Nutrition

Baked Stuffed Aubergine Parmesan

Sharing a meal is a perfect excuse to indulge in the moment with satisfying flavors, laughs, & enlightening conversation.

DeROSE Method Schools teach about food in this laid back atmosphere because it’s a more natural way to share, study, ask questions, learn and grow.

This Friday we’ll be preparing stuffed aubergine with penne in a marinara sauce. From this moment on I will substitute the name aubergine with eggplant. The name aubergine just seems sophisticated, but the recipe will revert to eggplant to avoid confusion among fellow USA readers.

 photo credits to @  Annemarie

photo credits to @Annemarie

Serves 4 hungry people:

  • 2 large eggplants (or 4 small)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 5 small portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 14.5 ounces canned diced fire roasted tomatoes, or crushed fresh tomatoes
  • 6 kalamata olives, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, low moisture
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, 260 degrees Celsius. Slice eggplant in half, lengthwise and scoop out the pulp leaving 1/4 inch border all around. Set the pulp aside in a bowl to use in the sauce.

Brush inside and outside with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place on a baking tray lined with foil. Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes. Set the oven to the broil setting. Broil the eggplant on the middle rack for about 6 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 204 degrees Celsius. Place the potato slices in a 9 by 13 inch baking tray. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over them and season with salt, pepper, and oregano on both sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on at 400 degrees.

To make the sauce, combine the onions, garlic, and olive oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes or until soft and golden. Stir often and reduce the heat if the onions and garlic begin to brown too fast. Smash the garlic with a wooden cooking spoon.

Add the chopped mushrooms to the pot and cook over high heat about 2-3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the eggplant pulp and cook for 3-4 minutes, mixing so that it does not burn. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix in the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and 1.4 cup water. Cook 20-25 minutes on medium heat and mixing often. Add some more water if necessary. The sauce is ready when the eggplant is soft and breaks down to create a thick, rich sauce. If after 25 minutes there is too much liquid in the pot, increase the heat to high and cook while stirring until it thickens. Stir in the sliced olives with the parsley. Taste seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Place the eggplants over the baked potato slices. Add mozzarella cheese and place inside each eggplant. Distribute the sauce evenly into each eggplant and top with the remaining crumbled mozzarella cheese. Bake in the center rack for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with the pasta of your choice. Toss the penne pasta with the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce.

Three Purpose-Driven Principles of High Performance Nutrition

Before the twentieth-century people imagined the nutrition of the future would be dominated by meal substitution pills to increase efficiency, leaving people with more time to focus on seemingly more productive aspects of work and life. The fallacy of this prediction ignores the fact that people are not merely digestive tubes. When it comes to anything in life it's important to start by asking yourself this question: what's the purpose?

So, what's the purpose of eating? To meet nutrient demands? Satisfy taste buds? Quench hunger? Knowing your purpose is essential because it's the main factor driving your decision-making.

A person can eat to satisfy hunger, for pleasure or for nourishment. If you only eat to satisfy your hunger you'll consume anything, the cheaper and more filling the better. If you eat purely for pleasure you'll choose whatever stimulates the taste buds the most, overconsuming salt, sugar, and fat. And if you solely consume foods for their nutritive qualities you'll tend to be a restrictive, perhaps even a boring and overbearing person who doesn't particularly enjoy food.

For us, food is more than nutritional substance. The act of eating is a complex multi-dimensional experience that should nourish the physical, emotional, mental, and more subtle aspects of our humanity. When we nourish all aspects of ourselves through food, a nutritional system becomes intelligent and can even be a source of self-knowledge. By paying attention to our eating habits we gain the perspective necessary to learn what foods enrichen our experience and extend our life expectancy. A true high-performance nutritional system should strive to satisfy hunger, experience pleasure, and nourish the body with nutrients.

    Imagine simultaneously satisfying hunger, experiencing pleasure and nourishing the body. Without a doubt, this (re)evolutionary approach will enrichen your life physiologically, emotionally, mentally and intuitively! Don't let this wisdom slip through your fingers, go out with friends and family (which is a big part of the pleasure factor) and see if you can get all three in a single meal. Then write to tell me how you did.

    These three principles explain the fundamental concept of our high-performance nutritional system. Next week we'll take a look at the five criteria for selecting food, and I promise it will be mind-blowing. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss it!

    This week's recipe is perfect for winter but I love it year-round.

    Creamy Polenta Bowl 

    Lunch or Dinner

    (Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

    Meatless Monday: "If you don't eat meat, what can you eat?"

