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Feb 24

Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta

This has been the LONGEST week.

 

Maybe because I know I’m 3 days from NUT BUTTER?!  That’s really been the biggest hole in my life.  That and oatmeal, but going without oats has been a little easier since Atlanta has turned into San Diego with 65-70 degree temps.

 

Spiced Almond Butter

 

As I think about what foods will and will not enter back into my life after Sunday, I am thinking more and more about what it means to eat clean on a daily basis.  Should I cut out meat completely?  Dairy products?  Eggs?

After the first Standard Process Cleanse I did in November of 2010, I drastically reduced my intake of red meat and sugar.  It has made a HUGE difference in the way that I feel.  Red meat and I don’t process well together.  Does that mean I won’t help myself to a bite of the tasty burger you ordered?  Nooooo… I quite like Sarah‘s concept of being “vegan with benefits.” Maybe we can start a movement, Miss. Smart?

 

Sugar will remain an item I try to avoid.  There are so many great alternatives out there, you don’t really need it!

Candy @ Healthy in Candyland just wrote a great post on sugar and my favorite alternative – Xylitol.  Apparently it could have anti-aging properties!

 

 

Check out my Chewy Granola Cookies for a great start to using xylitol in baking!

 

How will I eat on post-cleanse on Monday?  I don’t yet know what the right answer is for me.  I do know that I will enter into the non-cleanse world by reintroducing one “new” food at a time, and pay close attention to what my body says about it.

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Cleanse or no cleanse, I WILL be making many of this week’s French vegan dishes again!

 

I ran into my friend and his partner in Whole Foods last night, and they shared with me that my Vegan Goat Cheese Stuffed Oven-Roasted Tomatoes was on their menu!  Keith (the “chef”) posted this pic later:

 

 

The two meat-eaters served vegan stuffed tomatoes with homemade organic Shepherd’s Pie with grass-fed Georgia beef and sweet potatoes, paired with a Vintage 2008 South Australian Shiraz.

Keith’s quote: “Props on the Vegan Goat Cheese girl! To die for!!!”

 

 

The next party dish I want to share is this Eggplant Bruschetta - installment #3 in the Vegan French Book Club Dinner Series (don’t you love how I made it so official-sounding?).

It was created a traditional bruschetta in mind, only the eggplant replaces the baguette to create a light, flavorful finger food.

 

 

Healthy and full of flavor, it was also the easiest dish.

Remember this Provençal Tomato Spread?  I saved some and blended it with extra basil and olive oil to make a creamy sun-dried tomato-olive topping that was reminiscent of SDT pesto.  It took less than 5 minutes.  Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

Topped with a little basil for color!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta

  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Provençal Tomato Spread
  • 1/2 C fresh basil

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with foil.  Spray liberally with olive oil.  Place eggplant rounds in a single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast for 15 to 20 mins. Flip each piece, checking to be sure the undersides have browned and become and a bit puffy.  If they’re not, cook a bit longer.

Once flipped, sprinkle them with more pepper and some garlic powder.  Place pan back in the oven for ~15 mins, until the undersides brown to match the tops.

Meanwhile, blend 1/2 C of the Provençal Tomato Spread with basil.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add more olive oil (I added 2 tsp), if desired.

When the eggplant is cooked, arrange on a platter.  Top each disk with 1-2 tsp of the purred provencal spread and a small bail leaf.  Eat immediately.

Serves 8-10 as appetizers.

 

Note: Some people swear you don’t have to do this, but I always lay my sliced eggplant out, sprinkle generously with salt, and allow to sit for 10-15 mins.  This helps remove some of the bitterness and excess moisture.  If you do this, wipe off the excess moisture with a paper towel and proceed to bake as instructed.

***

3 days to go on the Standard Process CleanseI can’t believe it’s almost over!  Like I said above, the idea is to add back one food at a time to see what you may be sensitive to…. I’m thinking nuts are coming back first!  That’s what she said.

What would you add back first post-cleanse?

Have you ever considered a vegan or vegetarian diet?  What pushed you to do it or held you back?

 

64 comments

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  1. Cait's Plate

    I would probably go straight for chocolate cake…haha but I’ve heard it’s better to “come down” from a cleanse slowly…going vegan for a little while might be a good idea! I’ve always considered trying a vegan diet but have never done it. Maybe one day!

