Tips for a Vegan Newbie

The Vegan Experience: Top 10 Tips For a First-Time Vegan

So I am pretty much a #glutenfree #vegan (UPDATE: I did not mean to offend any true vegans. I have so much respect for those of you who truly are vegan. The technical term for my diet is Ovo-Pescatarian since I eat eggs and seafood. The dairy free and gluten free are in place due to intolerances. Hope this clears things up!! <3).

However, I think these tips can help anyone going #dairyfree or even just looking to eat #healthy and incorporate more fruits, veggies and plant based #protein into your #diet!

The Vegan Experience: Top 10 Tips For a First-Time Vegan
Source: Serious Eats

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

First of all I need to apologize for being MIA recently! Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter are probably sick of me on the other hand!

I have been keeping up with social media and have been cooking up a storm but have not have two minutes to get on here and write up a blog post and edit pictures and type out the recipe to share with you all! I am so sorry for teasing you with yummy pictures on Facebook and Twitter and not getting around to posting the full recipes on here. I promise I am working on it and will get each and every delicious meal, snack and dessert to you very soon!

So naturally, despite having about ten recipes worth of photos to share with you guys from the last few weeks. I decided tonight I wanted to share this scrumptious belly warming pudding I made last night and have since consumed all of: dessert last night, breakfast this am (2 servings) and dessert tonight. It super duper healthy and just sweet enough to help with the ice cream cravings. *I am making an attempt over the next few days to drastically reduce my dairy intake and then going to  go dairy free completely for a week to see if it helps improve a few symptoms I have been experiencing lately. It is common for people to become dairy intolerant after going gluten free. As their intestines and guts begin to heal, the body becomes more sensitive to foods that it probably had issues with in the past but were secondary to which ever major intolerance first arose… for  me that was gluten. When this happens, many of your initial symptoms return and/or new ones arise and you have to work on eliminating each potential culprit to figure out which food is your trouble area. For me, I have a strong feeling it is dairy. But to be completely honest, while I want to feel better, I am really hoping I am wrong! I love me some coconut or almond or soy ice cream, but I will miss all the amazing flavors and options in the non-dairy free section!!*

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

Vegan Chai Chia PuddingMy ideas for this recipe came from this recipe for tapioca pudding. I have been a little obsessed with Chai Tea lately… it has been the first thing I have had every morning the last week! I know it’s summer and 80 degrees out but when I wake up to my chilly condo after getting out of my nice warm cozy bed, tea just hits the spot! Especially Chai! I love the combination of vanilla and cardamon and cinnamon and ginger in one delicious warm cup of heaven! This recent obsession started when I found this amazing box of Good Earth Vanilla Chai Tea at Big Lots for super cheap!

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

This recipe combines the amazing superfood nutrition of Chia Seeds with the heavenly flavors of Chai and the soothing creaminess of pudding. It is so simple to make and can be chilled for several days and eaten cold or warm. Try adding fresh chopped berries or banana for an extra special twist! Be sure to sub the honey out if you want this to be vegan!

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 123; Fiber 4.5 grams

Fat per serving: 5.7; Protein 3.9 grams

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

You can prep/make this multiple different ways. You can soak the chia seeds over night. You can chill the pudding overnight for a thicker texture. You can serve warm like oatmeal. And you can add any mix ins your heart desires. You can also leave the oats out if you wish, but I recommend adding more chia seeds at the end if you decide to do this since the oats absorb the extra liquid and help thicken the pudding.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Soak chia in cup of water till saturated and they have swelled to about ten times their original size. You can also soak these overnight the night before you make your pudding.
  2. Bring almond milk and chopped ginger to a boil and tie off the chai tea bag to the pot so it can begin brewing in the milk.
  3. Once boiling, reduce milk to a simmer and add cinnamon, vanilla and honey (or sweetener of choice!)
  4. NOTE: Honey is NOT vegan! Use agave, maple syrup or sweetener of choice for a completely vegan pudding!
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes until flavors are well combined. Add more spices at this point if you so desire.
  6. Remove from heat and stir milk tea mixture, the chia seed gel and your oats together.
  7. Eat warm or let chill over night for a thicker pudding consistency as the oats and chia seeds continue to absorb more liquid. Try adding strawberries or bananas chopped on top for an extra special twist!

