Smarter Than Pancakes

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back from (Seemingly Permanent) Hiatus and Introducing October Unprocessed

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 11:28 am
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Well kids, it seems I haven’t touched my blog since June of last year. In that time, I also busied myself with other things and really stopped cooking new things as much as I had before. Life came in and took over, and cooking was one of the things that went by the wayside. In the meantime, we started eating more junk in the form of fake meats and processed foods.

That’s where October Unprocessed comes in. October Unprocessed is a concept on the internet by the folks at http://www.EatingRules.com. Can I go for a solid month without unprocessed foods?

Unprocessed, for them, is based on their “Kitchen Test” definition. The good news for me is that it’s my challenge, so I can use whatever rules I want. I know that I’m not going to be able to go cold turkey, so I’m going to ease into it because I don’t want to set myself up for failure. It’s going to take a lot of time, planning, and work on my part; so I’m going to try for a simpler approach. While the Eating Rules people eschew things like cooking oil, flour, and sugar as processed; I’m going to keep them for the time being. For now, my goal is to try to cook like my grandmother cooked and avoid all of the preservatives and chemicals that are in the processed foods you buy at the store. I’ve seen the list of ingredients in the break-and-bake cookies. There are about a million chemicals that I can’t pronounce. I’m going to be ok with homemade cookies—even if they have sugar and flour. Once I can get the family (and myself) acclimated to all homemade, I’m going to try to start throwing in more wholesome ingredients like whole wheat flour, coconut oil, etc. I also plan to occasionally feed them the meat substitutes that I already have in the freezer, but try to find healthier options to replace the processed. I saw a lentil-based recipe for taco “meat” online recently that could be a great replacement for the Quorn grounds with taco seasoning that I usually reach for.
My biggest goals for this are to get back into the habit of planning meals and cooking at home, start adding in more wholesome options, and I’m going to keep a food diary for myself to better keep track of why I weigh what I do. (I’m not planning to bore you with the details of my food diary, but I am going to share my October Unprocessed experiences and recipes here to help keep myself accountable to the project.)
This all starts tomorrow. Today, I clean out my fridge, look up some recipes, plan a weekly menu, and jump on this bandwagon. If you want to join in, visit http://www.eatingrules.com/october-unprocessed-2013/.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

CSA Week 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 1:31 pm

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This is it, kids. This is what we’re working with this weekend. Tomatoes, radishes, broccoli, a cucumber, kale, and a whole bunch of collards because I picked up an extra bunch that someone else didn’t want. I think I’m going to turn one bunch of collards into regular old greens, but I’m still scouring the internet for other ideas. I’m open to suggestions!

The Summer of Healthy Eating

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 1:26 pm

It seems like the stars are aligning to force me to start blogging again. We joined a CSA last week, and picked up our first share today. All kinds of yummy potential. I’m looking up recipes right now to figure out what to do with all of my new veggies. Stay tuned…

 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An Easy Trick to Use to Tell if a Food is Nutritious

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 1:11 pm

I had to go to a class for the local Home Extension group that I’m in.  (I joined thinking that I don’t have a mom or grandma who can teach me things like canning or pie crust tips, I could learn things from these wise ladies.  It turns out that the ladies in the group I’m in are more convenience food ladies. Their canned goods come from Walmart and their pie crust is Pillsbury.  They are very nice, so I stick around.)

Every month, one of the ladies teaches a lesson on some topic that has been predetermined by the Home Extension office.  I’m supposed to teach a lesson to them on reading and understanding food labels.  I had to go to the library where someone from Home Extension taught us the information they wanted us to pass on.  Unfortunately, the other ladies in the class were older and didn’t pick it up quickly.  Simon and I got the gist within the first 15 minutes.  (Partially because I had included nutrition and food labels in his homeschooling.)  We then sat there for an extra hour while they explained it over and over to the other ladies.  I was pretty sure that’s how it was going to work–hence my dread.

First, let me preface by saying that I’m really all about shopping the edges of the store.   Foods that don’t require a nutrition label are my ultimate goal, but I understand that I’m a rarity.  A lot of people have no idea how to cook  the foods that you find around the outer edges of the store–produce, raw meat, dairy, etc.  People also frequently shop the middles because they have been brainwashed into thinking that they don’t have time to eat anything besides the processed stuff in the middle by years of commercials telling them that things like Hamburger Helper are delicious AND nutritious.  The little trick that I learned in this class is a good start for people who shop the middles!

