Eggplant Chickpea Stew Recipe

I like trying out new recipes in the kitchen, but I don’t especially enjoy cooking all day. And I definitely don’t like the clean up that follows! So here is a great Meatless Monday recipe that packs in veggies, fiber, and plenty of nutrients. It’s a quick one pot meal that packs big flavors. 

eggplant

 

I came up with this meal idea when I was visiting my parents in Florida this summer. My dad had eggplant growing in the garden and we were trying to figure out what to make with them. It turned out to be quite yummy and filling, too.

 

eggplant recipe

Eggplant picked straight from the garden.

 

I like to do a little bit of prep to my eggplant before cooking it. Chop it into rounds or cubes and sprinkle with a bit of salt. This will help remove moisture from the eggplant, allowing it to absorb more flavor when cooked. Let your salted eggplant sweat it out for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can even leave it over night if you have the time.

 

eggplant

 

You’ll notice water at the bottom of the container your eggplant is sitting in and on top of the eggplant itself. Drain the water and dry the eggplant off.

One more item to prepare are your carrots. Be sure to wash them well, then chop ’em up!

 

carrots

 

 

Got everything prepared? Great! Now it’s time to start cooking. Follow the simple instructions below.

 

eggplant chickpea stew

 

You can serve this stew a few different ways…

  • over a bed of spinach or other leafy greens
  • with quinoa or brown rice.
  • with a side of steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetable

eggplant chickpea stew1

 

Let me know how you enjoyed this yummy dish!

 

xo,

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eggplant
Eggplant Chickpea Stew
Print Recipe
This one pot meal offers great flavor and a quick dinner option on Meatless Monday (or any day!). It's packed with fiber and nutrients that will keep you satisfied for hours.
Servings
2 servings
Servings
2 servings
eggplant
Eggplant Chickpea Stew
Print Recipe
This one pot meal offers great flavor and a quick dinner option on Meatless Monday (or any day!). It's packed with fiber and nutrients that will keep you satisfied for hours.
Servings
2 servings
Servings
2 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Sautee the onions and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil
  2. Add in chopped carrots, all the spices, and stir (you can add more spices again later as you taste it).
  3. Once carrots and onions have softened, add the cubed eggplant and tomato sauce. Let this simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.
  4. Add garbanzo beans last and let everything simmer for another 5 to 10minutes.
  5. You'll know it’s ready when the eggplant has softened and the stew has thickened up a bit.
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Is Fiber Good for Weight Loss?

Always feeling hungry? Can’t control your appetite some days? Increasing fiber in your diet might be just the solution you need.

With so many recommendations on what to do, how to eat and when, it quickly becomes difficult to make the right food choices when trying to manage your weight or chronic illnesses.

 

fiber

 

Did you know boosting your fiber intake provides these benefits and more: 

  • Keeps you fuller longer
  • Helps with weight loss/maintenance
  • Reduces cravings
  • Improves cholesterol
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Improves heart health

 

Closing the Fiber Gap

How much fiber should you be eating?

Ladies, aim for a minimum of 25 grams a day.

Gentlemen, aim for a minimum of 38 grams a day.

However, studies have found that Americans only average about 15 grams of fiber a day, about half of the recommended total dietary fiber intake.

Increase your dietary fiber by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Filling your plate with these whole, unprocessed foods is the first step to take toward increasing your fiber consumption. Consistently eating well-balanced meals that include these foods will ensure that your getting the right amount of this nutrient.

 

Carbohydrate:Fiber Ratio

Overconsumption of carbohydrates is a common concern for many of us, mainly because this macronutrient turns to sugar in the blood stream which then gets stored as fat, making it easy to gain weight.

It is the quality of carbohydrates that should be of greater concern, rather than the quantity. Consuming carbohydrates with high fiber content can reduce the glucose levels after a meal.  

Because fiber is not broken down by the body, it has no effect on blood glucose. Therefore, the grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total grams of carbs you are eating.

When making food choices seek out food options with a good fiber to carbohydrate ratio to reduce the foods impact on blood glucose levels.

 

Make it a habit to include fruits and vegetables with each meal.  

