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Happy Fall Y’all

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

This coming Wednesday is the first day of fall. Every fall, I start to bring in all the tropical and tender plants. I try to stuff them in my tiny cottage. I tell all my friends as they enter my home, " Welcome to the jungle." This year I’ve vowed not to re-create the jungle. I’ve decided to clear out the clutter before the holiday season.

In hopes of achieving this goal, I bought a greenhouse. No, it’s not gigantic. You can literally walk into it and turn around. It’s just enough to make me happy. It took me 30 minutes to set up. It wasn’t expensive. I just ordered it on Amazon for $75. It also served as a distraction before heading off to help mom.

I missed you last week. I was in Birmingham Alabama. Mom was having surgery. She’s fighting breast cancer like a champ and is thankfully doing well. While she was in the hospital, only one person, my father, was allowed in the hospital due to COVID-19 hospital procedures. I revisited my hometown, Homewood, AL., and college haunts in Birmingham, AL to distract myself from worry. I really enjoyed seeing the interesting similarities of people carving out new interesting and enticing alley entrances that lead to spaces in fully developed down town areas for a new store in Homewood above and a recycled shipping container restaurant below. Here are a few pictures from my wandering...

Now as I am harvesting the first of the fall harvest, I don’t have to stress over making room for more plants inside my existing space. I've created a new space myself. This gives me more time to focus on delicious recipes. This weeks recipe takes advantage of the last of summer vegetables. It also serves to usher in fall and was a really good meal post operation.


Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant sliced thin length wise

  • 1 1/4 cup Bertolli tomato sauce divided

  • 12 black olives dices

  • 15 cherry tomatoes cut in halves

  • 1/2 purple onion diced

  • salt for eggplant and to taste

  • pepper to taste

  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 3 leaves of fresh basil

  • 2 garlic cloves minced

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 cups cottage cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella divided

  • 3/4 cup parmesan divided

Directions:

  1. Rinse off the eggplant.

  2. Chop off the ends of the eggplant and slice it long ways into thin slivers. If the eggplant is extremely long, cut it in half before slicing. You will have leftover slices.

  3. Lay out the eggplant on two baking sheets and sprinkle salt over it.

  4. Let the eggplant slices sit for 20 minutes.

  5. Take paper towels and dry all the moisture pulled out of the eggplant.

  6. Flip the eggplant slices over and repeat steps 1 - 5 for the other side.

  7. Remove the slices from the tray and dry the tray first then the slices and replace them back on the trays.

  8. Sliced the cherry tomatoes and a half and set to the side.

  9. Wash and dice the onion and black olives.

  10. Combine 1 cup of tomato sauce, black olives, and onion into a bowl and mix.

  11. In another large mixing bowl, crack an egg and whisk it.

  12. Add cottage cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano and rosemary, 1/4 cup of parmesan, and 1/4 cup of mozzarella to the bowl with the egg and mix well.

  13. Mix the rest of the cheeses in a bowl.

  14. Spoon a thin layer of the remaining 1/4 cup of red sauce in a 8x10 Pyrex dish.

  15. Layer the eggplant slices, the cottage cheese mix, the red sauce mix, and cheese mix until you reach the top of the dish.

  16. Top the lasagna with the sliced cherry tomatoes.

  17. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes.

  18. Pull out of the oven and allow the stand for 10 minutes to cool off or for 30minutes to thicken up.

Eggplant has potassium, manganese, folate, and vitamins C and K making it very nutrient dense. It has antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease and cancer. Studies in animals are showing signs that it may lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides which may protect the heart. It's high fiber content slows down the digestive process and aids in blood sugar control. This same fiber as well as the low caloric value helps with weight loss. Research suggests that eggplant may contain substances that fight cancer.


Source: "7 Surprising Health Benefits of Eggplants"

Healthline.com 06/302017


I talk to many people that do not like long recipes. I keep them short, but this one is especially good for your health going into the fall and perfect for the rainy days produced by hurricane weather. If this recipe finds its way into your home, please let me know. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.


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Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up to date lab work.