Roasted Eggplant with a Warm Italian Sausage Chickpea Salad

Recently since starting my Bikram Challenge (30 days of bikram yoga in a row), I discovered something quite embarrassing. Shortly after leaving class, I smell like cat pee. Yup, that’s not a typo, I smell like cat pee. I don’t own a cat, by the way. For the first week, I didn’t know what to think. I just knew I smelt funky but couldn’t put a finger on it. By week two, I had it figured out. Once I had it coined I was, well, embarrassed, I think is the best term. I started thinking, “Can the lady beside me smell me? I hope the strong smell of 40 bodies sweating profusely, is enough to cover up this horrible smell.”

So what did I do? The same thing many of you do. I Google’d it up! The words in the search engine box read “Why does my sweat smell like cat pee?” It’s amazing how many results I actually got, and so precise! Nice to know I’m not alone and that my nose works. As it turns out, it’s a side effect of burning off protein. Either consuming too much protein or not eating enough and the body burning muscle (protein) as full. The byproduct is ammonia, that the body sweats out. Interesting. So this week I tried increasing my intake of food. Since eating too much protein is really not a problem in our house (see previous 20 blog posts), I figured it was worth a try.

It hasn’t worked! I still sweat out cat pee. I’ll let you know if I figure out the conundrum that I face, and hopefully before I get a nasty nickname at class! “Miss Kitty Pee A Lot”or something else more horrific. Maybe that’s why I haven’t made any friends at class…

Roasted Eggplant with a Warm Italian Sausage Chickpea Salad

  • 2 Eggplant
  • 2 Hot Italian Sausages
  • 454 grams of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1/2 cup raw, cooked according to package directions)  (or 1 can)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2  tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp salt (approximate)
  • Garnish with parsley and shaved Parmesan, Romano or Asiago

Slice the eggplants in half, length wise. Score the eggplant using a sharp knife in a diagonal checker board pattern.


Sprinkle each half with about a 1/2 tsp of salt. Press the squares apart using your fingers to get the salt in between the cracks. Let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, remove the casing from the sausage and break it up into pieces. Evenly lay out the sausage pieces in a large baking dish (or two). Peel the onion and slice into quarters. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Add the onions, garlic and tomatoes to the baking dish. Add a large sprig of rosemary and 2 sprigs of thyme.

grape tomato

Squeeze out the eggplants over a sink, forcing out some of the salt and bitter juices. Lay the eggplant cut side down, between the herbs, sausage and tomato mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the eggplant starts to collapse on itself. Stir the sausage and tomato mixture halfway through the cooking time. Meanwhile, mix the oil, vinegar and mustard together to make a vinaigrette.

To serve, place the eggplant face up on a plate. Remove the herb twigs from the baking dish. Add the cooked chickpeas to the baking dish and the vinaigrette. Toss the sausage mixture until all the ingredients are well blended. Top the eggplant with the chickpea sausage salad. Garnish with shaved cheese.

I’m sharing this with Monday Mania, Mangia Mondays, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, What’s Cooking Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday’s, Simple Lives Thursdays, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursdays and Real Food 101.

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18 Responses to Roasted Eggplant with a Warm Italian Sausage Chickpea Salad

  1. recipejoe October 24, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    A very good mixture, for a side dish to go with a sirloin steak dinner.

    • France Morissette October 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Recipe Joe,
      I bet it would. I half eggplant and the salad fills me up but if I can get myself under control and only eat half I’d be able to enjoy a juicy steak as well! great suggestion.

  2. Joanne October 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Maybe you’re not eating enough carbs and that’s why? Usually you only burn off protein as a last resort and your body will burn off carbs and fat first. Or maybe the bacteria that make the sweat smell in your skin just give off more ammonia than most?

    Either way, this meal looks delicious. I love eggplants and chickpeas…definitely need to try this!

    • France Morissette October 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Joanne, Well from what I can tell, there’s enough fat reserves….but from what I’ve read, I need to eat more carbs. It only happens at Bikram. My regular workouts (and endurance workouts) don’t cause this problem. Today I’m eating pasta before going to yoga, so hopefully we’ll see an improvement.

  3. Koko October 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Lol!! I appreciate your honesty! I hope you can figure it out soon! This dish looks super delicious, I really love eggplant.

  4. Kelly October 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    That’s so interesting that endurance exercise does not produce the pee smell – it’s the opposite of what you would expect – the body first burns available energy in the form of carbohydrates, followed by fat and finally protein. It would surprise me if you were burning protein after 1 hour (or so), unless you were on a very restricted low carb, low fat diet. Which you don’t seem to be based on your posts (lots of healthy grains, nuts, seeds, etc) although maybe your recent challenge (7 weeks of Insanity I think you called it :)) shifted something metabolically. Very interesting. Let us know how your carbs before exercise experiment goes. I’m very curious to hear. And don’t forget lots of water! (though I’m sure you’re doing that already).

    • France Morissette October 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

      Hi Kelly, It’s really quite baffling. I know I’m not the only one in the class. I wonder if it has something to do with the profuse sweating that goes on. I will let you know if I manage to figure this one out.

  5. Linda October 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Wow… I dated a man that smelled like that when he sweated! I had never smelled anything like that before and wondered what was up with him! It so makes sense with what you wrote, he was always trying to lose weight on a no carb diet!! I’m very impressed with your Bikram schedule. And with this dish, it has all the ingredients I love, definitely a Mediterranean feel to it. I’ll be making this soon!

  6. Mary October 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    What a glorious salad. It is a perfect light fall meal. I know my family would love this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • France Morissette October 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      Thanks Mary, I enjoyed this as leftovers the next day and I think it was even better.

  7. October 29, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting and looks gorgeous! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    If you have grain-free recipes please visit my Grain-Free Linky Carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge! It will be open until November 2.

  8. Susan October 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Beautiful photos, and lovely recipe. I love that your cat-pee-sweat problem is Bikram specific. I’m sure no one notices – all Bikram yoga studios smell unspeakably foul. What happens if you drink tons and tons more water?

  9. Miz Helen October 29, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    Hi France,
    I just love coming to your blog and drooling over your food, and certainly this recipe is no exception. This is a fabulous dish that we would just love and I can’t wait to make it. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. France Morissette October 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi Susan, that’s a good point. I might be dehydrated. I’ll kick the water intake up a notch!

  11. Jenn/Rook No. 17 October 31, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Another incredible recipe! France, you bring such an incredible talent and quality to “A Little Birdie Told Me…”. I look forward to your link-ups each week!


  12. Marilyn November 13, 2011 at 2:23 am #

    Hi France, I made this recipe tonight and absolutely loved it. I blogged about it over on my site and the post will be up tomorrow. Thank you for posting it!

  13. France November 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Marilyn, I’m so glad that you enjoyed my recipe. It’s definitely one that I’ll be remaking. Thanks for sharing it on your blog!


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