Notes

You can prep/make this multiple different ways. You can soak the chia seeds over night. You can chill the pudding overnight for a thicker texture. You can serve warm like oatmeal. And you can add any mix ins your heart desires. You can also leave the oats out if you wish, but I recommend adding more chia seeds at the end if you decide to do this since the oats absorb the extra liquid and help thicken the pudding.

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/06/03/vegan-chai-chia-pudding/

Vegan Chai Chia Pudding

I’m a little proud of this recipe! It is seriously delicious and super nutritious thanks to the Chia Seeds! Even my boyfriend who, isn’t Gluten Free or Dairy Free or Vegetarian, gave i his tamp of approval! He had never had chia before and doesn’t love almond milk so I take that as a pretty big ringing endorsement!

Reader Response:

  • I would love feedback on how many of my readers are gluten free! Are you diagnosed Celiac or gluten intolerant?
  • If you are gluten free, did other intolerance develop over time as you began to heal?
  • What were your symptoms? TIA
  • And last but not least, what is your favorite way to use chia?

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial DayI want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge all the men and women who have given their lives protecting our country. The United States military dedicates their lives everyday to give us the opportunity to “celebrate” holidays such as this. Please make sure that while you are with your friends and families, at cookouts or the beach or wherever you choose to spend your day off from work, that you take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really all about and to thank the veterans and current military members in your life! I know I couldn’t do what they do!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
So since I am hoping this weekend will also include a gathering of friends and family for you, or maybe just a nice day at home, I wanted to share this amazingly refreshing summer salad recipe with you! It is the perfect healthy dish to bring to a cookout or to serve as a side dish with a nice white fish or shrimp. You cold even add some leafy greens and make tacos with this as the filling! Or use it as a dip with gluten free corn chips! I love the Late July brand! They have so many yummy flavors… all gluten free!!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
This whole recipe takes about 30 minutes! I am even gunna give you a step by step for making this WHILE you get ready for your party! If you are a guy, just totally ignore the hair and makeup parts. In fact you probably only take 20 minutes to get ready so just go make this for your girlfriend while she is getting ready!! Sooo rinse your quinoa super well to avoid that nasty soapy flavor it might have if you don’t rinse it! Prepare quinoa according to package or the directions below. Once removed from the heat, jump in the shower. When you are so fresh and so clean come back and fluff the quinoa and place in a large bowl in the fridge. Chop your apple, onion, pepper and mandarin oranges and place in a medium bowl. Mince the garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and place in another medium bowl. Go dry your hair!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

While your straightener/curler is heating up come back and whip together the dressing following the directions below.

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Go do your make up and hair and put your party dress on! 🙂

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ok now that you are all pretty and ready for your party, gently toss the veggies and fruit with half of the dressing and fold mixture into the chilled quinoa. Drizzle the second half of the dressing onto salad and gently until flavors are thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Enjoy your salad and your party and remember to thank the troops… today and everyday!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 147; Fiber 2.6 grams

Fat per serving: 4.8, Protein: 3.8 grams

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ingredients

    Salad:
  • 1 c organic quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa, I usually buy Bob's Red Mill products but this one is significantly cheaper)
  • 1 large gala apple, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, diced (I used an orange one... I like the sweetness in them better)
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/3 cup) - use fresh... the bottled just isn't the same
  • 1 T local honey (agave nectar will work as well)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use less if you don't like spice!)
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves (use fresh not jarred!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 T POMPEIAN OlivExtra Original Canola & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend (can use canola oil or olive oil, or a combo of both... I like this brand for dressings!)
  • 3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

    Salad:
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer several times with cold water (Don't skip this step! You will be left with a "soapy" tasting bowl of what could have been delicious quinoa!).
  2. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a covered medium pot.
  3. Add quinoa, cover and simmer until the water is fully absorbed (approx 15 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and let stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to let cool. (Place in fridge, uncovered to speed this process up if necessary)
  6. Dice your apple, red onion, bell pepper and mandarin oranges (peeled of course).
  7. Place the diced fruits and veggies in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  8. Dressing:
  9. Combine the lime juice, honey, diced jalapeno, minced garlic and cumin in a glass mixing bowl, whisking briskly.
  10. Slowly add the oil while whisking to combine evenly.
  11. Once the vinaigrette is smooth, whisk in chopped cilantro (MINUS 1 heaping tablespoon) as well as the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  12. Combine:
  13. Pour in about half of the honey cilantro lime vinaigrette into the bowl of chopped fruits and veggies, gently toss to combine.
  14. Fold this mixture into the quinoa and drizzle in the remaining vinaigrette. Again, gently toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Transfer the quinoa salad to a large serving bowl, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve immediately (or cover and keep in refrigerator for up to two days).
  16. ENJOY!

