3 Tips to Avoid Eating Extremes: + Zucchini Bread with Pepitas

Every once in a while a sweet treat and/or a food I haven’t eaten for a while (like zucchini bread) makes me more mindful of the process of eating. Zucchini Bread with Pepitas
 How do you eat healthy without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of some of your favorite foods? A recent article in Shape Magazine, October 2015 entitled Eating Extremes caught my attention. The article discusses what I like to refer to as the all or nothing approach to food: ‘one day you’re eating clean and green, the next you’re digging into pork belly and cream cheese.’ I like these 3 tips from Shape to find a happy medium.

1. Excite your taste buds every week. Do you  get bored by eating the same safe foods day in and day out?  Are there some foods you won’t eat because they’re just too darn tasty and you don’t trust yourself to stop eating? If so, occcasionally include small bites of these foods along with your regular meals. For me, occasionally including something different (like  a slice of this zucchini bread) along with my salad at lunch, hits the spot and makes me more mindful of the process of eating. You will find you eat much less when you’re satisfied.Zucchini Bread with Pepitas

2. Lose the good versus bad mentality. All food can fit into a healthy lifestyle. Stop villifying food.  Learn the principles of mindful eating (which include not judging) to honor both the pleasure of taste and your health!

3. Tell yourself you can always have more. Serve a  small portion of an indulgent food like zucchini bread (it’s basically cake, right?). Then remind yourself you can have more tomorrow.  Trust yourself with food; you are in control. A slice of this bread  along with a cup of coffee in the late afternoon is a pleasure of mine. When I make zucchini bread, I make 2 loaves and freeze what I don’t want to eat right away.

Excite your taste buds every week with foods you love like this zucchini bread with pepitas. You will eat less when you 're satisfied. 3 tip to avoiding eating extremes + recipe for zucchini bread

Zucchini Bread with Pumpkin Seeds

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups 100% white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin kernels)
  • cooking spray
  • equipment : 2 8x 4 inch loaf pans


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray pans with cooking spray.

2. Trim stem and root end of zucchini. Using a box grater, grate zucchini. You should have about 3 cups.

3. Place the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or several layers of cheese cloth and squeeze to press out as much liquid as possible.

4. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract .

6. Add grated zucchini to dry ingredients. Pour liquids over the top. Gently stir and fold just until no more flour is visable.

7. Pour batter into pans and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage: Store bread in an air-tight container for several days. To freeze, wrap tighly in foil for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or warm in oven for 20 minutes.

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Beef & Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant is the hidden vegetable in this  terrific meaty lasagna; make two, one for now and one for later. Freezer Friendly Beef & Eggplant Lasagna
What do you do when you encounter foods that you DON’T like? I’m asking , because I sometimes face this situation. Take for instance, theseEggplant to be used in my freezer friendly beef & eggplant lasagna

American globe eggplants. They are, to my eyes, lovely.  But to my taste buds, not so much.  I don’t care for their spongy texture.  So I follow the  advice I give parents of children who dislike vegetables: keep on trying, but  prepare them different ways. Today, I’m taking  eggplant outside of where we’ve ever been.  First, I ‘m thinnly slicing them lengthwise, then roasting to get a roasty charry goodness going. Now, into my lasagna… btw I am making two because if I’m going to the trouble of making lasagna, I ‘m going to get an extra meal in the freezer for that day when I don’t want to cook.  Talk about a #twoforone, this month’s Recipe Redux theme just happens to be: Fantastic Freezer Meals.  September is the  perfect time to remind those of us with gardens and  those who chose to eat according to the seasons, that tomatoes, summer squash, corn and eggplant are starting to fade.  If you want to enjoy the bounty of summer longer, use them in dishes you can freeze for later. Here is the result of my lasagna made with my  not so favorite summer vegetable.. and the taste testing begins..Freezer Friendly Beef & Eggplant Lasagna

Can you hear my sigh of relief over the internet? It  tastes as good as it looks! Be sure to visit the links at the bottom of this post to find more recipe ideas for heat -and -eat freezer meals.


Beef and Eggplant Lasagna

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (make 2 pans of lasagna, each pan 6 servings)

  • 3 pounds eggplant, thinnly sliced lengthwise (1/4 inch)
  • cooking spray
  • coarse salt and ground peppger
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 10 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 16 oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 2 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Arrange sliced eggplant on a single layer on 2 sheets pans. Spray  both sides using cooking spray  and season with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until it is soft and golden. Turn slices halfway through, about 15 minutes. Let sheet cool on a wire rack.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet coated with cooking spray, add beef and cook, stirring occassionally until no longer pink. Add basil, oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8 inch baking dish. Top with 2 noodles. Layer with one quarter of the beef, then 1 cup sauce and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Top with 2 more noodles, one quarter of the  eggplant, 1 cup sauce and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers with the remaining ingredients, reserving the last 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover lasagna loosely with foil and and bake on top rack until sauce bubbles, 35-40 minutes. (Place a rimmed baking sheet on middle rack to catch any drippings.) Remove lasagna from oven and heat broiler. Sprinkled with reserved Parmesan and broil until cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing.

For second lasagna: Line an 8 inch baking dish with non-stick heavy duty foil allowing several inches to extend over sides. Prepare lasagna as direct above but DO NOT BAKE. Remove lasagna from baking dish by holding edges of foil and lifting out of pan. Fold foil over lasagna and wrap with additional foil, making sure it is tightly sealed to keep air out. Freeze for up to one month.

TO BAKE SECOND LASAGNA: Remove from the freezer. Take out of foil wrap and place in an 8 inch baking dish coated wtih cooking spray. Cover and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for about one hour or until heated through and sauce begins to bubble.

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