The Driver’s Seat | Bharta Panini

Without connecting to your deeper purposes, your motivation will be fleeting.

— Life is a Recipe

Growing up my parents never left anything unfinished. They weren’t the “do it later” type. They were organized and precise. They instilled this in my brother and I. If we had homework, it had to be done before dinner. As a child, I was not happy about this. Did it really matter if there was one dish left sink when we went to bed?

Of course this quirk of theirs has been incredibly helpful to me as I’ve grown older. I know for many motivation is this elusive feeling. Motivation sometimes feels like it has a mind of it’s own and comes and goes as it pleases.

When I was younger I would wait around until I was “motivated” to get to working on something. As I got older (and wiser), I realized that my parents were right. Drive isn’t an external force; it’s something that’s already inside of you. If there is something you want to accomplish you will make it happen.


Personally, I have also found that having a strong “why” is helpful in maintaining motivation. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight don’t just focus on an abstract number. Focus on all the meaningful reasons you want to lose the weight. Your health. Your children and being able to give them your best. Fitting into your favorite pairs of jeans. Without connecting to your deeper purposes, your motivation will be fleeting.

In the tradition of my parents I teach my girls that there is nothing they can’t do if they work hard for it. But I always make sure to direct their attention to their own “why.” I know that my rules won’t always make sense to them but if they understand that there is no discipline better than self-discipline and that their power to impact the world lies inside of them (not outside or in “things”) I know I’ve done my job as a mom.


Life Recipe:
The Driver’s Seat

  1. When I think of my work, to stay motivated, I take time to focus or refocus on “why” I do what you do.
  2. I think about my time and my spaces. Are they filled with unnecessary distractions? I find that distractions kill my productivity. And feeling unproductive steals my motivation.
  3. My friends act as the perfect mirrors to remind me of my potential and my value. I make sure to stay connected with them, and therefore, myself!

Lunch Recipe:
Bharta Eggplant Panini with Buffalo Mozzarella

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (chopped)
  • 1-2 green chillies (optional, if you like the heat, to taste)
  • 3 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • a pinch of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • salt (to taste)
  • Ciabatta bread
  • Veganese spread
  • 1 large tomato (sliced)
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • Buffalo mozzarella


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Poke holes all over the eggplant. Place eggplant on a baking sheet and take for 30-45 minutes, until the eggplant deflates (this depends on your oven).

  3. Be careful not to burn the eggplant. Set aside and let eggplant cool.

  4. Once cooled, peel eggplant and mash.

  5. In a large pot heat vegetable oil. Saute garlic and ginger.

  6. Next, add in eggplant, tomatoes, green chilies, frozen peas,coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, cilantro and salt to taste. Mix well.


  1. Pre-heat panini maker.

  2. Take a piece of ciabatta bread and cut in half.

  3. Spread bharta mixture on one slice of bread.

  4. Add handful of arugula, a few slices of bell pepper, two slices of tomato and 2-3 balls of buffalo mozzarella.

  5. On the other slice of bread, spread veganese and cover the sandwich.

  6. Grill 5 minutes, or until nicely toasted and the cheese has melted.

  7. Remove from the panini grill. Cut in half and enjoy.

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