roasted peppers with herbed goat cheese
well, hello there! long time no see. sorry that i have been m.i.a. for the past few days. as you probably already know, i am in the process of relocating to l.a., and i spent last weekend celebrating with my friends, packing up my apartment and saying goodbye to new york. tuesday, my parents and i packed up the minivan and drove back to my hometown, where i will be relaxing and regrouping for the next three weeks… then i’m west coast bound!
being that today officially kicks off everyone’s favorite weekend of summer, the 4th of july, i figured a bbq approved, crowd pleasing recipe is something you could use, whether you find yourself as a host[ess] or a guest this weekend!
these roasted peppers with goat cheese are one of my go-to recipes. they are so easy to make and i haven’t found anyone who doesn’t seem to like these babies.
for 8-12 pepper wedges you will need:
- 2 large bell peppers
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese seasoned with herbs de provence [you can find this in most grocery stores]
- 2 tsp. all-natural, organic honey
- turn your oven’s broiler on high and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- remove stems and slice the peppers into wedges about 1″ thick and remove seeds.
- place the peppers on the cookie sheet with the inside facing up and broil in the over for 10-15 minutes, until the edges start to blacken and the peppers are somewhat soft [see below].
- remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- drizzle with honey [less is more here] and then spread a generous amount of goat cheese on each slice.
- serve warm or cover and refrigerate to serve later!
zucchini noodles with creamy red pepper sauce + kale
okay. first thing’s first: go out and buy a veggetti. not only will it make this recipe 100x easier for you, but you’ll become addicted and want to start spiralizing everything. seriously, trust me on this one.
needless to say, this recipe is for zucchini noodles. i’m obsessed with these things for a few reasons… and those reasons are a] they’re effing good and b] they’re easy to make. this recipe only takes about 20-30 minutes to whip up from start to finish. that includes prep and cook time. the measurements below make about two servings. you will need:
… for the sauce:
- 8 oz. [approx.] of fire roasted red peppers [the kind that come in a jar], sliced in quarters lengthwise
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 oz. soft, plain goat cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves
- salt + pepper to taste
… and for the zucchini noodles/kale:
- 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized or very thinly sliced
- 1 c. fresh kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
1. place all of the ingredients for the sauce into a food processor [a blender also works] and purée until relatively smooth [about 2-3 minutes].
2. transfer the sauce mixture into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat.
3. once the sauce has heated [but isn’t boiling], transfer it back into the food processor and purée again to smooth out any lumps [another 2-3 minutes]. set aside.
4. place the spiralized [or sliced] zucchini, chopped kale and coconut oil in a medium saucepan and mix it all up while cooking over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. in a serving bowl, combine the sauce and zucchini noodles together.
6. serve hot [you can garnish each serving with a few fresh basil leaves] and enjoy!
avocado baked eggs
happy 2015! i hope everyone had a fun, safe and healthy[ish] new years and the best start to 2015 that you could have asked for! so that you can have a healthy start, i wanted to share with you a quick, easy and healthy recipe for your first weekend of 2015. while i’m totally all about being lazy and taking it easy this weekend, you still need to keep balance in mind, especially if any of your resolutions involve getting healthy or losing those last few pesky pounds you put on over the holidays!
on christmas morning, my family always enjoys a quick, simple breakfast together before tearing into our gifts. this year was no exception, but instead of my mom doing all of the work, i decided to pitch in an put my own bananas + bellinis spin on things. we had a bunch of fresh farm-raised eggs from the farmer down the road [yep, those things are accessible to me back home] and some avocados, so i decided to give eggs baked inside of avocados a try and if i do say so myself, they weren’t bad at all! they’re also good for you [protein + healthy fats] and who doesn’t love avocados?!
for four servings of these avocado baked eggs you will need:
- 4 eggs
- 2 avocados
- salt + pepper to taste
- any toppings, spices condiments you like [i used sriracha]
- preheat oven to 425º. line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease very lightly with coconut oil.
- cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove pits and scoop out the centers, leaving about 1/4″ of avocado meat around the edges and line up on the cookie sheet.
- carefully crack the eggs into the avocados, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes [you can adjust this based on how well you like your eggs done… i baked mine for about 18 minutes].
- remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving and topping with your favorite seasonings.
- throw some english muffins in the toaster to serve on the side and enjoy!
spaghetti squash with baby kale + pears
hapy friday, everyone! i hope you had an amazing week and are as ready for the weekend as i am! this post was not originally on the schedule for this week, but i received a spaghetti squash, among other things, in the mail from my parents early in the week [yes, that happened, they have a decent sized vegetable garden back in pennsylvania, which is pretty awesome], so i decided to do some experimenting and i wanted to share the recipe with you just in time for the weekend.
spaghetti squash is actually a lot easier to make than i expected it to be and the combination of flavors in this recipe is perfect for this time of the year. for two servings, you will need:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 c. fresh baby kale
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. crumbled pecans
- salt + pepper to taste
to prepare the squash:
- pre-heat the oven to 400°.
- cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
- place both halves of the squash face down in a baking dish with about 1″ of water in the bottom.
- roast the squash for 45-50 minutes or until you can easily poke holes in it with a fork.
- remove from the oven and let cool.
- use a fork to shred the inside of the squash, placing the “spaghetti” in a bowl on the side and leaving about 1/2″ of squash inside the shell.
for the filling:
- add the ricotta cheese, baby kale, pears, salt and pepper to the bowl with the shredded squash and mix together well.
- scoop the mixture into the squash shells and place back in the baking dish [face up!]. you may want to line the bottom of the baking dish with aluminum foil.
- sprinkle the crumbled pecans on top and drizzle with toasted sesame oil.
- bake for another 15 minutes at 400°.
- remove from oven, let cool and dig in!
have a great weekend! tomorrow i’ll post that healthy lifestyle staples that i promised you on monday, so come back soon!
crispy apple walnut muffins
well, there’s no way around it. fall is here and i’m finally coming to terms with it. surprisingly, i’m finding that i’m actually kinda sorta mayyyybeeee a little bit excited. i’m sure that being in europe during the transition from summer to fall helped make it a little less depressing for me, but now that i’m home, one thing i’m really looking forward to is all of the fall baking and cooking i can start experimenting with and sharing with you… apple crisp and pumpkin pie, anyone?!
muffins have always been one of my favorite fall foods. there is something about them that makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, but i find myself avoiding them like the plague because of the high amounts of sugar they contain [often the sugar content exceeds the daily recommended intake of 25 grams… yes, in just one muffin]. i decided it was time to find a way to be able to enjoy eating a muffin for breakfast without having to consume all of the unhealthy stuff you typically find in store-bought and bakery-made versions [refined sugars, vegetable oils, white flour]. the result? these babies right here. these apple walnut muffins are gluten- and dairy-free, use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, contain zero refined sugars and literally taste like a crisp fall day…. you’re gonna love them!
for about 12-15 apple walnut muffins, you will need:
- 1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 c. gluten-free flour of your choice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 c. apples, peeled, cored + diced [i used 2 medium sized gala apples]
- enough walnuts to sprinkle on top
- pre-heat the oven to 350° and line a muffin/cupcake tray with liners.
- mix together all of the wet ingredients [applesauce, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla].
- in a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients [flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg].
- combine the wet and dry ingredients, mix well and then add the apples, mixing until they are evenly distributed in the batter. the batter will be thick!
- scoop the batter into the lined muffin/cupcake tray, filling each about 3/4 full.
- sprinkle each muffin with as many walnuts as your heart desires.
- bake for 20-25 minutes.
- let cool and enjoy!
give these muffins a try this weekend and serve for breakfast with a hot cup of chai tea and a small side of plain yogurt. you’ll be feelin’ the fall spirit in no time!
do you have any favorite fall recipes?
spicy cauliflower crust pizza with spinach + mushrooms
i think that i’ve mentioned more than once that i am completely obsessed with pizza. seriously, it’s my favorite food and i could never live without it [i’ve tried before and failed miserably]. unfortunately, while pizza is not the worst thing i could be eating, it’s not exactly something that i can eat whenever i feel like it, so when recipes for cauliflower crust pizza started popping up everywhere, i knew i had to give it a try. i adapted this recipe to make it just a little bit healthier, added some sriracha to the sauce à la lucifer’s pizza and topped it off with my favorite veggies. i was literally blown away by the results.
for the crust you will need:
- 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. daiya shredded mozzarella vegan cheese
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- red pepper flakes to taste
for the toppings*:
- 1 c. marinara sauce
- sriracha sauce to taste
- 1 c. daiya shredded mozzarella vegan cheese
- 1 c. raw spinach
- 1/2 c. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
*remember, you can always swap out or add to the toppings listed here to something more suited to your preferences!
alright, here we go!
- preheat the oven to 450° and bring a saucepan of water to boil on the stovetop.
- place the cauliflower in the boiling water with a dash of salt and boil for 3-4 minutes [cauliflower should not be very soft].
- drain the cauliflower and place in a food processor with the garlic cloves. pulse until a course meal forms. it’s very important to make sure you don’t over process the cauliflower. you do not want a paste.
- line a baking sheet with paper towels and place the cauliflower on it. place more paper towels on top of the cauliflower and firmly press down, absorbing as much moisture as you can.
- transfer the cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and stir in egg, cheese, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.
- grease a large baking sheet with coconut oil and place the cauliflower mixture on the baking sheet, pressing it together firmly so there are no gaps and forming it into whatever shape you would like.
- place in the oven and bake at 450° for about 20 minutes. while the crust is baking, mix together the marinara sauce and sriracha. set aside.
- remove the crust from the oven after 20 minutes or once the edges have started to brown. spread the sauce, extra cheese, spinach and mushrooms on the crust evenly.
- bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the spinach has slightly wilted and the mushrooms have cooked through.
- let cool, cut into slices, and enjoy!
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