How to Craft a Healthy Go-To-Can’t-Refuse Meal

The Reality…

There are really only two things you need to know about me to get a glimpse into my soul.  I love, love, love EGGPLANT.  And I love, love, love SHRIMP.   I have been gravitating towards any dish featuring one of those two items for as long as I can remember.   
One day it occurred to me as I pondered my struggles with maintaining a healthy weight that I really actually do love healthy foods, but like many of us who struggle, I realized that my go-to choices in a pinch were typically something sugary or something salty.  And I was ALWAYS making eating choices in a pinch because I NEVER took the time to plan my meals in advance.  I have come to learn that there are chemical and hormonal reasons we make those sugary and salty choices, and I will explore that in further detail in another blog.  For now, I just want to share with you a recent epiphany I experienced related to my two all-time favorites – eggplant and shrimp, both of which are healthy choices.  
Here’s how the epiphany unfolded in my head….What if I had developed a recipe that included not only one of my favorites, but both of them?  Would I not want to make this healthy meal over and over again, and indulge in its deliciousness as often as possible?  And in doing so, would I not be making better choices for myself than the dish of chocolate that seems to magically refill itself at the office, or those darned snack sized bags of Cheetos and Doritos, neither of which I can get enough of during the work day until they are all gone?  Right then and there I crafted the most delicious salad I have ever tasted, which incorporated so many things that I naturally I love to eat, and only one thing I didn’t particularly love….lettuce!    It’s no surprise that the lettuce happens to taste absolutely delicious surrounded by all my favorites.
The Challenge… 

So maybe you don’t salivate over and crave eggplant…or shrimp…the way I do.  But development of my own healthy recipe was a really effective way for me to incorporate one of my most unfavorite things…salad….into my diet on a regular basis.   Of course, you can short cut this process by finding simple recipes online that feature your healthy favorites.  If you are a fellow lover of eggplant and shrimp, I hope you will give my recipe a try.  Either way, I am going to recommend you develop your own “Go-To-Can’t-Refuse” recipe, which will feature YOUR personal healthy favorites.  If you think you don’t have any healthy favorites, think a little harder because we all do!  If you had a personal chef at your disposal who would prepare for you any healthy dish you desired, what would it feature? 

The Solution… 

Well…this was my solution, and with a little advance planning, has worked wonders for helping me avoid the unhealthy choices available at my office in favor of a healthy homemade choice I bring from home.  If you enjoy eggplant and shrimp, maybe my solution can be one of your solutions to permanent weight loss and healthy eating.  If not, I urge you to take the challenge to develop your own “Go-To-Can’t-Refuse” meal!  Bon Appetit!
Debby’s Signature Shrimp and Eggplant Salad

1 medium to large ripe eggplant
1/2 lb. large uncooked shrimp
Package of Romaine lettuce
Grated Parmesan cheese
Old Bay Spice
Garlic salt (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Garlic butter (to taste)
Fresh basil
Tomatoes (optional)
Olive oil

Put quart or so of water on stove to heat. Add two tablespoons of old bay spice, salt and pepper, garlic salt, and garlic butter into water while waiting to boil. Rinse shrimp but leave shells on.

Preheat grill to about 400 degrees.  Outdoor grill preferred, but you can broil your eggplant as well, or use an indoor grill on your stove.
Slice eggplant about 1/2 thick and place in gallon zip lock bag. Mix together about half cup of olive oil with sea or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Pour mixture into bag with eggplant. Zip bag leaving air in the bag and shake together eggplant with mixture.

Put eggplant on grill and add shrimp to boiling water (leave uncovered). Cook shrimp for 6-10 minutes – do not overcook. Test one by taking it out of water and running under cold water. It the shell peels off easily and the outside skin is pink it’s done. Turn eggplant frequently but let it get grill marks.

Chop up romaine lettuce and tomatoes, and put in large bowl. Tear up several basil leaves and add. Mix with lemon and remainder of bagged oil mixture for eggplant, if any.

When shrimp are done remove from heat and water. Run cold water over then and take off shells and any veins. Cut into bit size pieces and put in a bowl. Squeeze lemon over the shrimp and let sit.

When eggplant looks a little melted on the inside but crisp on outside take off grill. Cool for 2 mins and then cut into quarters. Add shrimp and eggplant to the bowl and toss. Squeeze rest of lemon over salad and drizzle additional olive oil if desired.
Add grated Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into healthy eating and permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??