Best Eggplant Parmesan is with Tomatoes!

I know, eggplant parmesan has marinara sauce. That’s not what this is about.  I get a 1/2 share of a CSA.  It’s a local co-op of farms, and you sign up to get a weekly box of fruits and veggies (and other stuff, if you choose to purchase those shares). I get a 1/2 share, because I am single and the amount I get from that is more than enough.

Last week, we get eggplant, which is such an awesome one to get in season.  They were on the small side, but I really wanted to make eggplant parmesan. Its a great dish, and I can container it for lunch for the week.  I went on pinterest and found this great recipe.

Best Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I LOVE this recipe for so many reasons.

  1. It uses 1/2 panko and 1/2 traditional breadcrumbs, which creates a great mixture
  2. It calls for fresh mozzarella.  This makes it sooooo much better than bagged shredded
  3. It recommends fresh parmesan
  4. It also calls for fresh basil

Because I worried about having enough eggplant, I had to find a way to “beef” it up.  I realized I had gotten beefsteak tomatoes in the CSA too, and the recipe had instructions for breading and baking the eggplant on a sheet in the oven.  It’s really similar to a baked version of a fried green tomato.  Eureka!  I did one sheet full of eggplant, and one sheet of tomatoes.

I also used an oven-roasted marinara that I had made prior, which was also full of CSA veggies.  That recipe is here:

Oven Roasted Marinara

I didn’t have any tomato paste to add, and wished I had, after I tried it over pasta, but when I added it to this dish, it came out glorious. I add a quartered bell pepper and a quartered jalapeño pepper to the veggies I roast. I then add 1-2 cans of tomato paste when I throw everything in the processor.



I will forever make my eggplant parm this way.

Have Taco Bowl, Will Travel

I wanted to go more vegetarian, for my lunches this week.  Taco salads seemed a nice fresh option, so the only challenge was really how to package the parts of the salad. I didn’t want the lettuce getting soggy, and did want to be able to prep everything for the week, at the beginning of the week.

There is very little prep, and the packaging I attempted, seems to be working well.  There is plenty of room to make this vegan or to add meat, so variations are easy to make.

Because there is a recall on romaine, I didn’t want to take a chance on that.  For that reason, I used 1/2 spinach and 1/2 lemon arugula.  That is working well, although I do need to cut it up more. Finely cut romaine would make this wonderful, although the spinach and arugula are laden with nutrients, so I won’t complain too much.  Because everything is pretty much optional and can be substituted with any other suitable ingredients, I will not put optional by any ingredient.

This recipe was aimed at making 4 servings.

On to ingredients:

  • Spinach – 4 cups
  • Lemon Arugula – 4 cups
  • Uncooked rice – 1 cup  (I cook in rice cooker)
  • Black beans – 1 cup
  • Green bell pepper – 1/2 large pepper, diced
  • Black Olives – 1/2 cup, sliced
  • Avacado – 1/2 medium, diced
  • Shredded Mexican cheese – 1/2 cup – 1 cup
  • Salsa – 1/2 cup (desired heat)
  • Sour cream – 1/2 cup (desired light, non-fat or regular)
  • Tortilla chips – about 5-6

Steam rice, and prepare rest, while rice is cooking. Wash, cut and package the spinach and arugula into containers, which will be used as the salad bowl.   In ziplock bags add about 2 tbsp of black beans, 1/4 of the diced green pepper, 1 tbsp of black olives, 1/4 of the avacado, and 1/4 of the cheese. Once the rice is cooked and cooled down, add 1/4 of the rice to each bag.  In a small portion container, spoon about 2 tbsp of salsa, and then about 2 tbsp of sour cream on top of the salsa. Put about 5-6 tortilla chips in a ziplock.

Take 1 salad bowl, fixings bag, salsa and sour cream “dressing” containers, and chips bag, with you. Work, or play, as long as you can keep the items refrigerated they should be fine to go anywhere with you.

Simply dump the fixings bag into the lettuce bowl, and dump the salsa and sour cream on top. Crush the tortilla chips in their bag, and then dump on top. You now have an awesome salad, for lunch or dinner, on the go.

The prep is so easy, you’ll want to make this again and again!

