Berry Good Breakfast!

Cheesy title?  Quite possibly.  But all you mother’s of small children caught what just happened there.  Perhaps I have been spending too much time in Berry Bitty City 😉

Anywho!  This is a very, very good breakfast…and very full of berries!  Usually when I eat this sort of thing to start my morning, I just do a bowl of yogurt with fruit.  It’s pretty good…but nothing too special.  Especially since…because of this whole health journey I am on…I don’t get to eat my favorite, creamy, nearly-neon yogurt that comes with big chunks of cherries in it.  Cause along with the big chunks of cherries always comes sugar or corn syrup up the wazoo.  See…here is my confession.  I’m a food blogger so I should have super fancy, uppity, refined tastes right?  Well.  I…I….I’m just going to say it….I don’t really like Greek yogurt.  ESPECIALLY plain.  Sigh.  Don’t judge me.  It’s just SO tart it almost hurts my tongue.  But if  I’m to be healthy, that’s my only option!  So I usually just chunk up enough of a sweet fruit that the juices counteract the tart and distract me.  Ha.  Silly me.  Never again.  Why did I not think of this sooner?  Look at what I did!!

Berry Good BreakfastOh.  My.  Dear.  Goodness.  Heavenly!  You can’t even see the yogurt any more, haha!!  Now, another confession…I didn’t really measure, but I don’t think that is an issue with this recipe, cause it just depends on how much you want of each thing.  So here is what you see there:

 

This is what you need:

  • Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 C – 1 C
  • Raspberries, a handful
  • Blackberries, a handful
  • Old Fashioned, or Stone Ground Oats, and handful
  • Thinly Sliced Almonds
  • Agave, a good drizzle!

 

Doesn’t that sound fantastic?  It had a granola feel to it, without the bad stuff they usually put in granola!  I have found the Naked brand of granola to be so delicious, but the kinds I have found always have craisins with sugar in them, or banana chips with sugar in them, etc…  Stink.  But I’m sure you can find purely healthy granola if you want to use that instead.  But what I loved about this is that I wasn’t even planning on making it, but found all these things just hanging out on my shelves, begging to be used.  The almonds added a nice crunch, the oats added a fantastic flavor that was almost sweet…and of course the agave stirred in gave it that sweetness I craved to mask the tart Greek yogurt taste.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Put the desired amount of yogurt in a small bowl.
  2. Drizzle the top with agave, depending on much sweetness you desire.
  3. Sprinkle with oats, almonds, and berries.
  4. Stir it all up, or eat it in layers like a parfait!  Whichever you prefer 🙂  For additional pleasure, take this outside into the morning sunshine and soak in some well deserved Vitamin D while you delight your taste buds and love your body.

 

Remember when choosing between a donut, sausage Mcmuffin, and artificially flavored smoothie and something like this recipe….

YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE, NOT A TRASH CAN!

And you are a treasure that deserves only the best!!  Happy eating friends!

 

Gluten Free, Guilt Free Super Food Pizza!

That’s a big claim, isn’t it?  But I stand behind it 🙂  My past three posts have been leading up to this moment….this beautiful moment!!!  I have had an underlying determination for months….knowing that someday, some how, I MUST come up with a way to create a pizza that I can firmly believe is healthy!  It’s a strange thing…because I have never really liked pizza that much…but once I decided that I shouldn’t eat it any more, it’s started looking a lot more attractive.  Especially every time my pastor is offering me free Cici’s.  Oh boy.  But now, I believe I have done it!  The only thing questionable is that I did use cheese, but if you have followed me long enough you know what I believe…if it is natural, preferably raw (I have found it!), and if it is full fat…then in moderation, it passes the test!  The book we try to follow says to keep dairy at 25% or less of your daily intake.  I’ll admit…I don’t always find totally natural, full fat cheese.  But we do the best with what we have, and I am still confident that you will find this pizza quite delicious and extremely nutritious! 🙂  Read on!!!

Here’s what you need:

(For a large crust:

*4 C grated cauliflower, about 1/2 head

*2 Eggs

* 1 3/4 C Mozzarella, shredded

* 1-2 Tbsp Franks Hot Sauce

* Handful of Parsley Leaves

*Tbsp Pizza Seasoning, or Italian or something similar)

  • 2 Tbsp(ish) Kale Pesto (There is your deliciously hidden super food!)

