Monday, May 12, 2014
The Swing Quest Chicago and Life Lessons in Lasagna (Eggplant/Vegetable recipe)
First of all I have to say that I'm so excited that I'm going on my very first trip to Chicago, right on! It's going to be a swing-a-thon weekend that kicks off on Saturday May 17 at 1:00pm with a Learn to Swing group lesson. This is perfect for anybody who might never have picked up a kettlebell, but wants to learn how to swing, why should they swing, and all The Swing can offer in terms of fitness, strength and overall health. There are only a couple of spots left and to sweeten the deal I'm bringing copies of my book, The Swing, to sign and give away to every participant! Don't miss this opportunity to learn and train The Swing with me! Here is the link with sign up information:
But wait, there's more! I've been working on a new program for permanent weight loss! Seriously! I describe it as creating your ideal body weight and then turning "maintenance into permanence"! And it's based on my recent research and findings while reverse engineering my own successful 120lb permanent weight loss going on over 9 years now! I'll be sharing much of this information between 2:00-3:00pm, right after the Learn to Swing session and right before The Swing Quest 2014 workout! If you are coming to either one the permanent weight loss lecture is complimentary....and boy oh boy do I have some interesting and surprising realizations!
The Swing Quest 2014 event is scheduled for 3:00-5:00pm and I believe there are only two spaces left. You must already know how to swing a kettlebell to participate in these marathon swing workouts.....and then afterwards we are all going out to dinner! lol In the above link to this weekend's workshop there is no separate option to only come to The Swing Quest 2014 workout, but please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to challenge yourself to complete this crazy fun event which includes the weight loss lecture (and join us for dinner too!). I've worked out a special price with the host because there are only a couple of spots that remain.
Moving on to Sunday.....if I'm not dead to the world! Wow, Sunday is a full on two hour advanced "Programming the Kettlebell Swing Workshop" that will include some advanced and double bell techniques I've never shared or posted outside of a workshop! In other words...I've never blogged about them! And yes, there are even more ways to train the kettlebell swing! I believe this workshop is full, but it never hurts to contact Daniel Lona at the above link if you are interested in joining us, after all, it's not every day I'm in the Windy City!
So, there you have it! The Swing Quest 2014 weekend, Chicago IL, May 17-18!
Life Lessons in Lasagna
I don't find it ironic at all that I just wrote about permanent weight loss and now food recipes! One of the subjects I'll be talking about in Chicago is my definition of a "balanced" diet, and a balanced diet includes eating! Weight loss is not about starving yourself, nor is it about removing any particular food or food group....but it's my philosophy and experience and yours may differ, which is fine, if it works for you! I love vegetables! But I totally respect those who think they don't! I'm fine with it! I have no judgement about it. But this recipe is not for you if you don't! lol
I love my mandoline slicer! I've been experimenting with "scalloped", or layered vegetables cooked in a milk/cream/egg/cheese mixture because it's so darn fun playing with food! Many vegetables can be sliced thin on a mandoline, or with a knife and layered together or all on their own in a casserole for a healthy and tasty meal or side dish. This all started with a sliced and layered potato crust for a Quitatta I made a couple of weeks ago to now Eggplant Lasagna. (photo to right is the thickness I used for this recipe)
Eggplant is a tricky vegetable if you are not used to working with
it, or if you ran out of patience the first couple of times you tried when it didn't come out exactly as you planned. Eggplant, freshly sliced, will absorb oil like a sponge, which is why you must salt it and let it release, or sweat out, excess water and, some say, bitter
flavor. But I find this can be true of other vegetables (salting them), like pumpkin and zucchini (I haven't yet tried them all). Here I post a picture of some eggplant and squash I sliced, salted and left to drain with the bowl tilted. This took about 10 minutes for the vegetables to release this amount of liquid, they will continue to release more, up until a point, if you let them....which I did, for another 10 minutes.
The nicest thing about vegetable lasagnas are that you don't need to boil any noodles! Of course you can still use lasagna noodles if you want to, it's up to you. The only change would be to cook the noodles (in salted water), rinse them in cold water and layer them along with the vegetables, sauce and cheese (and meat if you are using it).
I remember when I was a young inexperienced cook (all of my late teens, 20's and most of my 30's) "lasagna" was a big, huge, deal! omg....noodles, sauce, meat, cheese, noodles, sauce, meat, cheese....and that cheese was gloopy, gloppy mozzarella, and the sauce was jarred spaghetti sauce. Now I'm not judging. It was delicious at the time, but so intimidating, time consuming and expensive! Wow, how I've changed!
Lasagna is basically just what I previously described. Layers of substance (noodles or firm vegetables), sauce (red tomato or white cream, and it may include meat), and cheese (s). No big deal. This layered veggie, creamy, cheesy may become my next obsession! For now the base recipe goes like this:
Oil the casserole dish so nothing sticks!
layer thinly sliced eggplant (salted and drained)
layer red tomato sauce (canned, jarred, or homemade)
layer cheese. I used herbed goat cheese, which I placed in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so I could slice it very thin and spread over top, and then sprinkled shredded parmesan.
But I did get a bit fancier. After these three layers I added sliced zucchini, sauteed onion, mushrooms and spinach, sauce, more cheese, until the casserole dish was full. Cover with foil and place in a hot, 350-375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 30 minutes. Basically.
I have yet to perfect it or find some unbelievable combination! Maybe you have something to add? Please do!
Above photo; layered onion, eggplant, potato, zucchini with a cream/milk/egg/cheese base, this is not the lasagna, only a version of a layered veg casserole.