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Quinoa Pizza Crust

Have you ever looked in your fridge at all the left overs and wondered… “What am I going to do to be able to put these things in tonight’s meal without wasting anything?” This was one of those meals! I had extra Thai seasoned chicken breasts from the night before and a whole bunch of veggies! I knew I wanted to make quinoa but knew I just didn’t want it as a side. I was kind of craving pizza, but I know how guilty I feel after. I looked up to see if anyone ever thought of making a pizza with quinoa. Not to my surprise, it had already been done. I checked out a few recipes and decided to combine a few with things that I had around the house.  Definitely something I would make again in the future! Even better sign when your boyfriend polishes off all the leftovers! Looks like I got his approval too!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 6 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Place the uncooked quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and run under cool water for about a minute until water runs clear. Shake off as much excess liquid as possible. Add the rinsed quinoa and 4 tsp. olive oil to a medium saucepot. Turn the heat to medium high and stir occasionally for 6-7 minutes. The excess moisture will evaporate and the quinoa will begin to toast.

Carefully add the water to the toasted quinoa and cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let the quinoa cook for about 15-20 minutes, fluff with a fork at the end. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and let it cool for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, add the eggs, 2 tsp. olive oil, garlic salt, oregano, basil, and baking powder. Whisk until well combined.

Add the cheese to the quinoa. Stir to combine. Add the egg mixture to the quinoa. Stir until well combined.

Spread the quinoa dough into a ¼ inch, even layer on the parchment paper. I made cheesy bread sticks so I made a 10 x 7 inch rectangle. Bake for 18-20 minutes, edges should begin to brown.

Top with the pizza, or garlic bread, toppings and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Let the pizza, or garlic bread, cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

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Baby Spinach with Strawberries, Toasted almonds, and Poppy seed dressing

I never used to be a big fan of spinach, but I’ve been eating salads at work for lunch for about 4-5 months now.  I’ve slowly gained more appreciation for it. Also knowing that it’s packed with Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium makes eating it feel good. It also doesn’t taste as bad as I remember. I guess it’s true that your taste buds change.

As for most of the recipes I post, I changed up the recipe that I had originally found and posted the original link below! Loved this salad and I look forward to making it more!

Ingredients for Salad

  • 1 package baby spinach
  • 1-2 pints Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers

Ingredients For Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions

In a small saucepan, toast almond slivers until lightly browned. In a big mixing bowl put washed baby spinach with strawberries. I served the toasted almonds on the side but you could definitely add it to the top of the salad if you know everyone eating it likes almonds.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir.

 

Source: Jeanette’s healthy living

 

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Protein Crepes

I love recipes I can add protein powder too. It’s an extra way for me to sneak more protein into my diet! As much as I try to eat meat, I’m not particularly a meat lover. I also find that when I use protein powder it keeps me fuller for longer.  My recipe yielded 3 large crepes, but you could definitely make them smaller and get at least 6 medium size crepes.

Ingredients

  • 6 large or x-large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (For gluten-free use buckwheat flour, or rolled oats)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of two of nutmeg

Directions

Take all ingredients and place in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If you used rolled oats it will have a bit of a different texture. Lightly grease the pan with avocado oil and cook crepe. Flip when the center of the crepe begins to bubble, flip and cook till lightly browned on the other side.

Melting Chocolate

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a member of the West island cake club. It’s a local non-profit club for cake decorators! I joined in November 2013, and this year I was on the executive board as a part of the workshop team. I’ve learned a lot throughout a short period with them. I can say that today was no different.

I woke up at 8:15 and pulled myself out of bed to get ready, mornings aren’t really my thing. Luckily for me, the location was really close to my house. I ate my breakfast and hurried out the door. I got there for 9 like I promised I would. I’ve done a few other workshops this year and I didn’t even know what was coming to me today. Most of the workshops from this year have been max 10 people. This workshop had 19 ladies! It was an amazing turnout! What I didn’t realize that meant for me was how incredibly busy we were all going to be!

With 20 pounds of candy melts (10lbs of semi-sweet wafers, 5lbs of white vanilla wafers, and 5lbs of assorted colored wafers), I was assigned melting duty. Karen and I made a great team and juggled all the tasks. Melting duty meant, continuously melting chocolate for 19 lovely ladies, not just once but in about 4 rotations. I could see how the process if your doing it alone in your own kitchen with smaller amounts would be manageable and not too messy, but keeping those bowls heated up and reheating them fast enough was for sure a challenge! Oh, and I forgot to mention silly me wore shoes with a small heel on them! My feet are killing me!

I missed all the information of the course but I did learn how to melt the chocolate. A big thank you to everyone who came out today and to Italia and Karen for everything today! It was a great day!

 

Directions

Using a double boiler or a pot and a metal mixing bowl bring the water to a boil. Turn the stove off and place the bowl or second pot over the steam. Mix frequently so the bottom doesn’t burn. Turn stove to simmer if you need to keep warm. To keep colors warm you can use small bowls and your crock-pot on low.

 

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Taco Salad

Another classic for me growing up was Tacos. I love tacos, so naturally, taco salad is a must in this recipe collection!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 pound of ground beef (chicken or turkey)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 tbsp. sour cream
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 8oz Salsa

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Turn up the heat to high and add the ground beef. Brown the meat, stirring constantly, until crumbly. Drain excess fat. Lower heat and add the paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, and plenty of salt and pepper. Add water, tomato paste, and mix together well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Place the romaine lettuce on four plates or tortilla bowls. Spoon the meat mixture over the lettuce. Top with tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, green onion, and salsa. You could always buy a taco mixture to cut down on time if you’re in a rush!

 

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Wonton Noodles

I have to give all the credit to this recipe to my wonderful aunt. I was extremely lucky to have the chance to live with my Aunt Lynda and her two beautiful kids, Jamie and Josh, for four years while I was going to school and working in Ottawa. Throughout those years, I learned that my aunt’s won ton were a freezer staple. Jamie and I always knew we hit gold when Lynda would tell us she was having the girls over to roll wontons.

I’ve been waiting for my aunt to have one of her friend gatherings so I could learn how to make these, but finally just asked her for the recipe. I’m so glad I did! She explained to me that it was equal parts, ground beef, ground pork and ground turkey with soy sauce and green onion. Simple enough, right? Yes! It was actually just that simple!

It was a bit of an adventure for me the first time I tried to find the wonton wrappers. First, I tried trying the grocery store I was unsuccessful. I thought I had seen an oriental grocery store near my place so I decided to check there. It was way closer than I thought it was, everything was reasonably priced (some stuff even cheaper).

There was so much food in that store that inspired me to want to know more. I started searching recipes and reading about different oils and sauces that are cooked with and these sweet and spicy flavors. It made me excited to want to try these things I was reading about. I’ve always wanted to learn how to roll sushi, but I never really thought of trying to make my own oriental style meals. Stay tuned for more on that! Hopefully, I’ll have more oriental recipes to share soon!

I did change up my aunts’ recipe a little bit. I used turkey instead of beef, to make it a little bit leaner.  My aunt would always make a whole bunch of these and then package them in the freezer as meals. Due to lack of space in my freezer, I wasn’t able to freeze mine before bagging them so they got a little bit swished together, but they separate again when they are being cooked.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • Soy sauce (Added to taste. I personally used about a 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp.)
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 packs of Wonton wrappers

Directions

Make sure wonton wrappers are thawed. I had to microwave my first batch for 10 seconds at a time and slowly peeled top and bottom layers back. I had just picked mine up and I wanted to get started right away but I would recommend letting them thaw overnight if you have them. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

I made myself a little workstation on my kitchen table. I had a piece of wax paper, water, the bowl of meat, the wonton wrappers and a try to place the finished product. I would set up 3 rows of 4 wrappers, place 1/2 tbsp. of meat (depending on the size of the wrappers you bought) wet two of the sides of the wonton with water and fold the wonton into a triangle, then wet the longer sides and fold them up. There are different ways of wrapping the wontons, but make sure they are well sealed so the meat doesn’t come out when you cook them. I repeated this till I got through all the meat I had.