  2. Lee

    I was vegetarian for about 6 months in 2010. Honestly, what made me start eating fish/seafood again (I still don’t eat any other sort of meat) was going out to restaurants. It got frustrating going somewhere where there was one veggie dish on the menu and often times it was pasta and I didn’t want it. I do cook vegetarian at least 80% of the time at home though. Maybe more often that that.

    1. Sylvia

      Ooo, yeah that can be so frustrating! I’m the only one in my family that’s on a “special diet” (gluten-free) and when we go to restaurants it can be really difficult. I try to stay away from meat for the most part but it seems fish and rice are a go to dish when eating out now.

    2. Laura

      That’s the part that makes me most nervous. I love to eat out and try new things… I’m not sure I wouldn’t cave to temptation… but really, what’s the big deal if I do taste a bite? At least that’s what I keep wrestling with.

  3. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate

    I’d add in eggs or cheese!

  4. Catalina @ Cake with Love

    I love eggplant, but never had eggplant bruschetta, this appears to be very delicious!

  5. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    That is a very clever idea to replace the bread in bruschetta for a healthier appetizer. I did try vegetarianism for a while and realized that it just wasn’t a cause I was passionate about. I could understand all the logical reasons why I should eat meatless, but there was never any passion behind it and it just ended up feeling like work and restriction. I’m still bothered sometimes by the disconnect I seem to have between the facts in front of me and my lack of concern for them beyond the abstract. I’ve decided that the best I can do for right now is to be diligent about finding humanely produced meat and eggs and be proud of that small effort.

    1. Laura

      That’s an issue I have too. It’s all about the health benefits for me… I wish I had more of the animal side of the cause, but I’m with you on feeling good finding humane alternatives.

  6. RavieNomNoms

    What a great way to change up bruschetta! I love eggplant. So underrated in my opinion!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! I so agree – I’ve been putting it in EVERYTHING!

  7. Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

    Love it!! Bruschetta using eggplant — what a great idea =)
    Nuts would def be my first food to add back in!! I’ve thought of going vegan but cheese and yogurt stop me!

  8. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    You’ve done an awesome job coming up with creative dishes throughout your cleanse – these look yummy. Eggplant is not one of my favorite veggies, but I liked it a lot as the bacon sub in your lentil salad. I think I just need to work with it more.

    My reasons for a vegan diet are mostly how we treat the animals – factory farming is hard to avoid (although there is small pockets of progress) – and i love how my body feels without the meat, egg, & dairy.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I think eggplant is one of those foods that has to be cooked well or it it just not good at all…. and unfortunately most people tried it for the first time when it wasn’t prepared well.

      I am happy with the progress we’ve seen in recent years with the treatment of animals, but I agree we have a long way to go. No matter what i am a firm believer that our bodies weren’t meant to take in as many animal products as they often do. I can’t believe how much better I feel with a plant-based diet!

      1. Amanda Rootsey

        Wow this eggplant bruschetta looks incredible!! I have to agree with Heather – very yummy looking, creative meals. Being vegan will be a breeze for you!
        I remember I struggled with going from vegetarian to vegan because I loved cheese and came up with lots of other excuses….but then I was diagnosed with cancer, did some research, and it was easy peasy to go vegan then. And I’ve never looked back!
        So glad I came across your site – thanks for entering to win the 21 Day Live Vegan Program over at Live Healthy Simply! Cant’ wait to see who wins…
        Amanda xx
        http://www.amandarootsey.com.au
        http://www.veganera.com

        1. Laura

          Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! Your story is inspiring – I appreciate you sharing.

  9. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    I <3 eggplant!!!! You are too smart to use it as a toast replacement. I think I'd also have to say that nuts would probably be my first food to add back in. I went stone cold vegan for about 6 months back at the end of college and loved it… It was because I read Skinny Bitch. Then, when I came home for summer, my mom freaked and thought I was too skinny or something and made me start eating cheese and eggs and stuff again. (yes, literally made me) Then I went to Italy and it all got thrown out the window. I came home nice and plump and my mom was happy hahaha. It has taken me almost three years, but my diet is slowly going back in the vegetarian/vegan direction. I doubt I'll ever be completely vegan again but I do love when I eat cleaner meals.

    1. Laura

      Skinny Bitch has been on my bookshelf for a while – maybe it’s time to pull it down an read it!

      There is absolutely no way I could be vegetarian in Italy. I still dream about that those meals…

  10. Tiff

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to host a wine-tasting soon (cabs), so I think this might pair well. I want to have a couple creative offerings for my guests to nibble.

    As for the sugar part, I really really really wish I was better at cutting out sugar. That’s one thing I definitely need to work on.