    Conscious food choices are what we love!

    The choice of food, the preparation of the dishes and the act of eating with family and friends are all part of this process. Spending time with each of these steps enriches the relationship you have with food and the people you share it with.

    Over the next few Monday's we're going to celebrate Meatless Monday by addressing some of the misunderstandings some nutritionists, chefs, airline companies and all of our lovely aunts have concerning meatless nutrition.

    In an effort to bring the light to these influential humans, we're going to share three meatless recipes we love at the bottom.

    Misunderstanding #1: If you don't eat meat, what can you eat?

    Plant-based, meatless, or vegetarian diets are extremely diverse. While they do exclude all types of meat (red, white, blue or rainbow colored) they include everything else under the sun. Here is where the great divide starts, is it a choice or a restriction and does it even matter. For me it's a simple, not a restriction. I don't think it is ideal for anyone repress themselves in order to make the best choice for themself. I choose the meatless nutrition because of all the amazing doors it opens to me and the doors it closes too. To me, it's little like asking someone, "... if you don't eat metal screws, what can you eat?" But I don't want to digress from the main topic, let's take a look at what meatless diets do include.

    Vegetarianism can be divided into three main groups:

    a) Ovo-lacto-vegetarianism, also known as vegetarianism, consists of eating absolutely everything found under the Sun, except meat of any kind;

    b) Lacto-vegetarianism, which is just like the above dietary system, except it excludes eggs;

    c) Veganism, also known as pure vegetarianism, does not consume meat, eggs, dairy or any product originating from the body of the animal, including honey, etc.

    Obviously, different combinations and variations exist other than the above mentioned.

    The DeROSE Method recommends a well balanced ovo-lacto-vegetarianism dietary system because we consider it the most adaptable to any situation and is extremely diverse nutritionally compared to the meatless dietary systems. It provides all necessary nutritional elements in the most enjoyable way without rigid planning and without sacrificing sociability.

    Check out this interesting article about What Happens When You Stop Eating Meat from our friends at Collective Evolution.

    Here are three easy recipes we promised for a fun summer Meatless Monday!

    BREAKFAST

    BANANA OATMEAL

    LUNCH

    VEGGIE CARROT DOGS

    DINNER

    ROASTED TOMATO SOUP

    Meatless Gourmet: Vegetable Alfredo

    Vegetable alfredo

    Ingredients

    makes for about 4-6 servings

    • 16 oz pasta
    • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed 
    • 1.5 oz (about 1/3 cup) sun-dried tomatoes (NOT oil-packed)
    • 8oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 lb fresh broccoli
    • 2 tbsp light butter
    • ½ heaping cup raw whole cashews (75 g, 2.6 oz) (soaked for overnight in hot water if you don't have a high powered blender)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more to your taste, I used a bit more, don't omit!)
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
    2. While pasta is cooking, mist a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray or an olive oil mister and set over medium high heat.
    3. Add in vegetables, garlic, and some salt and pepper, and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
    4. In a saucepan, add the onion and just 1 cup of the broth over medium-low heat. Cook for about 8 minutes until the onion is very tender. After several minutes, add the garlic and cook a couple of minutes more. Let it cook until the broth has evaporated until thick and creamy.
    5. Add the the onion and garlic mixture to a blender. Start out by just adding ¾ cup more of the remaining broth and add the remaining ingredients (salt, pepper, cashews, lemon juice). Blend on high for a couple of minutes until very creamy and smooth. Add more broth to reach desired consistency.
    6. Divide pasta and vegetables evenly into 4 serving bowls. Top with sauce. Then sprinkle a bit of lemon zest on top.

    Meatless Gourmet: Chilled Spicy Avocado and Cucumber Soup

    DeRose Method Meatless Plant Based Gourmet

    INGREDIENTS (for two people)

    • 2 avocados (ripe)
    • 2 cucumbers (peel and scrape out seeds)
    • juice from 1 lemon
    • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 cup of cold water
    • 1/2 cup creamed coconut (see picture because it's not easy to find at the grocery store)
    • 1 chopped fresh jalapeño chile (with seeds if you like it hot)
    • 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (low sodium)
    • 1 cup jasmine rice
    • Fresh Cilantro (for garnish)
    • coconut flakes (unsweetened, for garnish)
    • black sesame seeds (for garnish)
    • coriander (for garnish)
    • a few ice cubes to blend in the soup at the end (if you don't have time to chill before eating) 

    PREPARATION

    1. For the soup, put the cucumbers, avocados, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, sugar, water, creamed coconut, jalapeño, salt and soy sauce into the blender or food processor and process until creamy and smooth. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (15 minutes) or blend in a 2 ice cubes). Add water if needed to get the consistency you want (I prefer not to add more water).
    2. Start cooking the jasmine rice while the soup is chilling.
    3. Serve cold with warm jasmine rice, fresh coriander, cilantro, coconut flakes and black sesame seeds.