(Original recipe, you will have leftovers, or you can halve it:

*2 Small Bunches Kale

*1/2 Cup Olive Oil

*3 Cloves Garlic, Coarsely Chopped

*1/2 C Walnuts, Toasted and Chopped

*1 tsp(ish) lemon juice

*1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or something similar

*Salt and Pepper to taste)

  • Roasted Asparagus, chopped into thirds (about 1/3…but really to your tastes 🙂 )
  • Cooked Chicken, about 1/2 C.  I used meat from a whole chicken I had used to make home made broth!  But if you want to make it easier, pick up a rotisserie chicken.  Just know you are going to be ingesting some artificial stuff!
  • Roasted Red Pepper Slices (about 1/3 C)
  • Red Onion, Cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Mozzarella, shredded (Optional)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Follow the directions to make a cauliflower crust!  
  2. Follow directions to make your tasty kale pesto!
  3. Melt the butter in a pan.  Add onions and caramelize while you are waiting for the crust to be done!  Red onions don’t take as long as white ones I am noticing, so keep an eye on them and stir frequently.  I believe mine were done in 10-15 minutes.
  4. Preheat your broiler.
  5. Spread the pesto out on top of the crust.
  6. Top with mozzarella if you are using it!
  7. Arrange your roasted red pepper, chicken, asparagus, and caramelized onions on top.
  8. Toss in the oven under your broiler just for a few minutes!  So the cheese gets melty and everything else is warmed through.
  9. Slice.  Taste.  Do a little happy dance.  I did!

My mother in law loved this.  That’s kind of a big deal.  No offense Lorri, I love you!  But I didn’t tell her till afterwards that she was eating cauliflower and kale.  She went back for seconds!  Also a big deal, because she is not a big eater!  In fact, between the three of us…we ate the whole thing in one night!! OOOPS!  That’s how you know it’s real good. It’s GONE!  And to think we were being kind to our bodies at the same time!!  Hallelujah!!!

Chop your onions, and get them a-caramelizing!

Caramelized Onions 2When your crust is done baking and you have gotten the pesto to your desired consistency…spread it!!!

Guilt Free Pizza 1.5So green!  I love it!!  Now if you are using mozzarella, sprinkle it on!!!  Alternately, to take it a step closer to health, you can use chunks of goat cheese instead!!

Guilt Free Pizza 2Already looks yummy!!!!  Now toppings toppings toppings!

Guilt Free Pizza 3

Look at all those colors!

Guilt Free Pizza 5Yummy!

Guilt Free Pizza 3

Guilt Free Pizza 6

Guilt Free Pizza 7

Cauliflower Pizza Crust (GLUTEN FREE! YEAH!)

I am falling in love with taking normal “staple” foods, and finding new unusual ways to make them.  Healthier ways.  Veggie-filled ways 😀  So apparently, cauliflower is a miracle food.  You know how many gluten free, healthy alternatives you can make with it?  Rice, mashed “potatoes,” breadsticks, and this gem…pizza crust!!!!  Whaaaaat?  Yes.  Yes it’s true.  And it is so wonderful.  And you can’t even tell.  Yummmm.  What an adventure…and a joy.  Because you have no guilt, you feel good, and your taste buds are doing a happy dance 🙂

Note:  You can halve this!  I doubled the original recipe so I could make a nice big pizza.  Just make sure if you make a large batch like this one…you spread it thin enough so it’s crispy 🙂

Adapted from http://www.damyhealth.com.

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 C Grated Cauliflower (about 1/2 a large head of cauliflower)
  • 2 Lg Eggs
  • 1 1/2 – 2 C Mozzarella, Shredded (Original would call for 2.  I was trying to cut down on cheese as much as possible, so I did about 1 3/4 C)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Franks Hot Sauce
  • Handful of parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Pizza Seasoning (Or Italian Seasoning, or Oregano, Basil, etc…)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Grate your cauliflower!  You can use a hand grater…or if you are lucky like me, you can throw chunks of it into the grating attachment of your KitchenAid.
  3. Put your grated cauliflower in a pan over medium heat and cook until it gets translucent.
  4. Meanwhile, put everything else in a food processor and blend well.
  5. Mix cooked cauliflower and mixture from your food processor together in a bowl.  This is your dough!
  6. Spread the dough out thinly on a pizza stone, parchment paper (NOT WAX PAPER!), or a greased or lined cookie sheet.
  7. Put in your oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.  You want it to be set up all the way through, and a little brown crispy-ness on the edges is wonderful!
  8. Top with your favorite toppings, and toss under the broiler to get everything to warm, melty perfection 🙂

Cauliflower, grated!

