Tag Archives: diet

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Yesterday, after texting my boyfriend that I was going to make cauliflower pizza, he was skeptical. “I tried cauliflower on a pizza once,” he said. “It wasn’t very good.” It wasn’t until I sent a picture to him later of the finished product that I realized I hadn’t been clear about my newest experimental baking endeavor. I did not put cauliflower on top of my pizza; rather, the cauliflower kind of was my pizza. In other words, I used the cauliflower as the base for my crust as a low carb gluten-free alternative to pizza. Pretty cool, huh? Thanks to Pinterest, trying this recipe out has been on my to-do list for at least a year. I finally got the opportunity to take a swing at it when there was a huge head of cauliflower in the fridge on the verge of going bad.

The recipe is sinfully simple, although it may be a bit time intensive. I highly recommend you give this a shot, though; you won’t be disappointed!


1.25 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2.5 cups grated cauliflower
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup tomato sauce
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Basil leaves (to taste)


1. Grate your cauliflower. I used a regular old box grater (the same I use to grate mozzarella cheese) and it worked like a charm.
2. Chop your onion and grate your mozz cheese. I shouldn’t have to tell you this in a step, but what the heck.
3. Place the cauliflower crumbles into a bowl and microwave for 6-7 minutes or until warm and pliable.
4. Add a whipped up large egg and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese to the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spray the oven tray, then place the mixture onto it. Form the crust (it should be about 10″). Be sure not to make it too thick because then it’s more likely for the middle to be softer when its done. The crispier the better!
6. Place in oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Wait until the crust is browned on top.
7. Remove the crust, spread the sauce, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, then sprinkle cheese and onions on top.
8. Put it back into the oven for ten more minutes.
9. If you feel so inclined, sprinkle basil leaves on top.

It’s not actually burnt! The crusts should look like that–nice and crispy. 

Portobello Mushroom Burger

Do you know what tastes amazing and satisfies my appetite perfectly? A portobello mushroom burger, of course! Does this look good to you?



The prep time is about an hour total, but you don’t have to marinate as long if you don’t want to. This is the perfect meal for when you’re in the mood for something healthy, filling, and relatively simple to whip up. This recipe serves two, but you can customize it if you’re cooking for fewer or more people.

You will need:

2 whole portobello mushrooms
2 pieces of whole wheat bread
Spinach and/or other leafy greens
1/4 cup EVOO
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped onion


1. Place your mushrooms on a plate with the ridged inner part facing up.
2. Combine onion, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
3. Pour the mixture evenly over the mushrooms and let them marinate for an hour (half an hour works, too).
4. Heat a lubricated skillet on medium.
5. Put the mushrooms and the garlic-EVOO-onion-balsamic vinegar mixture into the skillet.
6. Flip when necessary. When the mushrooms are cooked evenly, you’re done!
7. Toast the bread, then spread hummus on top and add the leafy greens.
8. Place the mushroom on top.
9. Scoop remaining onion/garlic/liquid on top of the mushroom.
10. Voila! Enjoy with a knife and fork for a non-messy dining experience.

Acai Bowl

Have you ever heard of an acai bowl? Have you ever tasted one? If not, you’re in for a treat! I had my first (and only) acai bowl when I was at a health bar in Honolulu two months ago and I’ve been craving them like crazy ever since. After not finding any being sold around Chicago, I decided to make my own. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be able to enjoy this popular Brazilian treat:


You will need:

1 packet acai berry puree (I used the Amafruits brand)
1 banana
Half cup frozen raspberries and blueberries (or any other)
Dash of fruit juice (i.e. apple, cranberry, orange)
Fresh strawberries
Drizzle of honey
Quarter cup granola

1. Mash up the frozen acai puree into smaller chunks, then deposit contents of the packet into a blender or food processor.
2. Add half the banana, half cup of frozen fruit, and dash of fruit juice to help with the blending. If you have a powerful blender, the fruit juice is not necessary.
3. Blend until the contents don’t have chunks. Be careful not to over-blend (I actually did) because the mixture will take on the consistency of soup more than like frozen yogurt.
4. Pour into a bowl (or three if you want to share tastes with anyone else). Garnish the top of the bowl with granola, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and the rest of the banana. Drizzle with honey and voila! You’ve just made a fresh acai bowl.

Warning: You may become addicted to this sweet frozen treat, but not to fear! It’s very healthy and low cal as long as you don’t overdue it on the granola or honey.

