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Tag Archives: vegetables

Kalamata Olive Hummus

25 Jun

I could eat a whole container of hummus with carrots. It’s just so good. On sandwiches as the sauce, on crackers, or or as a dip for veggies..you can never go wrong by having hummus in your fridge!

It is such a great appetizer to prepare when having people over too. I always make this hummus when guests are coming, and it is always the first bowl I’m refilling!

But did you know that hummus is made of a lot of oil and tahini (basically ground sesame), when buying packaged? That is what give it that oh so smooth texture. But because of those ingredients, just two tablespoons of dip is quite costly in calories. And let’s be honest, who truly only eats two tablespoons?

The way I have created this hummus, allows you to enjoy guilt free, as it is made of almost nothing but chick peas, olives, and spices! And it is just as delicious as the other stuff. Everyone is always asking for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with you.

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Kalamata Olive Hummus
-1 15oz can chick peas
-1/2 4.25oz can chopped kalamata olives
-1/4 cup liquid from chick pea can
-lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon
-1 or 2 garlic cloves (if not wanting to taste much of  it, use 1)
-2 tsp dried onion
-2 tsp cumin
-1T cajun spice seasoning

Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. If needing more liquid, add more reserved liquid from canned chick peas. Enjoy!
Chickpea Benefits
1) Great source of protein and fiber ( 1 cup has 10g fiber and 12g protein)
2) Rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc
3) Can improve your circulatory and heart health
4) Fiber aids in a healthy digestive system and lower cholesterol

Kalamata Olive Benefits
1) Good source of monounsaturated fats
2)Rich in vitamin E, polyphenols and flavonoids which pretext against free radicals, reduce inflammation, and build the immune system
3) High in vitamin A, which helps fight cancer and maintain healthy eye sight.
4) Rich in minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium–good for strong bones and clear skin
5) High in fiber

Source: Livestrong.com
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Mediterranean Eggplant Crust Pizza

24 Jun

Everyone has been making cauliflower crust..but have you ever tried an EGGPLANT crust?!

I had an eggplant that needed to be eaten soon. And just happened to be in the mood for pizza too. As I thought about taking out some cauliflower to make a crust, I thought, why not try using eggplant?! And guess what? It turned out amazing!!

Not only did it taste great, but the crust actually did not stick to the wax paper for once, it browned perfectly, and I was able to pick up a slice without it falling apart like most cauliflower crusts! The secret? Well I think there are a couple :)

I was so in awe when tasting this, as I didn’t know what to expect. I was keeping my mind open, and was hoping for the best. And thank goodness I gave it a try! I enjoyed it BETTER than a cauliflower crust!

So what’s the recipe?? Here it is! I topped it with easy, quick ingredients as I was hungry, but feel free to top it with whatever you would like!photo 5Mediterranean Eggplant Crust Pizza

For Crust:
-1 big eggplant, shredded (about 2.5 cups packed)
-2T ground flax
-2T coconut flour
-1 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)
-1 egg (do not just use egg whites!)
-1T basil
-1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Topping:
-3 tomato basil laughing cow wedges
-1 cup spinach, slightly cooked
-1/2 cup artichokes, canned
-1/4 cup dried tomatoes
-seasoning to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove outside skin of eggplant (can use potato peeler), and shred it. Place it in a towel and squeeze to take as much liquid as you can out of it. Allow it to sit in towel for 10 minutes at least. Then place the shredded eggplant in a bowl and add other crust ingredients. Mix to combine all ingredients. Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet, and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Place “dough” onto wax paper and spread out to thinness you desire in a circular shape. Place sheet in oven for 20 minutes. Remove. Take another piece of wax paper, and flip crust over on to that one. Put back on cookie tray and cook again for another 10 minutes. Check to see if done. If crust is as desired, take out. If desiring a more crunchy crust, cook for 5 minute intervals until done. Take tomato basil cheese out of wrapper, and spread onto crust. Cook spinach for a minute or two, just enough to slightly wilt it. Place artichokes and sundered tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with sea salt or season salt and enjoy!

Eggplant Benefits:
1) High in fiber–aiding our digestive system
2) Rich in Vitamin C and B1
3) High in phytonutrients such as caffein and chlorogenic acid and flavonoids
4) High in potassium–balances salt intake and maintains hydration
5) Contains folate, magnesium, and niacin

Where is all the pumpkin?! +my homemade squash substitute

18 Jun
No more Libbys canned pumpkin in SW Florida :((

No more Libbys canned pumpkin in SW Florida :((

But seriously..is anyone else having a hard time finding canned pumpkin in their normal grocery store?! You know me, a little pumpkin obsessed. Yet, Publix (my grocery store), doesn’t have it anymore! Ever! All they have is that yucky sugar filled “pumpkin pie filling”. No thanks.