Cauliflower Crust 1Cauliflower, cooked till translucent!

Cauliflower Crust 2

Everything else gets blended in a food processor, then stirred in with the cauliflower.  There ya go!  Pizza dough 🙂
Cauliflower Crust 3

Spread real thin on a pizza stone, parchment paper, or greased or lined cookie sheet.  Mine turned out great, but next time I will spread it even thinner 🙂

Cauliflower Crust 4And bake till done and crispy!  25 – 35 minutes!

Cauliflower Crust 5Yummmy!  Now top with cooked toppings, warm up in the broiler, and devour!  Stay tuned….next time I will be sharing with you my toppings of choice…which made for one stinking incredible, guilt free pizza!!!!!  YEAH!  What toppings are you going to try?

Kale Pesto. Say Whaaaaaat?!

Yes, you read that right.  Kale pesto!!!  I LOVE PESTO!  And the fact that when you eat this one….you are unknowingly devouring a SUPER FOOD!  So tasty, and so beyond healthy!  Yeah baby!!  And the color is phenomenal, haha.  Green is my favorite 🙂  You can do so many things with pesto.  Chicken.  Veggie sides.  Pasta.  Pizza.  Why not whip up a batch of this fantastic pesto, and have it ready to substitute into your favorite recipes?  Here’s my thought…if you are a pesto lover, make this one change, have an even better flavor and unbelievable health benefits!  Eliminate the store bought pesto you get from a jar, and you eliminate the mystery…do you know what mystery I am speaking of?  The “what sort of strange chemical poo did they cram into this” mystery?  I have come to the terms that even if the ingredients on a bottle all seem legit…and if it has that “all natural” label on the front…you can’t trust it!  That one thing that I haven’t heard of…that big word I can’t pronounce….it’s probably where they snuck in the bad stuff that will hurt the body!  Oh and don’t even get me started on the whole “natural flavors” thing.  Ha!  Anywho.  This recipe eliminates that mystery!!!  You can KNOW what you are putting in your body, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your body is not being harmed!  And on the other hand, if you already make home made pesto, I altered this recipe to the point that it is crazy delicious without any cheese!  Not that I think a little Parmesan here and there is a bad thing.  But if you can have something that is so yummy without NEEDING cheese, you might as well eliminate it so that you can have some cheese where it IS needed, right?  Makes sense to me 😉

Enough talk!!!  Let’s hop to it!!  I’m excited for you to try this gem…and I’m excited that in a few days, I get to show you how I used it!  FANTASTIC!

Adapted from marycrimmins.com

So here’s what you need:

  • 2 Small Bunches of Kale, Stems Removed
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C Walnuts, Chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (ish, to taste and texture 😉 )
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or something similar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (Careful with the salt if your Cajun style seasoning has salt in it!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place your walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn 🙂  You just want them to get a little browned and bring out that fantastic toasty flavor!!  Yummmm!  Set aside 🙂
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Add kale leaves to boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Should be nice and tender.
  4. Put your toasted walnuts, cooked kale, and garlic in a food processor.  Or blender, but food processor works better 🙂  Get it nice and blended!
  5. Pour in oil and lemon juice slowly, until you get the consistency you want.  Mine was creamy and spreadable, which was perfect for my use 🙂
  6. Whiz in the Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper…taste and adjust!

WABAM!  AMAZING!  That’s all I can say!  Amazing!!!  I hope you enjoy this…it was a huge discovery for my kitchen 🙂

Oh my gosh.  I just had a thought.  Kale pesto.  Plus spaghetti squash.  Holy inspiration.  Ahhhhh.  That must happen.  Really soon.  Wow.  Maybe I should blog while watching Iron Chef more often.  For real.

Holy boiling kale batman!

Kale Pesto 1

So green!  Yay green!  Tastiest darn green I’ve ever had!!!

