Ladies who lunch

True life confession: my mother is my best friend.

I don’t mean that in a cutesy “I’m just exaggerating because she reads this and I want a new pair of shoes” kind of way. My mother is literally my best friend. In fact, if I knew today was my last day on earth, I’d choose to spend it with my mom and Chris, most likely holed up in our house watching movies, making bad jokes, eating popcorn and candy, and talking about the lofty things we would do if we weren’t so busy doing nothing.

My go to companion for any vacation: Mom

The person I call when I feel sick, or sad, or happy, or confused, or all of the above: Mom

My future business partner and source of ideas and inspiration: Mom

The person I turn to for advice, no matter how trivial: Mom

When I need a pep talk: Mom

When I spilled spaghetti sauce on my brand new blouse and am having a melt-down: Mom

When I need new shoes and don’t have the cash flow….ok, you got me: Mom

The answer nine times out of ten is M-O-M.

During this month-long home vacation, my mother and I have become ladies who lunch. Each day, after our hour-long sweat-inducing workout class, we rush home in order to answer the most important question of our day. What is for lunch?

Some days we go out for long, leisurely meals, beginning with ice-cold beverages and ending in a shared dessert and cup of coffee. Some days we whip something up in the kitchen quickly and scarf it down even faster. Some days its leftover. Some days it’s a sampling platter. Some days it’s all of the above and then some. Spontaneity in the world of food is just more fun!

Today we lunch in ladies created. Inspired by a recipe in a recent issue of Vegetarian Cooking, and keeping in mind the limited produce selection winter brings to bear, we chose the illustrious eggplant as the star of the show.

On the menu: pistachio encrusted baked eggplant rounds served with an avocado, carrot, celery salad, and a petite bowl of turnip green soup. For dessert we shared a bowl of grapes and pineapple. It was the perfect array of colors and tastes, filling enough to leave our appetite sated but with enough room left over to set our imaginations ablaze for dinner to come.

One must never forget: ladies who lunch also dinner.

Pistachio Encrusted Egpplant Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut 1 large eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds

2. Using food processor, crush 1 cup of pistachios into a finely ground texture. Reserve for later.

3. Combine 1 jar of roasted red peppers (drained) and 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (drained) with 1 tbsp garlic and puree into a jam-like texture.

4. Coat the bottom of each eggplant spray with cooking spray and place in large glass casserole dish. Spread pepper tomato mixture on the top side of the round and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and serve warm alongside a salad or atop pasta for a delicious and healthful meal.

Turnip Green Soup recipe:

1. Bring 15 oz of vegetable stock to a low boil. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, and curry powder to taste (1.5 tsps or so of each).

2. Add 2 cups of washed and chopped turnip greens to the boiling water and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to low and slowly add in 2 beaten eggs to the soup, using a fork to mix the water as you pour in the egg mixture. The eggs should form strands in the hot soup mixture.

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