ooohhh....eggplant....i actually get asked a lot about what to do with it and am currently trying to come up with new recipes!  so this blog couldn't have come at a better time!  it isn't one of my favorite veggies, but it is in season right now in Georgia, it is at every stand at the Farmers' Market, and, like all other veggies, it is super nutrient dense!  tons of phytochemicals in can tell by its brilliant purple skin!!!

thanks to my beautiful friend and personal trainer at our gym Whitney...

...i have become inspired to work with eggplant more often!  when i was at the Farmers' Market this past saturday, i bypassed it at every stand, because i am sick of doing my normal baba ganoush!  now i am ready for a new direction!
Whitney has really been getting serious about cooking lately.  She used to follow recipes a lot, but has recently ventured outside of her comfort zone and started just "winging" a few dinners!  this one seemed to turn out great!

Eggplant and Zucchini Pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
5 small red potatoes, small diced
8oz (dry) whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 large sweet onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced

small handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
4 large fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, just leaves
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 medium eggplant, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 large zucchini, cut in bite-sized pieces

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (or two fresh tomatoes, diced)
1 can low-sodium tomato sauce

1. Pour oil in a large non-stick skillet and heat up over medium.
2. Add diced potatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes.
3. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
4. Add onion, garlic, and herbs (basil, sage, and thyme) to skillet and season with salt and pepper.  cook this for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add eggplant and zucchini and cook, covered, for 4-5 minutes.
6. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and cook another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. When pasta reaches al dente (still has a bit of a "bite") drain and set aside.
8. Mix pasta with sauce in a large bowl or directly in the skillet if there is room and toss gently to coat each pasta piece with sauce.
taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.

this makes 4-6 servings. 

you can substitute brown rice pasta if you have a gluten intolerance.

i have been asking people to do a guest blog for me for a while now and someone finally said yes and came up with an amazing, yet simple recipe...thanks Whit!!!

Whitney and i did a trail run this morning and it felt pretty good.  definitely not back up to the same fitness level i was at when i was running trails a lot, but it was fun.  there are a couple long, steady hills, and it is hard to believe i used to be able to run the whole 4 miles without taking any breaks!   i got some new trail running shoes at the Athens Tri expo this past weekend, at 60% off, and they seemed to be fine.  hopefully more trail running will be in my near future.  went to PT again yesterday and i am becoming more and more convinced that all my issues are related to my "jacked-up" hips!  he did a lot of hip mobilization and that seemed to help out my shoulder as well. 

we are going hiking and camping this weekend on the AT, more specifically, Blood Mountain, which is the 2nd highest climb in GA and the highest climb on the AT!  exciting!  hope we don't have any bear encounters!