COUNTING ON YOUR FINGERS TO READ AND UNDERSTAND THE FOOD LABEL (Kinda)
by our Extension Service and (Adapted by Shaye of Smarter Than Pancakes)

So you can Google food label to learn all about how the FDA requires there to be labels, that there are 14 items of info, etc.  I’m only giving you the trick they taught us to tell if a food is nutritious or not by counting on your fingers.

So you’re in the store and you’re trying to decide if Multi-Grain Pringles are a nutritious food.  Here’s what they say you should do:

Start with a closed fist and look at the middle section of the nutrition label.
If the food has 10% or more of vitamin A, raise a finger.
If the food has 10% or more of vitamin C, raise another finger.
If the food has 10% or more calcium, raise a finger.
If the food has 10% or more of iron, raise a finger.

Now move up to the top part of the label.
If the food has 5 grams or more of protein, raise a finger.
If the food has 10% or more of fiber, raise a finger.

Now you can either look at calories or fat.
If the food has over 200 calories or 10% or more total fat, lower a finger.

According to them, if you have any fingers standing, the food is nutritious. (Obviously more fingers means more nutritious, but no fingers is a pretty good indication that what you’re holding is a package of empty calories.)

My only problem with that is that they aren’t looking at cholesterol, sodium, or sugar with their finger thing.  Those are the big three that cause the most problems medically.  Their handouts do say that 10% of cholesterol, sodium, and sugar are excessive; but they don’t consider that in deciding if something is nutritious or not.  I would say that if you’re holding up one finger, and notice that the cholesterol, sodium, and/or sugar is above 10%; you should probably put that finger back down again because the nutrition you’d be consuming would most assuredly be negated by the extra cholesterol/sodium/sugar you’d be consuming along with it.  They said if you’re *watching* your cholesterol, sodium, or sugars; you should keep an eye on those numbers.  Shouldn’t everyone pay at least a little attention to those things with the epidemic proportions of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes in this country?  (Sorry, I’ll get off my high-horse now, and try to start with baby steps.)

Anyway, that’s what I learned.  I’ve already had Simon use it a few times to decide if he was making a nutritious choice, so it is a nice little trick to have your arsenal.  (See how I didn’t say “handy little trick”?  I resisted!)

P.S.- Multi-Grain Pringles have 0% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 2% iron, 1 gram of protein, and 1 gram of fiber.  Exactly zero fingers held up before we even look at fat, calories, or anything else. Don’t be fooled by the “Multi-Grain”.  You need “Whole Grain” if you want healthy. 😉

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

Filed under: Healthy Junk Food,yogurt — shaye3 @ 1:28 pm

I could have sworn I copied this from my old Vox blog into this one, but I can’t find it anywhere.  My niece posted about homemade yogurt on facebook this morning, and I was going to direct her to this post, but then I couldn’t find it.

Be warned, this looks like it’s hard, but I typed every single step in detail to make it foolproof.

There for a while, I was making yogurt about once a week.  The better your milk tastes, the better your yogurt will taste.  We prefer organic, but regular works fine as long as you taste it before you use it.  We’ve gotten regular milk that tastes really nasty before.

I like to add pictures with my posts, so I’m adding this lovely shot of the yogurt maker that I inherited from my husband’s grandmother, but you absolutely don’t need a special maker.  I’ve used a heating pad, the oven pilot light, and my crock pot set on warm.  Lately I use this baby:

This was Steve's grandmother's yogurt maker. I love this stupid thing.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe

To make about a quart of yogurt you’ll need:

1/2 gallon of milk

1/3 to 1/2 cup dried milk–makes it thick and creamy (skim milk takes more than whole milk)

1/4 to 1/2 cup plain yogurt with active cultures

100% apple juice concentrate (I use frozen)

fruit like bananas, strawberries, etc. to puree to mix in

1.      Set out the plain yogurt to warm up to room temp while you do everything else

2.      Combine your milk and dry milk in a large pot and slowly warm it to 180° F. (You need an instant read thermometer.)

3.      Let it cool down to about 110°

4.      Add the yogurt, but stir carefully so you don’t incorporate much air

5.      Pour it into a very clean container (I use a big Tupperware with a lid.)

6.      Put the container somewhere where it will stay at 110° (+/-5°)
(You can use your oven set on low, you can use warm water in a cooler, anything you want as long as it stays between 105° and 115°.  I used to put my Tupperware container in a soft sided cooler with my heating pad set on medium with the probe of my thermometer in there so I can keep an eye on the temperature.)

