Tag Archives: Dinner

Mama Mia Healthy Pizza

As a child my favorite foods where comprised of some type of pasta/ bread covered with sauce and cheese. These included anything that had to do with pizza, mac and cheese, grilled cheese etc.; which have most likely led me to my food sensitivities that I experience in full force at this point in my life. Just because I have food sensitivities, doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy comfort foods. It means that I have to be creative to find healthy alternatives that satisfy both my nutritional and emotional desires. This being said, healthy pizza is still a treat in my book that should be eaten in moderation. Simply put, I will not be eating pizza and or pasta substitutes for 90% of my diet. Rather these things fall into the 10% of my diet.

You can substitute just about every ingredient in this recipe to your personal desires & food sensitivities. Spelt flour is a good alternative for whole wheat flour for people with gluten sensitivities or intolerance, however it is not a flour you want to use if you have celiac disease.

In this pizza we used ingredients that are organic, local and seasonal. Arugula has a wonderful bitter bite to it which is balanced out by the creamy texture and saltiness from the goat-feta. The thin-crust has a delightful crunch, along with some sweetness from the honey, lending this pizza to a great flavor combination. You can choose to top the pizza with any veggies that are season. We chose orange peppers. Other veggies that are currently in season in Northern California include beets, radishes, carrots, fennel, and some peas. Get creative, stay local, organic, seasonal and unprocessed.

Without further a due:

Thin-Crust Pizza Dough Recipe

¾ cup  water, heated to 105-115 f

1 tsp      raw honey

1 package or 2 ¼ cups dry active yeast

2 cups   whole wheat flour or spelt flour (or 2 ¼ cups sprouted flour)

1 tsp       sea salt

1 Tbsp   olive oil

  1. Combine the water and the honey in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture and allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes, the yeast is foaming proceed with the following instructions. If the yeast is not foamy, wait 5 more minutes. If the yeast still does not foam, start over with new yeast.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast-water mixture and oil. Stir clockwise with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed. Transfer the dough to a smooth and lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 minutes, or until the dough is slightly springy when pressed with a finger. (Do not knead for more than 5 minutes if using spelt flour as the gluten in spelt is weak.)
  3. Transfer the kneaded dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 F.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 balls. On two pieces of parchment paper, roll out each ball into a 10-12 inch crust, no more than 1⁄4 inch thick. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  5. Top the pizza crusts with desired toppings. Transfer baking sheets to the preheated oven and bake pizzas for 20 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted.

Yield: 2 10″ crusts

Adapted from Bauman College

Arugula Walnut Pesto

A unique dairy-free pesto made of arugula and walnuts, Making pesto is a great way to add fresh herbs to any dish. Spices can also be added for extra flavor and nutritional benefits. Keep some for leftovers to put on chicken, eggs or salmon.

¼ cup walnuts

1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 medium clove)

4 cups arugula

½ teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons olive oil

  1. Toast walnuts in a small pan until golden, about 8 minutes
  2. Add garlic and walnuts to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add arugula and salt to the mixture. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. With the machine running, gradually add olive oil. Add lemon juice to desired taste.
  4. Remove pesto from food processor

Servings: 2-3 pizzas

Adapted from http://www.lopezislandkitchengardens.wordpress.com

Pizza is way more fun to make with other people. Invite family or friends to join you in the ingredient selection and cooking process.



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How to Make Pizza A Healthy Option

As we all know, the original form of Pizza is delicious yet quite taxing in the calorie and Nutrient department. Did you know that tomato paste on pizza is approved a serving of veggies for school lunches? (funny, right?) I don’t really want to get started on the politics of pizza in schools however, I do want to provide a healthy option that can be made at home.

The following recipe provides an easy way to make pizza a healthier option while still being able to enjoy the comforting taste.

Zucchini Stuffed Pizza

Honestly don’t worry about measurements on this one. Just choose good ingredients & remember, everything in moderation.. except the veggies!


2 Large Zucchinis

1/3-1/2 cup Tomato Sauce

Grated Mozzarella or Buffalo Mozzarella

Veggies of your choice

1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

12 oz. Ground Beef, Chicken or Tofu


Step 1 & 2: Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Cover baking tray with tinfoil

Step 3: Cook protein of your choice in a skillet. I use ground beef, my friend Lizzy used Tofu

Step 4: Rinse zucchini, cut in half length wise, then carve out center portion


Step 5: Mix seasoning into tomato sauce

Step 6, 7, 8 & 9: Add tomato sauce & your choice of cheese then load on the veggies + protein

ImageStep 10: Add a layer of sauce to keep the veggies from getting dry in the oven


Step 11: Pop them in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Good way to check if they are ready is to poke the lighter green edges of the zucchini with a fork. The fork should slide in easily when your pizza is ready. The crust (aka skin on the zucchini) will be nice and crunchy.

