Friday, February 10, 2012

Episode 86 - Thievery!

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It's finally happened.  I have lost all faith in people.  Excuse me while I drown my disbelief in cheese...

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

2 tbsp olive oil
1 head of garlic
My pictures of this lasagna were ugly.
Here is us after we ate it instead!
1 eggplant
1 container smooth ricotta cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil
3 hot Italian Sausages, casings removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1 ball fresh mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
10 oven ready lasagna noodles

First, you need to roast your eggplant and garlic to make them get sweet, creamy and delicious.  Preheat the oven to 400 F and prick the eggplant all over with a fork, slather it with about a tbsp of the olive oil and stick it on a baking sheet.  For the garlic, slice the first 1/2 inch of the head off, drizzle with the other tbsp of oil and wrap the whole thing in tinfoil.  Add to the baking sheet with the eggplant and roast for 30-40 minutes.  You will know it's done when the eggplant starts to resemble a flat tire.

While the goodies are roasting, start your tomato and sausage sauce.  Heat a large pot over medium heat with another tbsp of oil in the bottom.  Break up your sausage and add it to the pot.  Cook until it gets nice and brown, about 5 minutes.  Add in your garlic and onions and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, broth, oregano, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and let your sauce simmer until the garlic and eggplant are finished roasting.

Now you can prepare your eggplant filling.  In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg and salt and pepper.  Once your eggplant is looking flat, remove the baking sheet from the oven, let cool for a minute or two then slice the eggplant in half.  You should be able to scoop the soft, creamy eggplant right off the skin and add it into the ricotta/egg mixture. For the garlic, unwrap the foil at the top and squeeze the garlic right out of its skin and into the same bowl as the eggplant and ricotta. Give it a mix and you're good to go.  Wow, this recipe is long!

Now for the construction! Turn the oven down to 350 F. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom on a lasagna pan and layer 4-5 noodles on top.  Top this with half of the eggplant, 1/3 of the mozarella and then 1/2 of the remaining tomato sauce. Repeat - noodles, eggplant, cheese, tomato sauce.  For the top, use the last of your mozarella and the Parmesan.  Mmm, cheesy.  Now cover the whole pan with tin foil and bake covered for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, admire your work and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing - unless you like a sloppy lasagna mess, in which case you can slice right away. Enjoy!

 So, as part of our Eating Disorder Awareness Week activities, we started this clothing donation box at work.  The box was supposed to serve two purposes:
1) To give clothes to charity, and
2) to allow people to purge those clothes in their closet that make them feel bad about themselves.  You know, those jeans you used to fit into but are now causing some serious muffin top.  The ones that either make you want to immediately drop and start doing crunches or to tearfully curl up in the fetal position and vow to avoid all further human contact until you can look half-way decent in a pair of pants? Yeah, those ones.

Naively, I donated an old pair of especially sausage-casing-esque jeans that generally made me feel like a fatty.  There was even a small amount of seam splittage happening, Internet!  SEAMS!  SPLITTAGE! Ugh, talk about bad for the self-esteem.  In any case, my donated jeans lasted all of 12 hours before someone came along and pilfered them from the box.  Seriously?!  Is this for real?!  Who steals from a donation box; from children with diabetes?!  Ugh, so that was the end of the donation box.  Between this and the sticky note incident I'm beginning to think I should stop trying to be creative and and uplifting and just go back to my usual job of extolling the benefits of fibre (it's good for more than just pooping, you know) and listening to patient #210 tell me that gluten is making them fat. Le sigh.

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