Transitioning to a plants based diet has been gradual for me and filled with challenges.
I have my moments where I eat like a certified vegan and then other moments when I crave something from an animal.
I’m not the only one struggling. It seems like you are too.
Here’s what I’ve noticed, cooked and learned that may help you.
We have this need to follow a set of rules when it comes to our diet.
Rule 1 – I can eat this.
Rule 2 – I can’t eat that.
But what about those times when you want to eat, what you can’t eat.
Well for starters, it’s normal for your body to crave what it was used to having before you started making changes. The problem with the way people have traditionally approached dieting, is that they go cold turkey. They leave no room for the foods they actually like and they commit themselves and taste buds to a lifetime of boring and bland broccoli and barley all for the sake of weight loss, better health and healthy eating.
That ends here.
I for one, will not live out the rest of my days eating boring and bland foods and I invite you to NOT do the same.
Life is too delicious to think that you have to limit yourself in order to achieve your weight loss and health goals. So let’s start with pizza I wanted something meaty but NOT. I wanted something cheesey but NOT. And I definitely required flavor.
When it comes to flavor, Indians have mastered that science. One of my favorite sauces is Tikka Masala and I love the way eggplant has a meaty texture so I made both of them the star of this show. And veggies, because . . . yes please. Lastly, I chose paneer cheese since it gave me the cheesiness without being to gooey.Print
Eggplant Tikka Masala Pizza
20 Spinach leaves
4 Slices of Naan
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 Roma Tomato, sliced thinly
1 Eggplant, halved and scored
1⁄2 cup Paneer, crumbled
1 Garlic Clove, grated
1⁄2” Ginger, grated
2 TB Tikka Masala paste (can be purchased at Indian or Intl market or Trader Joe’s)
1 TB Cilantro Chutney (can be purchased at Indian or Intl market or Trader Joe’s)
2 tsp salt
- FOR EGGPLANT
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Using 1 tsp salt per eggplant half, rub salt in eggplant flesh and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Using room temperature water, completely rinse salt from eggplant and dry with paper towels.
- Rub grated ginger and garlic over eggplant halves. Make sure to push fine pieces of ginger and garlic into the scored grooves of the eggplant.
- Drizzle with olive oil and place face up on a cookie sheet.
- Roast in oven for 40 minutes
- Remove from oven and let rest for approx. 5 to 10 minutes to allow steam to escape.
- Using a spoon, start from one end of the eggplant and scrape the flesh away from the skin. It will be easy since you have already scored the eggplant.
- Chop it into bite size pieces and set aside until ready assemble pizza.
- FOR SAUCE
- Place diced tomatoes and tikka masala paste in a small sauce pot over medium low heat. Mix once in the beginning, allowing paste to flavor tomatoes.
- Let rest over heat for 10 minutes and allow the tomatoes to break down.
- Stir once more and reduce pot to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Spread 1-2 TB of sauce on each naan bread and then top with 4-5 spinach leaves, followed by 2-3 tomato slices, followed by eggplant and a sprinkle of paneer cheese.
- Return pizza to oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Although paneer does not melt well, the heat will enhance the mild flavor. Remove from oven and drizzle each slice with a bit of cilantro chutney. Enjoy!