8.      Leave it to ferment for around 6 hours.  (Don’t jostle it while it’s fermenting or it might not set up.)
You can see when it’s set up because it looks kind of jelled and sometimes you can see the watery whey around it.  The longer you let it set, the tangier it gets.

9.     It’s now ready to eat, but I drain mine so it’s thicker–almost like pudding.

10.  After it’s set up, pour it into a strainer lined with a few layers of cheesecloth (or a coffee filter) over a mixing bowl to catch the whey.

11.  Leave it in your fridge for several hours or overnight so the whey can drain.

12.  After the whey has drained, pour it out of the bowl and dump the leftover yogurt cheese from the strainer into the bowl.  (It will kind of peel away from the cheesecloth.)

13.  Stir in the apple juice concentrate, a little at a time, until it is a sweet as you’d like (I think I use about 1/4 cup.)

14.  To make the fruit for the bottom or to mix in; I frequently use unsweetened, defrosted, frozen fruit that I’ve whirled in the food processor.  Our favorite is a really ripe banana, a few defrosted strawberries, and a drop or two of lemon juice.  (The lemon juice keeps the bananas from turning brown.)  You can experiment to find your favorites.

15.  I just keep all of it in a large container in the fridge and mix flavors when I serve it so I can pick flavors depending on my whim.

16.  If you leave the yogurt to drain longer, it will get more firm—like soft cream cheese.  You can then add herbs and spices and use it as a really good, low fat, savory spread or dip.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 in review (a.k.a. “How fresh can I be with only 6 posts?”)

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 12:18 pm

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 6 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 56 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 523kb.

The busiest day of the year was January 30th with 114 views. The most popular post that day was School Yeast Rolls.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, canarygirl.com, search.aol.com, ellesnewenglandkitchen.com, and joysofjello.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for sandwiches, sandwich, veggie salad, veggie burger, and hot fudge sundae.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

School Yeast Rolls January 2010
3 comments

2

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches May 2008
5 comments

3

Veggie Burger and Veg-o-Matic Fries April 2008
9 comments

4

Homemade Ding-Dongs February 2009
10 comments

5

Hot Fudge Sundae April 2008
7 comments

The good news is that I’ve got my blogging shoes on and I’m already working on my first new post of the new year!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Whole-Wheat Pita Experiment

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 6:07 pm

First, let me state for the record that PITA in internet parlance has its very own meaning.   That meaning of PITA does NOT apply to pita bread.  They are actually very easy to make!

So, with that out of the way, on with the show…

Today, my part of central Indiana has yet to reach temps above zero.  Right now, it’s the warmest it’s been all day at 0;  but we still have a wind chill of  -16.  I think that would make it the perfect day to warm the oven up to 400°, and then keep opening and closing the oven door every three minutes.  Am I right?

I’ve never made pita before, but I’ve seen it done on the net.  I found several recipes that looked good, but none were whole wheat.  I took it upon myself to try to convert one to whole wheat since I’m trying really hard to avoid white flour.  (This recipe is loosely based on one I found on The Fresh Loaf.)

The original recipe said to roll them 1/4″ thick.  They were ok, but seemed too bready.  The next few, I rolled much thinner.  The last two I forgot about, and they wound up quite crispy.  Oops.

The first few I rolled kind of thick.  A few of them had the one big puff that you fill in store-bought pita.  Even the puffy ones seemed too bready.

The first few I rolled kind of thick. A few of them had the one big puff that you fill in store-bought pita. Even the puffy ones seemed too bready.

This was the first batch of thinner ones.  They turned out puffy, but not one big puff that you can fill.

This was the first batch of thinner ones. They turned out puffy, but not one big puff that you can fill.

This is how they turn out when you roll them thin, then forget to set the timer.  I wasn't too worried, they'll be perfect pita chips to use with hummous.

This is how they turn out when you roll them thin, then forget to set the timer. I wasn't too worried, they'll be perfect pita chips to use with hummous.

So here’s how it goes…

Whole-Wheat Pita Bread
Makes 8 – 4 points each

2 tsp. active dry yeast  (I buy in bulk so I just measure.  It’s a little less than a packet, if that’s what you use.)

1-1/2 c. water (Approx 110° F.)

1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1-1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 Tbs. vital wheat gluten (Or you could just use 3 c. bread or AP flour and skip the gluten.)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. sugar or honey (I used sugar because it s easier to measure.  Might try honey next to compare taste.)

