Cooking (Eating)


    Not really news to peeps who know me, but earlier this year I struggled with some disordered eating issues.  I jokingly said many a time when complimented on losing weight that "divorce does wonders for the figure."  Unfortunately that's partially true.  For me it was for all the wrong reasons though. 

    Among the hundreds of things that were shaken in me over the last couple of years, self image was one of the most shaken, and understandably so I think.  The lack of control I felt over my life contributed as well; I compensated by trying to control anything that I could, that mostly played out in my eating habits.  I went from healthy changes like cutting down on snacking and eating late at night to eating nothing but a half slice of dry toast, raw spinach and tomatoes in a day. 

    Not eating gave me some sense of control and hunger felt good.  Things were not good.  My goal went from being healthy to being thin.  The thing is towards the end, I realized I wasn't in control of my eating at all.  It was in control of me.  Twice when I went to have a cookie with my kids, I found myself literally unable to swallow it.  Something in my brain told me that eating a freaking Oreo would make me fat.  I walked to the trash and spit it out.  And then I freaked out.  And then I got help.  With lots of counseling, prayer, talking, more praying, grieving and letting go – I'm kind of in love with food again. 

    Everything in moderation of course, but my goodness cooking and eating are fun.  We eat a pretty healthy, mostly vegetarian diet around here.  We go for walks and bike rides.  Some pizza and a little dessert aren't gonna kill me.  I'm only just discovering this.  Let me tell you, it's a super fantastic realization.


    So here's a recent recipe that we (almost) all loved (Gabe had his sans eggplant and mushrooms).


  • 1 pound eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 sweet red pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 pieces each
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) container reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Coat two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place eggplant and mushrooms on a prepared pan. Place the zucchini and red pepper on the second pan. Combine the oil and garlic; brush over both sides of vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn vegetables over. Bake 15 minutes longer. Remove eggplant and mushrooms. Bake zucchini and red pepper 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are browned.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and eggs. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Layer with four lasagna noodles (noodles will overlap slightly), half of ricotta cheese mixture, half of vegetables, a third of pasta sauce and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with half of basil. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles and pasta sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional Analysis: 1 piece equals 361 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 19 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 fat.

More yummy recipes to come.  And if you have or are struggling with eating issues.  I feel your pain, there is hope.  Let's have a coffee sometime. 


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