Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Cauliflower Almond Pizza Crust {Updated}.


Yes, there are a lot of these crusts out there. Yes, I have made several attempts at making a version of this crust. Yes, I finally got one. And I like it. I even perfected it before I ran out of garden cauliflower, which is a total score in my book.

So you all know (maybe) by now that I have officially gone off gluten. That has also included most other grains because they are so processed they completely lack fiber and other nutritional values. That said, I will still eat myself some processed gluten free grains on occasion, however, I am striving to make my food as whole and complete as possible. In my book this recipe completes that cycle. It is grain free, gluten free, dairy free and chock full of nuts and veggies. Hello! Yum!

I found the original recipe inspiration for this post here. But the flavor profile wasn’t busty enough for me. I have altered it into what you will find below. I am a big flavor kind of girl, you have to take those bursts and gobble them up!

Cauliflower Almond Pizza Crust. Makes one large pizza or two small/mediums.


2 C shredded organic cauliflower (I used the shredder on the food processor, but you can use a cheese grater) (after watching this video, I am now using a blender!)

1 C almond flour or fine meal, packed

1 T kosher or sea salt (less depending on how salty your sea salt is)

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 t baking powder

1 t granulated garlic

1 t granulated onion

1 T fresh thyme or 1 t dried thyme (or whatever herb you like…rosemary will pack a nice punch)

1/4 t red pepper flake (optional)

3 T nutritional yeast, heaping (optional) — if you omit the yeast and find the crust too wet, add some more almond flour (this will depend on how wet your cauliflower is)

3 eggs (free range pastured if possible)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a pizza or baking stone, put this in for the preheat.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add eggs and mix to a smooth sticky mixture. Now, there are couple of ways you can spread this dough. You can use parchment paper on a baking sheet, or you can use a silpat. I prefer the silpat method.

Dump the dough into the middle of your silpat, get your hands wet with water and starting in the middle of the blob, slowly spread the dough out. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick. Just keep working it to the edge of the surface. **Note, if you are going to make two pizzas, only do this with half at a time!

Once the dough is spread out, lift the silpat onto the pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes. Prepare your favorite toppings.

Carefully remove crust from the oven and build your pizza. Return the pizza to the oven for 8-10 minutes longer, or until your cheese (if using) is your ideal version of bubbly! Cool enough to cut and dig in.




Filed under Dairy Free, Eggs, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nuts/Seeds, Pizza, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Super Bowl 46 – Some Appetizers!

I just love the Super Bowl because it is all about football food! It is a great “holiday” to make lots of fun little bites for. Especially out here on the West Coast, where festivities begin at noon, there are many hours of eating that happen. Growing up we always had snacks, but being that in the East the game doesn’t start until dinner time, we focused mostly on a big pot of chili and cornbread muffins. So, I really enjoy this new world of an appetizer “holiday’! In honor of the big game, I came up with these appetizers for this year’s party at a friend’s house. I know I am posting this past the big day, but these are versatile enough for any party.

Buffalo Chicken Cups. Makes 32 mini cups. (Recently I have seen similar recipes around, however, I thought this up on my very own before seeing any others.)


8 large egg roll wrappers

1 12.5 oz can of chicken breast meat, drained

1/4 C Frank Red Hot Sauce, or your favorite wing sauce

4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

2 oz blue cheese crumbles

3 green onions

blue cheese dressing

celery sticks


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese and blue cheese crumbles in a bowl. Cut egg roll wrappers into quarters. Using a mini cupcake tray, grease cups (I use coconut oil, but you can use cooking spray) and line each one with one of the wrapper quarters. Fill each cup with a scoop of chicken mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. sprinkle with green onions. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip. (Recipe inspired by Healthy Food for Living)


8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 C Greek yogurt

4 T turbinado sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 C mini chocolate chips


With a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips. Put mixture in a serving dish and serve with dippers of choice, I like to use apple slices and graham crackers.

Go team!

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Filed under Appetizer, Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Chicken, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Holiday, Vegetarian

Quinoa & Veggie Stuffed Winter Squash.

To make up for my Stromboli post so close to all of those New Year’s resolutions to be healthier, workout, and eat with more thought, I have made you this awesome protein and veggie rich dish. I still have so many winter squash kicking around from the garden this past summer and we are on a squash cooking rampage, so what better than filling it with more veg and the best whole grain around, quinoa. This dish is vegan and dairy free, though I give some suggestions below for dressing up should you want to.

Quinoa & Veggie Stuffed Winter Squash. Makes 2-3 whole squash.


2-3 roasted winter squash (cooking instructions below, this varies slightly from my standard recipe)

1/2 C uncooked quinoa (cooking instructions below, I do this the day before to make for faster preparation the night of)

1 1/4 – 1 3/4 C water

1-2 T olive or coconut oil

4 oz broccoli, broken into small florets (you can use the stalks too, I freeze mine to use in soup later)

1 small red onion, diced

6 crimini or white mushrooms, diced

1 large carrot, quartered the long way and diced

1/4 t kosher salt

1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 t dried thyme, crushed

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 T butter or non-dairy replacement, optional

Roast Squash Process

Preheat oven to 425. Cut squash in half and clean them. Place all squash cut side down on a baking sheet with sides. Fill sheet with water and place in the oven for 35 minutes. Start to work on the quinoa while this cooks, unless it is precooked, then get to work on the veggies.

Quinoa Process

Place quinoa and 1 1/4 cup water in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes adding more water, a little at a time, if the grain gets too dry. Stir frequently while cooking. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 20 minutes or more. If making this ahead of time, refrigerate in an air tight container. Now get started on your veggies!

Stuffing Process

Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add all of the veggies and spices expect the garlic. Sauté for 8 minutes (12-15 if you like your veg on the very soft side, I prefer mine to have some tooth to them), stirring frequently. Turn off heat and add garlic. Toss to mix and allow to sit for two minutes, stirring once. Toss with the quinoa.

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and discard the cooking water. Place the squash cut side up, add 1/4 tablespoon of butter to each squash if you want, and fill with quinoa mixture. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees, put the squash back in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, just to get everything good and warm (unless you added cheese, then go 15-20). Remove and serve.

Variations: Goat cheese, or any other cheese mixed in with quinoa and sprinkled on top. Served with your favorite pan gravy (this is how we had it…yum!).



Filed under Casseroles/Bakes, Dairy Free, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Grains/Rice, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

“Super Food” Kale Chips.

With Christmas travel coming up, the hubs and I were seeking some healthy snacks that keep well without refrigeration and that will keep us away from fast food temptations. We were browsing around at the store and saw some kale chips that looked really good. The only problem was that for a 3 ounce bag of the healthy goodness, they get you for $6.99, so yeah, we were not going to buy those. So instead we ran around the grocery store collecting ingredients to make our own.

Here is what we came up with. It is one of those recipes where I wish I was a dietitian so I would know more about just how good it is for me.

“Super Food” Kale Chips.


1 large golden beet (about .5 lb)

1/2 lb kale (I used the pretty purple kind)

1/4 lb spinach

1 t kosher salt

1 t granulated garlic

1/2 t chili powder

1 T coconut oil (heated to liquify in the microwave)

1 t toasted sesame seed oil

2 T chickpea flour, heaping (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/8 C flax seeds (I used brown)


Roast golden beet at 400 degrees until soft (about 1 hour) — the easiest way to do this is to set the beet, skin and all, in the center of a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Close up foil and place the beet in the middle of the oven rack. When the beet is soft, remove and allow to cool in foil for about 20 minutes, or until it is cool enough to handle. Cut the ends off the beet and he skin should peel right off with your fingers. If it is stubborn, just use a vegetable peeler.

Prep kale and spinach by washing them. Remove the woody ends of the kale stems, but leave the rest there. Rough chop the kale so that the food processor doesn’t have too hard a time with the big leaves. Add all ingredients except the chickpea flour and flax seeds to the food processor and process until everything is completely chopped up. You may need to rock the processor just a little to get all of the kale leaves broken down.

Move the mixture to a large mixing bowl and  add the flour and flax seeds. Mix to combine. Add one tablespoon at a time to your dehydrator trays. Be sure to use the solid trays. Flatten the dollops and make sure you space them so they are not touching.

My dehydrator only has an on setting. Even the manufacturers website and manual do not state the temperature that it dehydrates at. But you can see what I use here. I think that it is about 120 degrees. We used two different methods for measuring the temp and that is the average we are getting. I dehydrated my chips for 10 hours, turning after 7, but I think they were too thick and turned them only to make them cook faster. If you make them thinner, I would bet that you are sitting at about 6-8.



Filed under Dairy Free, DIY, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nuts/Seeds, Outside of the Box, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Root Vegetable Minestrone.

I still have a bunch of spring vegetables kicking around that need to get used up. Even without the root cellar everything has kept surprisingly well in the ground or the refrigerator. Soup is always a great option for using up extra veggies. I have never made a minestrone before today, but it seemed a perfect fit for my needs. According to Wikipedia, Minestrone is  “the big soup, the one with many ingredients” and it often includes “beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock and tomatoes.” How perfect for me that I just so happen to have all of the above on hand!

Root Vegetable Minestrone.


