Fancy Pita Pizzas!

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

So I got very side tracked and I haven’t posted in a while! I ran into my friend Katie (who is very supportive of my blogging), and she reminded me that I have been slacking on the recipe posting! It was just what I needed and here I am back at it!

I love making pita pizzas.  They are a great way to make a quick, easy, personal sized pizza.  They are so much fun to make, since you can really do what ever you want with them.  I decided to be fancy and make one with peaches and brie, and one with pesto and caprese toppings.  The great thing about making these pizzas at home is that you are controlling your portions, but also the ingredients.  I chose whole wheat pitas with fruit and veggie toppings, which is a much healthier way to enjoy pizza.  Also, shout out to my brother for giving me some cute little tomatoes from his garden, which were featured on my caprese pita pizza.

Here’s the recipe!

INGREDIENTS: (one pita pizza per person)

Peach Brie Pita Pizza:

Whole wheat pita bread

1/2 ripe peach, sliced thinly

1/2 cup dandelion greens

5 thin slices of brie

1 T olive oil

drizzle of honey

basil, for topping

Pesto Caprese Pita Pizza:

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

1 T pesto

1 small tomato, thinly sliced

1/2 cup dandelion greens

2 garlic cloves, thin sliced and cooked in olive oil

6 small mozzarella balls

basil for topping

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a sheet tray with foil.
  2. Place pitas on the tray and drizzle one with olive oil, and spread pesto on the other.
  3. Place dandelion greens on each pita.
  4. On the pesto pita, place tomato slices, then cooked garlic, and then the mozzarella balls.
  5. On the olive oil pita, place brie slices, then peach slices, and then a drizzle of honey.
  6. Cook in oven for about 10-12 minutes, until cheese is fully melted and hot.
  7. Top each Pita Pizza with chopped basil and serve!
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Spicy Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

I have been OBSESSED with chickpeas lately! I think it’s because they are so versatile, healthy, hearty and delicious.  Chickpeas are great because they pack in a lot of fiber and protein and can be prepared so many different ways.  The way I chose to prepare them is from the Thug Kitchen cook book.  The recipe in the book is for Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Dressing.  Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well I chose to use the same recipe just for the chickpeas in the wraps I made.  The rest I tweaked to make it my own.

These wraps were absolutely delicious and would make for a great lunch or appetizer!  The spicy chickpeas with the roasted carrots and onions made for such a hearty and comforting flavor.  I also used fresh cut pepper and cucumber for a crunchy, cool addition to the wraps.  Unlike the Thug Kitchen recipe, I decided to use butter lettuce instead of tortillas, although this would be great on tortillas or pita if you prefer.

So, here is my tweaked recipe… be sure to check out the link to the Thug Kitchen website!! So many great things to try and to make your own!

INGREDIENTS:(Serves four, two lettuce wraps each)

1 Head of butter lettuce, leaves separated

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 cucumber, cut into strips

1 red onion, julienned

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into match sticks

4 cups cooked chickpeas (I used a bag of frozen)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 T maple syrup

1 T soy sauce

1 T paprika

1 T cumin

2 t garlic powder

1 t cayenne pepper

Olive oil

S&P

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare the lettuce, bell pepper and cucumber, set aside.
  3. Cut the carrots into match sticks and place on a sheet tray with olive oil and S&P coating.
  4. Roast 20 minutes and then add the julienned onion, also coated with oil, S&P.
  5. Roast another ten minutes.
  6. While the vegetables are roasting, combine the spices in one bowl and the lemon juice, syrup, and soy sauce in another.
  7. With 5 minutes left on the roasting veg, heat chickpeas in a saute pan with olive oil for about 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice mixture and allow to cook about another minute before stirring in the spices.
  9. Now the vegetables should be done roasting and the chickpeas are seasoned and cooked!
  10. Serve the chickpeas in butter lettuce wraps with the roasted vegetables and the pepper and cucumber!
  11. Enjoy!!

“Fried” Zucchini Caprese

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

The other day I was poking around in my Mom’s garden and saw that she had the most beautiful basil growing. It was so bright green with lovely purple stems, I absolutely had to take some. I’ve been wanting to make some sort of Caprese dish, so the fresh beautiful basil was a perfect find.  Caprese uses basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella as the main ingredients.  Although Caprese is great on its own, I decided to add “fried” zucchini.  When I say “fried”, I mean that it looks and tastes fried, but it is actually breaded and baked in the oven, which is a much healthier cooking method than deep frying in oil.