I had to do something about this problem. Hence, why no pumpkin recipes have been posted lately :( But have no fear! After some research, I found out that buttercup squash is almost just like a pumpkin, but just a bit drier in texture! So, I went and bought myself one of those buttercup squashes, and the result was absolutely delicious.

It was a little dry compared to fresh cooked pumpkin like it claimed, so I decided to puree it all with a couple little additions, so that it would be ready to take out and use when desiring it! It added a little bit of flavor and sweetness without any added sugar along with a creamy smoothness, so that I could use it as a delicious spread on my daily toast (yes, I have toast every single day, I love it<3). Or in shakes, or in oatmeal, or with a spoon! Ahh, why do I love pumpkin so much? Yes, this definitely fulfilled my pumpkin expectations<33

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Buttercup Squash Pumpkin Substitute
-1 buttercup squash
-2 cups almond milk or water
-1T cinnamon
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp sea salt
Directions: Place squash in preheated oven at 400 degrees (yes, you can just put it in whole to prevent extra mess!). Bake until slightly soft on outside, about 45 minutes to an hour. Take out of oven when slightly soft and cut in half. Scoop out seeds. Discard or wash to bake later! Scoop out the flesh of the squash from the skin and place it into a blender. Add the milk/water (milk for creamier version), cinnamon, extract, and salt. Blend until smooth. Store in fridge! Can you in place of canned pumpkin, or as a simple not too sweet spread on toast :)

Buttercup Squash Benefits:
1)Iron rich, comparable to red meat!
2)Rich in Calcium-22% more calcium than milk
3)High in vitamin A
4)Low in fat
5)Fiber content is higher than most vegetables
6)Excellent source of beta-carotene
7)Rich in magnesium (important in activating enzymes required for muscle and nerve function)

Spaghetti Squash

4 Jun

Sugar Detox:Day 16

This no sugar diet is truly becoming a lifestyle for me. I’m barely missing it anymore! Yes, of course there are a couple things I would love to sweeten up a little bit with some agave, but the benefits of using fresh fruit or even dried fruit instead outweigh the desire for sweetener! I really don’t know if I’ll be adding any sugars back into my diet again after day 21, I may keep this up..I guess we will see! To the recipe now..

This is a new favorite for me.

For so long, my squash history has been made up of almost nothing but pumpkin. I don’t have to tell you how much I love the stuff, you already know from all my other posts. But every once in awhile I sneak a different kind of squash into my shopping cart and experiment with it. Somehow I always forget just how good spaghetti squash is.

Do you crave big bowls of spaghetti often, yet can’t afford it nutritionally? Well this is the solution for you! This squash is so healthy, and versatile! It is much lower in calories than true pasta, yet satisfies you with a nearly same taste as the real stuff, and is a fiber-filled veggie.

You can make it as a side to your meal, simply just adding in seasonings and a touch of olive oil. Or you can make it THE meal, eating a huge bowl of spaghetti tossed with clean tomato sauce, cream sauce and chicken, or delicious pesto! The sky is the limit. Sometimes I go with it as a side, and other nights, like last night, I make a huge spaghetti boat drizzled with pesto, and call it a meal! Add some chicken to it or lean beef, and you really have yourself a healthy, clean, and satisfying dinner!

Here are just two or the times I’ve made it. Once with a homemade “cream” sauce made of Greek yogurt/seasonings and tossed with cooked spinach and chicken, and then last night, when I just simply topped it with pesto! Both were very delicious and satisfying meals.

Don’t know how to cook one? Check down below for instructions!

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Spaghetti Squash
-1 spaghetti squash
-olive oil
-seasonings of choice (garlic salt, sea salt, pepper, season salt, onion powder)
-sauce of choice (marinara, meat sauce, Alfredo, pesto, homemade sauce, simple olive oil)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut squash in half long wise. Take out “guts” and seeds from middle. Either wash seeds for cooking separately, or throw away. Lightly coat flesh of both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Put flesh side down on baking tray. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on size). When slightly soft on top flesh side, it is ready. Take out of oven. With fork, begin to scrape out insides, going length-wise down the entire half of the squash. It will begin to come off as string-like “spaghetti noodles”. Continue to do do until all squash is out of hard outside skin. Toss skin. Prepare “noodles” with one of the following additions: 1)with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and lots of delicious seasonings of choice for a light side 2) toss with marinara or meat sauce for a real taste of spaghetti, 3) with any other sauce of choice, like Alfredo, pesto, or a homemade sauce. Top with any additional veggies or protein as desired. Enjoy!!

