Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Am More Than Just a Girl - Leah Oviedo, Author

Eggplant Lasagna

( Author Leah Oviedo says:  I never would have tried eggplant until I became a vegetarian. Turns out it's my favorite vegetable to cook with. Anything with marinara sauce and cheese is something I will eat, so eggplant lasagna is my favorite dish and the first eggplant recipe I tried. It is so simple!
*Gluten free noodles and fake cheese can be substituted for non-gluten and vegan eaters. My family has both so I have made that. It all tastes good. When in doubt use extra garlic!)

Marinara Sauce (1 jar)
Lasagna Noodles (1 package for a small dish, 2 for larger)
One whole eggplant (about 2 cups worth)
Cheese (sharp cheddar is my favorite) 2 cups
Oregano (2 tbsp)
Basil (1/4 cup torn up or chopped)
6x8 pan
Olive oil to spray

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2) Wash and cut up eggplant and basil. Put in bowl with garlic and oregano and mix it all together.
3) Grate or hand crumble cheese (this is always fun for kids who want to help).
4) Grease up bottom of pan with olive oil.
5) Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on bottom of pan.
6) Add layer of noodles, layer of cheese, layer of eggplant mix and repeat till you get near the top of the pan.
7) Lay out remaining noodles on eggplant mix and cover with cheese and marinara sauce
8) Stick in oven 20-25 minutes
9) Let it cool off a bit and then dig in!

I Am More Than Just a Girl – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts

‘You are not “just a girl”.  You are a human being who has strength, wisdom and a unique mind.  You have a million opportunities to grow and learn.  You are more than just a pretty face.  You are amazing and beautiful and have so much to offer our world.  You are equal to every woman, man and boy.  Your future is uncharted which gives you the chance to be whoever you want to be, do anything, and go anywhere.’

These are powerful words that each of us should not only listen to but hear as well.  Through the help and determination of women such as activist Gloria Steinem, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and my favorite Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, women have been allowed to step out of their shells and become integral parts of life as we know it today.  And it isn’t stopping there but continuing on with YOU.

Through I Am More Than Just a Girl, Leah Oviedo has given the young women of today a map to follow as they mature.  She touches on topics such as loving yourself first and keeping positive thoughts about yourself.  She talks about angry emotions and offers ways to deal with and overcome them.  And she emphasizes the importance of taking care of your body and mind which if left to stress usually leads to physical illness.

I Am More Than Just a Girl is a book that I know would have benefited me as I grew up.  So many of the topics discussed actually pertained to my childhood but at that time and age there was no one around to tell me how to handle and deal with the situations as they occurred.  I want to recommend this book to EVERYONE who has a young woman in their life.  Even the happiest, most content young lady may still be struggling with problems of her own that she feels she has no one to discuss them with.  This book could very well help.


  1. Are you sure you didn't post this recipe just for me? Gluten free and vegetarian--perfect for our household. My son used to refuse to eat eggplant until he became vegetarian, but we really enjoy it now.

  2. LOL! I know I am not the only one who never ate eggplant before their diet changed. I can't get enough of this dish.

    The name of the book is "I Am More Than Just A Girl" and is available on

    What's great is young women can read the book before the buy it, just like in a brick and mortar book store.

    Thank you for the wornderful review Martha!
    Leah Oviedo

  3. I have created a smaller version of this book on my site:


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