The last unofficial grilling day of the summer is fast approaching, so you may be thinking about ways to make your Labor Day cookout a success. What better way to celebrate the end of summer AND Meatless Monday than with some delicious vegetarian grilling options?
This grilled eggplant sandwich is stacked high with late-summer veggies. Paired with walnut arugula pesto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper and fresh arugula, it’s packed with flavor and I promise you won’t miss the meat!
This weekend is a time when many of us gather with friends and family for one last late summer bash. But as you prepare for BBQ’s, parties and weekend getaways, don’t forget about your healthy habits! With a few simple strategies, you can enjoy Labor Day Weekend and still feel great when it’s over:
- Load up on veggies: Bring some raw veggies with hummus or dip as an appetizer or go for the vegetarian option for your main course. Vegetables are high in fiber which helps keep you full longer. They are also low in calories and contain powerful immune-supporting phytonutrients!
- Don’t skip Meals: Never attend a party on an empty stomach! Fasting before a party to “save room” and cut calories often leads to poor food choices and overeating. Eating a nutrient dense meal before an event can help you be more mindful about what you’re putting on your plate.
- Be mindful and enjoy: If there is a dessert or some calorically-dense foods that you absolutely love, enjoy them, but practice mindfulness. Being mindful and present while eating those foods you really love can help you get the most satisfaction from eating them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!
- For the Pesto:
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- big handful of arugula
- big handful of basil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- For the sandwiches:
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch slices and brushed with olive oil
- 4 ciabatta rolls, grilled or toasted
- 4 pieces of roasted red pepper
- 4oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1 cup arugula
- Start by making the pesto. Add the walnuts and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and pulse together. Then add the arugula, basil, lemon, salt and pepper. Pulse again. Then add the olive oil and pulse until the pesto is your desired consistency. Add more olive oil if you prefer a smoother texture. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Preheat grill or grill pan. Place sliced eggplant in a single layer on a plate and brush with olive oil. Once the grill/ grill pan is hot, place sliced eggplant on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks form.
- Assemble the sandwiches. Spread pesto on one side of the ciabatta roll. Top with grilled eggplant, mozzarella cheese, roasted red pepper and a handful of arugula.