Salmon Cakes with Spinach and Apple

22 Apr

It started with finding canned salmon in my cupboard. I didn’t think it would taste too good just plain. So what did I do?

I created salmon cakes:)

Spinach is a typical add in to patties like this, but apple, that was something I just decided would taste good. And guess what? It did! Extremely good. Plus, with the cake being sprinkled with coconut flour, it had this sweet yet savory taste that was absolutely delicious.

These cakes are high in protein, and packed with fruit and veggies. What more of a healthy snack/meal on the go could you ask for?  Usually cake patties like this are packed with carbs like bread crumbs or flour..but not these. And of course, like all my healthified dishes, they taste amazing as well as being nutritious.

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Salmon Cakes with Spinach and Apple
-1 can of Alaskan salmon
-1/2 apple, diced small
-1 cup cut spinach
-1/2 cup egg substitute/ egg white/ 2 eggs
-2T low fat mayo
-2 T psyllium husk/ 2T ground flax/ 2T chia seeds
-seasonings: garlic salt, sea salt, onion powder, pepper, italian seasonings
-about 1/4-1/2 cup coconut flour
Directions: Place all ingredients in bowl except flour and mix until thoroughly combined(add more psyllium husk if too wet or more egg if too dry). Make into 9 patties. Sprinkle each side of patty with just enough coconut flour to lightly cover. Cook on stove on medium heat, flipping when brown. Enjoy!

Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry

9 Apr

After a long week of classes, I love looking forward to date nights with my boyfriend :)

Lots of times we go out to make it easier on ourselves when we’re tired, but since he knows I love to cook, last night we made dinner together. I love nights like these!

His parents came up for Easter this past week and we had SO many leftover fresh vegetables from the big meal we all prepared (that us college kids don’t normally have on us) :) So we decided to use them up!

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What a better way to enjoy a lot of fresh, colorful veggies, than making a stir-fry?! The healthy way of course without all the added heaps of oil:) Added some teriyaki cooked chicken to the mix once the veggies were all cooked, and bam! A good dinner we certainly had. A healthy one too loaded with lots of vegetables and protein packed chicken!

Cooking with coconut oil has so many added benefits, and gives it a great taste. If you haven’t tried it yet, please do! I even put it on toast with a touch of sugar for a yummy, sweet snack:)

Then to finish off the meal we had some mashed regular potatoes and sweet potato casserole on the side of this delicious stir-fry :) Mmm, it was a yummy night to say the least! Here’s the recipe for the stir-fry, so easy!

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Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry
-2 chicken breasts, cooked in teriyaki sauce
-1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
-1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly lengthwise
-4 cups of broccoli
-2 cups baby carrots
-2 T coconut oil
-1/2 cup water
-1 T cornstarch
-2 T soy sauce
-Seasonings: Italian seasonings, garlic salt, season salt, pepper, red pepper powder(if you like it a bit spicy!)
Directions: Put all veggies in a pan on stove with coconut oil, and sauté until soft. Mix water, cornstarch, and soy sauce in bowl together. Add to pan of veggies. Season with all above to taste. Add cooked chicken in and cook for one more minute. Enjoy!

Eggplant Parmesan Wedges

10 Mar

Are you looking for something healthy? Something that satisfies that craving for delicious combo of  fresh tomato sauce and melted cheese? Something that’s  quick, and can be served as a light meal or a great appetizer/side? Well I created it for you!

Eggplant is a low carb option as it’s a vegetable, and is so yummy when cooked just for a few minutes in the oven, or grilled if you have a little more time! The great thing is that this recipe will take you less than 30 minutes to make! So it’s a great one for when you’re too hungry to wait or just in a rush! These can satisfy that mouth watering taste of pizza, chicken parmesan, and lasagna :) My eggplant parmesan wedges ladies and gentlemen..

photo 2Eggplant Parmesan Wedges
-1 eggplant, sliced thin
-about 1/2 cup fresh tomato sauce
-1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (depending how cheesy you want it)
-Seasonings: salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut eggplant in half long ways. Then begin to slice thinly to make wedges. Spray wedges on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning on both sides as well. Place on baking sheet, and cook for about 10 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, heat up sauce, and spread sauce onto wedges. Sprinkle with cheese and place in oven on broil for just a minute or two until cheese is melted. Remove and enjoy!