Braised coconut spinach with chickpeas

IMG_9770Does this look good to you? If so, I’m going to tell you exactly how to make it! I found this amazing recipe here on treehugger.com. I adapted the recipe below to my own tastes, which I recommend you do, as well!


2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion (or half a large yellow onion)
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
0.5 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 15-oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
1 container spinach (to taste)
14 oz coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Heat the oil in a pot on medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, or until slightly browned.
3. Add garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and red pepper. Cook for three minutes and stir frequently.
4. Add chickpeas and cook on high heat until chickpeas start to golden and are covered in the mixture.
5. Add spinach one handful at a time while stirring constantly. Wait for it to wilt until adding more incrementally.
6. Pour in coconut milk and add in salt, ground ginger, and lemon juice.
7. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes more, being sure the chickpeas are sufficiently warmed.
8. Feel free to taste the coconut milk mixture and add more of any ingredient (namely, salt and lemon) to your preference.

Enjoy! I bet there will be leftovers, too. 🙂

Braised Celery

Today, I scoured the refrigerator and discovered that there was an unopened bag of celery that was starting to go bad. I wasn’t in the mood for the only go-to way I ever eat celery (with peanut butter and raisins), so I turned to the internet for a recipe. Lo and behold, I discovered Alton Brown’s recipe for braised celery and I immediately got to work! I adapted it a bit to my own tastes, so here it is:


Celery (as much as you want)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of salt (to taste)
Pinch of ground pepper (to taste)
0.5 cup vegetable or beef broth

1. Rinse celery first, which is especially important if you buy organic like I do (there were even two tiny spiders in the heart of one of my stalks). I also highly recommend soaking them if you have the time.
2. Cut off the tops and bottoms. Throw away the leafy stalks.
3. Cut the celery into two-inch pieces.
4. Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat.
5. Add celery, salt, and pepper.
6. Cook until the celery softens slightly (this should take about five minutes, but it also depends on the power of your stove).
7. Add broth (I used vegetable broth), reduce heat to low, and cover.
8. Cook until the celery is tender (also about five minutes).
9. Uncover and cook for another five minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.
10. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!

IMG_9768The verdict: Give this to people who think they don’t like celery. If properly cooked, I promise just about everyone will enjoy this preparation of this low calorie vegetable. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make a meal out of this; one serving is, at most, 70 calories!

What 2 Liters of Water Looks Like

Four bottles of 16.9 fluid ounces of water = two liters of water. From everything that I’ve read, it seems the consensus is that two liters of water per day is considered the optimal amount to consume. I don’t know about you, but drinking enough water has always been a struggle for me. In the past, I have gone until the evening before realizing that I never drank a single thing the whole day. That’s pretty unhealthy if you ask me! Not drinking enough water can cause head aches, mood swings, and overeating. Really, there’s no reason not to stay hydrated!

4 bottles

Here are five fast reasons why you should drink enough water daily:

1. It keeps you hydrated.
2. It flushes out your system.
3. It’s good for your skin.
4. It makes you feel fuller.
5. It’s ZERO calories.

How much water do you drink per day?

My Relationship with Food

carolyn park ridge2
Trying spanakopita yesterday

On this blog, I will talk a lot about food. I may complain about eating too much of the “wrong” food and about how that chocolate muffin just wasn’t “worth it.” I may talk about my schemes to eat less food and my goals to choose meals that are healthier. I may count how many calories there are in everything I put into my mouth and swallow (not meant to sound dirty, I swear). So, I think it is entirely fitting for me to clarify both to myself and to whoever may be reading this that I actually love food. A lot! I am sad to say that there was a time in my life when I did not truly savor or enjoy what I consumed. I would waste away meals with Cheez-Its and plain pasta with butter. During those times, I ate for sustenance. In the past few years, my attitudes about food have changed dramatically. I have come to really value eating food that is pleasing to my taste buds. I eat out more than I ever did and I even write detailed reviews about my culinary experiences on Yelp. Unlike before, I have also grown to love trying new things. My relationship with food now includes all types of fish and seafood. For example, my former self would be shocked to hear that I absolutely love tako poke, which is octopus served the Hawaiian style with lots of flavor.

As a result of my new very positive relationship with food, I also realize that I need to watch just how much of it I eat! My healthy lifestyle has absolutely nothing to do with strict restriction of any food item that I enjoy. If I’m craving mochi ice cream, then I’ll have it and be done with it. 100 calories of sweet mochi ice cream goodness will certainly not cause me to balloon up into a whale. However, I do believe strongly in portion control and moderation. One of my main health goals when it comes to food is to eat healthily without depriving myself of the occasional indulgence. What can I say? I love food!