    Recipe inspiration credits to www.comocomecami.com

     We order this in bulk online because it is not available at our grocery stores.

    We order this in bulk online because it is not available at our grocery stores.

    Meatless Gourmet: Pad Thai

    (SERVES 2)
    INGREDIENTS

    PAD THAI

    150g Pad Thai noodles
    1 bell pepper
    1 carrot
    1 onion
    8 mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 clove garlic
    1 teaspoon grated ginger
    1 tablespoon sesame oil

    SALSA
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1 tablespoon honey
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    1/2 clove garlic, chopped

    TO SERVE
    2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
    1 avocado, chopped into cubes
    1 chopped chives
    Chopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 lime

    PREPARATION

    1. Cut the carrot, sweet pepper and onion into strips. Slice the mushrooms. Chop the garlic and ginger.
    2. Put a pot of water to boil with 4 cups of water.
    3. Pre-heat a pan with sesame oil over medium-high heat.
    4. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
    5. Add vegetables and sauté for 10 minutes.
    6. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
    7. Chop peanuts, chives, cilantro and avocado.
    8. Cook Pad Thai noodles as indicated by the brand of your choice.
    9. Take each serving bowl. Serve the noodles, add the sauteed vegetables, pour the sauce and mix.
    10. Serve each bowl with peanuts, cilantro, avocado, chives and a slice of lime on top. Enjoy immediately.

    Recipe and photography credits to www.comocomecami.com

    Butternut Curry Coconut Soup with Cauliflower

    curried-cauliflower-soup-recipe-1.jpg

    Photo credits to cookieandkate.com

    Prep time:  15 mins; Cook time:  25 mins; Total time:  40 mins. Serves: 4 people

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil

    • 3 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

    • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped

    • 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

    • 2 teaspoon ground cumin

    • 2 teaspoon ground tumeric

    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or as you wish if you are tough enough)

    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

    • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth or water

    • 1½ cup full fat coconut milk for drizzling on top

    • ¼ cup coconut cream

    • ½ cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes

    • Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add squash, onion, garlic, curry paste, coriander, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes to skillet. Stir to combine.
    2. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.
    3. While the soup is cooking, toast the coconut flakes in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden on the edges. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer coconut flakes to a bowl to cool.
    4. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, taste and add a little more Thai red curry paste if it’s not quite flavorful enough for you. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer the contents pan to a blender (do not fill your blender past the maximum fill line because steam will escape and will burn if you are not careful!). Transfer puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with remaining batches.
    5. Stir the lime juice into the blended soup. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Use a spoon to drizzle coconut milk over each bowl, then lightly swirl the spoon through the topmost layer for a pretty design. Top the soup with toasted coconut flakes and a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro.\

    Notes: inspired by Cookie&Kate and The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook.

    ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide florets (8 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
    • Toss cauliflower with oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) and roast, stirring and turning over occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

    Meatless Monday Gourmet: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Waffle Sandwich with Tomato Soup

    Gourmet DeRose Method Greenwich Village NYC

    INGREDIENTS FOR GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

    4 plum or medium heirloom tomatoes, halved lengthwise
    Olive oil spray (for prepping cooking surfaces, i.e. waffle iron or oven cookware)
    Kosher salt
    Waffle batter (for more ease and speed use slices of country white bread)
    Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
    2 ripe avocados, slices lengthwise
    Heaps of Gruyere, Pepper jack, Swiss, and goat cheese (I like the logs with herbs)
    Special equipment: waffle iron (many different styles but no need to get too fancy)

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR GRILLED CHEESE

    Roast the tomatoes: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet cut-side down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and wrinkled, about 30-45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high. Spray cooking surface with olive oil spray (if using sliced bread, brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter). Pour the waffle batter and close the griddle to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until very lightly browned.

