Eggplant

Maoz x2

Hello! Dreary afternoon here in DC but its good weather for getting a lot of work done. I ended up going back to Maoz for lunch today and had Emily and Kara from work come with me. This place is pretty lifechanging for lunch if you’re looking for somewhere to get an awesome and reasonable meal! You can read about my first time here which has a lot more pictures and shows the whole salad bar with the steps along the way. I loved my lunch there last time so much that I got pretty much the same thing again – the falafel salad bowl with eggplant and hummus as add ins, and then topped it with tons of the fresh salads from the salad bar.

The salad bowl had:

  • Falafel
  • Hummus
  • Eggplant
  • Greens
  • Carrot Salad
  • Beet Salad
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Veggie Salad
  • Cauliflower + Broccoli
  • Red Cabbage Salad
  • Tabouli Salad

I also got a carrot juice on the side, which was just OK. I liked it, but it was literally just carrots (which is what I ordered) so it was a little blah. Next time I’ll probably get a mix of carrot, orange, and apple instead of just carrot.

This place was just as good as the first time. It is so fresh and so many options, and I love that you can load up your bowl or sandwich with tons and tons of different fresh salads and they don’t weight it afterwards to charge you more. It is definitely a little filling and both times I was planning on saving some for later, but it was just so good I could not stop. I am feeling pretty full now so don’t think an afternoon snack is in my future.

So I have one more thing to share about my trip to Oklahoma City at the beginning of June. On Sunday night, we had a reception at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This museum has the largest comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly Glass anywhere in the world. I am not much of an art person, but this was AWESOME. He basically blows glass into different sculptures and shapes and it’s pretty incredible to look at. Here’s a few photos from inside the gallery.

And then my absolute favorite part, which was a glass ceiling that had tons of different blown glass sculptures on top of it. This was the view from below looking up at the ceiling.

How cool is that!?

Are you into art? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it – a museum, an art class, photography, etc?

Eggplant Parm Wrap and Wheat Berry Salad

OK so I know I named Tuesday’s lunch post “Best Lunch Ever” but that was before today and there was no way I could know this was coming. I knew I wanted to use the leftover eggplant from last night but do something different than just having it with the cheese and sauce. I have a few of those Light Flatout Wraps left (which by the way are only 1 Weight Watchers Point and just 90 calories) so I decided to make a healthified version of an Eggplant Parm Sub of sorts.

I microwaved some spinach with a little water in the bottom of the container for 30 seconds so it would wilt and toasted the leftover eggplant rounds while that was going. I put the flatoutwrap down, added the spinach, put the toasted eggplant on top, and then added some cheese and threw it in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

I added some of the heated leftover sauce on top.

And wrapped it up to eat.

This was cheesy and warm and melty and just amazing. On the side, I had two large carrots.

And this amazing Wheat Berry Salad. In a tupperware this morning, I mixed:

  • 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries (whole foods bulk bins)
  • chopped green onions (farmer’s market)
  • chopped green squash (farmer’s market)
  • dried sour cherries (nutsonline.com)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

It was AWESOME. Since it sat together for a few hours, the sour cherries soaked up the liquid and got soft, and all the flavors in this went together so well. Unfortunately I am out of sour cherries but I have more of everything else so I may or may not make this for lunch again tomorrow… mostly may.

The only bad part of this lunch was that it’s now over.

Question: What’s one of your favorite lunches of all time, either that you cooked for yourself or got out at a restaurant?

Healthy Eggplant Parm

So today was a SNACK FREE DAY! I honestly don’t think that’s ever happened before. I was definitely getting super hungry around lunch time, but then it was 5pm before I knew it and I hadn’t had an afternoon snack. I got home to do some prep for dinner, and then went out for a run before realizing I hadn’t had anything since lunch time. It certainly won’t be a new habit because I love to snack so much, but it was a first!

I had an awesome run today, too. I think taking 2 days off was what my body needed, and I was super speedy on today’s run! I set out to do 5 miles, and the first mile was 8:46. I honestly think that’s the fastest I’ve ever run a mile! I normally end up around 9:40-9:45 pace, but today’s pace was 9:14! Not sure what was going on there, but I felt really good the whole time. Today’s Stats:

Distance: 5.00 miles

Duration: 46:09 minutes

Avg Pace: 9:14 min/mile

Avg Speed: 6.5mph

Calories Burned: 577

During the last mile or so, my stomach definitely started to grumble a bit, and thinking about what I could have when I got home got me through… a chocolate cherry bomb (WITH all the ingredients this time!)

This smoothie had:

  • 1 cup light soy milk
  • 12 frozen cherries
  • 1 semi-frozen banana
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups spinach

Sooooo good. It hit the spot and carried me through showering and making dinner without eating my arm.

I looooove eggplant parmigiana. It’s one of my favorite dishes at any Italian restaurant, and was long before I gave up meat. The problem is, most places you get it, the eggplant is deep fried and its doused in so much cheese and probably has butter and oil everywhere. I made some tonight that was just as good as restaurant style, but a million times healthier!

I had a japanese eggplant, which is a longer, thinner eggplant than your standard, but very similar otherwise.

I sliced it up into evenly thick pieces, and then covered a plate with salt. Salt is the trick here, because it pulls the moisture out of the eggplant. Cover the tops of the eggplant with salt too, way more than you’d normally use.

I did this before my run, and when I came back the plate was covered in water. Check it out:

After the eggplant sat in the salt for about an hour, I quickly rinsed off the salt and then patted it dry with paper towels. Then I got two bowls ready, one with egg and one with panko crumbs. It’s important to season the panko crumbs pretty heavily since that’s where most of your flavor is coming from. I just used salt and pepper, and here was everything ready to go:

I put the eggplant slices first in the egg wash, and then in the breadcrumbs. It’s good to keep one hand “wet” and one hand “dry” if you can, so I used my left hand to pick up the eggplant, put it in the egg, flip it over, and then drop it in the breadcrumbs. I then used my right hand to flip over the eggplant and toss it around in the crumbs, and then put it on the baking sheet. I did this for all of the slices of eggplant and it keeps it less messy if you have your designated wet/dry hands.

I baked these at 375 for 10 minutes, and then flipped them over and baked them for another 10. Then I put some sauce on a plate, placed some eggplant slices, and then topped it with shredded mozz. I threw it in the broiler for another 3 minutes and the cheese got all melty and crispy.

How good does that look!? It was incredible. And, with Weight Watchers, its only 4 points for half the eggplant with the sauce and cheese! You could bulk this dish up with some pasta, but it stood alone quite well. Yum.

Also, in other exciting news, I just got my ticket to the 2010 Healthy Living Summit!! So excited! Is anyone else is going?! Be back tomorrow!!