Signs of Spring

My alarm went off at 5:40 and I only had to hit the snooze button TWICE before I got out of bed.  The sun was shining which was great, because on morning gym days I wake up before the sun (no so fun!).

In my effort to use all my Pom Blueberry Pomegranate juice, this morning’s breakfast was blueberry French toast (made with egg whites, dash almond milk, and a bunch of the juice) with blueberry syrup (a few squirts of maple syrup with a bunch of Pom juice).  It is so good!  I even dashed some cinnamon on top while it was cooking.

I ate it at my desk with a medium French vanilla iced coffee.

One thing I noticed on my way in to school was that the trees outside of my classroom window have leaves! Green leaves, not buds!

When did this happen? It seems that all of a sudden this morning I noticed it was spring. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it was spring, but I realized I have been taking this wonderful season for granted!  All winter I die for spring to get here and now that it is I have already tuned it out and moved along with my life Spring deserves a second thought in my mind.  Here are the reasons I LOVE spring:

  • *          The smell of fresh-cut grass and BBQs
  • *          Juicy watermelon and berries
  • *          Light summer salads and dishes
  • *          (an occasional) “April” shower
  • *          May flowers
  • *          Flip flops and short sleeved shirts
  • *          Driving with the windows down, listening to Ray (ahhhh, he is the perfect warm weather music)
  • *          Crisp and fruity white wine on a warm night
  • *          Unseasonably warm weekends
  • *          Breezy, cool nights

I felt pretty relieved to have MCAS Math day 1 over, so I decided that I wanted to cook myself a dinner to enjoy after Running Club tonight.  I knew I had eggplant I bought last week that I wanted to use so I looked at Giada’s recipes for eggplant on foodnetwork.com.  This is my go to website for new recipes.  I just type in my main ingredient and find a new recipe to try.  Usually, it ends up being one of hers.  I LOVE how light most of her recipes seem.

I made her Eggplant Rollatini.  The recipe is pretty long so I will give you some picture highlights and directions.  For the full recipe check it out here.

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and preheat a grill pan (I don’t have one so I used the pan in the pic below.  It worked wonderfully).

Cut the ends off of 3 eggplants and cut them into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a rack over a cooking sheet (I don’t have one so I just used a cutting board).

Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices with sea salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  This takes the bitterness out of the eggplant and removes excess moisture.

look closely, you can see the moisture being removed

Rinse and pat dry slices.  Spray heated grill pan with veggie spray (I used EVOO Pam) and grill slices until slightly brown on both sides. About 4 minutes.

grilling takes a while with such a small pan!

In a large bowl, lightly beat 2 large eggs and then add 32 ounces of fat-free ricotta cheese.  When mixed, add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 3 tblsp toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese, and basil.

Place 1 tblsp of the mixture at the end of an eggplant slice and roll up tightly, pacing in pan greased with EVOO, seam down.

Pour tomato sauce on top of eggplant (I used Pastene Marinara Sauce) and sprinkle with 5 tblsp parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Bake for 15 minutes, then drizzle with EVOO.

It made WAY TOO MUCH FOOD FOR ME!  I made a side pan of it and had my dad come pick it up for my mom and his dinner!

Start to end it took about an hour.  As I got cutting the eggplant, grilling it, and rolling it I got into a groove and the process went by faster.  I have running club in less than two hours so I can’t enjoy my culinary masterpiece until I get back from my run 🙂   Until then I am going to sit back and hope it stops raining!

And how is your day going?

~L

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