Be Flexible and Fanned Eggplant with Roma Tomato Sauce

by Joanne on September 11, 2010

The Saturday running plan was for 17 to 18 miles.  That was exchanged for a shorter run since my work schedule forced a change.  We have to be flexible right?! 

I went for a mid range run of  12 miles.   The morning was cool, a little fog around the course but sunshine soon broke through.  The morning screamed for a nice run through the trails along the golf course.  There were quite a few walkers but only 2 runners.  That was strange since the Falling Leaves race is on September 26th: “The Traditional 14k course winds through the scenic hilly switchbacks of Utica’s South Woods.”  I thought there would be a lot of training runs going on.   

Any run is a good run if you don’t drag yourself along for the majority of the distance and nothing hurts or aches.  Today’s run was a good run.  Shane was with me for 9 miles.  After dropping him off, my last 3 miles were negative splits at an average pace of 8:50.  I ate a large banana with 1 TBS peanut butter right before heading out and 1 Clif Shot at 4.5 miles.  NOTE:  Gels are NOT gel-like at 49 degrees.  Taking a gel in cold temperatures is more like trying to extract a piece of fudge through a skinny little slot in asceptic packaging.

The Inner ViewWhere does your mind take you?  I copied this from my email sent from My Inner World.

Do you think it’s easy to guide our thoughts in a different direction? 

Our minds can be quite tricky, and if allowed to move freely without conscious attention, can take us on a wild ride.  Everyday when things occur, our mind can guide us down a dark road or on a journey of light and self expansion.

I was walking down the sidewalk this morning when I was nearly run over by a woman on a mobile car.  She did not even beep or try to swerve.  She came right at me.  I looked up in the nick of time and jumped out of the way.  She missed me only be a hair and didn’t even look back.  I couldn’t believe that I had barely escaped.

Now it’s true that I happened to be looking inside my purse at the time but it was only for a moment.  My first response was shock then I thought about what kind of person would do that. She must be very hostile or mean? I was about to go down a very dark, judgmental trail when I had a moment of grace.  I caught where my mind was about to take me and realized that it didn’t serve me.  It wasn’t going to be pretty.  Then I thought that this might be an interesting situation to share in a [blog post].  Once I decided to write about it, this seemingly ugly situation became quite humorous.  I was no longer judging another human being.  Instead, I was using my experience in a way that made me feel better and might also be helpful to others.

Isn’t it interesting that a situation when viewed from another perspective can take us to a very different place.  Everyday things happen.  People treat us nicely or not.  But our experience is our own.  We get to choose how we want to respond and inevitably how we want to live.  Every now and then it is important to ask ourselves, where is my mind taking me?   And if it’s somewhere we don’t want to go, then we must catch it and guide it to where it serves us best.


This recipe is an adventure in cruise life.  My friend Claudia of Pegasus Legend just came back from a cruise and reading her blog reminded me that I have some wonderful souvenir cookbooks from my own cruise experiences.

This one is inspired by a 14 day adventure in the Mediterranean.  Leaving Barcelona to Naples/Capri Italy.  Arriving in Venice and departing again to Athens Greece to Ephesus Turkey.


You should prepare the Roma Tomato Sauce in advance which will make this a very easy dish to finish when ready to serve.  Don’t be afraid to present the eggplant in a variety of  culinary artistic ways.

This recipe will serve 4.


Roma tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cans Roma tomatoes, peeled – chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of butter

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.  You will do this over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t let that garlic burn!

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes and sugar. Stir about 3 times and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the basil and oregano. Season with the salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 more minutes.  Add the butter when ready to serve.


Fanned Eggplant

  • 4 small eggplant
  • 8 oz Fresh mozzarella, shredded *Good quality cheese is important in this dish.
  • 1 cup Parmesan – Romano Cheese, grated
  • oil (about 1/4 cup) for frying the egg plant *Safflower or Canola oil is a good choice.
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • Basil leaves for garnish

Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices but keep them connected at the stem end.  Salt the sliced eggplant and let sit 15 – 20 minutes.  This draws out the moisture.  Rinse and dry on clean paper towel.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat with the 2 whole garlic cloves which will add flavor to the oil.

Cook the eggplant until tender.  * If your pan is large enough, add all four eggplant and cook on both sides about 4 minutes per side.  Take out 2 eggplant and set aside.  Fan out the 2 left in the hot pan and continue cooking 2 minutes per side.  Remove and replace with the two others, fan out and repeat.

When the eggplant is cooked and fanned, preheat the broiler.  Place the cooked eggplant on a foil lined pan. Top with salt and pepper, the mozzarella and Parmesan-Romano.  Let cook under broil until cheese melts and browns.

Serve eggplant on a bed of tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh basil leave.


Have you ever been on a cruise?  Where did you go?  If not, where would you like to travel?


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  • At 2010.09.11 08:56, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

    I love that you are flexible with your runs. I see a lot of people freak out if their training plan is interrupted!

    I have been on 2 cruises. One to Mexico, which we just did in February of this year and then 10 years ago to the Caribbean.

    I would love to go to Ireland as that is my family heritage.

    • At 2010.09.11 09:36, Joanne said:

      That’s one of the places on our list: Ireland. It’s suppose to be so beautiful. One day….

      • At 2010.09.11 09:58, kelly said:

        My mind gets the best of me every morning when I know I should get up and go for a walk (no, you wouldn’t find me running 12 miles…) or finish my work. By the evening, I’m still saying I should go. But we are traveling to the UK next month for two weeks. Not a cruise — we’re driving through the country. I love it there. The eggplant sounds delicious! Something I should make more of.

        • At 2010.09.11 18:57, Joanne said:

          We took 2 days to tour the country side when visiting England a few years ago. It was beautiful!

          • At 2010.09.11 10:36, claudia said:

            I love eggplant and these pictures are making my mouth water and totally wishing for some this morning fabulous~

            • At 2010.09.11 18:57, Joanne said:

              Thanks Claudia

              • At 2010.09.11 18:53, Monet said:

                Flexibility is such an important thing to practice…in so many different areas of life! Your eggplant looks delicious. Anything with sauce, veggies and cheese makes me happy!

                • At 2010.09.11 18:58, Joanne said:

                  So true.

                  • At 2010.09.12 10:06, Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                    I love tomato sauce recipes! mmm!

                    I’ve only been to a 2 night cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm and back. They’re quite fun too but not really what one would call exotic if you don’t think a bunch of way too drunk people are exotic 😀 but the food is GREAT and they have some fun pubs and bars there too.

                    • At 2010.09.12 10:33, Pam (IIN Health Coach) said:

                      Thanks for sharing the post about guiding our own thoughts, that is really a great topic to bring up, a lot of the time we let the negative thoughts flow freely then we feel like a victim in situations like that. Taking a moment to change directions and not go down the negative path makes life a much more wonderful journey 🙂

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