Monday, March 5, 2018

Pesto Potato & Burrata Pizza


 This pizza was downright delicious! The little seed/spice/zest mix that is added to the dough is completely delicious and I wonder if I can ever make a pizza now without sprinkling lemon zest all over it!!!  The recipe comes from the blog Half Baked Harvest and the blogger instructs using thinly sliced potatoes (which look so pretty). We actually had some fried potatoes left over from our Sunday morning breakfast so I used those instead and really the whole thing was so amazingly good. Please try this recipe!!! Here it is from Half Baked Harvest word for word (and also check out her blog because her pictures are so much prettier than mine!):

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1 medium potato, very thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon micro basil or basil leaves
  • crushed red pepper flakes
 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the oregano, sesame seeds, lemon zest, cumin, an a generous pinch of both salt and pepper.

On a lightly floured surface, push/roll the dough out until it is pretty thin (about a 10-12 inch circle). Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Rub the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with the seed mix, using as little or as much as you'd like. Dollop the dough with pesto and layer on the sliced potatoes, drizzling them lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.

 Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the potatoes are crisp. Remove from the oven and top with burrata. Allow the burrata to sit on the pizza and warm through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the basil, and crushed red pepper flakes. Slice and enjoy!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chocolate Banana Milkshake

Smoothie or healthy milkshake!? You decide! I drank this for dessert tonight and it was just delicious!!! I absolutely LOVE cacao nibs- they are a superfood full of antioxidants. I sprinkled them on top of the milkshake (to me this is definitely a milkshake) and it was super yum.

You can also put your shake in the freezer for a few hours and let it freeze a bit. You can then eat it with a spoon and it'll be more like an ice cream-ish slushy.

This makes one smoothie:

1 ripe banana
2 dates, pitted
1 heaping Tbl of nut butter (I used almond)
1 Tbl hemp seeds
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
3 - 4 ice cubes
1 tsp raw cacao nibs, optional

Put all the ingredients, except the cacao nibs, into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with cacao nibs if you like.

You can also put it in the freezer for 3 - 4 hours and turn it into a pseudo ice cream - YUM-O!! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Raw Chocolate Cashew Bars

Oh my goodness, these cashew bars are so delicious! They are no-bake, healthy and make a yummy chocolatey dessert.  My kids and I couldn't get enough of them.  Plus, they are raw, vegan (as long as you don't use honey) and gluten free.

I found the recipe on the blog Dishing Out Health. Here it is word for word:


  • 1½ cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup + 2-3 tsp liquid sweetener (honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup)
  • Pinch of sea salt
**Chocolate Coconut Topping**
  • ¼ cup liquid sweetener (honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • <2 tbsp hemp seeds, optional - this was my addition>
  • A few pinches of sea salt
  1. Add cashews to food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrap down the sides every 30 seconds or so. You want to process the nuts until they start to form somewhat of a paste.
  2. Add oats, coconut oil, liquid sweetener and sea salt and blend for another 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until ingredients form a dough (refer to picture).
  3. Line a loaf pan or 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with non-stick spray. Empty dough into pan and press down firmly, spreading evenly to all edges. It's helpful to use the bottom of a measuring cup to really compact dough.
  4. Chocolate topping: In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together liquid sweetener, melted coconut oil and cocoa powder until smooth and well-combined. Pour over dough, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and sea salt.
  5. Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 3 hours before slicing. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Fajita Pasta with Verde Cream Sauce and Roasted Chickpeas

I saw a similar recipe to this on Pinterest and was inspired to give it a try with my own spin. I loved the idea of combining pasta with fajita veggies. And it worked! My husband, especially, loved it.  He added a ton of hot sauce to his bowl! My son did, too.

This dish would taste scrumptious with thinly sliced, marinated flank steak or marinated chicken. You can add this in addition to the roasted chickpeas or sub them out. Enjoy!

Pasta & Fajita Veggies:
8 oz of penne pasta AND
8 oz of spiral pasta (this mixing is just for fun! If you want to use only one type of pasta, that's fine, too. Use 16 oz of one type)

2 Tbl olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 whole large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 whole large green pepper, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional (use more if you like it spicy)

Parmesan, if you like

Simple Verde Sauce:
3/4 cup verde salsa (my favorite brand is Herdez)
1/2 cup sour cream

Roasted Chickpeas:
1 15 oz can of chickpeas
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

**If you would like to add protein to this meal, shredded chicken or flank steak would taste great!

Preheat oven to 400F

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top to prevent sticking - toss and set aside.

To roast chickpeas:
Rinse and drain canned chickpeas. Spread onto a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle on olive oil and add salt and spices. Toss to coat. Smooth seasoned chickpeas into an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake on 400F for 20 minutes. Stir when you take them out of the oven. Set aside.

Simple Verde Sauce:
Add verde salsa and sour cream to a small saucepan. Heat over medium low until heated through. Set aside until ready.  If this doesn't seem like enough sauce to you, add more of each ingredient until you deem it enough. Can't go wrong......

To cook the veggies, put 2 Tbl of olive oil in a large pan. Saute onions for 5 minutes. Add bell peppers, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes, if using, and saute for another 5-7 minutes until everything is cooked to your desired crispness.

Combine pasta and sauce, toss to coat.  Place saucy noodles in a bowl and top with pepper mix and roasted chickpeas (and meat, if using) and Parmesan, if you like. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cold Sesame Noodles with Veggies

These noodles are incredibly yummy, if I must say so myself!! My daughter says this is her most favorite meal that I make - she cannot get enough!  They are vegan (if you use maple syrup instead of honey), gluten free (if you use tamari, instead of soy sauce) and just plain delicious! I served them with marinated, baked tofu. You could also add chicken and throw all this vegan business right out the window.  Do what you like! Just make sure that you make enough because your family will be coming back for seconds.

This recipe made enough for two adults and three children as a main course. Enjoy!!

16 oz pad thai rice noodles
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 or 2 medium carrots, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup shelled edamame

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbl olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbl sesame oil
3 to 4 Tbl maple syrup (for vegan) or honey
1/4 cup tamari (for gluten free) or soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, plus more for tasting
1 Tbl black or white sesame seeds (I use black bc I like the contrast in color it gives the dish)
pinch of crushed chilies, optional

Protein (optional):
Marinated and baked tofu OR
Chopped cooked marinated chicken
**If you want to add protein to these noodles, make a little extra dressing and marinate the tofu or chicken in it.  Please do not worry about exact measurements - just splash more of this or extra of that can't mess this dressing up - it's just good no matter what - trust me, this is how I cook all the time - these measurements you see, I do them for you, my dear reader, as a guide....when I make this myself I don't measure anything - I just eyeball and taste, eyeball and always turns out good!


Cook the pad thai noodles according to the directions on the box. Drain well; drizzle with a little bit of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together, toss and then set aside.

Add all the dressing ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk together until completely blended. 

Place all the shredded, chopped and diced veggies on top of the cooked noodles. Pour the dressing on top. Use tongs to toss and coat.  Taste the noodles and add salt until it is just right. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight - they are great the next day!! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Spiced Orange Granola

I absolutely love granola. I eat it for breakfast with almond milk, on top of Greek yogurt with honey and blueberries for lunch, and even dry as a quick snack (not all in one day, mind you!). Bagged granola can be yummy, but nothing, absolutely nothing, beats homemade granola. It takes minimal time and very little effort to throw a batch of granola together.

I make my own granola all the time without a recipe - it's really hard to mess it up - oats, nuts, seeds, oil, always seems to come together. But I was inspired by a recipe I saw on the blog Cookie & Kate to add orange zest to my usual batch. I also added cloves because well, oranges and cloves are always a good idea. The addition of the orange rind was so delicious I had to share it with you. This, of course, required me actually making a recipe for you - but really, I just eyeball it when I'm making this - so don't get too worried about exact amounts.

**One thing I am particular about when it comes to granola is NOT cooking the raisins and Craisins in the oven along with the rest of the ingredients - this will turn your dried fruits into super hard, chewy pellets that will really give your jaw a workout and who wants that!!? I like my dried fruits super soft....and for this reason I always soak them in hot water for ten minutes before incorporating them (I do this for cookies, in salads, etc....always soak your dried fruits in hot water before adding them to any dish - it will plump them up and take away that hard fruit texture).  So place them in a dish, add hot water, let soak for about 10 minutes and then drain completely.

I hope you enjoy this granola recipe!


  • 1 Tbl orange zest (about two oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (you can sub brown or white)
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups of seeds and/or nuts (I use 1/2 cup each of the following - sunflower, pepitas, sliced almonds, chopped walnuts. Use any combo you like)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cloves (depending on your taste for cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 Tbl vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds, optional
  • 3/4 cup raisins, soaked and drained** (see note above about soaking)
  • 3/4 cup Craisins, soaked and drained**
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil if you do not have parchment.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the orange zest and coconut sugar. This is the tip I got from the blog Cookie & Kate - while you are stirring the zest and the sugar together press the orange into the sugar with the back of a spoon until you can smell the orange. This will ensure the granola is infused with that lovely orange flavor.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and seeds & nuts of your choice.
  5. In another bowl combine the olive oil, honey, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla, and orange zest sugar and whisk until blended.
  6. Pour the granola onto your prepared baking sheet. Spread the granola in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes and then stir well. Bake for another 8-ish minutes and check again. I like to slightly under-cook my granola- I do not care for hard crunchy oats. So my preferred baking time is about 18 to 20 minutes total - and I'm always checking to make sure it isn't getting too brown. The granola will crisp up a bit as it cools on the baking sheet, as well.
  7. After the granola is cool stir in the hemp seeds, if using, plus soaked and drained raisins and Craisins.  And that's it! This granola will keep for a week on the counter in an air tight container or two weeks in the refrigerator. 
  8. Eat like cereal with milk or almond milk; sprinkle on top of Greek yogurt and top with berries or just eat it by the handful as a delicious, hearty snack. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili

Delicious! This was really just a delicious, hearty, flavorful chili that hit the spot on a cold winter night. The meal was easy to prepare - I love cooking everything in one simple pot. The kids loved it, my husband did, as well.  I served this chili with am amazing skillet cornbread (recipe to come) and a side salad.

If you want to add meat to this chili, I would recommend cooked, shredded chicken. 

This recipes comes from one of my favorite blogs, Vegetarian Ventures. I blogged her 3-Bean Chocolate Chili a few months back. Super Yum!!

Here is her recipe word for word:


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion , diced
  • 1 green bell pepper , diced small
  • 1 jalapeno , diced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 15- ounce cans Great Northern beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 4- ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups warmed whole milk (use non-dairy if wanting to make the recipe vegan)
  • Salt / Pepper , to taste
  • Lime juice , to taste
  • garnish options: cilantro , avocado, tortilla chips, pickled jalapenos, radish slices, hot sauce


  1. Heat olive oil over medium in a large stock pot.
  2. Add onion, pepper, and jalapeno and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and onions translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cumin and saute for another 30 seconds.
  4. Next, add flour and toss until the vegetables are coated. Slowly add in vegetable stock, while stirring, and then add in beans, green chilies, and corn.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in warm milk and let simmer for another 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Divide between serving bowls and garnish before serving.