Tag Archives: recipes

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!

Ingredients:

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)

Instructions:

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.

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

You know how some people do make your own ice cream sundae “bar”? Well, my family enjoys creating our own individual homemade pizzas every once in a while because it is cheaper and much healthier than ordering pizza out. My mom usually makes the dough, a recipe she has been using for many years (it came with the pizza maker). This Saturday, we enjoyed a wealth of options for our pizzas: mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, mushroom, green pepper, onion, spinach, tomato, or jalapeno. Of course, there were also several other items to add a special kick to pizzas like minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and cayenne pepper. The sauce pictured below is my favorite homemade recipe, which I’ll undoubtedly post here in the future.

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carolynpizza

 

Pop it in the oven until the crusts are perfectly browned and you have yourself a custom-made pizza!

Homemade Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Ice Cream”

About a year ago, I remember seeing a recipe for banana ice cream as a very healthy alternative to the fat-laden frozen treat I have enjoyed for years. Yesterday, I finally decided to put the recipe to a test and boy, was I blown away! You will hardly be able to tell that this isn’t real ice cream. Wow. This is officially my new absolute favorite dessert!

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas
1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut milk (or as needed)

Instructions:

1. Peel two bananas and place them in the freezer overnight. (If you want your ice cream sooner than that, you can alternatively pop your finished product into the freezer for an hour or two before consumption.)
2. Break apart the frozen bananas with your hands and place the pieces into a food processor.
3. Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk (or almond milk or milk milk–up to you!).
4. Blend away. Depending on your blender, you may have to add more milk as needed (I definitely added more).
5. Once your bananas reach a creamy consistency, add the peanut butter and chocolate chips. You won’t need to blend for very long (shorter if you want chunkier chocolate chips and longer if you want tiny specs of chocolate).

Seriously, that’s it. You have delicious-tasting banana “ice cream” that is so much healthier than what you buy from the store! I can’t wait to try different flavors (I got some great ideas here).

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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!

Ingredients:

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. 🙂

Goals of Week 3

I can’t believe it’s been a full week already! Maintaining this blog has really helped to keep me motivated and held accountable for my goals, so I’m happy and very grateful to anyone who has liked or commented. You’re keeping me energized and I thank you. 🙂 If you’re curious, here is how I did last week.

1. HAIRCUT. (Beauty)I keep putting this one off because I’m very indecisive about what style I want. I usually just get a trim to get rid of dead ends with absolutely no styling. I also want to donate my hair to Locks of Love or Pantene, BUT I’m not sure my hair would be used because of those dead ends. Also, I would want to go to an expensive salon to get an awesome cut and styling, but I can’t afford that right now. Decisions, decisions.

2. When nail polish starts to chip, remove it and re-paint. (Beauty) I’m leaving this one on for one more week. I plan on re-painting tomorrow or latest Monday based on the faint traces of chipping now. I love painting my nails so much more now that I’ve grown out my nails more!

3. Early to bed, early to rise. (Health) I am seriously rocking this! Even though my summer job ended, I still go to bed by 11 PM and wake up at 7-something AM. This is going to stay on the list for at least one more week, though. This is a tricky one!

4. Brush twice and floss every day. (Health) I’ve made progress on this one, but I’m not ready to remove it from the list. I floss every day and I brush about every other morning (in addition to at night).

5. Write one-page journal entries. (Hobbies) I’m making progress on this, but I’m not quite there yet. My entries have been noticeably longer the past few days, but I still occasionally write and talk at the same time.

6. Submit three job applications. (Professional) I’ve been rocking this! I applied to a bunch of teaching jobs in one district, I was told I have an interview for next week that still needs to be scheduled, AND I went to a job fair. This one is probably not going to be removed until I actually get a job because applying always takes effort; it’s not second nature or a habit to apply. I’m upping the expectations here: three job apps!

7. Lift weights regularly. (Health) I did this three times last week with my five-pound weights. My arms are never sore the day after, but the most I’ve been able to do is fifteen reps at a time. I’ll go harder this week and report results!

8. Read Game of Thrones. (Hobbies) This is a book I started half a year ago, got to page 200, and put down because I was too busy with lesson plans. Now it’s time to finish it!

9. Do not bite cuticles. (Bad Habits) This one is going to be so tough, but I’m in it to win it. I’ve had this gross habit for way too many years!

10. Enter sweepstakes every day. (Novel Experiences) I should probably do this every day, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, if I want a shot at winning something by my birthday.

11. Keep a food/exercise journal. (Health) I found a moleskine journal in my desk and started recording my intake and outtake on Tuesday. Let’s see if I can make this a habit!

12. Keep a positive things journal. (Personal) I started this one a few days ago. I was originally going to do a jar, but I figured the journal would be more space-efficient. Also, I would like to be able to see that one positive thing for specific days in the future, I imagine.

(Drum roll): Here are the items I’m removing from my list!

1. Eat a multivitamin every day. (Health)

2. Remove all makeup before bed. (Beauty)

3. Drink LOTS of water. (Health)

4. Cook new, healthy recipes. (Health)

Note: Removing an item from my list means that doing the item has become a habit–almost something I don’t have to think about anymore. I just automatically do it. It certainly does not mean that I’m going to ignore doing those items anymore in lieu of new goals. If I slip up on any of the items I retired from my list, then they go right back onto my list the following week.

Goals of Week 2

Last week, I made a post about the specific goals that I would like to focus on that week. I was very successful in maintaining or completing several of them. Others, I still have not integrated into my routine (or I straight up did not do). Every week, I’m going to focus on certain aspects of my goals in working toward the “ideal me.” I know that some of these are really, really basic (“She doesn’t take off her makeup before bed? She doesn’t brush twice a day?”), but they’re little things that I need to improve upon.

1. Get. A. Haircut. 

2. When nail polish starts to chip, remove it and re-paint. Right now, I’m rocking purple nails with a nude pink  color on each ring finger. They’re still looking pretty sharp, but the latest I should get this done is Monday.

3. Eat a multivitamin every day. I’ve been doing really well on this, but I’m leaving it on the goals list for one more week to hopefully solidify the habit.

4. Remove all makeup before bed. I’ve been ROCKING this, but I’m also going to let this one stay on the list for one more week.

5. Early to bed, early to rise. This one is going to stay on the list for a while. Luckily, I never get to bed later than midnight and I wake up at 7 AM.

6. Brush twice and floss every day. I brush twice a day most days, not not every day. I floss every other day. Getting there!

7. Drink LOTS o’ water. I’m still getting there. I probably drink 2-3 bottles of water per day. I’ll continue to focus on this for at least one more week, probably more.

8. Write one-page journal entries. Okay, this one is really tough. I only wrote one one-page entry last week! This week, I will also focus on not talking on the phone to my boyfriend or skyping with a friend if I’m writing.

9. Submit one job application. I have no good excuses for this one. None at all. For me to get to this, I need to get over my frustration of having applied to so many jobs and not hearing back from any of them. I need to trust that I’m not wasting my time and that something will turn up for me. It has to. The first step is getting back into those applications!

10. Find a healthy recipe and cook something new. I’m really excited about this new goal that I’m adding this week! The rest of these are repeats.

11. Lift weights regularly. Because I have never really done this before, I don’t know if it’s possible to do every day or if I will get sore. This is also a new goal!

And, finally, here are the items that I can remove from last week’s list (drum roll):

1. Make and decorate cookies with royal icing. (Hobbies)

2. Study for two exams Saturday. (Professional)

3. Run a 5K. (Health)