Worry Zone and Warm Eggplant Black Bean Salad

by Joanne on November 9, 2011

First of all, I want to know why I get SO MUCH JUNK email on my CA Raisin Bread post! It’s so frustrating!  Do you get more crap on one post than any others? 

Second, Ted had a race tonight in swim class. He said he beat those little kids.  I said “REALLY? How old were they?”  His response:   “It was open [snicker, snicker, tee-hee-hee].  But the good news is that I won my age group.”    So that’s what it’s come to?  😉

Now for my “Woe is me” rant…

Back and forth from one web site to the next. Calculating and recalculating marathon finish times.  The doubts have set in HARD.  I wonder if my third marathon will be my slowest.  I’m hoping it’s my fastest but my training pace times tell a different story.

It’s been hard running by myself in training for this marathon.  I suffered race burn out and took time off from running races.  Now I have no idea how hard I can push myself.  My stomach is churning and churning even though I still have more than 10 days until the race.   I should call it a run.  Somehow that makes me feel better:   The Longest Training Run.

To top off all those butterflies in my stomach,


the email arrived assigning my bib number and corral.  Geesh! I really hate this nervous feeling!  So I signed up with a pace team at a less aggressive pace than I planned to run.  If it’s slow for me, I’ll have more umph at the 20 mile point. If it turns out too fast for me, I’ll bonkhit the wall…and all that other stuff that makes the marathon a mentally challenging event.

When I signed up with the pace team, they asked “Why do you want to run a marathon?”  My answer at this point was “I really don’t know”.  But to be totally honest, I DO know.  I want to see how far I can push myself.  If I have the MENTAL TOUGHNESS it takes to push through.  Sure, I did it 2 times before, but every race is different and it’s that unknown that keeps me running.

A good one dish side or main meal. 

This is one of those dishes you’ll find yourself making time and again.  It’s just too easy and so good.


In a large bowl, …oh! you need to know the ingredients first.


Serves 4

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch squares
  • 15 oz can drained, rinsed low sodium black beans (low sodium because you will add your own salt)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 15 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBS fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients EXCEPT the feta cheese and stir to mix and coat well.  Top with feta cheese.  Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Uncover and continue to bake 20 more minutes.


Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.


This is either a one dish meal aka casserole or a super side dish with your favorite protein.  As for us, it certainly helped to liven up some not so lively left overs.

*The next night, I mixed the left overs with some pasta sauce.  Super addition to a drab marinara.

What’s your favorite way to give left overs new life?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • At 2011.11.09 10:28, Sandra's Easy Cooking said:

    What a great recipe..love your recipe!!!! Look very tempting!

    • At 2011.11.09 16:05, Joanne said:

      Thanks. It was delciious and went a long way. 🙂

      • At 2011.11.09 18:15, claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine said:

        This is awesome, what a marvelous salad!

        • At 2011.11.10 08:08, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

          Try not to stress too much about your marathon times. MUCH harder to do than say, I know. I would be freaking bigtime – but then again I can’t run a full mile and you’re about to be a 3-time marathoner!

          Just ENJOY it. Enjoy the experience for someone (me) who can only dream of running. If you spend too much time worrying about if you’ll be fast enough, if you’ll burn out, you’re fixating on the negative. Just enjoy, have a great time, do the very best you can do, and go from there.

          I can’t WAIT for the race details and I’m cheering you in WI!! So proud of you!

          Previous post:

          Next post: