Cauliflower Pizza Dough

I feel like this blog does a great job of illustrating the fact that I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. I try not to judge any idea before a I eat it, and often encounter delicious results. I have started brewing my own kombucha, made chocolately desserts with tofu and chickpeas, baked delicious granola with quinoa, and even added carrots and spinach to my smoothies. So when I came across a recipe for cauliflower pizza dough I was intrigued, and saved the link for a day when I had more time and access to a large food processor.

On Monday when my mom asked if I had any ideas for dinner, this recipe came to mind. I looked at the recipe and comments, made some changes and started my first batch of riced cauliflower. Don’t be afraid by the long instructions, ricing cauliflower is really easy and not time consuming.  I wanted to be as clear as possible so the instructions ended up being a little long winded.

I will say that this dough is less firm than traditional dough. I added parmesan to the recipe in hopes of making it a bit more structured, which I think helped. When cooled, the pizza can be handled by the slice- but hot out of the oven, it is too cheesy not to be eaten with a fork. However the taste is barely distinguishable from wheat crust. My dad was pleasantly surprised that it tasted so good, and was a lot healthier. This recipe is a great substitute for traditional pizza; it is way lighter and easier than making your own wheat crust!

Cauliflower Pizza Dough

Adapted from Your Lighter Side 

serves 3 (or 4 not-so- hungry people)

Ingredients

1/2 head of Cauliflower (1 1/2 cups riced)

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 parmesan cheese, shredded

1 egg

dash of garlic powder

Directions: After washing the cauliflower, chop half to fit into the food processor. Process the cauliflower until it breaks down into pieces about the size of grains of rice (thus the term “riced cauliflower” :)). Microwave the riced cauliflower uncovered, without water for 7-9 minutes-My microwave at home is fairly new, so I microwaved it for 7 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Let the cauliflower cool for a couple minutes before adding the 1/2 cup each of the mozzarella and parmesan, the egg, and garlic powder. Mix well.

Grease a 9 inch pizza/cookie sheet. Plop the dough in blobs around the sheet, and spread to get an even crust.

Cook for 12-15 minutes.

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I topped mine with 1/2 cup of sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzorella, goat cheese, grilled chicken, and Kalmata olives before sticking it back into the oven on broil for 5 minutes.

My sister, Claire, is not a fan of goat cheese-thus the goat cheese-less section

yum

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Oatmeal Applesauce Pancakes

Yesterday was not the most fun of days. I spent most of my time in front of the computer alternately:

1. defining terrorism-and generally just researching terrorist groups for a paper in my Ethics of War class

2. reading blogs- congrats to Lora, looking at Kath’s cute interview outfits, and an older but super inspirational post from swim bike mom about her Half Ironman (sob alert!)

3. writing a reflection paper about my mentoring experience

4. watching episodes from season 5 of How I Met Your Mother- slowly but surely getting through the whole series

5. trying to understand participles in all their forms in Russian- not much success in that department :/

I also fit in a decent three mile run in the afternoon to keep me from going stir crazy.

Despite the blahs of finals week, I got my day off to a great start with an Oatmeal Applesauce Pancake! I opened a big container of applesauce a couple days ago and need to use it all up before it goes bad. Any easy applesauce recipe suggestions?

I basically used this recipe by Whole Foods, but I added a 1/4 cup of milk and omitted the syrup. These are not as filling as my protein pancakes, but still a great option for a healthy breakfast.

Oatmeal Applesauce Pancakes

adapted from Oatmeal Apple Pancakes

Ingredients

1 egg

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup rolled oats (use GF if needed)

1/4 cup milk

dash of cinnamon

Directions: Add all of ingredients to blender (I use my magic bullet) and blend until the batter is smooth. Cook on a greased pan 2-3 minutes each side.

I topped mine with almond butter

Enjoyed with some Chai tea to wake me up

Also, “apple sauce” one word or two?

Chickpea Pop’ems

Today’s recipe is one of my favorite new snacks-roasted chickpeas! They are a lot healthier than chips, and have the salty crunch that I crave. This version is a bit on the spicy side, so keep that in mind with deciding how much cayenne you want to use.

Chickpea Pop’ems

Ingredients:

1 can (16 oz) Chickpeas

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450. Drain and pat dry chickpeas. Add seasonings, stir to combine. Pour onto a lightly greased pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, shake the pan every ten minutes or so to achieve an even roast. Store in an airtight container

Fish in Flames

I was afraid that I would have to write a boring dinner post for today, but luckily (kind of) my dinner proved to be really exciting and tasty.

I bought a package of Swai filets last week, and have been trying some new recipes and ways to cook them. Last night I used this great recipe, for an Asian-inspired meal. I wrapped the fish up in wax paper with green onions, ginger, frozen green beans, lemon juice, soy sauce and a drizzle of oil.

I put the wrapped fish into the oven. Then various things made me nervous, so I took it out to check on it after about 15 minutes. First of all, I wrapped it in wax paper instead of parchment paper. I don’t have parchment paper, and thought I could substitute wax paper without a problem. I was partly right. But instead of smelling like ginger-fish-deliciousness, the kitchen smelled like melting wax, which unnerved me a little bit. Also the recipe did not specify an oven temp so I kind of guessed and set it for 375, but I did not want the fish to be over or under cooked.

