So it’s officially summer though, to be honest, I wouldn’t know it. I’m knee-deep in teaching summer school health. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds. While I’d REALLY LOVE some time off, I rarely get to be in the classroom teaching students subject matter that I’m so passionate about. I mean, what’s not to love about spending 2 hours a day, 5 days a week talking to high schoolers about topics such as consent education, mood disorders, and sex education!? Fun, right!?

In the midst of all of this, my husband has been out-of-town for a week and a half (half a week to go!) and while I’m really loving having all this time with our girls, mama is in need for a little ‘me’ time. As it is, I’ve been getting up at around 5am just so I can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a fresh episode of The Great British Baking Show before the girls get up and it’s ‘go’ time. I don’t know about you, but as a parent, I struggled with anxiety when it came to the weeks leading up to being alone with the kids for an extended amount of time. When Eden was just 4 weeks old, husband had to go to Miami for a few days in order to complete some research for his PhD and if anyone is a proponent of exposure therapy for anxiety, it is me as that time alone with an infant and a 3 year-old truly taught me that I can do it. Now that the girls are older and Eden is at one nap a day, I’m able to actually enjoy my alone time with the girls. We can get out, explore this great city with my little buddies and, dare I say it, have fun. Our absolute favorite activity is to head to the beach with sand toys and picnic in hand. I’ve been trying to up our picnic game as lately it’s been day-after-day of pb & j sandwiches and cucumbers. Therefore, I put a call out to some food blogging buddies and the result is the recipe round-up below, which is chock full of vegetarian and vegan options for your summer picnics! I hope you enjoy and don’t forget your sunscreen!

 

Kosher ‘Krab’ Cakes with Zoodles and Avocado Crema from Jewhungry

 

Broccoli Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing from The Roasted Root

Kalyn’s Tabbouleh with Almonds from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Arabic Potato Salad from Persnickety Plates

Chipotle Hummus-Stuffed Potato Bites from The Lemon Bowl

Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad from Food Faith Fitness

Mediterranean Deviled Egg Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus from Two Healthy Kitchens

Lentil Quinoa Salad with Golden Raisins and Lemon Dressing from Noshtastic

California Cowboy Caviar from Fork and Beans

Lentil Hand Pies with Walnut Pesto from Delish Knowledge

Israeli Couscous Recipe with Chopped Veggies, Chickpeas, and Artichoke from The Mediterranean Dish

All-Natural Carrot Dogs from Healthy Slow Cooking

Falafel Feta Salad from Jewhungry 

Title EggplantSo I’m having an affair. I am 100%  falling in love with the State of California. Seriously, Cali, where have you been all my life!? Ok, well, I actually know the answer to that previous question but whatever. I guess the more appropriate question would be, where have I been this whole time?! I mean, I figured I’d like California in general and kind of like Los Angeles but I never thought I’d like it this much.  I mean, this morning I was at the farmer’s market in my neighborhood and tonight I’m going to Drag Queen bingo. I mean, what’s not to love in a city that offers a mommy that kind of diverse Sunday Funday?!

Choppin'

Choppin’

But in all seriousness, being away from my husband has been extremely hard and draining, but this city (along with my daughter and my mom) has kept me company and I’m so grateful.  This week at work has been full of orientation meetings, CPR training, more meetings, ice cream and then even more meetings. My ‘mommy guilt’ has only increased with every work day that passes by. Even with my mom here, I still feel incredibly guilty every time I leave the house.  I know this feeling is completely useless but it’s still very real for me.  Tonight’s night out with my dear friend, Jessie, is a huge personal triumph.  I’ve tried several times to attend a workout class with her during the week, after work, but once I’m home the idea of leaving the kiddo again just tears at my heart-strings. I’m hoping that once she’s at school and she has a more engaged daily schedule, I won’t feel so guilty if I leave for an hour or so in the evening in order to take care of myself.  I am such a frikkin’ hypocrite right now because I am the first one to advocate for self-care and here I am completely ignoring my own advocacy pitch. I’ll get there.  I’ll get there eventually, right? So far, my nights have looked a lot like me putting the kid to bed by 8pm and then climbing into bed with a mug of Trader Joe’s vanilla soy ice cream (covered with sprinkles, obvs.) and watching reruns of Parks and Rec, which, by the way, is my new favorite show (sorry Nashville). I’m not sure where I was around  5 years ago when everyone was on board with this show but whatever.  I’m here now and I’m completely obsessed with Ron Swanson, Leslie Knope and the whole lot.  So yes, I guess this means I’m now 3-timing my husband with the State of California, the City of Los Angeles and a hilarious NBC mockumentary.  That doesn’t make me ‘loose’, right?

This Week's Highlights: Ice Cream at Carmela's, Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies for New Co-Workers; Siona's First Love; Chickpeas in Spices

This Week’s Highlights: Ice Cream at Carmela’s, Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies for New Co-Workers; Siona’s First Love; Chickpeas in Spices

So the recipe below is for my go-to Shabbat lunch and/or picnic favorite meal. It’s been revealed recently that some of my favorite people don’t like eggplant because of the texture, but I’ve decided to keep them in my life, despite the CRAZINESS of not liking eggplant. I L-O-V-E  love eggplant.  It’s my favorite vegetable of all time. This recipe is easy, delicious and doesn’t need to be assembled until the day of Shabbat so it’s great for the last minute Shabbat meal scramble (y’all know what I’m talking about). Enjoy and have a wonderful week. Jewhungry eggplant kosher rollups

Herbed Cream Cheese + Roasted Eggplant Roll Ups.

Ingredients

  • 4 - 5 medium whole wheat tortilla or wraps
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt (for getting out excess moisture from eggplant)
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro OR chives (OR BOTH!)
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tbsp table salt

Instructions

  1. Place sliced eggplant on paper towels so that they do not overlap. Salt each eggplant and let soak in salt for at least 30 minutes in order to draw out excess moisture.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. After 30 minutes, place eggplant on baking sheets and brush each eggplant with olive oil.
  4. Place eggplant in oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
  5. While eggplant is roasting, prep all over the other ingredients for your wrap.
  6. Place cream cheese in a bowl. Add in cilantro, garlic powder, ground pepper and additional table salt. Mix until well combined.
  7. Once eggplant is finished roasting, stack your eggplant and slice for easier bites.
  8. For wrap assembly: Spread herb cream cream mixture onto a wrap. Lay diced avocado on top of cream cheese and mash for an easier rollup (try to keep all toppings off from the direct sides of the wrap. This way they won't burst out when you actually roll everything up). Place eggplant on top of the avocado and any left over herbs that didn't make it into the cream cheese.
  9. For rolling: Tightly tuck in one end of the wrap and roll, tightening along the way. Slice the finished wrap into 2 inch rolls.
http://jewhungrytheblog.com/cream-cheese-eggplant-roll-ups/

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