Notes

NOTE: The longer this sits in the dressing the more garlicky it will taste. Be aware of this if you plan to make ahead of time. I recommend dressing directly before serving.

Inspired by: Food Network

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/25/spicy-quinoa-citrus-salad/

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Reader Feedback:

  • What are your holiday plans?
  • What is your favorite quinoa recipe?
  • What are you bringing to your holiday party… or are you brave enough to be the host!?

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & GF)

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine Gluten Free

Have you heard of Nasoya Pasta Zero!?! I just recently discovered these noodles at Publix in the produce section with the vegan cheeses and tofu products! I admit I was super skeptical of any product that looks like pasta, comes in a watery liquid AND has a claim to fame for it’s insanely low calorie count! 15 Calories! That’s it! You can eat the entire bag for 30 calories, which is a HUGE serving!
The equivalent amount of regular wheat, corn or rice pasta would be approximately 23o calories!

Nasoya Shirataki Nutrition Facts
Ingredients:
water, konjac flour, chickpea flour, potato starch, calcium hydroxide, reduced iron, folic acid

Pasta Zero FAQs

What are Shirataki Noodles?Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & Gluten Free)
A traditional Japanese noodle made from the Konjac plant root. Shirataki noodles have little flavor but absorbs the delicious flavors you cook with. They can be used just like regular pasta but will save you a boat load in calories and carbs!

Why do Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles have a unique smell?
Actually, all shirataki noodles have a slight fishy smell thanks to the Konjac plant root, which is used to make the noodles. It’s completely safe and is a natural smell which will decrease as the noodles are rinsed and cooked.

Are Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles Gluten Free and Vegan?Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & Gluten Free)
Yes

How do I cook with Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles?
Be sure to drain and rinse the noodles under warm water for a couple minutes before using them.

Are Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles made with non-GMO ingredients?
Yes, all Nasoya products are made using non-GMO ingredients.

Pasta Zero All Natural Shirataki Fettuccine Noodles

  • All Natural
  • Non-GMO
  • Fat Free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Calorie
  • Low Carb
  • Fortified with Iron

 

These noodles are similar to tofu in that they take on the flavor that you cook them with. They had a slightly chewier texture than normal pasta but it was so satisfying to have such a huge bowl of food for such low caloric intake! Enjoy and let me know what ingredients you decide to add! The recipe below is how I gobbled them up!

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & GF)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings

Serving Size: 1/2 recipe

Calories per serving: 118; Fiber 5.5 grams

Fat per serving: 1.4; Protein 3 grams

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & GF)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the noodles VERY well under warm water for a couple minutes before using them.
  2. Heat pan over medium heat with 1/2 tbsp of unrefined coconut oil.
  3. Chop bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes into large chunks.
  4. Drain and rinse corn. Set aside 1/3 of the can.
  5. Add all veggies to the hot pan and saute until heated through and cooked to your liking. I prefer to leave a little crunch to mine!
  6. Add noodles for the last three minutes of cooking and toss in seasonings of your choice. The noodles with loose their slightly funky smell while they are being cooked and will begin to take on the flavors you choose.
  7. Split into two large servings and enjoy your ridiculously low calorie and healthy meal!
http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/16/ridiculously-healthy-veggie-fettuccine-vegan-gluten-free/

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Reader Response:

  • Can you get past the funky smell or look of certain foods pre-cooked?
  • Is a slightly chewy texture worth the 200 less calories to you!?
  • What ingredients would you like to try with these noodles? I am thinking about trying a vegan cheese sauce!

