I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Youth is wasted on the young. Can one truly appreciate clean and immediately accessible restroom facilities before suffering a bout of post-menopausal incontinence? Gentrifying it by calling it “overactive bladder” doesn’t change the fact that sneezing, laughing and road rage suddenly cause unpredictable leaks. And whether it’s just a little squirt or Niagara Falls is anyone’s guess.
But I digress….
As mentioned, I’m getting older. And as things in my body are starting to break down(can we say pre-diabetic?) I’m having to give up more and more of life’s sensual pleasures; especially in the food department:
Chocolate and whiskey are now rare treats doled out in Dickensian sized portions, and red velvet cake’s become a look but don’t touch, prick-teasing bitch.
Pasta, rice and potatoes have been banished (an horrific fate, ask any carboholic.) No Carbonara or Alfredo… No chow fun… Without rice and naan, why even bother having curry.
While wandering this figurative gastronomical desert, I made a recent foray into the literal desert to visit my late father’s third wife (Love ya Franki) and rediscovered the miraculous eggplant.
Acquainted with the diabetic struggles my dad faced, she came up with this dandy little dish that made my pasta loving soul—not my blood sugar—dance. I have since made this several times, adding my own twists and turns.
Franki’s No-Pasta, Pasta Lover’s Eggplant Bake
Ingredients: (Franki uses as many organic products as possible, but my broke ass uses whatever’s on sale)
Lean Ground Beef (but any ground meat will work, sausage works well)
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Added twists, not part of the original recipe:
Summer Squashes (zucchini, patty-pan, Italian…)
Mushrooms (Franki’s deathly allergic to these)
Lightly saute onion, garlic (careful not to scorch) and veggie’s in olive oil.
Brown meat separately and drain if needed then add canned tomatoes and herbs. Saute on medium heat for about five minutes.
Combine meat and sauteed veggies in baking dish and top with cheese (you can also use several single serving foil baking tins and freeze them.) Cover and bake at 400° for an hour or until eggplant is tender (Note, eggplant can be bitter when under cooked. )
This dish reheats well and gets better with time… Three Cheers for Franki!