Eggplant Meatball Recipe; Meatless Weekdays

Eggplant Meatball Recipe; Meatless Weekdays

We are on Week 2 Day 2 of eating meatless on weekdays and today we made our own eggplant meatball recipe.

Since the Stay at Home order we have been eating well at the Thompson house.  Too well.  Although I’ve received a lot of flack over it, my husband actually came up with the idea to attempt going meatless on weekdays.  Last week was the first week and we crushed it!  There were no cheat days!

One difficulty has been finding recipes that don’t replace meat with another bad thing like frying in oil, a cup of soy sauce, or a pound of cheese.  Today’s creation does have some cheese, but is very healthy.

Try our eggplant meatball recipe (even our 16 year old son ate them).

Note – the “Prepare the Eggplant” portion of the recipe can be done a day ahead.  When I made this I prepared 2 eggplants.  One for this recipe and one I cooked 15 minutes longer for baba ganoush.

Eggplant Meatball Recpie
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4 from 1 vote

Eggplant Meatballs

These vegetarian meatballs are so amazing, even our 16 year old son ate them!
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: vegetarian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

Prepare the eggplant

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Slice eggplant in half longwise and place on baking sheet cut side down
  • Cook until soft about 45 minutes. Let cool completely.

While the eggplant is cooling

  • Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat and cook onion until almost soft (3-5 minutes)
  • Add garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes
  • Remove from heat and let cool
  • Mix cheese into eggs and add salt, pepper, white pepper, cayenne, basil, and parsley. Mix together

Assemble meatballs

  • Scoop flesh from eggplant and add to egg and cheese mixture. Discard the skin.
  • Add breadcrumbs and mix together
  • Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (makes 24)
  • Refrigerate 20 minutes

Cooking

  • Place baking sheet in oven (still 400°) and cook for 30 minutes, carefully flipping once after the first 15 minutes.
  • Serve with a spicy marinara alone or on noodles, or zoodles (zucchini noodles)
Leftover Roast Chicken Jambalaya

Leftover Roast Chicken Jambalaya

Leftover Roast Chicken Jambalaya.

Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs when we decided to roast 2 whole chickens for dinner.  There was a lot leftover and I already have several types of chicken based soup ready to eat in the freezer.  We’ve also made a lot of Mexican dishes with all of the cooking we’ve been doing with the stay at home orders.

That’s when it hit me – let’s make jambalaya.  I searched for a recipe and couldn’t find one for leftover roast chicken jambalaya so I adapted one from allrecipes.

The great thing about Jambalaya is that it doesn’t need to be exact. If you have more or less protein the recipe will still be fantastic.  If you don’t eat pork, no problem.  Andouille sausage is available in pork or chicken. Just be sure that it is smoked or you will need to cook it longer to cook through.

If it was just Chris and I we would have made this with shrimp, but our son is violently allergic to shellfish.  Although he has no problem with shrimp, the association to shellfish just turns him off to it.

We sure hope you enjoy it.

Jambalaya

Great use for your leftover roast chicken
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: Chicken, rice, Sausage, Shrimp
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb leftover roasted chicken, cubed Since you are using leftovers, measurements for chicken just need to be close. You can be between 3/4 - 1 1/4 pounds without changing the recipe.
  • 4 links smoked andouille sausage, sliced I recommend aidells Cajun style andouille. The links are individually wrapped so if you cut this recipe in half it is easy to use 2 links.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cups white rice, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 sliced green onions

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in large dutch oven.
  • Season the sausage with Cajun seasoning and saute in oil until brown.
  • Add chicken pieces and stir to coat. Once chicken is incorporated with the sausage and seasoning remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same dutch oven saute the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic until soft.
  • Sprinkle with flour and toss.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes and all of the seasonings including Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces.
  • Cook for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  • Serve garnished with green onions.

Notes

This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.
If you want to add shrimp add pealed and deveined shrimp to dutch oven 5 minutes before cooking time is over.
Be A Leader With Optimism

Be A Leader With Optimism

Be a leader with Optimism

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” Christine Caine

This week I am adjusting my schedule to what the new norm will be. It’s been nice writing and recording on Monday mornings, but the reality is when the stay at home is lifted I most likely won’t be free Monday mornings.  So I encourage you – if you’ve started something new during the pandemic – reading – walking – writing – running whatever it is think about how and when you do it now and how and when you will do it when our lives move into the new normal.  You’ve come this far – don’t give it all up because it doesn’t fit into that schedule.  Start shifting your schedule now.  I sent out a challenge a couple of weeks ago to try and get up 10 minutes earlier every day – that’s a great place to start.  Heck – right now – even setting an alarm to get up in the morning may be a great place to start.

Proud parents of an MSU grad

This week was very special for our family.  Our daughter Mattie graduated from Michigan State.  We couldn’t be prouder.  Of course she didn’t get to walk, so my Aunt, who is probably the most positive and optimistic person I know, picked up the ball and ran with it by scheduling a Zoomuation.  The power of Zoom is not just for business and education it is a great way to connect.  Truly having experienced this yesterday I would choose Zoom over a real graduation any day.

  • not sitting for 2 hours just for the 5 seconds they announce your grads name
  • with family all over the country we were limited to who could have been able to attend
  • with the camera on we were able to focus on each other instead of breaking up into little clicks

And for Mattie instead of competing with thousands of other grads she truly got to be the center of attention.  The day was all about her.