So many recipes… so little time! PS. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mothers Day

I hope all of you have had an amazing day! There is absolutely nothing like the love of a mother. Mother’s are the most selfless, giving, loving people in the world! I can’t imagine a day without my amazing mom! She has made me the woman I am today and started my love for cooking when I was very little! Her favorite thing in the world, even after a long day at work, is to spend hours in the kitchen, creating delicious and healthy masterpieces for the family. She loves hosting dinner parties and having family and friends over for the holidays. I feel so lucky every day for everything she has taught me <3

———————————————————————————————————————-

I also wanted to let you all know that as soon as I possibly can I will be posting so many new and fun recipes! I have them! I have the photos! I have taken the time to taste test and devour each and every delicious bite… just for you of course! And I am so excited to share them all with you!

Recipes Coming Soon Collage

Here is a mini collage of a few of my favorite recent recipes! Once I have them all posted I will link them back to this post as well 🙂

LEFT: Zesty Lime Shrimp Tacos

TOP RIGHT: Citrus Cilantro Quinoa Salad with a Kick

BOTTOM RIGHT: 30 Calorie Veggie Fettuccine

I have been insanely busy lately… which is a great thing, but I am dying to have more time with my fingers on this keyboard to type up fun posts and the detailed recipes for everyone. I feel pretty confident you will all be excited to try them. I have been experimenting with savory meals lately to counteract my never ending sweet tooth and am pretty darn happy with the results!

Reader Response:

The Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever!

The Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever
I got home from yoga last night around 7pm. I WAS STARVING! I went straight to the kitchen, covered in sweat and all my yoga glory, just to discover our fridge was about as empty as I have ever seen it. Our fruit and veggie drawers are usually so full that they overflow onto the bottom shelf. I grabbed the 85% empty cottage cheese container and scarfed it down while trying to figure out what the heck to make for dinner. Even my go to giant everything but the kitchen sink salad was out due to lack of… well everything but the kitchen sink. The one thing I did have was a little spaghetti squash. It seemed to be staring up at me sadly next to the 1/2 a zucchini and 1/2 an onion (I am not exaggerating… all of the toppings for this creation were left overs besides the olives that had been sitting unused in my pantry for months).

While browsing Pinterest the other day for gluten free recipes I saw a post for spaghetti squash pizza crust. More than a little intrigued, I read through a few recipes but all of them ended by saying that you could only eat this with a fork and they were still trying to find the magic ingredients to get it to stay together like a pizza. They also all included mass amounts of cheese for a binding agent…

So there I am… in my kitchen… mostly naked… in my yoga clothes… covered in now dry sweat… with an empty container of cottage cheese, a spoon andddd… a spaghetti squash. I am pretty sure my cat thought I was crazy and was wondering why the heck I was in the kitchen for so long and he hadn’t been fed. I decided I was going to attempt the pizza crust, which I swear to you I was positive was going to be a huge flop based on what I had at my finger tips (going to the store was out of the question at this point, I would have settled on ice cream for dinner before I got my butt back out the door). I could not believe how insanely good this ended up! Even my pizza loving, Italian boyfriend, LOVED it! When he got home later from being out with friends he devoured half! He couldn’t believe how healthy it was and how delicious it was! I actually think I am pretty lucky there was even one slice left for me for lunch today!

I have made cauliflower pizza crust before, which I now need to try again based on how well this recipe came out, but it crumbled when you picked it up. It tasted yummy but was almost more like an omelet with pizza toppings. Hard to explain but that was the flavor/texture I kept being reminded of. This however… I still can’t believe it was made with spaghetti squash. You would think it would be stringy and have a weird texture or flavor, but it sliced perfectly, browned lightly on the bottom and even got crunchy on the edges! ahhh I am tempted to make this again tonight! lol

WARNING: I took way too many pictures! I am going to try and narrow it down on here but just to put it in perspective… I started with 253. I am going to blame the difficulties I was having getting a good shot in my fluorescent lit kitchen. I really wish you could just switch on natural light. That would be pretty amazing.

