I have a love/hate relationship with a LOT of foods… I always thought I was broken.
Why does it seem like everyone else is allowed to eat whatever they want without repercussions, but I eat a bagel with cream cheese and wind up in the hospital? (I’m not even hyperbolically kidding; that actually happened in high school.)
However, since working on this documentary, I’ve learned a lot about how food is digested by the body, and since I started reading It Starts With Food, it’s finally all clicking for me.
Yes, it is a book about paleo (sorry vegans), but the focus (so far; I’m only half through) is not about how we should be eating paleo because we were meant to eat this way and preachy mcpreach-preach. It focuses on why certain types of foods can become addictive and wreak havoc on the body. The science is hard to argue with no matter what diet you’re following.
As a vegan, I ate a LOT of processed soy, legumes and grains. I did the whole gluten-free thing for a while, and even went yeast-free for a bit, but I never felt TOTALLY better. And while I initially dropped a good amount of weight by switching to a vegan diet, it was all too easy to pack a LOT back on.
In my transition from vegan, to vegetarian, to wherever I am now, I started to consume a LOT more dairy.
Now I was a preachy mcpreacherson myself when it came to dairy… “why are we drinking the milk of another mammal that’s intended to FATTEN CALVES?!” “who stuck an udder in their mouth and decided that it was a good idea to drink that?” etc. etc.
But dairy can be freaking delicious. I’m not talking processed slices of orange cheese and fit and light splenda yogurt. I’m talking whole milk raw cheddar, creamy goat cheese, homemade ice cream, and thick, full-fat greek yogurt. REAL dairy.
Yes, these foods are high in fat, but that’s why you’re supposed to consume them in moderation. Also, many studies have shown that if you have a lactose intolerance, it seems to be less bothered by full-fat dairy products. Which totally makes sense now that I think about all the lactose intolerant people I know that got the runs from drinking milk, but could eat all the ice cream they wanted. Hmm….
Unfortunately for me, cow dairy of all kind seems to irritate my stomach if I have more than about 1/2 a serving at a time. Not to mention, the idea of consuming breast milk from another animal still kinda freaks me out. BUT IT’S TASTY!
Why do I keep going on about this? Well, I want you to make your own call. Vegans, I know you have ethical reasons for not consuming dairy. Paleos, most of you don’t for the sheer reason that cavemen didn’t do it. But for those of you who are struggling to lose weight, or just have a myriad of health issues, I’m sure it’s something you’ve though about before, so I wanted to give you a couple of resources.
Anyway, this whole thing started because I landed on the dairy section of It Starts With Food yesterday after making an EPIC lasagna for dinner, and eating it for lunch yesterday (and again today).
This lasagna might be the best lasagna I’ve ever made.
But it has an UNGODLY amount of cheese.
And I’m currently paying for it.
Is it worth it?
I think so.
You can decide…..
Eggplant Lasagna (*note, I made half regular noodle, half eggplant lasagna, so I’m guesstimating on the eggplant amount)
- 2-3 eggplants
- 2.5 cups ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
- 2 jars marinara sauce
- 1lb grass fed ground beef (90/10)
- 1 chicken sausage, casing removed and crumbled
- garlic powder/onion powder/thyme/rosemary/nutmeg/salt/pepper
- fresh basil
- 12 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, egg and spices (heavy on the garlic). In a pan over medium heat, crumble and cook your ground beef. Meanwhile, slice your eggplants the long way into 1/8-1/4 inch “noodles.” In a large, lightly greased skillet over medium high heat, brown eggplant slices on both sides and set aside. Once the beef is cooked, add in the sausage and sauce. Season to your preferences, adding the fresh basil last. In the bottom of a large glass pan (I think I used 11×9?), spoon in a layer of meat sauce. Then lay down a layer of eggplant noodles. Then ricotta. Then sauce. Then mozzarella cheese. Then noodles. You get it; repeat until you run out. Just make sure the top has a layer of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Things I’d change? Probably less mozzarella. It doesn’t really need it between EVERY layer… maybe every other. But you GOTTA have it on top.
Also, even though this is low-ish in carbs, it is not a diet dish. It requires just under an hour on the elliptical to burn off. You’ve been warned.
Stay tuned for more additions to the love/hate diaries; possible topics include grains, sugar, coffee, alcohol and maybe even boys.