    Here you can go off the beaten path to experiment a little. I took out the lightly browned waffles and placed them on a oven safe bake sheet, layered all the cheeses and tomatoes on top of one waffle, placed the second waffle on top, pressed them together without smashing too much and let the cheeses melt while in the oven set at 350 degrees F. 

    Otherwise, the simplified approach is to use bread, placing buttered side down, layer in the ingredients generously and place second slice of bread with buttered side up, close waffle griddle and let cook about 5-8 minutes until golden brown (there is no problem opening the griddle to see how everything is progressing since waffle griddles can heat differently). Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Cut in half and serve.

    INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATO SOUP

    2 tablespoon coconut oil
    2 tablespoon unsalted butter
    2 medium yellow onion, medium dice
    Kosher salt
    6 medium garlic cloves, minced
    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    3 (28-ounce) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes in their juices, preferably San Marzanos with basil
    3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
    Heavy cream
    5 twigs of fresh thyme

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOMATO SOUP

    Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and add the coconut oil, butter and diced onion. Cook covered, stirring occasionally (once a minute), until the onion is completely soft, about 10-15 minutes. (If at any point the onion looks like it’s beginning to brown, reduce the heat.) Add the garlic and optional red pepper flakes and cook covered for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. 

    Increase the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and their juices to the pan. Roughly crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon and cook until they’re hot and beginning to soften, about 10-15 minutes. Add the broth or water and bring to a simmer. Cook at a medium simmer until the tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 15 minutes. 

    Remove the soup from the heat and let cool uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Purée the soup directly in the saucepan using an immersion blender, or blend 3/4 of soup using a countertop blender, carefully puréeing the soup until smooth. Serve, adding about a tablespoon (or two) of heavy cream to each bowl as desired, and top with crushed black pepper and sea salt to taste.

    Pumpkin & Peanut Coconut Curry

    This week we continue our run covering a few delicious meatless recipes that represent our nutritional proposal making food a multi-sensory experience that enriches our lives while meeting all the nutritional demands to attain higher performance in all areas of life.

    DeRose Method Gourmet Nutrition

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Heat the oil in a large pot or wok and fry the onions for 5-8 minutes on medium-high heat. As soon as this starts to happen, add the pumpkin and carrot and stir-fry for a few minutes (if you have the time, broil the butternut squash instead of stir frying to get that lovely roasted flavor). Stir in the tomato purée, 1/2 the coriander and jalapeño, then add the coconut milk. Stir, then add the peanut butter mix. Cook at a soft simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pumpkin is tender. Season to taste or add soy sauce as you like. Garnish with coriander leaves, crushed peanut and serve with cooked rice or couscous.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 3 tbsp unsalted crunchy peanut butter
    • 1 tsp tomato purée
    • juice of 1 lime
    • small handful fresh coriander (otherwise known as cilantro), chopped finely with roots
    • 2 jalapeños, halved and partially deseeded (according to your spiciness tolerance)
    • 4 inch piece of fresh ginger
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 red onions, diced (may substitute with any onion or shallots)
    • 3 medium carrots, roughly diced
    • 1 large or 2 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly diced
    • 1 400 mL of coconut milk

    Meatless Monday Gourmet Cabbage Vegetable Soup

                              This recipe was inspired in a recipe found on  SimplyRecipes.com .

                            This recipe was inspired in a recipe found on SimplyRecipes.com.

    Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons olive oil

    • 1 teaspoon butter

    • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground in a mortar

    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in a mortar

    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground in a mortar

    • 1 teaspoon of curry spice

    • 1/2 cup of fresh ginger root, finely diced

    • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock)

    • Freshly ground black pepper

    • 1 medium onion, chopped

    • 2 small red bell pepper

    • green peas, cut into 1 inch pieces

    • 3 carrots, cut into 2-3 inch thin sticks

    • 2 stems of celery

    • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

    • 4 cups vegetable stock, invest in the best if you don't have time to make your own.

    • 1 medium/large head of cabbage

    Directions

    Grind the spices (coriander, fennel, & cumin) in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one to grind properly then use the spices in their whole seed form, they are quite aromatic and will still provide great flavor to fill out the dish.

    Heat olive oil and butter in a 4-quart, thick bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, diced ginger root, carrots, celery and stir in the ground spices (coriander, fennel, & cumin). Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add the sliced cabbage to the pot and stir to mix the cabbage. Add the canned whole tomatoes, with their juices, to the pot. Stir to combine.

    Add vegetable stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt. Add more salt to taste. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cabbage is thoroughly cooked.

    Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and curry to serve.