Kale Pesto 2

Yum!  I have more pictures for you…but I’m not giving them to you yet…cause I want you to see them all together when I reveal the finished product.  The life-changing, wonderful, beautiful finished product.  Haha.

Easy Roasted Asparagus (Surprisingly Flavorful)

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is easy.  Honestly, in my opinion…roasting any veggie is pretty easy.  And probably the tastiest way to make them too.  So you can’t really go wrong!  This is probably your best  bet in getting picky eaters to get their nutrients, too!  Instead of having mushy greens from accidentally over boiling or steaming… you have them crispy, vibrant green, and with the flavors cooked in the whole time instead of added at the end!  Yum!!  Honestly…you can do this simply with salt and pepper, and it’s delicious.  But, like my pal Emeril, I like to kick it up a notch!!  So here’s my typical flavor combo, please try!!!

This recipe is fantastic simply as a delicious side dish for your protein.  Personally I think asparagus is pretty hearty, so it’s good for everything from complimenting a good steak all the way to making a light fish dish that much more satisfying and hunger-filling.  However, it is also a perfect add in for main dishes!!!  What do I mean you ask?  Have you ever had asparagus bits in a white sauce with noodles?!  OH MY GOSH!  Or…as I am going to show you in a few days…on top of a healthy, guilt-free pizza!  That’s right!  Be watching for it, because every post this week will be building up to it…my masterpiece that I am definitely the most proud of to date!  And I am hoping my hard work and experimenting will save you from the process…and satisfy your pizza cravings without giving you a heart attack!  Yay longer life to spend with the people you love!  Yaaaaay!  So with that said…step one…on to roasted asparagus!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • Seasonings of choice, mine being:  Salt, Pepper, Mrs. Dash, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Chili Powder or Red Pepper Flakes!!
  • 1 Tbsp(ish) Olive Oil

And here’s what you do!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and trim your asparagus.  How I was taught to do this was to start bending the stalk, and wherever it pops off naturally is the best place to trim it!  Toss the bottom part, and keep the top.  You don’t have to do it that way, because it will seem like you are discarding quite a bit of it.  However…not once since I have started doing it that way have I had one of those unpleasant, tough, stringy bites of asparagus that were frequent when I trimmed it any other way 🙂
  3. Line a cookie sheet with foil if you desire quicker clean up.
  4. Toss the asparagus in a bowl (or you can do it right on the cookie sheet, up to you), drizzle with olive oil, and toss till each piece has a coating.
  5. Sprinkle GENEROUSLY with every spice!  I literally shake it until there is a coating on the entire shown surface.  Shake it.  Haha.  Yeah that’s right.  If you’re going to shake it, where better than your kitchen?!  Put on Spotify and SHAKE IT!  The spices of course, sicko.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Geesh.
  6. Toss again until the spices are evenly dispersed.
  7. Slide it into your oven and roast, anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes.  I know that sounds like a big difference in those numbers…but I also know there is a big difference in asparagus sizes!  Basically you want to be able to pick up a piece with tongs and have it still hold it’s shape, but be starting to go limp!

Want to see?  🙂  Let me show you.  First, preheat your oven to 400.  Then, choose your spices.  Like I said, my favorites are sea salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder or red pepper flakes.  Pepper not shown.

Roasted Asparagus 2

Rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends. Lay them in a bowl, or right on the pan you are going to be roasting on if you so desire.  Feel free to cover the pan with foil for easier clean up.


Roasted Asparagus 1

Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat each piece.  Now sprinkle on your spices to taste…like I said…I do a generous coating!! Toss again to disperse the seasonings evening.

Roasted Asparagus 3

Roast till they are starting to get limp, but still have a crispness. You should be able to pick one up with tongs, and see it going limp but still hold its shape…your tongs should not squish through the stalk.  Make since?  If they are tiny, it could take as little as 10 minutes…but for the more normal, larger size it will take more toward 20/25 minutes 🙂

Roasted Asparagus 4

Now scoop on plates beside your main dish, or mix it in to a main dish!  It is so great chopped into pieces and added into things, or wrapped up in a chicken breast with melty mozzarella….ahhhhh!  Stay tuned for it being a star in my healthy pizza!  Just a few more posts 🙂  Yay!

Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers!

