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Lifestyle website of Professional Model and Nutritionist, Brooke Slade. 


Filtering by Tag: easy meal

Recipe: Eggplant Bolognese

Brooke Slade


I know it's spring but (correct me if I'm wrong here), the craving for warm comfort foods is something that doesn't simply disappear at the sight of a tulip or weather forecast above 60 degrees.

There's something about slow-cooked, hearty foods that warms the belly (and heart) no matter what time of year it is. The recipe I'm sharing in this post is what I'd like to call a happy medium for those of us who want something hearty (but not heavy) for those rainy spring days and cool summer nights.

My eggplant bolognese recipe is a vegan-friendly, veggie-packed version of a traditional bolognese sauce.

In traditional bolognese we get rich, smoky flavors and creamy texture from ingredients like pancetta, beef and cow's milk. To create similar flavor and texture profiles (without using animal products or creating possible digestive issues), I use eggplant as the base to create a velvety, creamy texture and rely on spices like paprika, cumin and cinnamon for that richly-spiced punch we expect from a bolognese. 


Eggplant Bolognese

(vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free)

What You'll Need...

  • 1 whole eggplant, cubed

  • 1/2 large onion, diced

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 tbsp chopped basil

  • 3 large tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 zucchini squash, cubed

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1.5-2 cups water or veggie stock

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp thyme

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tiny pinch of cinnamon

Putting it all Together...

  1. Stage your cooking area. Make sure you have all of your go-to's (like salt, pepper, oils, towels) on-hand. Prep all of your veggies. Chop, dice and set aside. Also, portion out your other ingredients and have them ready to go. I promise, it makes the whole operation much easier.

  2. In a medium to large sized stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium high.

  3. Add diced onion to pot. Allow onion to cook until it becomes translucent (and you begin to smell that "Mmm...what are you cooking?" smell).

  4. Add minced garlic and a dash of salt to your onions and stir. Once you've incorporated garlic and onions, add your white wine. Two things here: 1. You don't want your fresh garlic to cook too long, it can burn easily. Add wine as soon as the garlic is evenly stirred into the onions. 2. Keep your face and body away from the pot when adding the wine, sometimes it can bubble or pop as the liquid meets the oil (speaking from experience lol).

  5. Add eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes to your pot. Stir and move the veggies around until they have mixed completely with the onions/garlic/wine mixture. At this point, its also a good time to season with salt and pepper (to your liking).

  6. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil + 1.5-2 cups of water or veggie stock to your pot (this will help the veggies stew). Stir.

  7. Add the rest of your seasonings and herbs to the pot: basil, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, thyme, paprika, cinnamon.

  8. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Allow to stew, on low for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  9. After the ingredients have cooked-down (your eggplant should be creamy and completely broken down) stir in your tomato paste and allow to cook, covered, for another 5-10 minutes or so.

  10. Taste your bolognese and add any salt or pepper it may need. (I season a few times throughout the cooking process and taste at each step, especially with stews or foods that cook for a long time. The flavor can change many times during the process.)

  11. Allow bolognese to sit for about 10 minutes, to thicken and cool.

  12. Serve over your favorite pasta or garlic bread. Nom!




Recipe: Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Brooke Slade


Notice a theme here?

Continuing what seems to be an emerging pumpkin theme (throwback to last week's Pumpkin Spice Mask), I'm here with a simple and tasty pumpkin muffin recipe. These delicious muffins require only about 30 minutes of your time and many ingredients that you, most likely, already have in your pantry. Just in time for your Friendsgiving + Thanksgiving festivities, these muffins are good for breakfast or dessert (try them warm with ice cream [non-dairy for me] or sorbet, yum!).

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pecan Muffins


Nutrition Points


206 calories

12.3g fat

3.8g fiber

5.2g protein


  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour (nutrient boost!)

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning

  • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I always use soy for baking)

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil


Putting It All Together

1. Preheat oven to 375º

2. Add all dry ingredients, including pecans, to a large mixing bowl and blend together with a large spoon or whisk until evenly mixed.

3. In a separate bowl, add all wet ingredients, except for coconut oil. Whisk all wet ingredients together until evenly mixed.

4. Add the mixed wet ingredients to the mixed dry ingredients. Stir, using a large spoon (or mixer) until ingredients are well blended. The mixture should be thick and spoonable. 

5. Finally, mix in the melted coconut oil. Set batter aside.

6. Oil or add liners to muffin tins (I use liners). 

7. Using a ladle, large spoon or measuring cup; fill muffin tin with batter about 2/3 of the way. You want to leave room for the muffin to rise. 

8. Place tin in the oven. 375º for 18-20 minutes. You'll know your muffins are done when you can stick a fork or toothpick through the center and it comes out clean.

9. Let cool for about an hour...

10. ENJOY!

Makes 12-16 muffins.

If you're not dairy-free, you can easily make this recipe with your dairy goods. Just substitute the non-dairy milk with regular milk and the coconut oil with butter.



Recipe: Berries & Spice Overnight Oats

Brooke Slade


Happy fall! Since its finally starting to feel fall-ish in LA, I've been inspired to make and share some of my cold weather favorites.

When I think of fall, my mind goes right to things like warm scents, vanilla, hot cider, warm blankets, cinnamon and cloves. This time of year, I love foods that marry all of these scents and "feels".

Recently, a few people have asked me for good, quick breakfast options and, with it finally being fall and all, oatmeal seemed like a no-brainer. When it comes to oatmeal there are so many good recipes and the combinations are seemingly endless. I'm intrigued by the creativity that oatmeal lends the at-home cook. Have you seen these recipes for savory oatmeal lately?! 

Since oatmeal is well-liked and easy, I thought it would be a great item to use for a quick, fall-inspired breakfast.

Berries & Spice Overnight Oats

Nutrition Points

  • 8g Protein

  • 9g Fat (GOOD fat from nuts and oatmeal)

  • 30g carbs

  • 9g fiber


  • 1 cup oatmeal (I used Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats)

  • 1.5 cups almond milk

  • .5 tsp agave

  • pumpkin spice seasoning

  • 1 tbsp fresh blueberries

  • 1tbsp fresh blackberries

  • 1 tsp chopped pecans

  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries


  1. Grab a 16oz mason jar or a 12oz+ food storage container.

  2. Add oatmeal.

  3. In a separate container or bowl, mix almond milk, agave and pumpkin spice (to taste).

  4. Pour almond milk mixture over oats.

  5. Add all other ingredients (fruits and nuts), stacking like a parfait, until the jar is full.

  6. Seal the jar with the lid and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, or whenever you're ready to enjoy your oatmeal (within 1-3 days, I suggest)...

  1. Remove lid and place mason jar or container in microwave.

  2. Heat for 2.5 minutes.

  3. Carefully remove oatmeal from the microwave (mason jar will be hot!)

  4. Enjoy from the jar or container -OR- serve in a bowl with even more toppings

Recipes makes 1 serving