The BluePrint Cleanse

Last week, my co-workers and I spent a day doing the BluePrint Cleanse (www.blueprintcleanse.com).  I had done this cleanse before by myself but it was fun to do with co-workers as we encouraged each other to stay strong and not eat anything throughout the day.  If you are not familiar with this cleanse, basically you are delivered 6 numbered juices, which you have to drink in the order of which they are numbered on that day. You should not eat anything unless you are absolutely ravishing in which they recommend eating celery, cucumbers or vegetable broth. While I had a pretty bad headache during the afternoon, I must say I felt amazing the next day.
I am somewhat unsure of my feelings towards the cleanse; as it has sooooo much sugar in each juice.  I know this is all natural sugar but still… I never eat that much sugar per day, so I think I had a headache partially due to the amount of sugar I consumed that day. I have been thinking of purchasing my own juicer recently not only because I think it will be more cost-efficient in the long run, but I would like to juice more veggies than these juices have. I usually make blended kale smoothies but for variety, I would love to start juicing some other leafy greens. I will keep you updated if I decide to purchase a juicer… I am still doing my research!

One recipe, which I wanted to share with you, is the Chilled Cucumber Soup. This was given to my co-workers and I with the purchase of the cleanse (sort of a restart recipe after the cleanse was complete) and I finally decided to make it after hearing from my co-worker that it was so delicious! The soup itself was very light and refreshing, while also being very flavorful.
I would definitely recommend making it if you are looking for a light lunch or even as an appetizer before dinner. It was so easy and quick to make which is as you know, always a plus! 🙂
Chilled Cucumber Soup with Macadamia Cream

2 cups seedless English cucumbers, peeled and chopped (about 1 large)
2 Tbs scallions, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
¼ tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste                                                                                     
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (I used one)
2 Tbs water
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Pour into serving dishes and add a dollop of Macadamia Cream.  Chill in the refrigerator before serving. 
Macadamia Cream

½ cup raw unsalted macadamia nuts (soaked 1-2 hours)
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sea salt
6 Tbs water
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Blend until very smooth and whipped.
  
I did not make the Macadamia Cream and the soup was still amazing.  I definitely would make it if I was serving the soup to guests, as it makes a great presentation.

New Year… New Start… New Goals!

I know this is slightly delayed but Happy New Year Everyone!  One of my resolutions has been to be consistent with my postings and not let so much time go by.  This is one of my favorite times of the year, especially for clean eating and exercising.  I know I have been really bad with posting recently…this is mainly due to work picking up and not having a lot of time to spend cooking and creating clean recipes.  I also have not had much time to exercise.  While not working out has been quite depressing for me, I have been trying to stay motivated by reminding myself of the 80/20 rule –  80 percent diet and only 20 percent exercise, so basically if I eat healthy, not working out is not gonna kill me :).I feel as though everyone has a clean slate in January and can start over while making progress towards their goals. Over the holidays I have eaten way too many Christmas cookies, pieces of peanut butter fudge and I feel like there is no better time to give up the unhealthy eating habits than right now! Yesterday, I started over and am eating clean all over again!

Today’s post is one of my favorite entrees at Italian restaurants. It is Eggplant Parmesan. Unlike the traditional eggplant parmesan, this one is cleaned-up and breadcrumb free! I make this in a 9×13 pan and if I have leftovers, I separate into small portions, freeze it, and pull it out on a busy day!

Eggplant Parmesan

1 large container of marinara sauce
2 large eggplants
32 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
4 cups part skim mozzerella shredded cheese (I use less but you may want this much)
olive oil

Directions: Peel entire eggplant. Cut end off then slice large end up to neck. Do not slice into neck. Slice eggplant thin. Use the area with seeds. In a skillet add a verrrrry little olive oil and cook each eggplant. Cook all on both sides. You may need to continue adding (a verrrrry little) more olive oil as needed. Do not let the eggplant get dark. Put on tray lined with paper towels to blot oil. 

Use 13×9 deep glass pan. Put some sauce on bottom of pan. 

Layer eggplant to cover bottom. Mix the ricotta cheese thoroughly (watery on bottom) and add parsley flakes and pepper. Spoon ricotta on top of eggplant. Then add some mozzarella.


Continue layering as follows:
sauce – on bottom of pan
eggplant
ricotta
mozzerella
eggplant
ricotta
mozzerella
eggplant
marinara sauce (all over top) – I use entire large container of sauce for this recipe.


Bake 350 for half hour covered with foil. Then uncover, add mozzarella all over top and bake 15-30 minutes until mozzarella is browned and sauce is bubbly. If you want to make this with less mozzarella (an even lighter version), use only a very little in the layers so you will have more to garnish the top.

I hope you love this as much as I do! 🙂