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Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

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veg lasagna

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Recipe of the Day: Mediterranean Eggplant and Artichoke Lasagna

Active Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  1 hour 44 minutes

With the help of a few pantry staples combined with fresh produce, you can whip up this vegetable lasagna with a different spin.

Instead of the thick, saucy layers you’ll find in classic lasagnas, this Mediterranean version focuses on roasted vegetables and a crunchy bread-crumb topping without the sauce.

The result is a flavorful dish boasting flavors of the Mediterranean:  basil, eggplant, artichokes, bell peppers, garlic.

Here’s a little bit of trivia:  In some Mediterranean countries it was considered a crime to throw out old bread.

So home cooks always saved stale bread to toast into bread crumbs, which made the simplest foods – soups, vegetables, and of course pasta – rich with texture and flavor.

Makes 8 servings (1 square each)

1 medium eggplant, with peel, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1-1/2 tablespoons basil-infused extra virgin olive oil (see Notes)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon low-sodium herbal seasoning blend

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added, with liquid

One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, in water, drained and sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried

1/2 cup water

12 dry whole wheat lasagna noodles (3/4 of a 9-ounce box)

1 cup shredded mozzarella-flavored plant-based cheese

1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs (see Notes)

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2.  Spread the eggplant, onion, bell pepper, and garlic on a large baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar.  Sprinkle with the herbal seasoning and black pepper.  Stir well, then roast for 30 minutes.  Halfway through cooking time, stir the vegetables.

3.  After 30 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.  Add the tomatoes, with their liquid, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil to the eggplant mixture on the sheet and toss to distribute.

4.  Add the water to a deep 9×13-inch baking dish.  Arrange 4 lasagna noodles along the bottom, overlapping.  Spoon one-third of the vegetable mixture over the noodles, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the plant-based cheese.  Repeat for a total of three layers.

5.  Sprinkle the top layer with the prepared bread crumbs and cover with foil.  Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Notes:  You may use prepared basil-infused olive oil, available at many supermarkets and gourmet food shops, or stir 1/4 teaspoon ground basil into 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil.

To make your own whole grain bread crumbs, toast whole grain bread (gluten-free, if desired) for 10-15 minutes in a 400°F oven, until dry and brown (use 1 slice to make about 1/4 cup of crumbs).  Remove and let cool slightly, then place in a blender or small food processor and process into crumbs.  You may do this while the vegetables are roasting (and make extra to store for another dish,if desired).

Variations:  You can substitute 3 small summer squashes (e.g., zucchini, crookneck, scallop) for the eggplant in step 2.  To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs, lasagna noodles, and plant-based cheese.

Per serving:  221 calories, 7 g total fat (2 g saturated), 286 mg sodium, 32 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugar), 8 g fiber, 11 g protein.

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Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay


from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.

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