Vegetables high in fiber include leafy greens, squashes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. They can be enjoyed in stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and salads and steamed as a side dish.

 

Many fruits are also high in fiber, like apples, pears, oranges, peaches and more. Berries are an especially great choice because while they are high in fiber, they are also low in calorie.  Incorporate fruits into your diet as a convenient snack or as toppings for breakfast cereal, yogurt, salads, and desserts.  

 

fiber up

 

Whole grains are a popular and simple way to increase dietary fiber. The downfall with this is that many whole grain foods are overly processed and the labeling can be misleading.  

Beware of processed cereals and bars as they often have high sugar content and less fiber compared to other dietary fiber options. Swap the usual white bread for whole wheat bread and exchange white rice for brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, barley or other ancient grains. Consider different types of pasta options like whole wheat pasta, edamame pasta, or  lentil pasta.

 

Nuts and seeds also provide a great source of fiber. A handful of these packs a powerful fiber punch. They make for a nutritious snack, or extra addition to yogurts, salads and desserts.

 

Don’t forget about beans and legumes. These are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber. If you experience gas and discomfort with high bean intake, consider starting off slowly when introducing these into your diet.

fiber beans

 

Try incorporating more of the recommended foods discussed here and notice the impact this powerful nutrient has on curbing your appetite and controlling blood sugar control.  This, in turn, helps with weight loss/maintenance and prevents/ manages diseases. 

 

Tips to Consider When Increasing Your Fiber:  

  • Increase consumption gradually (add 5g of fiber per day, spread throughout the day, until you reach your goal)
  • Keep edible skin on fruits and veggies
  • Limit starchy foods
  • Choose whole wheat over white
  • Reduce foods high in sugar (especially added sugars)
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to avoid constipation

 

I Challenge You…

to take a look at how much fiber is in your diet today. Does it measure up to the recommended minimum of 25g/day for women or 38g/day for men? 

How do you plan to increase your dietary fiber this week? –>  Here’s a great resource that might help you with that! 

 

Best,

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*** You might also enjoy my past posts on: Eating more Veggies and Fruits  AND Balsamic Roasted Carrots Recipe ***

 


 

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Healthy Travel Snacks to Pack on Your Next Trip

In my last post I shared some practical ways to stay healthy while traveling. A large part of that involves being prepared with healthy snacks. Here are a few of my favorites…

healthy travel snacks

I like healthy travel snacks that are as minimally, processed as possible, will fill me up, satisfy my sweet tooth, and still be nutritious. These are snacks I typically bring along for plane rides, road trips, or weekends away. I tend to make poor food choices when I’m not prepared, so I am always careful to carry healthy travel snacks with me.  

FiggyPops-

These balls of goodness satisfy my sweet tooth without the chemicals and additives of similar products. They are sweetened with fruit juice instead of high fructose corn syrup. I especially love that they are made with whole, plant-based ingredients like:  organic figs, organic cashews, organic dates, organic coconut, organic walnuts, organic dried tart cherries (organic dried tart cherries, organic apple juice, organic sunflower oil), organic gluten-free oats, organic coconut oil, organic cacao nibs, organic maple syrup, organic cinnamon, sea salt.

 

Dried Dates-

Dried fruits can get a bad rep for being high in sugar and because of the way they are sometimes processed. These particular dates are unsulfured and taste like caramel. They are not quite as sweet as the common medjool dates, but I would say they are just as good.

To balance out the glycemic load (insulin spike) of the dates, I pair them with healthy fats like a handful of nuts or better yet a little almond butter inside the date. So good!

 

 

Roasted Chickpeas-

You can totally make these yourself at home by roasting salted chickpeas at 400 degrees until crunchy. If you want something a bit more convenient though, these Good Bean chickpeas make for great healthy travel snacks (one of my favorites actually); and they satisfy that craving for something salty. They come in several flavors, but I prefer the plain, salted one.

Suggestion: Mix them in with chopped dates, roasted edamame and nuts to make a satisfying trail mix.

 

 

Roasted Edamame –

Another great snack! This one is filling and also goes great in a DIY trail mix.

Each serving has 13g of protein per serving and 8g of fiber.