This pizza is gluten-free. It can be made vegetarian or lactose free! It’s a very versatile dish that encompasses the oh-so-comforting flavors of pizza.

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Cooking Bender.. On a Good One

My new kitchen has been HOT this past week. I have been cooking up a storm (to say the least) which is even more enjoyable given that I have been able to walk to the local markets in Berkeley to get my ingredients 🙂

Some things that have been mixed into my menu since  I moved in on Wednesday are: quinoa, steel cut oats, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, eggs, turkey burgers, chicken salad (with pecans, grapes & apples), talapia, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.

For dinner tonight I whipped up a delicious well-balanced dinner which included 1/3 cup quinoa, kale, bleu cheese, pecans and blueberries with a homemade olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper dressing. I added some left over talapia for protein. This salad can be adjusted to your taste buds should you choose a different type of cheese or source of protein. All I can say is that this light meal was Deeelushhhh!

Up on the menu next week:

Salmon patties

Chicken Tacos

Zucchini pizza

and whatever remains in my fridge…

One major cooking tip I would like to share is to cook for two meals at once. This means that you should always be cooking enough for dinner at night and lunch the next day OR dinner for two nights in a row. This will save you loads of time in the kitchen.

Will be sharing my favorite recipe from next week’s menu. I urge you to try one new recipe each week!

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Spicy Kale and Pinto Bean Soup + A Few Hearty Additions

Hmm Spicy, Hearty, Healthy, Green, Delicious. No other way to describe this soup.

Serves 4:


2 tbs canola oil

1 small brown onion, chopped (I buy pre-chopped onions because I prefer not to cry)

1/2 tsp ancho chile powder

1-2 tsp of minced garlic

1 tsp red jalapeño

6 cups organic vegetarian broth

2 bunches kale, stemmed and chopped

2 15 oz. cans organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Step 1- rinse, de-stem and chop kale. Drain and rinse pinto beans. Chop jalapeño

Step 2- Heat oil in large heavy- bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and chile powder, and cook until onions are barely translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Step 3- Add garlic and jalapeño, and cook 1 minute more. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Add kale and pinto beans, and return to boil. Reduce heat, and keep at a high simmer (medium-low temp) until kale is wilted and cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Step 4- Add salt, pepper and chile flakes for flavor. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve

“PER SERVING: 343 CAL; 16 G PROT; 8 G TOTAL FAT (.5 G SAT FAT); 55 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 428 MG SOD; 16 G FIBER; 7 G SUGARS” Without the rice and cheese

I added 1/2 cup of brown rice and 2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese to my bowl of soup to make it a well balanced, hearty dinner.You can substitute quinoa for brown rice and if you want to leave out the cheese you can. If you don’t like pinto beans, you can make this with lentils or any other kind of beans. If you can’t handle the heat use the jalapeños without the seeds. As you can see, lots of yummy options for a quick and easy 4-step tasty soup.


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This recipe is at the top of the “quick and easy recipe” list. It is extremely versatile as you can tailor it to your personal flavoring desires. Here is my favorite version…

# of ingredients: 4

time to cook: 10 minutes

cooking experience needed: 0


1 bag of mixed veggies ( broccoli, carrots, snow peas, cauliflour)

1 packet of chicken (pre-cut into tenders or strips)

stir fry sauce (I use soy-vay, you can use whatever stir-fry seasoning you like, just be sure to check the nutrition label for sodium content- less sodium is better)

Brown Rice or Quinoa (I pre-cook this once a week)

Cooking tips:

Multi-task!!! Steam veggies on the stove or pop them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Heat up 1/2 cup of grains. While your veggies and rice are warming up, you can start cooking the chicken. Chicken only takes 10-11 minutes to cook on the stove, super easy- not as scary as you may think. If you like to spice things up a little, add some sesame seeds and chili flakes. If you are cooking for 1 person, package up the left-overs and have them for lunch the next day, you just cooked 2 meals in 1.

Other alternative choices for protein are lean beef or occasionally tofu. You can add ANY veggies that your heart desires, the more colorful your plate is…….. the better!

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