Say whaaaaaat?!

Yes.  It’s true.  Low carb.  Diet friendly.  And I bet if you watched your ingredients closely, it could be gluten free as well 🙂  I made this at my boss’s house, then sent a picture to her before I ate it.  She is a nutrition nut so I love sharing my adventures with her.  She came home to the smell still in her house…and by lunch time the next day, she had texted me asking if “those pepper things” I made tasted good…and when I passionately responded “yes!” she asked if I could take the bell peppers and sausage in her fridge and experiment with them because mine “looked so good.”  Haha!!  That’s a good sign.  So OBVIOUSLY this is a recipe that you can play with.  And apparently it works just as well with sausage instead of roast beef.  Cause when I asked her how it was…her words were, and I quote “freaking amazing.”  So exciting 🙂  Try whichever variation you desire!

This was perfect for a healthy lunch!!!  And a nice change for something new and creative 🙂  We love Arby’s in this house, but we know there is plenty of processed poo added there.  This had the same, satisfying, “you are biting into a huge chunk of layers and layers of beef” effect as an Arby’s sammich.  But if you pay attention, it’s gonna be A LOT healthier.  Yeaaaaaaaaaah!!!

This was adapted from peaceloveandlowcarb.blogspot.com

So, here’s what you need:

  • 4 Large Green Bell Peppers
  • About 1 lb Deli Roast Beef. (I had about 14 oz) Make sure it doesn’t have sugar, artificial sweeteners, and preferably no NITRITES.
  • 2 Medium Onions
  • 8 oz Mushrooms (Or more.  We aren’t crazy about mushrooms, so add more if you so desire)
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 7 Garlic Cloves (I know.  It seems excessive.  My cloves were small, okay!!!)
  • 8 Slices Provolone or other cheese (Apparently Provolone is one of the worst cheeses you can eat.  Oops. I didn’t know!  If that matters to you, switch it up with some better cheese!  I’ll probably play with goat cheese and raw cheddar next time.)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 Tbsp Wine
  • Pickled Jalapenos, optional
  • Salt

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut your onions in half and slice into strips.  Slice mushrooms.  Mince Garlic.
  2. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Toss in your onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.  I like lots of pepper!!
  4. Caramelize the onions and mushrooms.  This should take about 25 minutes, stirring often.
  5. While your stuffing is caramelizing, cut your bell peppers in half, and remove the ribs and seeds.
  6. Slice the roast beef into strips.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. When onion mixture is caramelized, add your roast beef and stir.  Let cook for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add Worcestershire and wine to the pan to deglaze the pan.  Stir and cook just a couple more minutes.
  10. Scoop the filling evenly into your bell pepper halves, and top with a slice of cheese.
  11. Plop into the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melty and browned 🙂

Pictures?  Yes!  Go!

Cheesesteak Peppers 1

Gather what you need, and slice your onions and mushrooms, and mince your garlic!

Cheesesteak Peppers 2Melt the butter in a large pan, and start your mushrooms and onions a-caramelizing!  Don’t forget to stir now and then!

Cheesesteak Peppers 3This should take about 25 minutes.  While you are waiting, this is a good chance to prepare your bell peppers and slice the roast beef!

Cut the peppers in half, and remove ribs and seeds.  A small, sharp knife worked well for me, and when that didn’t work I actually used a spoon to scoop out any unwanted stubborn spots 🙂

Cheesesteak Peppers 4Slice da beef!

Cheeseteak Peppers 5Don’t forget to keep an eye on the veggies on the stove!!  And stir them now and then!  When they are looking good, add in your beef.

Cheesesteak Peppers 7Stir it in and cook about 5 more minutes.

Cheesesteak Peppers 8

Deglaze your pan with Worcestershire and wine! Now scoop your filling into the pepper halves!

Cheesesteak Peppers 9Top with cheese and jalapeno slices if you want a spicy kick.

Cheesesteak Peppers 10Place in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  You are looking for the cheese to be melty and browned!

Cheesesteak Peppers 11Yummy!!

Cheesesteak Peppers 12.5Gorgoeus!  And oh, so tasty!!

Cheesesteak Peppers 14Look at all those layers!!!  See what I mean about it being such a satisfyingly meaty bite, like an Arby’s sammich?!  Yum!!!!!