    1. Laura

      That sounds like fun! Cabs are my favorite of the Americans. The flavors in this dish would stand up well to it.

      For me, sugar was definitely an addiction. If you can get through the “coming down” part, it gets MUCH easier to avoid.

  11. Sylvia

    I’m excited that your cleanse is almost over but I’ve really enjoyed your creativity during it. :) I’d have to say I agree with you about adding nuts first. I would sorely miss my nut butters.

    I did vegan for a solid 4 months over a year a go and decided it was a lot of trouble for me to maintain since my hubby is a red meat kinda guy. I guess I just got really tired of making two meals for the both of us for every meal. Now I just stick to mostly vegetarian and now I’m gluten-free which is a whole other ball game. I’m thinking of cutting out dairy just to see if it helps my skin.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I hope I can keep it up post-cleanse… with some nut butter and beans! :)

      Being vegan when your partner isn’t would be tough! And gluten-free on top of that…. whew. At least there are a lot more GF alternative out now.

      Cutting dairy I’ve often heard is good for the skin. I don’t know if it’s dairy or the cleanse, but my skin is much better than it was 3 weeks ago.

  12. Meg

    love this recipe :) looks so elegant too :)

    loved how you started this post too babe. last night i tried the bison steaks and i remembered why i dont eat red meat. i really dislike that chewiness but i want to try ground bison now

    love u

    1. Laura

      Bison burgers are really, really good. I’m just sayin’. :)

      Much love back to you!

  13. Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes

    I love that vegan with benefits! :) That eggplant brushetta looks beyond amazing. :) Great taste without all the carbs!

  14. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    I don’t think I could ever go vegan – pescetarian works just fine for me! Where do you buy your xylitol?

    1. Laura

      I would do that… but I don’t like fish. They creep me out. Weird, right?

      I got mine at a local natural foods store, but they carry it at Whole Foods too.

  15. Jessica

    Mmmmm….I have a total eggplant obsession! I bought one the other day, roasted it, and ate the whole thing within 24 hours-its just SO good! Now, if only I could convince my fiance of this……

    1. Laura

      LOL! I have totally done that before! :)

  16. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    What a fantastic new way to use eggplant (I think it is a pretty awesome veggie). This is a great series you have put together for your book club.

  17. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    I don’t know how I’d live without nuts… lots of nuts. =)

    I think all of these foods would be crazy-hard to give up, especially since I’m so restricted already! Totally proud of you! How is your leg feeling – any running progress?

    1. Laura

      Thanks! The leg is still not so good, but I’m faithfully working on building the muscle AND getting new shoes this weekend. Will try again next week. *sigh*

  18. Laura

    Love the eggplant bruschetta recipe, yum!! I also subscribe to the “vegan with benefits” mindset… it helps mentally to know you’re not giving something up entirely. I also resisted going vegan for a long time because I thought I had to jump in hook, line and sinker… thanks for pointing out the alternatives!

    1. Laura

      You are so right about that being easier mentally. I keep thinking too hard and overwhelming myself. :)

  19. Choc Chip Uru

    You are so creative in your presentation and dishes – I am in love with bruschetta and it never looked better – bye bye bread :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  20. sportsglutton

    Don’t cut out the meat Laura, because you will hate yourself once I post the dish that is cooking in my kitchen right now….can you smell it??? Smells ohhhh so good. :-)

    btw, awesome bruschetta. Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      You so tempt with your tasty dishes. How about I pull by “benefits” card if you ever make me a meal? :)

      Happy Friday!

  21. Lindsay @ Fuel My Family

    I have never tried being vegan or vegetarian. For the last 4 years I have either been pregnant ot breastfeeding so I don’t feel like thats the time to cut out an entire food group. Maybe if I were already adjusted to eating that way and knew what foods to eat to meet my requirements. But it wouldnt surprise me if i gave it a try later in life.

    1. Laura

      I can’t imagine doing it pregnant – nutritionally and with all the cravings!

  22. Anonymous

    I love using roasted eggplant slices for all kinds of things, so this is right up my alley :)

    1. Kiri W.

      Sigh. That was me.

      1. Laura

        LOL! You need auto-fill in your life. :)

  23. Cucina49

    Love this–I love baguettes, but this is a healthy, flavorful alternative!

  24. Jamie

    Yummy! I love eggplant! Congrats on nearing the end of your cleanse!

