What I Eat In A Day – Mediterranean & Pumpkin Spice Edition!

Hello Friends, 

Due to the popularity of my previous “What I Eat in a Day on the Mediterranean Diet” videos, I have decided to upload a brand new one! This time I show how I meal prep for a typical busy day when I work at NBC. I thought it would be fun to show you not only how I try to incorporate healthy dishes with little time, but to give you a behind the scenes look of what it’s like to work as a reporter. In this particular case I covered the opening of the Tony Award winning musical, Moulin Rouge, where I got to see some of the performances and interview the talented cast.

As someone that has always been supportive of the arts, my heart broke seeing that it was all shut down for 2 years. You could feel the excitement and passion in the performers about making a comeback as their show was in hiatus for such a long time. As for the food, I show you the easy grab and go snacks I pack when there is little time to eat, as well as a make ahead dessert for breakfast, which I call Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramel Overnight Oats.

What really takes this oatmeal to the next level is the limited fall flavor of Pumpkin Cheesecake Almond Butter by American Dream Nut Butter. This ultra smooth and creamy butter has the perfect amount of pumpkin spice, and is also rich in protein and low in sugar. I am literally on my 3rd jar, as I love to drizzle this stuff on everything from oatmeal to yogurt to fruit. To get 10% off you can use code BLANCHE10 at https://www.americandreamnutbutter.com/

For dinner I LOVE casseroles, because they freeze well, and are easy to heat and eat by the entire family. In this case I made M’Nazaleh, which is a Palestinian style eggplant and lamb casserole similar to the Greek Moussakah. However, instead of a white bechamel sauce, I use a lighter marinara sauce. Topped with a little bit of toasted pine nuts and served with my YouTube famous garlic turmeric rice, this casserole is a winner with my entire family. 

Palestinian M’Nazaleh

While I have made this casserole before on my channel, the last time I used diced chicken thighs. This time I used ground lamb for even faster meal prep and a heartier flavor profile as the days get colder. 

I credit the Mediterranean Diet for helping me maintain my weight within a 5 pound range since high school while giving me lots of energy to manage often times insane work and family priorities. I also credit this diet for healthy skin and hair. Above all, I see how this lifestyle has benefited my disease free grandmother at age 100, and heck if it benefitted her, I hope it benefits you and me too! 

To see my new video on What I Eat In a Day, click on the video below:

Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramel Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup old fashioned organic oats
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (I like salted caramel flavor for this recipe, but you can use vanilla as well)
  • 2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup coconut mik (or any milk you wish)
  • Combine the ingredients, cover and put in the fridge overnight. Then garnish with fruit like banana, persimmon, or chopped dates. Drizzle with almond butter, can I get a double yum? Thank me later!

M’Nazaleh- Palestinian Style Eggplant and Lamb Casserole

  • 3 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1 ½ pounds of cubed or ground lamb or cubed cut chicken thighs 
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jar of standard marinara sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Lightly salt both sides of the eggplant slices, and then set aside for about 30 minutes on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. While the salt extracts the water from the eggplant, in a large skillet sauté onions in about 3 tbsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add the meat, allspice, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until browned.
  • Next, take the eggplant slices and squeeze out any excess moisture with paper towels or thin towels. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides. Broil the eggplant in the oven for about 8 minutes each side, or until nicely browned. Take half of  the roasted eggplant and layer the slices into a 13×7 baking dish. Add the meat filling on top and spread evenly. Place another layer of eggplant slices on top of the meat filling. Spread the marinara sauce over the top . Bake the casserole in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.  While the m’nazaleh is baking, sauté pine nuts in about 1 tsp of olive oil until browned. Top the m’nazeleh with pine nuts before serving. 

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