Let’s get started with the Homemade Pizza Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
Note: This sauce was WAYYYY more delicious than I expected. As I mentioned earlier, the ingredients in this entire pizza are literally the only things I had in my fridge and pantry. I know basil is more typical for pizza sauce but cilantro is one of my favorite herbs and this sauce turned out phenomenal! The cilantro gave it a light flavor that I loved!
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
The finished product was very garlicky but soo soo good! If you follow the instructions below, your will not be as garlicky because you will not rush and skip the browning of the garlic step. This will make the sauce infinitely better!
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

Onto the Toppings

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
This section is going to be short and brief for two reasons. First, those three pics are all of the toppings on the whole pizza. If you know anything about me you know I LOVE toppings! Pizza toppings. Salad toppings. Sandwich toppings. And naturally Ice Cream toppings! Normally this pizza would have been piled high with every fresh veggie I could find. Unfortunately… this is all I could find :/ The second reason is that you could put absolutely any toppings you wanted on this! Keep it simple with sauce and cheese or add some or that carnivore stuff if that’s how you roll or plan ahead, unlike me, and go to the farmer’s market BEFORE you start this instead of the morning after.

Next up… THE CRUST Pre-Baking!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
I am not going to delve into how to roast your spaghetti squash in this post but you can read all about how to do it in my post: Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!) It is super easy! Mine roasted while I was in the shower. I do suggest for this specific recipe roasting it ahead of time though and letting it cool completely or at least most of the way.
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
If you don’t do and/or if you skip the step about squeezing out the extra water (like I did… you live, you learn right?) the images above are what your crust will look like. I solved the issue by absorbing all that extra liquid with paper towels, but I felt super wasteful doing that and am pretty positive it would have been even better if I had gotten more of the liquid out.
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
This is essentially what your crust will look like pre-baking, except hopefully a little less watery. Rest assured it will still come out awesome if there is extra liquid in the pan. You won’t be able to get all of it and it will evaporate as it is cooking. So DO NOT WORRY what it looks like before you bake it!

Onto the THE CRUST in all it’s baked up glory!

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
These pictures do this crust absolutely no justice! I will leave you with the fact that the edges should be lightly browned and the whole top should be firm to the touch (15-18 minutes). I soooo badly wanted to take a bite at this point but knew I had to keep it pretty for the final pics! You’re welcome! 😉
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

And then we put it all together!

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
This is the part you get to have fun with! I was surprised how good this combination of flavors was! Try it out if it looks good to you! But feel free to add anything you like! And then let me know in the comments what you added and/or modified for you pizza! I really want to figure out how to make this vegan so if someone does please let me know!
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
Now put this baby in the oven and let the magic happen!

and the BEST Gluten Free Pizza Ever (IMHO)!

Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza
The last ten minutes of this whole process combine all the flavors perfectly! The cheese melts into gooey goodness and the sauteed veggies become sweeter and yummier and all those non-professional words that describe delicious vegetarian meals!
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
Despite having taken 253 photos, I really wish these photos were better. Actually I wish there was a way to photograph flavor. How awesome would that be?! Wasn’t there a technology discussed a few years ago that would allow scents to come from your tv?! I don’t know if that is insanely awesome or creepy. Maybe they should work on a scratch and sniff app for the iPhone. I would like to note that on 4/24/2014 I thought of this idea and all you can back me up if the inventor makes millions lol Maybe I should copyright this idea 🙂
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
The best part of this recipe… the crust is actual crust! It holds together! You can pick it up! OMG success! I am soo happy!
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust
So if your mouth isn’t watering you should probably stop scrolling, but since I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t be… here is the recipe! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

The Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 large slices

Serving Size: 1 slice (good luck not going for 2nds!)

Calories per serving: Crust only: 85, With Toppings: 124

Fat per serving: Crust only: 2.9, With Toppings: 4.2

The Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever!

Prep and total times include the time to cook the squash and prep the ingredients for the sauce and toppings! Cook time only includes the cooking of the crust and toppings!

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 small spaghetti squash (about 1.5lbs) roasted click here to read how to roast the squash
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft)
  • 1 T Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t basil
  • dash red pepper flakes (if you want a little kick)
  • Spray olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 can (1.5 cups) Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh cilantro
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • Spray olive oil
  • Toppings (can use anything you like but this is what I used... and only because they are the ONLY things I had in my fridge!):
  • 1/2 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 large yellow, chopped
  • 12 large pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1 T Shredded Parmesan & Romano cheese (feel free to add more if you like!)
  • Spray olive oil
  • Helpful but not a necessity:
  • Food Processor to chop garlic and blend the tomatoes and cilantro together
  • I have an even older version of this little guy and he did the trick so don't be discouraged if you have a not so amazing piece of equipment