They’re also Non-GMO which is a rare find considering more than 90% of soy is genetically modified. A bit of caution with this product: if you have issues with excess water retention, high blood pressure or heart disease beware of the sodium content (150mg per serving). Always read those nutrition labels my friends.

 

 

Vegan nutrition powders –

I tend to use these travel sized nutrition powders as a quick breakfast option. They hold me over until lunch and ensure that at least one of my meals is packed with the essential vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrition my body needs to thrive.

It can also make for a great latte when mixed into coffee.

 

 

BarkThins-

I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the healthiest snack BUT a girl needs her chocolate fix ya’ know! I love the dark chocolate with pumpkin seeds because I can get my sweets AND some antioxidants, healthy fats, + a little protein. These are really good people!

 

 

 

Kind Bars-

Recently Kind Bars were ridiculed a bit for their high fat content, but looking at research I have found evidence that fat doesn’t make us fat. Sugar does!

These bars are made with wholesome ingredients and are low in sugar. Regardless, you should still read the nutrition labels because there are several different types of Kind bars with varying nutritional content. These particular ones come in several flavors and I have yet to have a flavor I did not enjoy.  I eat them for breakfast or between meals.  These are my go-to healthy travel snacks.

 

 

Chia Warrior bars-   

I recently discovered these little bars and have become quite fond of them. I usually buy a box of 5. Each bar is 100 calories. They have plenty of fiber along with healthy omega 3 fats. There are different flavor options, but I have only tried chocolate peanut butter and the superfood protein peanut butter cacao. (I have a thing for peanut butter, in case you didn’t know). Anyway, both of those flavors are yummy and I would recommend them over Kind bars if your searching for a small between meal snack.

 

 

Lenny & Larry Cookies – 

These “complete” cookies are vegan, soy free, and dairy free. They have tons of fiber and protein. I usually only eat half the cookie if I just want a filling snack. Eat the entire cookie for a meal replacement. 

 

One final tip – 

No matter where you are, access to fresh produce and water are usually easily available.

Stock up on fruits and raw veggies to complement these other snacks. My favorites are baby carrots and raw broccoli. For fruits, I usually go for berries, peaches, bananas, or apples (depending on what is in season/ available). Nothing can truly replace the nutrients and benefits from fruits and vegetables, so don’t forget to include these on your list of healthy travel snacks. 

It’s very easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re busy sightseeing, but drinking plenty of water will not only curb your appetite but keep you energized and strengthen the immune system.

healthy travel snacks

Yes this does take a little planning, but not much! Feeling your best during and after your vacation is worth the small amount of time you’ll spend packing these snacks. Of course you don’t have to bring them all! These are just suggestions of my favorites. Try out the ones that appeal to you and take them along on your next trip 🙂

What’s your favorite healthy snack? 

 

Happy snacking,

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*** You might also like this post: ‘ How to Stay Healthy on Vacation ‘ and ‘ Eating Healthy While Eating Out ‘

 


 

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How to Stay Healthy on Vacation

While we all love a nice getaway, many of us find ourselves struggling to stay healthy on vacation. It’s challenging to keep up with our weight, healthy eating habits, and exercise routines when you’re away.

You spend the last few weeks before a trip trying to get “bikini ready” by dieting and exercising like a maniac. Then, when you’re finally on vacation, all thoughts of calorie restrictions and workouts go out the window. After the getaway, you come back home to find you’ve regained all the weight you worked so hard to shed. You either stay in a funk for a while or go back to the excessive dieting and exercising in yet another attempt to lose those pounds. Up and down go the numbers on the scale, the cycle never ends, and thus is life. This is a completely unsustainable way to maintain your health.

 

Surely there must be a better way to stay healthy on vacation and maintain it even afterward.. right? Right!!

 

healthyonvacation

 

It’s been an exciting, travel-filled summer for me, with both domestic and international trips. I was sure I would be gaining plenty of weight because I was eating some delicious, rich foods. But hooray I maintained my weight and habits (actually even lost 2lbs!) without having to restrict myself.

I admit that I’ve faced these challenges time and time again when I am away from my home and my typical routine.  Through trial and error, I’ve figured out a simple, realistic approach to keeping my wellness level up before, during, and after a getaway. I hope this helps you stay on track and understand how to stay healthy on your next vacation.

