couldn’t bring myself to get either one of these treats but mom did buy me a huge container of raspberries from one of the produce stands, which helped curb my appetite.

Following the Cowtown experience, we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market. While I was there, I couldn’t bring myself to eat a thing. Not a simple thing! I did, however, find a surprise in one of the candy stores. I always get a sugar free cordial cherry, but, today, I found sugar free Chick-o-sticks! Sometimes I can’t decide if I like these of Butterfinger bites better… To make this even better, they’re bite sized! I grabbed three! Oh my! Only 17 calories each! I can live with this! I did eat one!

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That was last thing I ate until close to 7pm. Mom had once again oWP_003795rdered hoagies. I guess the fresh turkey was too much for my deprived WP_003794body to resist and ended up eating out the turkey meat from the hoagie. It was heavenly! I followed this with a box of vegetables. And then, sliced up a whole bell pepper and steamed that, as well. I was starving, but did not know it until I ate.

 

Almost immediately following the last bite, I went into a full-blown anxiety attack! I cried on the couch with Frank on one side and mom on the other. I squeezed their hands as I cried and talked myself out of purging…

Is Mad Cow disease airborne? Something set me off!