2 T olive oil

4 small turnips, peeled and diced

1 large kohlrabi, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 large potato, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 32 oz pack of vegetable stock (I used mushroom)

1 t dried oregano, crushed

1 t dried thyme, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 t kosher salt

1 t fresh ground black pepper

1 15oz can diced tomatoes

1 15oz can of vegetarian beans, drained and rinsed (I used kidney)

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the first 8 ingredients (through garlic) and sautee for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add broth and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and beans and simmer for 20 more minutes, covered. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Remove bay leaf and serve. Garnish with parmesan cheese or some croutons.


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Filed under Dairy Free, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Italian Inspired, Soup/Stew, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Quinoa Carrot Cakes.

We are continuing our whole grain journey with quinoa. This grain is an absolute delight. It cooks quickly and easily, it’s high in protein and iron, and it’s good hot or cold.

When I fry anything I like to do it in batches so that I can avoid having to put the oil away and clean the pan more than once. It is really the result of being lazy. In any case I have been making kohlrabi fritters as a result of the spring harvest finally getting here and thought what a great opportunity to make these quinoa cakes I have been formulating in my mind for a while.

These truly are fried morsels of goodness that are chock full of whole grain and veggies. This made 12 silver dollar sized cakes.


1 C cooked quinoa

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 egg

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

2 T chives, finely chopped

1/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 T flour

1 T  olive oil

2 C vegetable oil

Combine ingredients (except 2 cups of oil)in a medium bowl. Heat 2 cups of oil over medium-high heat until water will pop when splashed into the oil. Drop one spoonful of quinoa mixture in oil at a time and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side (or until browned). Drain on paper towel and serve with mustard or other dressing.


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Filed under Appetizer, Gluten Free, Grains/Rice, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Fridge Pickled Kohlrabi and Carrots.

Preserving spring vegetables is a great way to get to enjoy them even after their place in the garden has been filled with warm weather lovers like tomatoes and beans. This year we have a lot of kohlrabi and one can only eat so many fritters. So this was a great way to mix it up a bit and as is the case with most households, pickles are a team favorite!

This recipe makes one quart of pickles.


4 small kohlrabi

2 large carrots

2 T salt

1 C white vinegar

1 C water

2 T sugar

1 1/2 t pickling or kosher salt

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 t dill seeds

1/2 t brown mustard seeds

2 dried chili de arbol

6 black pepper corns, crushed

Start by peeling and slicing the kohlrabi. Place in a colander and salt with 2 T salt. Allow the kohlrabi to sit for an hour. In the mean time peel your carrots and cut into sticks. Combine all other ingredients in a sauce pan. When kohlrabi is done draining, rinse and pack with carrots into a quart jar. Boil remaining ingredients until all of the salt and sugar are dissolved and pour over carrots and kohlrabi. Cover and allow to cool on the counter then refrigerate. Let this sit in the fridge for two days before jumping in. I read that fridge pickles are good for about three weeks.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pickles, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Eggplant Caponata and a Little bit of Grandma.

I don’t often make other’s recipes, but my cousin Audra gave me this recipe to try because I just don’t like eggplant! No matter how I prepare it, it just does not get a long with my palette…nor the texture with my mouth. She said this is the one, the one her small sons will eat…I figure if the kids will, I should! And you know what? It was wonderful.

So I wanted to try this recipe, out of a West Shore Symphony cookbook…for those of us from Michigan we know the Muskegon based group as a symphony orchestra that has been performing musical pieces for the last 70 years. Now, while I have not heard the ensemble in person, anyone from Muskegon holds a certain regard in my heart as it was the birthplace of my father and the past home of my fantastic and inspring grandparents.

My grandma never made me eggplant, but she is THE inspiration for my passions. Food, recipes, garden, snapping beans, making cookies, baking, my grandma was one of the most wonderful women in my life. She was so sweet and so wrinkly, I remember the day when I fit neatly beneath the crook of her arm pit, back before I won the race of height. I will never forget the smallest of details about her. I truly believe she instilled in me a sense of urban homesteading…a woman who truly homesteaded…and moonshined…moved to the city and gardened in limited space, to raise 7 children and please a husband!! I think my soft spot is mushy over this woman!

I often wonder what my grandma would think about my gardens, my hard work, my meals. I think about it as I consume this eggplant dish, provided by another of my grandmother’s offspring!

So, we made Caponata. I had to do a little research on this one to see what we were getting ourselves into. This is a traditional Sicilian dish served most often as a side. The key is to keep the dish undercooked to maintain the integrity of the ingredients. All of them are so fresh and bright, but have the tendancy to turn to mush when hot heat is applied to them for too long. In typical fashion, though I set out to use the recipe supplied, I have wandered quite a bit here. However, I think we still succeeded in keeping the integrity of the dish insomuch as we have made Caponata and used eggplant!

Just opening the book that chronicles the life of my grandma makes me smile. I am sure there is much, much more to come.