Let’s dig into this, shall we?

 

MAKING CHOICES THAT ALIGN WITH YOUR WELLNESS PRIORITIES

Without structure and a routine when on vacation, it’s easy to lose sight of your wellness priorities.  For me, these priorities include honoring my body and maintaining a spiritual practice, among other things. I disregard these priorities by not resting enough (I get too excited and try to see and do as much as possible), throwing caution to the wind with food and beverage choices, and not making time for exercise, prayer, my thoughts. But there just isn’t enough time for everything, am I right?

So we’ve got to be intentional and creative to make the best choices for optimal results.

First, you have to release the mindset of feeling like you must to stick to a specific diet/exercise regimen while you’re on vacation.  Stop worrying about gaining weight. It’s times like these that the whole “have balance” philosophy comes into play. While you might be great at staying disciplined in your usual day-to-day schedule, when you’re on vacation it’s OKAY to indulge a LITTLE and relax. Now, on the other hand, you shouldn’t throw caution to the window and completely overindulge.

Well of course treating yourself is okay, but sometimes we overdo it and cross that fine line where treating yourself TOO much actually ends of hurting you.

Try your best to uphold your wellness priorities and healthy lifestyle without making it feel like a duty. Be intentional with your actions and choices.

 

EXERCISE WITHOUT EXERCISING?

I must applaud those of you that get up early and workout on vacation.  If you’re like me, working out just isn’t too appealing when you’re away. Some challenges that occur are lack of facilities, not enough space, or you’re too tired from staying out late the night before.  Not all is lost, however, because there are still plenty of ways to stay active, and in turn stay healthy on vacation!

Prevent yourself from gaining weight and getting out of shape by staying active as much as possible.

Some easy ways to get a little exercise without actually exercising can include: Walking, swimming, jogging, hiking, bike tours, stretching, local/ free yoga 

healthyonvacation

A kayaking tour in Portugal was a fantastic form of exercise with a view

 

DIET AND NUTRITION

When it comes to food, it’s a little more challenging but here’s my strategy. Stick to simple breakfast options like nutrition shake, smoothie, or fruit and nuts so you are sure to start the day off nuritionally strong. I loovveee brunching, but limit it to just once or twice a week.

For lunch and dinner, whatever you choose to eat think about the option to share your dish. You are less likely to overeat this way.  I recommend checking out Yelp to review restaurant menus in advance.  Also consider visiting the nearest farmers market to try out local snacks and produce.

healthyonvacation

A yummy meal in Costa Rica, with plenty of veggies

You know how much I love vegetables and plant based foods so it should not be surprising to you when I suggest focusing on getting vegetables into your meals. I know this can be difficult to do on vacation, but start small and try to aim for vegetables in AT LEAST one meal a day. That is the bare minimum you should strive for.

 

Limit dessert and decadent treats. Don’t make it a daily habit to have these.  In all honesty, desserts are my weakness ESPECIALLY on vacations. I’m tempted to try the best ice cream shops and all the famous desserts. A few strategies for this: share the sweet treat, make the rest of your meals healthy and load up on veggies, limit sugar in your diet with all other meals.

And most importantly, carry your own snacks with you because you never know when you’ll be stuck at an airport or in a position where you’re hAngry and the only options are fast food.  Coming up this week I will share with you some of my favorite healthy travel snacks. 

One final tip is to never have two unhealthy meals in a row. Always follow an unhealthy meal with a healthy one. This keeps me accountable to making sure that next meal will be nutritious and nourishing.

 

Whatever you do, don’t be miserable on vacation because you’re worried about getting “fat.” Check in with yourself to ensure your not overindulging. Don’t completely abandon the good stuff- fruits and veggies; And find creative ways to stay active.

Enjoy your trip, #treatyoself, and honor your wellness priorities. 

 

healthyonvacation

A delicious dulce de leche donut at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn

YOUR TURN

What are your wellness priorities and how do you stay healthy on vacation?

Have you had a bad travel experience because you were worried about dieting and weight gain? Share your story or any advice.

 

 

Cheers,

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