As I was picking the basil to use in my dinner and lunch tomorrow, I felt the bunch in my hand throbbing. As soon as I realized it was something alive I immediately threw all the basil in the air and found this little guy:Fall has certainly set in, at least temperature-wise. The past few mornings it has been chilly when I ran-my ears and fingers actually get cold and burn a little. I’m ready for not-99 degree weather, but I’m sure I’m ready to be whipping out the earmuffs and gloves yet either. It’s actually perfect running weather (50s) and there is never a time when I enjoy having to put winter gear on to run. I can run in single-digit to negative temps, but it isn’t fun!
The crop of eggplant is flourishing beautifully and I decided to use that as the central focus of my dinner. I’m not really sure how to store them long term…maybe make tons of babaganoush and freeze it like I do pesto? Babaganoush is a fabulous Middle Eastern dip, kind of like hummus but with roasted eggplant instead of beans. Eggplant is pretty neutral, just like beans, but less starchy, so I’m thinking that may be the plan.
As for tonight, I made a variation of eggplant lasagna. First, I roasted big slices of eggplant and some chopped mushrooms. While those roasted, I got the cheeses ready (can you guess which ones I used?) In one bowl went some ricotta, goat, and cottage cheese-seasoned with paprika, curry, salt and pepper, and in another went feta and a little more cottage cheese.I started with a tiny bit of tomato sauce (generally it is pretty high-carb, so I tried to use a minimal amount) on the bottom of the baking dish, then layered eggplant, basil leaves, mushrooms and the spiced-cheese. The feta mixture went on top, along with a little more sauce. Roasted at 450 for about 10 minutes…and the scrumptiousness that became my dinner was ready.On a “training” related note-I’m up to about 30 minutes in the huaraches (I took a break totally from them today). I’m thinking I might have to get some toe socks for this cooler weather…at Chile Pepper I usually wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves and the ground is always wet, if not muddy.I’m excited though because my dad told me he would run with me. I asked him to run as a “pacer” to help motivate me to go faster (he is waaay faster than I will EVER be). Running a race with a friend is always more fun. And he is a stellar runner. He qualified for the Boston Marathon (one of the most prestigious in the US) back in the day and still runs several miles each week.