Goat cheese eggplant parmesan

Hiiii! How’s the day going?? Hope you’re enjoying the morning. What’s on the workout plan for today? I’ll be taking a yoga class, and it will feel so good to stretch after yesterday’s teaching double-header.

Bella wanted to show you her new haircut.

Me and bell

She has also been glued to my side for the past couple of weeks. Sometimes she’s too cool for me, but lately she follows me around until I sit down so she can curl up next to me. The dogs definitely know something’s up.

After vacation, one of two things will usually happen:

1) I’ve enjoyed eating restaurant food and having someone else do the cooking/kitchen chores so much that I want to continue the pattern when we return, or

2) I feel so inspired from the restaurant food we enjoyed on our trip that I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and create.

Thankfully, it was the latter for this one, which always makes returning back to the routine a little easier. 😉 After BODYPUMP, Liv and I headed to Trader Joe’s to replenish the fridge and grab essentials for the week. At most TJs, they have a store mascot that kids can search for while you’re grocery shopping. (At our Trader Joe’s, his name is Taylor the turtle, in Hillcrest it’s a panda, and in Tucson it’s Bandit the raccoon). It’s a brilliant strategy because the kids are fixated on finding the animal because they get a lollipop at the register, and the parents can quickly blitz through their shopping. Liv and I could.not. find that turtle yesterday. We made two loops before calling it quits.

We did find some other treasures. 🙂

Maple water

Maple water is SO good, but it isn’t something I see or think to buy on a regular basis. It’s fantastic for post-workout hydration and has a mild, pleasantly sweet taste. I chugged quite a bit of it after spin last night.

Spin last night was AMAZING. Just like any class, some nights are better than others, and some nights you feel more *on it* than others. It always seems like the nights I struggle to find some energy are the classes that feel the best, which makes no sense. It was packed, with lots of enthusiasm, and I added some fresh songs to the playlist.

The perfect ending to a great night: dinner was waiting. Isn’t that the best when that happens?

Eggplant parm

Earlier that afternoon, I put together some grain-free goat cheese eggplant parmesan. I made it very similarly to the way I’ll make chicken or eggplant parm, minus the usual frying. When I saw our limited amount of olive oil -the one thing I forgot to grab at TJs- I decided to bake it instead of frying to see if it turned out. The verdict: it made the process a bit longer, but it still turned out beautifully.

I sliced the eggplant into rounds, and then made an egg wash (2 eggs whisked with about a tablespoon of water) and the “breading”: almond meal, seasoned well with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.

Eggplant  1 of 1 4

After dipping each eggplant slice into the egg wash and thoroughly coating with the seasoned almond meal, I placed them on a cookie sheet (sprayed with olive oil from the misto). I baked them for 30 minutes at 250, flipping once halfway through.

Eggplant  1 of 1 5

To make the eggplant parmesan casserole-style, I added Puttanesca sauce to a glass baking dish (regular marinara would work well, but I thought the Puttanesca sounded delightful with the anchovies, capers and olives in the mix), some eggplant rounds, shredded goat gouda, and crumbled soft goat cheese. Then I topped with more sauce, more eggplant, sauce, and then finally with more cheese. 

Eggplant parm  1 of 1 2

It was perfect to store in the fridge while I was teaching, and the Pilot put it into the oven with some broccoli, and also made some chicken sausages and gluten-free pasta noodles. It was quite the feast!

This morning, I’m going to put together a new barre workout -let me know if you have any requests coming up- and am practicing for yoga. As our homework this week, we’re teaching each other in pairs, and I’m excited to put my first official flow together.

Hope you have a lovely day! See ya later on the Family page.


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  1. All of that looks awesome! I had no idea about the mascot at TJs and now I am going to try and find ours haha. I need to start baking/roasting more veggies lately; it’s a habit I seem to have fallen out of. Now I know what to do with all these sweet potatoes in the kitchen…

  2. I love that there’s a cycling for two shirt! That’s so cute!!

  3. Ohhh Maple Water… I am going to have to try it out.

    I am also expecting a baby this fall & for some reason I thought eating goat cheese was a no no… is it like the deli meat rule… just make sure it is cooked?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Fitnessista says:

      my midwife said just to make sure i’m not eating raw cheese, and most cheese in the US is pasteurized, even the soft cheeses. she said to enjoy 🙂

      • I don’t know what it is…but everytime I was preggo I would CRAVE Brie like crazy. :/ but its not good for you when you are preg. So I would eat the Laughing cow lite cheddar pieces instead. I would spread a couple on a high fiber tortilla (toufayan) then put some romaine, tomato and a Garden burger. Sooo yummy.