I had to rip through the paper in order to poke the fish and see if it was cooked and flaky. It was not. Since I had already ripped up the paper, there was no way to really rewrap the fish. I just put the whole thing back into the oven.

Then the wax paper caught fire.

All of the paper around my fish instantly transformed into flames. As I watched the fire spread from one section to literally a ring of fire around the fish, I weighed several options in my mind: was there enough liquid in the pan to let it burn itself out? should I take it out of the oven? but then where would I put it? The first thing I did was a pure gut reaction- I attempted to “blow out” the fire.

Yeah, that didn’t really work.

At all.

So instead of taking any action, I just stood dumbfounded for about ten seconds until the fire burnt it self out. The paper around the edges burnt away, but the fish seemed fine. Jenny helped me pick out some of the stray ash pieces with chopsticks. Then I closed the oven door to let it finish cooking. It turned out delicious-you couldn’t even taste the flames/ash!! 😉

Close-up of the damage:

Have you ever set something on fire in the kitchen?

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

This morning I woke up early for some “Power Yoga” at 8. I was not in the most excited of moods to be up that early on a day in which my only class is at 5 pm (I know, the tough life of a college student ;)). I decided to run to the class, since the rec center is about a mile away and it was FREEZING outside. Running woke me up and warmed me up considerably, and got me in the mood for class. The past week, my hamstrings have felt really tight so I wanted to focus on loosening them up.

What felt like hours of downward dog and forward fold took care of that wish!!

The class was amazing, and left me relaxed and energized. I am going to try and go more often, it really is a great way to start my day 🙂

Since Spring Break is only 2 weeks away (woop woop)!! I have adjusted my diet a little to focus on eating more vegetables and less sugars. Additionally, I am bulking up my protein sources and trying to eat more meat, which for me usually translates to fish. The below recipe combines my two goals of vegetables and protein! I will probably eat it over a salad…for my next 5 lunches because it makes a TON.

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

Ingredients

1/2 med red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 pint carton cherry tomatoes

2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained

1 12 oz. can of tuna, drained

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions: Chop the red onion first and the pour 1 Tbsp of lemon juice over it to take some of the bite off the onions. Chop the garlic, and cut tomatoes in half. Add the tuna, beans, and vegetables to a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the remaining 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad and mix to combine. Makes 4 servings (or lunch for the rest of the week ;)).

Valentine’s Day recap and Mashed Cauliflower

I forgot to talk about what Perry and I ended up doing for Valentine’s Day, since I just did a picture post. First of all, I was surprised by a mid-morning visitor bearing roses 🙂

Any guesses on who that handsome man was?

Conflicting schedules limited the visit to about 30 minutes, but it was a great way to start my day!

I had lunch with Kath, and then headed over to cycle. I think I have perfected my pre-workout meal now! I used to just eat my normal lunch with a salad, greek yogurt, fruit, and some nuts or other randomness. But I would feel sluggish about halfway through class and be counting down the minutes until I could get off the bike. After reading this article, I changed up my pre-workout food. For the past couple of weeks, I have been fueling up with an almond butter sandwich on wheat bread with a banana. I also sip on 24 oz of green tea until about an half an hour before the class. The caffeine does wonders for my energy levels. I know caffeine has dehydrating effects, but I feel that during my 45 minute class I am not really at risk for dehydration. After class I barely made it through one round of Simply Abs. I did each exercise for 50 seconds with a 10 second break and it killed me!

I did some work and got ready to go out with Perry to see Alvin Ailey at UNC’s Memorial Hall. Ailey is one of my most favorite dance companies. Their style is an extraordinary mix of ballet and jazz, with African influences. All of the dances were incredible, but my favorites included their signature piece “Revelations”.

 source

source 

Yesterday I also made mashed cauliflower for the first time. I looked at several recipes before deciding to make my own. I think its a great substitution for mashed white potatoes; the texture is definitely much lighter, but the flavors are the same. I may or may not have eaten the whole container by myself…

 

Mashed Cauliflower

8 oz frozen cauliflower

2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tsp Italian Herb Blend (with Thyme and Oregano)

Defrost the cauliflower in the microwave. Add the butter and microwave until it melts. Put the cauliflower and butter in your food processor with the greek yogurt. Blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Flavor with Italian seasoning and salt.

Collard Wraps

The concert last night was amazing! I will post a full recap tomorrow.

In the meantime here is a great idea for an alternative “burrito” of sorts. I have made these a couple times, with various fillings and sauces. Most combinations were pretty good, and I will probably post some more ideas later. Collards are great to use as the wrap because the leaves are pretty big and rather sturdy.

Brown Rice and Kale Collard Wraps

3 large collard leaves

¼ cup brown rice

5 radishes, diced (not cut like in my pictures, because the radishes poked holes in the collards when I wrapped them up)

¼ cup kale

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Wash the leaves in really hot water to blanch them a bit and soften. Fill with rice, kale, and radishes-be mindful that you probably won’t need as much filling as you might think. I had problems overstuffing my first couple batches. Drizzle with the vinegar of your choice. Wrap up like a burrito.

Yum!