Salad Recipe Collection – Warm Eggplant Salad – 4 of 5

Warm Eggplant Salad

Eggplant was frequent at home, since our Dad was of Middle Eastern descent, and he loved this warm eggplant dish! It is extremely easy to make and if you have enough eggplants, it can be served as an entrée dish. My aunts taught my Mom all they knew about authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine and we loved every dish! Our Mom handed down every recipe, tip and trick learned. Eggplant is a power ingredient, low-calorie, potent source of energy and foundation for versatile and unique dishes. We were fortunate to enjoy delicious, extravagant, flavorful recipes. I intend to continue with the tradition and pass these recipes down to my kids as well.


Ingredients: 1 Eggplant, oil, onion, tomatoes, ground beef (optional)

1. Cut the eggplant sideways in mid-size portions carving out the inside. Discard the ends. Add beef or vegetables (I added tomato and onions) and top with any skim milk cheese (I used Ranchero) as it keeps its consistency while melting at the same time. Saute the eggplant on a pan with oil, after adding the toppings.

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2. After the eggplant skin part is cooked, transfer to a cookie sheet and then into the oven at 350F for 20 minutes.

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Once done it will look like this..

Warm Eggplant Salad






Salad Recipe Collection – Chef Salad – 1 of 5


Starting with a Chef Salad, health awareness comes under the spotlight. Without remorse, I will take a liberal, indulgent approach to traditional recipes. After all, I want a personal mark on the food I share with loved ones. Salads are usually my preference for pot luck events and entertaining family and friends. The five salad recipes chosen in my collection are budget friendly, easy to make, fresh and definitely fit for a light lunch option as well.

My Chef Salad Recipe


1. Assemble the ingredients: Ham, turkey, hard-boiled egg, mozzarella cheese, tomato, sweet peppers and lettuce.

Chefsalad3_copyright2. Cut the lettuce in bite-size chunks.


3. Coat the lettuce with your favorite dressing (I used store-bought Ranch – nothing wrong with that.)

Chefsalad5_copyright4. Assemble the ingredients around the plate on top of the salad and cover with french bread small pieces.

5. Notes on omissions and other toppings:

  • I did not add avocado to this recipe. Instead I added Gorgonzola cheese. When entertaining, have an avocado handy and ready to slice if your conservative guest can’t live without it.
  • No cucumbers either.. Instead, I added sweet peppers; I love their fragrant, sugary crunch.
  • Salt and pepper can be added at the end, or after coating the lettuce with dressing.


Chef Salad – 1 of 5 healthy posts.. 🙂

Enjoy the holidays without the extra pounds?


Every time Christmas comes around, worries about the extra pounds threaten the joy of the season. Some tips follow..

1. Entertaining at home. Shop wisely. Keep nuts, veggies and fruit snacks (carrots, celery, grapes, strawberries, etc) handy.  

2. Eating out. Eat a healthy snack before leaving home. Once there, look for healthy menu options. Most restaurants include calories and nutrition information or light options in the menu. (Chefs all over the country are working hard to make those light meals taste delicious anyway, so why not?)

3. Plan your event or outing ahead of time. Once on the road, avoid fast food stops. Pack containers with healthy snacks for kids and adults.

4. Catching up over coffee. Avoid whip cream additions; Choose non-fat milk and smallest size servings. Try to go for healthy snacks and avoid pastry options.

5. Taking the kids out for a treat. Choose frozen yogurt over ice cream. The frozen yogurt toppings bar will win any argument.  

6. Exercise. If your daily exercise routine is threatened, take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule to do some jumping jacks at home before heading out to greet friends and family.

IMG_4824Look forward to that unique and special [diet-breaking worthy] treat we only have this time of year! 


Healthy Snacks (Part 2 of 3)

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“Good things do come in small packages.” We’re talking about Nuts now.. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts and more.. A healthy and powerful snack. Only a handful can take you to the next meal!

Q & A

1. Does the amount matter?

Absolutely! Nuts are healthy but high in calories. More than a handful can ruin your diet, but don’t worry.. You will feel fuller with just a few.

2. Why are they healthy anyway?

Nuts help avoid coronary heart disease and can lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations. Dietitians recommend them to patients with adult-onset diabetes. People who eat nuts tend to eat less junk food.

3. What are the healthiest options on the market shelves?

Nuts are healthiest when raw. 15% of the healthy oils are lost in the roasting process. It is best to avoid sugar or chocolate coated types (if you can.. I know they’re yummy!)

4. What about nutrition details?

Nuts contain vitamin E and B2, fiber, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium. They are high in fat but it’s the healthy kind of fat (monounsaturated.)

Nuts have been part of the human diet for over 750,000 years. They were the major source of starch and fat for our ancestors. Why not continue today? Let’s have some nuts and stay healthy.

Healthy Snacks (Part 1 of 3)


Fruits make healthy, affordable snacks. We’ll pick on strawberries in this post. 🙂 Strawberries and fruits are a good alternative to fatty prepackaged snack options.

A word about fat and fatty snacks… Our bodies are programmed to store fat, to equip us with a means to respond to hardship (famine, winter, severe illness, etc.) Body fat was a key survival mechanism for our early ancestors, who were exposed to aggressive environmental conditions and severe health risks. Today, most of our society leads an overall sedentary life, without frequent natural opportunities to burn accumulated fat. We live in temperature controlled homes (with air conditioning or heater, depending on the season of the year.) We ride to work or school, and we only set time aside for daily exercise, if under a disciplined regimen. Otherwise, we struggle to carve out time for sporadic exercising, due to our busy life styles.

Strawberries are very low in saturated fat and contain high nutrition value. They are low in cholesterol and sodium. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, which supports red blood cell production and helps prevent anemia, among other benefits. They are also a source of potassium and a good source of dietary fiber and manganese. Eight strawberries provide more vitamin C than an orange and contain antioxidants.

Whether for kids or adults, fresh, juicy strawberries always make a healthy snack option.