2 Tbs. olive oil (You don’t need anything fancy like evoo, but it works fine.)

  1. Put the warm water in the bowl to your mixer, add the yeast, and stir to dissolve.  Let it sit while you measure everything else. (Use a regular bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer.)
  2. Measure the flours, gluten, salt & sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl, and stir well to combine.
  3. Add the oil to the water/yeast mixture, then add the flour mixture.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball.  (If you have flour that won’t incorporate into the dough, add a little more water.)
  5. Put the dough hook attachment onto your stand mixer, and let it go to town on the dough for about 10 minutes on low.  (If it wraps itself around the hook and makes an unmoving blob– stop the mixer, take it off the hook, and start it up again.)
  6. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead it by hand; but don’t complain to me about your arms hurting.  I’m just going to tell you to buy a stand mixer.)
  7. In the meantime, wipe the flour out of your medium sized mixing bowl and either oil it or spray it; put the dough in; then either turn the dough over in the oil or spray the top.
  8. Put a damp towel over the top of the bowl, and put in a warm place for an hour until the dough doubles.
  9. When it’s done rising, take it out and divide it into eight equal pieces.  (I just used a knife.  It cuts really easily.) Roll the eight pieces into balls, then put your damp towel over the little balls and let it rest for 20 more minutes.
  10. Preheat your oven to 400° F at some point during this process, and throw in a baking stone or an upside down baking sheet so it will be nice and warm when you get to it.  (If it’s 0° outside, like it is here, you can start the preheating process when you first get up in the morning.)
  11. Roll each piece out very thinly–maybe 1/8″ to 1/4″, depending on what you like.  (I tried both and liked thinner better with this recipe.)
  12. Throw as many pieces that will fit onto your hot stone or sheet in the oven. (I did two at a time.)
  13. Let them bake for 3 minutes, then take them out and throw more in.  (If you want them crispy–like to eat with hummous, leave them in for a few minutes more.)
  14. Take them out and enjoy.  (I’m planning hummous, falafel, and gyros–but my son tried them dipped in Cherry 7-up and said that’s good, too.)
  15. If you don’t immediately enjoy, keep them in an air-tight container.  They’ll stay fresh for a little while.

Yum!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Very Good Taste Omnivore’s Hundred–the Shaye edition

Filed under: Opinions,Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 3:19 pm

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (Google all the items you’ve never heard of. -S)
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone (It’s endangered. -S)
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (Only if taking Kaopectate counts. -S)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Not too bad for a girl who lives in the boondocks!

(Thanks to Canarygirl for the link.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Welcome to my Birthday Party Picnic!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 2:35 pm

A few weeks ago, I posted an invitation to my birthday party; and invited everyone to come and bring a dish to pass! I started getting RSVP responses almost immediately, which thrilled me to no end! I love to entertain, and I love this entertaining even more because I didn’t have to clean my house one bit!

*****
Our lovely picnic will start with a lovely pasta salad from DD of Thoughts of a DayDreamer. DD’s blog isn’t exclusively a food blog, but she does frequently post recipes. I, for one, am thrilled to have her along!

DD says, “This is a simple dish, but very flavorful. It is something that I would and have taken to potlucks, bbq’s, etc. Normally, my aunt makes it for me, but today I made it myself. I was so glad that I did not overcook the pasta! lol You see, I am so not a cook…I usually just bake simple things, like cookies or cupcakes from a box. Anyway, if you want to know, I blurbed about my food experiment on my post.”

When asked about their usual and customary picnics, DD said “We usually just have family bbq’s. Everyone just hangs and catches up. Depending on the locale, we may swim in my brother’s pool, sometimes we play cards, horse shoes, basketball, and then there’s always birthday & holiday fesitivities!”

Sounds like fun!

*****
Next up, we have Turkish Pizzas from Elle at Elle’s New England Kitchen.

Elle says, “These are delicious and different from your everyday pizza. Easy to make, simple, nice to work with dough, and a great meat topping. Kids like them, too!”

Elle says that she likes to sleep under a shady tree at picnics, but usually winds up chasing her kids around. (That sounds familiar!)

*****
Next, Nikki of Canarygirl arrives with Lentil Salad!

Nikki says, “I’m bringing this salad. Not only because it’s freaking fabulous, but because it’s a dish that lends itself *perfectly* to an afternoon outside with friends. So, Happy Birthday, Shaye! MUAC!”

