I’m in the middle of doing a 10-Day Shred, for myself, as well as helping others create healthy eating habits. For ten days, we eliminate gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods, caffeine and, alcohol. You may be wondering why one would take on such a task? Well, for many reasons. Some may want to lose a few stubborn pounds, while another may want to understand what a healthy plate looks like and how to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and fiber into their diets. When you do this, you stopped the yo-yo dieting that, in the end, makes you gain all the weight back, and more importantly, you’re not learning proper nutrition. Food is information. So if you’re dealing with symptoms such as bloating, brain fog, joint pain, excessive bloating, headaches, skin rashes, and adult acne, the first thing we do is run to the local drug store and purchase a symptom-related product that is supposed to alleviate our discomfort.
But, when you start to play detective, and pay attention to the foods you’re consuming, that’s worth its weight in gold. Keeping a food diary is the quickest way to uncover your food intolerances, and problem foods. And when you become mindful of that, and eliminate the foods that cause inflammation, you’ll become leaner, healthier, and happier. You don’t have to rely on over-the-counter drugs to ease your symptoms, which only creates more acid in your body and feeds unhealthy gut bacteria. When you can feed your gut with healthy food, you'll notice a difference as you’re energy soars, your brain fog lifts, and you’ll be able to incorporate the important things in your life that have been placed on hold due to how you feel.
I’m sharing a recipe I made today. Even though it’s summer outside, it was dark and rainy, and inside I had my air-conditioning on, so I felt like a nice warm cup of soup. One of my favorite vegan soups is my Dairy-Free Tomato-Eggplant Soup. I make it different each time, but this was one of my favorite versions. The dairy is replaced with soaked sunflower seeds as well as avocado, which gives it the creamy texture. Then instead of cheese, I used Nutritional Yeast, a healthy alternative, and delicious. Roasted garlic… yum, and end with fresh herbs from my Tower Garden. The best part I will have plenty of leftovers, and will store it in Mason Jars and pull off the freezer when I’m in the mood.
Batch cooking is the way to go for busy lives. Even my garlic, I roasted a full bulb and then froze the rest for other dishes I will do during the week or few weeks. Easy and efficient.
Here’s the recipe, I hope you enjoy:
Creamy Tomato-Eggplant Soup (Dairy and Gluten-Free)
2 large beef stake tomatoes (mine are from the garden, so good) cut into large chunks
2 small eggplant or one large, cut into 1” slices
1 26 oz Sam Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 full large garlic bulb (set aside for roasting) You will only use 3 and save or freeze rest for later
1 large onion, chopped
1 14 oz chicken bone broth or vegetable broth (if sticking with vegan). I used Epic Artisanal
1 cup raw sesame seeds soaked for one -hour
¼ cup Braggs Nutritional Yeast (gives it the cheese flavor)
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and coat eggplant with avocado oil and bake at 400 degrees for ½ hour
2. Peel back the outer layer of the garlic bulb, cut off the top, and place it in a small loaf pan for roasting. Cover the pan with parchment paper, then on top of that tinfoil. (I do this, so the aluminum doesn’t leach into the garlic. If you have a glass container with lid, that works too.
3. Cut tomatoes into large chunks, set aside
4. Chop onion, and place into large soup pan, and saute for about five minutes
5. Add chopped tomato to pan
6. Add Sam Marzarno crushed tomatoes
7. Add eggplant
8. Add bone broth
9. Bring to boil, then simmer heat for ½ hour
10. At the end add in basil, parsley and nutritional yeast
11. Add ½ avocado
12. Salt and pepper to taste
Turn off heat, and let cool. Then transfer to your Vitamix, or high powered blender in batches, then transfer to a soup pan. There will be plenty of leftovers for the week. Store in mason jars.