Eating Well at Little Renaissance

The home style yoga retreats at Little Renaissance in Ocean Shores are also  culinary adventures.  The food is organic and everything is made from wholesome ingredients.  No shortcuts are taken in preparing beautiful hearty and wholesome vegetarian meals.  Everything is made with care and love.

I will include some recipes below.

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan (I do not follow a written recipe, but will try to explain the steps as best as I can.  Time consuming, but very worthwhile! The sauce and the pan fried eggplant discs can be prepared one day ahead of time to save time) One large eggplant used in this recipe will yield 4 or 5 servings.

1. Prepare tomato sauce.  When I make my tomato sauce, I always include sauteed onions, garlic, basil, and oregano.  Shortcut would be to buy your favorite tomato sauce in a jar.  (about 8 cups of sauce). This can be prepared one day ahead of time.

2. Slice two eggplants (not too thin, not too thick, between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick), starting from one end to the other, making discs. Salt the eggplants and place in a colander to drain for about an hour.  Later, rinse the excess salt off each piece and pat dry with paper towels.

3. Prepare two bowls, one with 2 eggs and milk whisked together.  The other bowl has bread crumbs  (you can buy Italian seasoned bread crumbs (short cut) or make your own.

4. Dip each eggplant disc in the egg and milk mixture, then dip the disc in the bread crumbs and place on large platter.

5. Heat up oil in a frying pan and pan fry each breaded disc. When the bottom starts to brown up, flip the disc and fry on the other side.  Continue until all discs are pan fried.  Discs can drain on a paper towel covered plate.  (Eggplant can be prepared one day ahead of time)

5. Cut a yellow squash in small cubes and finely chop one shallot.  Mix these together with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roast uncovered on a baking sheet at 400 F for 30-45 minutes or until soft.  During roasting time, drain the excess liquid from the baking sheet.

6. Cut out stems and steam one large bunch of Lacinato Kale.  Squeeze out excess water ,  Chop it up and set aside.

7. Grate mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese (put in separate bowls.

Now you have an assembly line and are ready to assemble your artistic creation!

1. Ladle one light layer of tomato sauce in baking pan (I use my lasagna pan for this) about 1/8-1/4 inch of sauce.

2. Place one layer of eggplant discs (pre-cooked) on top of sauce.

3. Top each disc with a dollop of sauce, followed by 3/4 of the Kale, followed by the two types of cheese (I use the mozzarella sparingly, but use as much as you like…it only goes in this middle layer),  and more sauce.

4. Place the second and last layer of eggplant discs on top of the first one.  Top it with Sauce, the 1/4 remainder of Kale, all of the roasted yellow squash and shallots, and the Parmesan cheese.

5. Tightly cover with foil paper and place in heated oven at 350 F for 45 minutes.  Uncover for the last 15 minutes.

Killer Curry!

Killer Curry 

In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 3-4 tablespoons oil.  Add the garlic and onions, and saute for 1 minute:
4 tablespoon ghee (I used olive oil instead))
7 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium onions

Add the following and saute for 4-6 minutes or until the onions are golden brown:
3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch squares

Add the following and saute for 1 minute:
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins

Add the following, stir well and saute for 1 minute:
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger  (I used fresh finely chopped ginger)

Add the spinach and water. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes:
2 (10 oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed  (I used fresh spinach, or CHARD cooked down)
1 cup water

Add the following and stir:
1 yellow bell pepper (cored and cut into 1/2 inch squares
2/3-1 cup coconut milk

Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve over a bed of rice.

Pea Soup

Pea Soup  (I grew the peas in our garden.  Frozen peas work well, too.)

3  16 oz bags of frozen peas

3 leeks, sliced

1 yellow onion (medium sized), finely chopped

vegetable stock (make 4 cups- add more if you want a thinner soup)

salt, pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

olive oil for drizzling (optional)

In a large pan/pot, saute chopped leeks and onions in olive oil until translucent.  Stir in the vegetable stock and cook until simmering. Add bags of peas until defrosted.   Blend in food processor. Return to pan/pot and  add finely chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper.  Optional: Drizzle individual plates with olive oil.  Salute!


5 Responses to “Eating Well at Little Renaissance”

  1. Rick Says:

    My Dad has wondered why, being married to Fran, I’m not a roly-poly fellow. Well, I’m my mother’s son, for one, born and bred in moderation. But if I can account for at least some of my healthiness, I can certainly attribute a great deal of it to Fran’s not only healthy but also piquant cooking. Fran, thank you for setting out on your delicious culinary journey!



  2. Britt Says:

    Yum! I still make your zucchini pesto soup that we ate at the Spring 2006 retreat. I lost the recipe but have learned how to wing it. Thank you for sharing these amazing recipes. xoxo, britt


  3. kay Says:

    thank you Fran!!!


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