        But when I am not preg I don’t care much for cheese. LOL

  4. Kristin says:

    Question for you Gina, from a fellow preggo. 🙂
    I thought that soft cheeses (like my favorite goat cheese) were off limits when pregnanat? Was it because you baked it that it was okay to eat? Just looking for your take.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i would talk to your doc, but from what i’ve learned, the issue is with raw cheeses or unpasteurized cheese. in the US, a vast majority of cheeses (including goat and brie) are pasteurized, so my midwife said to enjoy 🙂

  5. Bella is cute as always, love her furry face. I am dying to try maple water, have to check our local foods as I haven’t spotted it in regular grocery stores.
    When I was little we used to make our own maple water. There is a period in the year, that when you cut a maple tree just a little, just a hole it eliminates maple water. I used to love it so much!

  6. I actually bake and bread (same ingredients as you use) 99% of the time. I very rarely fry things. Last week I was on a plantain kick and fried them. I tried to remember the last time I fried something, but I could not.

  7. Shaina Anderson says:

    I’ve totally made this exact dish and its sooooo good!

  8. Yvonne Jones says:

    Random question about almond meal.. do you store it in the fridge like ground flax seed or is it ok in the pantry?

    • I normally store both mine in the pantry double bagged in a Ziploc baggie. Sorry to butt in. just thought I would help you.

  9. Hi Gina, the goat cheese eggplant parm sounds delicious! I’ll have to give it a try. I personally loved the 10 min booty barre video you put together a little while back using the little ball (technical name lol?). I try and do it a few times a week! I’d love to see something like that again!

  10. Kelsey Halena says:

    Today is a megaformer class and then a run – I have a total love/hate relationship with megaformers!

    Curious how the yoga teacher training is going – hope to hear more about it soon!

  11. My mouth started watering when I read the post title! Sounds really really good!!

  12. Things you learn as a parent — the fact that Trader Joe’s provides entertainment for kids. Who knew? And as far as eating after vacation, I usually can’t wait to get back to my “healthier” meals, because vacation eating is never quite that way. Oh and I’ve been wanting to try maple water, but haven’t yet! I bet I’d like it! Happy Tuesday, Gina! 🙂

  13. RachelG says:

    This looks amazing and perfect for the Summer! 🙂

  14. Roasted veggies are my favorite! I don’t make a lot of salads with lettuce, but I have been on a roasted veggie salad kick lately.
    That eggplant dish looks awesome!
    Love Bella’s haircut-too cute!

  15. hmmm, some serious ab work! i like the 20ish minute videos (lower or upper or full body!) better than the blitzes 🙂

  16. and this is the second time (at least!) you’ve hinted that something is coming… !!!

  17. Ah Gina! I teach kickboxing and I find the days that I have really low energy/am struggling to get pumped up to go teach after working all day at my “real” (not as fun corporate) job, end up being the best classes where I find the energy to take it to the next level. Maybe it’s because once class starts you know you have to turn it on, so you do? That egg plant looks bomb – you had me at goat cheese girlfriend!! 🙂

  18. Looks SO good, but I must admit I’m more intrigued by the maple water! I’ve never seen it before and love all things maple!

  19. This look absolutely delicious! Will definitely need to be trying this in the near future. Thanks for sharing!
    ❤ Ivette,
    Glamour State Of Mind

  20. I’m pretty far onto the new agey scale but eating my placenta in any form is waaaaay past my dedication to alternative medicine! I’m not sure I’d trust someone to actually do it and do it right, too. I’d worry that they just gave me oregano in capsules and charged me a whole lot, or had a kitchen that wasn’t exactly health dept. approved, y’know? How do you clean a dehydrator between placentas, anyway? LOL

    Good luck!

    • Fitnessista says:

      right? it creeped me out for a while, but i noticed a difference when i finally started taking them. smoothie form is a little too much for me, but i can take a pill. 😉

  21. Yeah, a pill would be the only way I’d consider it. I read it’s high in iron. I wonder if taking iron alone would help? Without beef or pork in your diet, that might be something easy to get low on, maybe? I crave beef sometimes and chalk it up to iron needs.

    My sister had one of her kids at home in her spa and planted the placenta under a new tree in her yard.

    • Fitnessista says:

      definitely something i’ll look into. i’m borderline anemic, similar to when i was pregnant with liv, so i started taking floradix again. hopefully it will boost my iron for my next blood test
      loved the placenta tree story! that is pretty amazing, and an entirely a different level 🙂

  22. Maybe I missed it within the post but how long & at what temp do you bake the eggplant after it’s assembled? I love skinnytaste’s eggplant parm so I’d like to give this one a try. Thanks!

  23. Hi! Quick question: When you shop at trader joe’s, do you use coupons and pre-plan or just go by what’s marked down there? I like TJ’s but I hate that they don’t have a weekly circular!

    • Fitnessista says:

      they don’t mark things down; their belief is that every day everything is a low price, so they don’t do sales

  24. Hello! Are you planning any posts regarding your yoga teacher training? I just started one myself a couple weeks ago, and would love to hear someone else’s thoughts on it! Especially from a group exercise instructor, as I do not have that background so it would be a totally different perspective I’m sure 🙂

    • Fitnessista says:

      yes! someone asked me about this yesterday, too, so i got a post up this afternoon about it 🙂

  25. This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to try!

  26. Bella looks so cute!

  27. I like rewind on fbook!

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