  25. Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land

    Aw, thank YOU for the shout out! You just made my week!
    I love your idea of “vegan with benefits”. Now that I think about it, that is basically what I am doing. (Or as Oprah called it, “vegan-ish”.) I’ll join your and Sarah’s movement and we can crusade and convert the world, one recipe at a time! :)
    I love what you did here with eggplant. I keep trying to love eggplant itself, but can’t say that I do yet. I think I need the right recipe/cooking method (although the eggplant bacon I made a while back was pretty good).

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I forgot about Oprah’s vegan-ish. I wonder if she has stuck with it?

      If eggplant is a texture thing for you and you liked the eggplant bacon, you’d probably like this. It’s a similar texture/method.

  26. Khushboo Thadani

    I’m so excited for you to bring back the oats…call me crazy but I’d have a much easier time living without chocolate than oats! I am not a vegetarian but many of my meals do sway towards being vegetarian- I guess it’s just down to taste buds! When I was growing up, I was the biggest carnivore on the planet but now I rarely eat red meat. As for veganism, dairy is holding me back- I’m a soy milk drinker so that would be fine but I couldn’t go without yogurt….unfortunately there are no vegan alternatives in Mumbai!

    1. Laura

      I am the same way! I love chocolate, but my oats are an everyday treat.

  27. Baker Street

    Fantastic use of eggplant! A bit of cheese would be a great addition.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! Yes, I think it would be delicious with some fetas or goat cheese. Maybe even the tofu goat cheese from Thursday’s stuffed tomato recipe…

  28. Bonnie

    I really need to start trying your recipes out! ;) They all look delicious and so healthy!

    A few questions on the cleanse: was it hard to find the time to make what you did, or is your schedule flexible enough that it wasn’t too bad?

    Also, have you done a summary post of your thoughts (just don’t want to ask if you’ve already written on it and I missed it)? How did you feel energy-wise, weight-wise, strength-wise, etc? Curious about it as I’ve never done a cleanse and like the idea of resetting your system…Thanks, Laura!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Bonnie!

      It wasn’t terrible time-wise as long as you plan ahead. I made prepped things on Sunday evenings to have for the week. The key is to always have something you can grab and eat on hand so you don’t panic and break the cleanse.

      I’m going to do a post-cleanse recap on Monday! :)

  29. Amalia

    Man you’ve got will-power, I would never be able to cut back on sugar that much! I love all these recipes though, the vegan goat cheese stuffed tomatoes look amazing! And the eggplant bruschetta looks even better, I love eggplant. I think it’s such a great vegetable, I especially like it grilled :) Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      The first few days are hard, but you get used to it surprisingly fast!

      Thank you – hope you’re having a great weekend too! :)

  30. Linda

    Oh, I love that too….vegan with benefits!! And I love this recipe…anything to do with eggplant and I get really excited. I have to check out your cookies too. My extremely healthy eating niece is coming down next week and I need to gather all the healthy recipes!! You’re eating plan is amazing!!

    1. Laura

      It seems we have a growing contingent! Please let me know if you try the cookies – I swear you’d never know they were healthy. :)

  31. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    Love the idea of the eggplant replacing the bread! That’s my kind of eating… (I’m dreaming of some spicy almond butter… :)). Your chewy cookies look amazing too.

    1. Laura

      That almond butter was incredible – click the pic for the recipe. I want to try it in some version of an African sweet potato soup.

  32. Anwar

    I really like eggplant, but never thought about eggplant bruschetta before. Sounds quite interesting, and something very unique. The stuffed tomato looks great too! I need to leave now so i can go eat as this post is making me hungry!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! And thanks for stopping by and commenting – I’m enjoying learning about your travels!

  33. STUFT Mama

    Oh man… what wouldn’t I add back in after the cleanse. ha ha. I would be too overwhelmed. It would have to be chocolate and peanut butter. Congrats on almost being done! This bruchetta looks amazing (as do all of your recipes).

    1. Laura

      This day has been like PB heaven. :)

  34. Tiffany

    Love the idea of getting rid of the bread in this bruschetta! And re: your post…. sugar is my weakness! You are my hero for being able to avoid it!!!

  35. Hannah

    Ah, I’ve never been big of eggplant but this does look enticing!

  36. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

    Oh man, this restaurant near me serves an eggplant and tomato bruschetta with this like pesto-y spread on it and its SO good. This reminds me of it and now I want to make it at home!

  1. Vegan Salade Niçoise for #GreensLove » Sprint 2 the Table | Sprint 2 the Table

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