Miso Ramen Lunch Bowls

I post on this blog in a completely random fashion, but since it’s the new year, I decided to post a new “recipe”.  Recipe is in quotes, because you can probably find at least 20 variations of this on Pinterest.  I started there, in an attempt to find what I wanted to make, but then just decided to take some from each and make my own.

My goals, for this meal:

  1. I wanted a miso soup, for my work week lunch meal
  2. I wanted it to have noodles, whether ramen or rice noodles
  3. I wanted it to be portable. Soup is a pain to transport to work.
  4. I wanted the prep to not be an all day endeavor
  5. I wanted the ingredients to be simple enough, that I wouldn’t have to buy 50 ingredients and never use 47 of them again

So, I picked out the ingredients, that I wanted in my soup.  I then figured I could just add hot water at work.  That way, I’m just prepping containers for the week, with all the fillings. The broth can be made right at the end.

First, the ingredients list. You can certainly add and remove, based on what you like.  I also note the 1 switch, that will take this from vegetarian to vegan.

  •  Ramen noodles – pull out the noodles, and ditch the high sodium seasoning packet. I did not use a name brand, but found one in the Asian aisle of Wegmans, which was a little narrower than the name brand squares of dried noodles
  • Eggs – hard boil and shell one for each soup container. To make this recipe vegan, nix the egg, and bake some tofu. I didn’t want to do a lot of cooking, so I didn’t include tofu, but it would be a great addition or substitution
  • Shitake mushrooms – I picked out 2 for each day, in the bulk section, instead of getting a whole container
  • Scallions (green onion) – a small bunch will do
  • Corn – a small can (8.75 oz) is more than enough.
  • Miso paste – I also get this from Wegmans, in the Asian section. It’s in a clear tub.  When I got some for this recipe, I found that there was a red and a white. Seems they are fermented with different things, which give it a corresponding view. It looks like this:
  • Wakame seaweed – Also in the Asian section. In a bag, and looks like dried flakes. It balloons up in water!

See the picks below, to see how I assembled the bowls.  I got ziplock medium bowl shaped containers, which worked really well.  On the bottom of the container, I placed 2 chopped up shitake mushrooms, a hard boiled and peeled egg, 3/4 TBSP of miso paste, 1-2 TBSP of corn, and approximately 1 TBSP of diced/sliced scallions.


Then I placed a piece of wax paper on that, to separate the “wet” ingredients from the “dry” ones.  That is simply the dried noodles and the wakame seaweed.  Keep in mind that the seaweed is an acquired taste.  It also will blow up, and can consume your bowl, if you add too much.

Finally, I used a hot water machine, in the office copy room, to fill up my soup (after removing the wax paper, of course.  Make sure to put the lid back on, and give it a couple of minutes, so the noodles can get noodle-y.  Now that I’ve tried the recipe, I will say that it is pretty great.  The hot water isn’t as hot as I would like. I may need 1 secondary container for microwaving water, so I can get it more thoroughly hot.

Check out all that wakame!

I’m looking forward to having this for my work lunches for the week.  I just need to figure out hotter water, to steep and prepare the soup.  Definitely a keeper.


Veganized Tater Tot Beef Enchilada Bake

I found this recipe on Pinterest, for Tater Tot Enchilada Bake , and was able to veganize it pretty easily.  This recipe is incredibly easy, delicious and not hard to make vegan.

Here are my alterations. Note that anything I changed, I put a –> for what the change is.:


  • 1 pound ground beef –> 2 packages of Trader Joe’s Meatless Beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pack taco or fajita seasoning (about 2 teaspoons) –> 1 package of Trader Joe’s taco seasoning (use 1/2 a package first time, as this will make it quite spicy.  You may not want a whole package, if you don’t like a lot of heat).
  • 2 cups tater tots (enough to cover dish)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce –> Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce (1 bottle)
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese (or mozzarella) –> Trader Joe’s Soy mozzarella shreds
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • Scallions or cilantro to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sautee the 1 onion, in a large skillet.  I do medium chop (using vidalia chopper) with olive oil
  3. Add 2 packages of meatless beef, and break apart, mixing with onions.
  4. Add taco seasoning (start with less, you can always add more) and enchilada sauce
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 casserole dish
  6. Top with tater tots
  7. Top with cheese shreds, olives and cilantro
  8. Bake for 30-45 min

Enjoy, and share!