Once your wontons are all together you can freeze them in batches or bag them right away if you don’t have the freezer space. For individual meals or appetizer for two people, I bagged them in packages of 8 and for two people meal, I bagged them in packages of 16. My wonton yield was 175 wontons. I spent $22.00 coming out to .13 cents a wonton, and 21 individual meals.

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Broccoli Chicken Pasta in Light Cream Sauce

Broccoli chicken pasta in white sauce with a healthy twist! I love creamy white sauces, but most of the time they aren’t so good for you! This sauce is actually made of chicken broth and cream of broccoli soup. It was really easy and didn’t create a lot of dishes, which is always a win in my books!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 boneless skinless skinny breasts
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can Campbell’s creamy broccoli soup (low sodium if you can find it)
  • 1-2 heads broccoli, more if desired
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Optional)

Directions

Heat skillet and add avocado oil. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. While your chicken is cooking you can boil water and semi- cook your noodles, or you can add the noodles in the next stop. Add broth, soup, noodles, broccoli, pepper, and garlic. Reduce heat to simmer until noodles are tender about 15-20 minutes. If the noodles weren’t pre-cooked the mixture will have to simmer longer. Once it’s ready to add the cheese if desired. Mix, Serve, and Enjoy!

 

 

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Margarita Cupcake (Made with Tequila)

Would you care for a Margarita cupcake? These are to die for! They’re not too sweet & have a great light, low calorie icing!

I found a recipe I sort of liked. Decided to add things I thought were missing and removed some stuff I didn’t like. This is what I came up with. If you have kids and don’t want to use the tequila you can substitute it for more margarita mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup nonalcoholic margarita mix
  • 1/4 cup of tequila
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
  • 4 egg whites

For icing:

  • 1/2 container of low fat cool whip
  • 1/2 container of key lime yogurt (I like to use Greek yogurt cause it’s a bit thicker and has more protein)

Directions

Put it all in your mixer bowl and whisk on low for 30 seconds then on medium speed for two minutes. Scrapping down the bowl occasionally. Divide into 18 cupcake liners (2/3 of the way full) & bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.

In a medium bowl whisk together cool whip & key lime yogurt. Ice cupcakes garnish with a bit of lime zest and a slice of lime, and voila! Tasty cupcakes that will impress everyone!

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Roasted Garlic Shrimp on Asparagus & Peppers

Each New Year we always tell ourselves that we will achieve better eating habits. We don’t have to wait for a new year to change these habits. Changing things slowly to make them work with our lifestyle is what is important.

I realize how frequently I say, “This recipe is my favorite.” I think this is due to the fact that I just love food so much! When you make something so tasty with pure whole ingredients it’s difficult not to feel like every recipe is your favorite.

This recipe has a light sauce but still delicious. I suggest you make extra because you’ll probably want to take some for lunch the next day it’s so good!

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2   large red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (if you don’t have white add another half cup of chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and 1/4-teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4-teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened slightly and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

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Three Cheese Garden Vegetable Pizza

Three Cheese Garden Pizza – Yum! When I moved out my mom gave me a pile of recipes and I’ve been sorting through them for a little over a year now. Please don’t judge,  she gave me a lot of them!

During my search through the many recipes, I found this & I figured it’s probably way healthier than any of those frozen pizzas I used to keep in my freezer. I could also pack it with fresh veggies! This can also make a great appetizer!

I’ve also made flatbread pizzas like this. Instead of using pizza crust I used large tortillas. Quantities of what I put on the tortillas were obviously much less, however, sometimes it’s more practical if you’re cooking for one or only have tortillas!

Ingredients

  • 1 package of refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups of thinly sliced vegetables, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, zucchini
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to a 12-inches/30cm circle, using a slightly floured roller. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven. Mince garlic spread over crust. Sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the crust. Garnish with vegetables of choice. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning over vegetables. Back for 15-18 minutes.

Approx. 8 servings.