She also adds, “What’s my idea of a great picnic? Lounging in chaises by the pool of course. lol”

Save me a chair please!

*****
Next, we have my new imaginary friend Jessica at The Delish. She comes bearing cherry pepper chutney, sweet heat bbq sauce and jerk-style rub.

She says, “I love to make my own bbq sauce, and this time I used grilled peppers and sweet michigan cherries to make tangy, finger-lickin’ pork ribs. the flavor in the sauce inspired a jamaican jerk-style rub with a little sweetness and a little spice that pairs wonderfully with the sauce. the recipe can actually make two meals – or the chutney can be skipped altogether.”

Why would you want to skip the chutney???

Jessica says, We live in a county in northeast Indiana that boasts 101 lakes, so it seems like every picnic is at the lake. We mostly sit around and drink beer, hang out on the pontoon, swim, and break to eat. There’s almost always a poker game later on in the night. Cards, lots of cards. You name it, we play it.

I know they’d let me play because I have terrible luck at cards! Ask anyone who has ever played poker with me, you always leave with more money than you came with if I’m in the game! 😉

*****
Finally, we have the pièce de résistance! The Webkinz “Wishing Well” cake, and constructed by my friend Jen!

Ok, she actually made the cake for her daughter Hayley’s 8th birthday, but she said I could claim it as my own! Thanks Jen!

So thanks to everyone for coming and making my birthday picnic spectacular! I feel the love!!!!!

**If you would like recipes of any of the dishes we sampled today, just click on the individual links and visit my friends’ lovely blogs!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Easy and Delicious Baked Eggplant (Aubergine) Parmesan

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaye3 @ 10:34 pm
Tags: , ,

Ok, I know that these are lazy days of summer; but I think I might have gone off the deep end. Last night we set off some of the fireworks that Steve got for Simon, then I collapsed into bed. This morning, Simon slept in until after 10:00, so we didn’t go to church. Actually, the breadth and depth of my laziness is evidenced by the fact that we do nothing every day now that the boys are home from school for the summer, yet I feel overwhelmed by the fact that I have two meetings at church this week. Tomorrow night I have to go give a report on the progress of the silent auction that I’m putting together for our church’s “Family Fun Fest”, and then Tuesday I get to spend the afternoon in a meeting with the state of Indiana to find out exactly what one needs to do to set up a church based childcare center. I know the childcare ministry is a good project, but unnnnnnngh! I just want to be able to sit around being lazy! My birthday is Wednesday. Shouldn’t you get a pass from boring meetings during your birthday week?

The good news is that there are still really good meals that we lazy people can make. This one is deceptively easy to make. You can serve it with spaghetti, salad and maybe some garlic bread.
Easy weeknight dinner!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 4 generously

1 lb eggplant (Large eggplants have more bitter seeds. Do yourself a favor and get two or more smaller eggplants.)

1/2 cup mayo (Miracle Whip is NOT mayo and won’t work with this recipe. Light mayo works if you want to go that way.) 😉

1 Tbs minced onion (I used what was left of a red onion I had in the fridge, and I’m sure it was more than a tbs.)

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (Or you can just use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or throw any seasonings in that you want that add up to about 1/2 tsp.)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (PLEASE don’t stoop to using the crap in the green can, I’m begging you!)

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° and grease or spray two large baking sheets.
  2. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices, salt both sides of the slices, and leave them to drain in a large strainer for a while.
  3. In the meantime, mix your mayo and minced onion in a little bowl.
  4. Mix your breadcrumbs, seasoning, and grated Parm in a shallow container. (I used a glass pie plate.)
  5. Now go back to your eggplant. Rinse off the salt and then pat each of them dry.
  6. Lightly spread the oniony mayo on both sides of a slice of eggplant, dip both sides in the breadcrumb/parm mixture, then deposit onto a baking sheet. (Or you can spread the mayo on one side, drop that side into the breadcrumb stuff and *then* spread the mayo on the other side if you want. I’ve done it both ways.) Repeat until you’ve covered all of the slices.
  7. Bake at 425° for six minutes, flip each piece over, and bake for six minutes more or until golden.
  8. Serve as is–or top with red sauce and mozzarella or provolone cheese and throw back in the oven to melt the cheese. (Simon has been known to make sandwiches out of the eggplant with the red sauce and melty cheese on garlic bread. I tasted it once and it was really good.)
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