This quote makes me think of my Aunt’s actions

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control instead shift your energy to what you can create.” Roy Bennett

She completely created an amazing event for her niece with her optimism.

Why you should be a leader with optimism (more…)
Stay At Home and Staying Healthy; Chili Lime Shrimp

Stay At Home and Staying Healthy; Chili Lime Shrimp

We made this chili lime shrimp recipe and really enjoyed it.  I think you will like it too.

Staying at home and staying healthy has been a challenge during this pandemic.  We’ve tried to behave, but being trapped with our food is so hard.  Those few ventures out to the store have also been a struggle. Determined to stick to our grocery list, but then . . . we accidentally venture down the vanilla Oreo’s aisle.  This recipe is quick, easy and healthy and has so many serving options.  Serve on top of pasta or rice, use as a salad topper, or our favorite way to serve them is as shrimp tacos.

Shrimp omelets are my favorite special treat.  I always make a couple of extra shrimp for the next morning.

Note:  This recipe is Whole 30 friendly.

Chili Lime Shrimp

Quick and easy and delicious
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time14 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Shrimp
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lb shrimp - peeled and cleaned we use the 21-25 size
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika smoked is different than regular, try not to substitute
  • 1/2 tsp course salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes add more if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Mix together the olive oil through red pepper flakes and pour over shrimp.
  • Let sit for up to 30 minutes
  • Heat skillet or grill to medium heat
    If using skillet add enough olive oil to prevent sticking
    chili lime shrimp
  • Cook about 2-3 minutes per side. Shrimp will be pink and start to curl when cooked through.
  • Serving suggestions:
    serve on pasta, rice, as a salad topper, or in taco shells
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)
The Gift of Time: What Stay-At-Home Gave Us All

The Gift of Time: What Stay-At-Home Gave Us All

The gift of time was given to us all by stay-at-home orders. It may have been a 30 minute commute each way (plus putting on pants time). Or, like in the case 3.3 million others, all of your time because you are now unemployed.  Watching my friends, family, and former coworkers adjust to this gift it is much like watching different people win the lottery.  Some blow their winnings right away and end up worse off then they were beforehand.  Others are paralyzed with fear so do nothing, and some embrace the gift, seize the opportunity and look at how to use the gift for good.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn

No more excuses!

As a business and personal coach I have worked with hundreds of people who say they want growth. The number one thing getting in their way?  You guessed it, time.  They want to be healthier, but they don’t have time.  They want to learn a new skill, but can’t find time.  In fact, lists of wants continue to grow and yet people do no excusesnot.  “I’d love to read books, listen to podcasts, take a course, or even go back to school, but I can’t find the time”, they say.  Here it is.  The gift of time was given to you.  5 hours a week minimum. No more excuses!

“The way we spend our time defines who we are.” Jonathan Estrin

How will you reflect back on this time?  With pride of your accomplishments and contributions?  Yesterday was the best time to start. Today is a great time to start. Tomorrow . . . next week . . . .  Start small and build.  Small improvements over time are like compounded interest.  They grow into something large.

Staying at home as been difficult, certainly regret is worse.  Don’t let another moment pass.  This is your time.  Take that first step. You can do this.  Yes you can!

Stay at Home; Obligation or Opportunity

Stay at Home; Obligation or Opportunity

You’ve been ordered to Stay at Home; the question is do you see it as an obligation or an opportunity? It’s a challenging time, absolutely.  I live in a state that has a Stay at Home Order AND the company I worked for and adored my entire adult life has just gone out of business.  The challenge is real AF.  Here’s the truth about challenges.  They bring about a world of choices.  In fact, they are the proverbial fork in the road.  They provide an opportunity for us to rise and see what we are really made of.  Is this Stay at Home Order an excuse to watch all of those missed sitcoms or is it an opportunity to discover what you are capable of achieving.

It’s a choice and you have the power to make that choice right now.  Is there something have you been putting off because your “real life” is too busy?  Perhaps this slow down is the sign you have been waiting for.  Choices you make right now, what you choose to accomplish in the next few weeks could have a significant positive impact on your life and the lives of others?Rise to the challenge

“If it doesn’t challenge you ; it won’t change you.” I encourage you to rise to the challenge. Push yourself to give your all in tackling a problem or issue and accomplishing a goal.

Here are my big 3 for doing something new

  1. FREE – there are many free options out there.  Leave your resources open to trying many new things and don’t spend any money unless you’re absolutely sure of the path you’ve chosen.  Here are some free resources for a variety of topics
      1. Fitness Nike Training Club
      2. Education Coursera
      3. Podcasting Buzzsprout
      4. Write a book Jerry Jenkins
      5. Create a website Wix
      6. Learn a new language
  2. FUN – as I mentioned earlier, the challenge is real AF, but it can be fun and be self-fulfilling.  In business we sometimes have to ask ourselves “is it the plan or is it the execution?”  You will have to ask yourself “is this not fun because it’s not coming easy or is this not fun simply because I just don’t like it?”  Find something your passionate about and the challenge will become fun.
  3. FRIEND – find people with like interests to encourage you along the way.  An easy way to do this is to search social media pages liked LinkedIn and Facebook for groups.  Last year, I found that joining a FB group for the Chicago Marathon made my training experience more enjoyable by knowing I was doing it alone.  Many challenges I was experiencing were common and even minor compared to people with the same goals as mine.  This kept me motivated and inspired to keep going.

You will get through this.   Yes you can!

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