1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 T olive oil

1 small red onion, diced (no more than 1/2 cup)

3 stalks celery, thinly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large tomato, seeded and cubed

1/2 C black olives, quartered (about half a can)

2 T red wine vinegar (you could use white or champagne too)

2 T slivered almonds

Pepper to taste

Peel and cube eggplant, placing it in a colander in the sink or over a bowl. Season generously with salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes to one hour. It is important with eggplant that you remove the excess liquid from it or else it will become quite soggy. While your eggplant is draining, prepare the rest of your veggies. Rinse the eggplant well to avoid your dish being too salty. Pat dry.

Cook eggplant in 2 T of olive oil over medium-high heat in a single layer for about 5-8 minutes. You want to brown it on each side, so flip these as they cook. Remove from pan and set aside. If you have too much eggplant to cook in a single layer do two batches adding more oil as needed to keep the pan well greased. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining olive oil and onions to the pan. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and celery and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Add tomatoes, olives, eggplant, vinegar, and pepper.  Mix well. Add almonds and allow to cool slightly before serving. If you want to make this a complete dish you can toss with some cooked quinoa to add whole grain and protein. Or you can cool and refrigerate and serve as a cold salad the next day. You can also accompany with a tablespoon or so of fresh parsley or tarragon.


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Filed under Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Midwest Inspired, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Homemade Ketchup.

I am really starting to get into making my own sauces. I have visions of all of the – containers lining my refrigerator door being replaced with shiny mason jars. So the other day when the hubs tells me we are nearly out of ketchup I thought, why not, the Chili Sauce turned out, let’s try ketchup! And indeed, it too turned out fantastically.

I did a little research to find a recipe I though sounded good. I used one recently posted on Serious Eats: Sauced with just a couple of minor adjustments to suit my palate. I was amazed at just how tasty and ketchupy this recipe was.


2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, smashed and rough chopped

1 28 oz can crushed tomato in puree

1/2 C packed brown sugar

1/4 C apple cider vinegar

2 T tomato paste

2 t kosher salt

1/2 t ground mustard

1/8 t ground cloves

1/8 t allspice

2 t red pepper flakes

1/4 t cayenne pepper

Sautee onion and oil  in 2 quart pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a slightly off-center cover. Cook for 2 hours (less is ok, I just really like to cook down sauces), stirring once in a while. Be sure to taste the mixture as it cooks adding salt if your batch of tomatoes is particularly sweet. Also, I combined all of the dry spices in a spice grinder to break them down before adding them, but you can skip this if you want.

Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender (can use a stand blender if that is what you have).


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Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Outside of the Box, Sauce and Gravy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Potato Enchinados – A Spin on Potato Nachos.

A while back I posted about Baked Potato Nachos. Since this post I have made this dish several more times and even spun it from nachos to enchiladas. I have also simplified it. In lieu of pre-cooking the potatoes, you can simply just pile everything in the pan and cook like a casserole.

The ingredient substitutions of this recipe are completely endless and this is ultimately why we make it so often. Revolving door recipes are very popular here. As much I love to cook and have a passion for creating dishes, weekdays can be tough. By the time I get home and do my chores, I really don’t want to cook a lot of the days. Cooking is a relaxing weekend event! So on those hard weeknights I have several recipes on the rolodex that we rotate through, the fun part is that they are never 100% the same every time. I rarely capture the ingredient list, unless posting it on the blog, and I always have something different in the fridge to throw in. So think of this recipe and the previous nachos recipe as a canvass for your ingredients…whatever you have on hand!

All of that said, I will give you today the recipe I used this time. This recipe makes a 9 x 13 baking dish worth of food. This is about 6 dinner servings, 8 lunch servings.


2.6 lbs potatoes (I had both red and yellow on hand)

16 oz red enchilada sauce

15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 can large pitted black olives, sliced (3 oz)

2 oz fire roasted jalapeno (if you don’t want the heat get green chilies instead)

5 oz frozen corn

1 green pepper

2 T chives

2 c cheese, shredded (I used cheddar)

Toppings of choice….like sour cream, avocado, shredded lettuce, anything you would want on enchiladas

Preheat oven to 400.

Chop potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Chop the green pepper. Prep all other ingredients and combine all into a large mixing bowl, using only half of the cheese.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cheese and bake for 15 minutes more.

Remove from oven and serve.

As an aside, I bet you could assemble this casserole the night or day before and have it ready to pop in the oven when you get home from work. Alternatively, you could make this on Sunday and use it as lunches all week. Other good ingredient ideas include cooked chicken or ground beef, red onion, scallions, cilantro, tomatoes, a squeeze of lime, mushrooms, kale, cream cheese or scrambled eggs.

**This also might just be a good gluten free enchilada recipe, but I am not too brushed up on gluten free cooking. Anyone know?


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Filed under Beans, Casseroles/Bakes, Mexican Inspired, Potatoes, Vegetarian