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roasting the Spaghetti Squash:
  3. Check out my post on different ways to roast your squash
  4. You want this done or almost done when you start your sauce so it can cool for the crust making
  5. Homemade Tomato Sauce:
  6. Peel 4-8 cloves of garlic depending on your preference and size of the cloves and chop them in your food processor or by hand
  7. Add chopped garlic to a sauce pan on medium with a spritz of olive oil to brown and bring out the flavor (about 5 minutes)
  8. Add your can of diced tomatoes (1.5 cups) (Any kind will work but the fire roasted organic ones were super yummy! You could also dice fresh tomatoes!), cilantro, salt and pepper to your food processor and blend on high till the chunkiness level is to your liking. You could easily just chop the tomatoes and cilantro to your liking and mix by hand in a large bowl with the salt and pepper... the food processor definitely simplifies this though.
  9. Add tomato mixture to the pan with the garlic and simmer on low heat while you work on your pizza crust (about ten minutes until heated through and flavors are combined)
  10. Pizza Crust (this is the insanely amazing part):
  11. Add egg, eggs whites, grated Parmesan, rice flour, salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes to a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a large fork or whisk (Do not beat the eggs too too much!)
  12. Scrap the cooled spaghetti squash into a separate bowl and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You can use a cheese cloth or paper towels. It does not need to be bone dry but not super watery either.
  13. WARNING: If you do not let the squash cool and remove the moisture first it the dough will be watery... AND that's what happened to me. I ended up using paper towels to absorb most of it off the pan as it seeped from the mixture so it turned out fine but I think it would have held up even better if I had done the step above!
  14. Add spaghetti squash to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly again. This time you will definitely want a fork not a whisk since the "spaghetti" will be stringy.
  15. Spray a large baking sheet with oil or cover in parchment paper (I haven't tried this but most pizza crust recipes recommend it).
  16. Scoop your crust mix into the center of the pan and use a fork to pat it down as evenly as possible. You want it to be a little more than a 1/4 inch thick. To thin and it will probably burn. To thick and it will stay to wet in the center and start burning on the sides.
  17. Place crust in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Check it at least once during the time. The edges should be brown and the crust should be fairly solid.
  18. Work on your toppings while this is baking.
  19. Toppings (Get creative! This is literally ALL I had in the fridge!)
  20. Chop you onion and zucchini and saute on medium heat until lightly browned and transparent (5-7 minutes) I did these separate but you can do them together if you like. I like my onions extra caramelized and a little burnt 🙂
  21. Slice your olives... or be smart and buy the pre-sliced ones at the store... oops!
  22. Set aside toppings in small bowls along with the shredded cheese
  23. Putting it all together:
  24. Remove your crust from the oven.
  25. Scoop your sauce into the center of your crust and spread evenly, leaving room for crust!
  26. Add your zucchini, onions, olives and cheese evenly over the pizza.
  27. Place back in oven for 7-10 minutes. You want the cheese to be melted and all the toppings to be heated through without burning the crust.
  28. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes so the cheese that is IN the crust can start to harden just a tiny bit so the slices will be able to be picked up. I can not tell you how excited I was that the crust came out so delicious and that I could actually eat it like a real pizza without all the flour and gluten and yuckiness!
  29. LAST STEP: Try not to eat the whole thing! You will want to! 🙂 But seriously, half of this pizza is only 372 calories so if this is your whole dinner you should probably just find a friend and dig into this and a yummy salad!

Notes

I wish I could give this recipe more than five stars! Get creative with your own pizza and let me know what kind of sauce changes or toppings you added! I love to hear about modifications 🙂

Ps. Like any good pizza... this is DELICIOUS cold! Not that I had some after dessert or anything 😉

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/24/the-best-gluten-free-pizza-crust-ever/

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

Reader Response:

  • What is your favorite gluten free pizza crust.. besides this one of course?
  • Any ideas on how to make this vegan? Of course I know the many ways to replace eggs but I have a bad feeling about using cheese substitutes for something that requires melting and binding.
  • Most importantly… what did you top your pizza with?!

Snazzy Sweet Potato French Fries

Snazzy Sweet Potato Fries

It’s spring! Time for lighter, bikini friendly recipes! If you think that means cutting out sweets… you clearly don’t know me at all!