This dish is so tasty, simple and pretty.  It would be great to serve as an appetizer, or a side dish.  You really can’t go wrong with Caprese, its certainly a crowd pleaser!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

2 zucchini

3 eggs, whisked

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

1 container multicolored cherry tomatoes

1 container fresh small mozzarella balls

Fresh basil leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

Balsamic Glaze

S&P, to taste

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the ends of the zucchini, then cut in half length wise, then into quarters, and then cut width wise to make them shorter.
  3. Dip each zucchini piece into the egg wash, and then coat in bread crumbs.
  4. Place each piece on a sheet tray lined with foil.
  5. Drizzle the zucchini with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. While the zucchini is baking cut your tomatoes in half, and cut the mozzarella balls into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  7. When the zucchini is done, arrange them on a plate, top with mozzarella, tomatoes and a zig zag of balsamic glaze.  S&P to taste and finish the dish with a few of those beautiful basil leaves!

Fig Glazed Roasted Beets and Asparagus

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

This dish may look fancy, but it was so easy!  It only takes six healthy, and beautiful ingredients.  Both beets and asparagus are great sources of iron and antioxidants.  This is a fiber rich combination, and you can serve it as a side dish, or just have it as your meal! The fig infused balsamic glaze adds a tart delicious flavor to counteract the earthy flavor of the beets.

In my opinion, beets and asparagus are both best when roasted with salt and pepper.  This method is super easy, tastes great and with presentation and delicious additions of fig glaze and feta, this dish will impress and delight any one!

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4):

6 golden beets, tops and bottoms removed and peeled

1 bunch of asparagus, bottoms removed

1 bottle fig infused balsamic glaze (you can find this at the store)

1 cup feta crumbles

Olive oil

S&P, to taste

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line two sheet trays with foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Peel and cut your beets into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Arrange on one sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and S&P.
  3. Place in the oven for 12 minutes and then flip them, and cook for another 12 minutes.
  4. While beets are cooking, arrange asparagus on a the second sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and S&P.
  5. Add this tray to the oven, leaving in the beets to cook for another 7 minutes.
  6. After they are done, arrange asparagus, and then beets on the plates.
  7.  Drizzle each with fig infused glaze, and top with feta crumbles.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Rainbow Salmon Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

food, healthy, nutrition

Hi everyone! Here is my first recipe!! This is truly delicious, fresh, and healthy salad.  I used a colorful variety of vegetables (the more color, the more nutrients), a baby kale mix, and of course salmon!  I love a nice fresh salad topped with salmon.  Salmon is great source of lean protein and those wonderful omega-3’s!!

The honey Dijon vinaigrette is so easy to make and would be tasty on any salad.  I have found that making your own dressing is MUCH better than using store bought.  They are fun and easy to make and taste great.  Also, when it comes to dressings, you can usually find the random assortment of things to use in your pantry and fridge!! Plus, why glob processed, fatty ranch dressing all over your beautiful salad, when you can easily make a tasty dressing that complements your ingredients rather than masking them?

You can  use what ever salmon you want, but my suggestion is using frozen pre-portioned salmon from Whole Foods.  I like this because there are six pieces in a pack for 20 dollars, and you can separate them and use them as needed, because they are in individual portions.

So anyway… I absolutely love this salad.  It is restaurant quality, delicious, and super easy! This is great as lunch or dinner and leaves you feeling full, healthy and refreshed!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

4 salmon filets

6 cups baby kale mix

2 bell peppers (various colors), diced

1 red onion, diced

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup garbanzo beans

S&P to taste

Honey mustard sauce (cook the salmon with this):

  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 T Sriracha sauce
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t garlic salt

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 T sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil

METHOD:

  1.  Preheat oven to 375, and line a sheet tray with foil sprayed with cooking spray.
  2.  Arrange salmon filets on the tray and salt & pepper each one.
  3. Mix your sauce ingredients and spoon over each filet.
  4.  Place in oven for 30-35 minutes, until fully cooked. *20-25 minutes if using fresh salmon
  5.  While salmon cooks, arrange 1 1/2  cups of kale mix in separate bowls.
  6.   Dice your veggies and portion into each bowl along with the peas and garbanzos.
  7.  Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and dress each salad.
  8.  Sprinkle some pepper on each salad.
  9. When your salmon is finished cooking, add one filet to each salad.
  10. Serve and enjoy!!!