What’s better than a vegetable that naturally tastes like candy?? How about a vegetable that is easily cooked up to taste sinfully delicious and is served with a sweet and creamy dipping sauce and is under 200 calories per serving?! Ummm nothing!!!
Snazzy Sweet Potato Fries - Potatoes

*Buddha refused to get out of the picture… I guess he likes sweet potatoes too!*

Thanks to my awesome friends at Southern Acres Garden Center, I had a plethora of sweet potatoes calling my name this week. In the winter I almost always turn my sweet potatoes into creamy, hearty soups, but with spring officially in the air I wanted something lighter and more exciting with a snazzy sweet and spicy twist.

Buddha Loves Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potato Fries

Compared to corn, rice, wheat, potato, soybean, yam AND plantains, sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value when considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A and potassium! These nutrients provide antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and blood sugar-regulating abilities.*

Sweet Potato Fries

So that same vegetable that tastes like candy can also help you recover from a work out faster, help bring down swelling in your body and keep you healthy in the future?! I’ll take two please!!

Sweet Potato Fries

I am also in love with coconut oil lately and have been so impressed by all of it’s health benefits that I have pretty much stopped using olive oil. Coconut oil can “boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.”*

Sweet Potato Fries_Sweet Potato Fries - Yogurt Dipping Sauce Sweet Potato Fries - Sweet Creamy Dipping Sauce

This recipe is adapted from these fries that use olive oil to coat them and powdered sugar to add sweetness to the dipping sauce. They made my mouth water when I saw the photos! However I decided to lighten them up a little by cutting out all added sugar and swapping the oils.

Sweet Potato Fries - Sweet Creamy Dipping Sauce

For the dipping sauce I used Chiobani Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt which is slightly sweetened already. I thought this added plenty of sweetness but you are welcome to add sweetener of your choice if you want an extra special treat!

Snazzy Sweet Potato Fries

These fries are the perfect afternoon snack to share on the porch with a good friend over a great conversation! I am pretty certain my boyfriend would love them if I could get him to try sweet potatoes 😉 Maybe next time!! Until then, I promise YOU WILL LOVE THEM! So read on and enjoy!!

Happy Spring!!

Snazzy Sweet Potato French Fries

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3 servings

Serving Size: 1 potato, 1/3 dip

Calories per serving: 194

Fat per serving: 4.7

Snazzy Sweet Potato French Fries

Ingredients

    Snazzy Fries:
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, washed
  • 1 T melted Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil (any brand will work but this is my favorite)
  • to taste: paprika, sea salt, black pepper, minced garlic (dried such as McCormick) and crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sweet & Creamy Dipping Sauce:
  • 5.3oz non-fat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • to taste: ground cinnamon, sea salt, paprika and crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise (with skin on... unless you don't like the skin then hey go ahead an peel them first but you will be missing out on all the crunchy yumminess and most of the nutrition in sweet potatoes!) into long strips. Thinner = Crunchier and vice versa!
  3. In a large bowl toss the sweet potato strips with melted Coconut Oil and seasonings.
  4. Place on a large baking sheet in a thin layer and roast for about 45 minutes. Check every 15 minutes or so and possibly flip pan around (the back of my oven burns things while the front doesn't even cook things through).
  5. While the potatoes are roasting, blend the greek yogurt (or any yogurt of your choice... feel free to use coconut or another non-dairy yogurt if your diet requires no dairy) and seasoning together with a fork until smooth. Refrigerate until fries are ready to serve!
  6. When fries are almost perfectly crisp turn oven to broil and watch the fries closely. You can skip this step if you don't want your fries to be extra crispy. I broiled mine for about 5 minutes with the door open so they wouldn't burn.
  7. Place fries in a large serving bowl and serve toasty warm with the sweet & creamy dip.
  8. Lick your fingers clean 😉

Notes

Nutrition based on 3 medium sweet potatoes, one 5.3oz container Chiobani Non-Fat Vanila Greek Yogurt and 1 tbsp Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil. May vary slightly based on size of sweet potatoes and choice of yogurt, but either way this is a delicious and healthy snack to be enjoyed any time of day!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/21/snazzy-sweet-potato-french-fries/

Snazzy Sweet Potato Fries

Reader Response:

  • Do you like your sweet potatoes sweet or savory?
  • I am addicted to spicy food… how about you?
  • Does your diet require dairy free? gluten free? (let me know so I can customize my recipes in the future!)

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