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Zucchini Pizza Boats!

If you are like me, you are so happy when fruits and veggies come in season.  They are cheaper, more readily available and they taste better.  It’s even more exciting when you are growing your own, or can share what is growing in your neighbor’s garden.  But what happens when all your zucchini comes in at once?  Or you buy a ton of it at the Farmer’s Market because it looks beautiful and you can’t resist?  Zucchini Pizza Boats!

Zucchini Pizza Boats are a great meal anytime, one of my favorite leftovers (yummy for a quick lunch or afternoon snack), and they also makes a really fun appetizer.  Just cut them up into bite sizes and serve – your guests will love them.  They are so easy, too.  Get all your favorite pizza toppings out and let everyone make their own!

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Zucchini Pizza Boats

I’ve seen lots of recipes for these, but I took my inspiration from Paleo Indulgences by Tammy Credicott

Preheat oven to 400º.  Clean the zucchini, then split in half lengthwise and scoop out part of the center and seeds to make a shallow trough.  Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment with the hollowed-out side up.

Fill the hollowed-out center with pizza sauce, your favorite marinara sauce or bruschetta topping and then start layering all your favorite pizza toppings.  I use turkey sausage and mushroom and I’ve also made some using turkey canadian bacon and caramelized onions.  (Just make sure that the toppings, like sausage, are already cooked).  Quick Note:  If using dairy-free cheese (I use Daiya), I typically put the cheese over the sauce and then put toppings on top of that.  It seems to melt a bit better for me that way.

Bake about 30-40 minutes or until toppings and sauce are bubbling and zucchini is soft.  After cooling a bit, serve as is or slice into 3-4 bite-sized pieces if serving as an appetizer.

 

Make a Healthier (and easy!) Pancake

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a pancake.  Ok, quite a while, actually.  Although gluten-free pancakes are pretty easy, grain-free is a different story, especially for those of us who find almond flour too tough too handle.  Then I saw something online (I think it was on Facebook) about making pancakes from eggs and a banana.  Seriously!  Well, I was so curious I just had to try it.  It works!  I’ve made them a few times now, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

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The recipe is easy – 2 eggs, beaten + 1 smushed banana.  That’s basically it, although I usually throw in a dash of cinnamon and a couple drops of vanilla, just because.  As you can see in the picture, they aren’t as thick as a “grainy” pancake, more like a thicker crepe. Still yummy, especially smeared with almond butter.  (Fair warning:  a pretty strong banana flavor so if you aren’t crazy about banana, this recipe might not be your favorite).

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Healthy Fruit & Nut Cookies

Inspired by Mark Sisson’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (original recipe can be found here on www.marksdailyapple.com -this website is a great resource!)

Ingredients:

4 – 6 dates, pits removed
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 – 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, apricots)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grind dates in the food processor until a paste forms, about 40 seconds. Add walnuts and pecans and blend until very finely chopped, about 35 seconds. Add baking soda and salt and pulse a few more times.

Warm the coconut oil so it is in liquid form. With the food processor running, drizzle it into the batter with the egg and vanilla. Stop mixing as soon as the egg and oil are blended in.

Scrape the batter into a bowl and stir in coconut and chocolate chips by hand. The dough will be sticky and wet. Drop 12 portions of the dough onto a cookie sheet, then flatten slightly with your fingers.

Bake 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Variation: I added a smushed banana to 3-4 dates to make a moister cookie, and pumpkin works too (try 1/4 -1/3 cup).  Add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to make them taste like Autumn!

Recipes Are Just The Starting Point

The best thing about recipes is that they can be changed – a lot!  Some of the recipes I use started out as someone else’s and I tweaked them to make them a bit healthier.  Some of the recipes I post are mine and I hope you use them as a starting point and tweak them to include ingredients that you like.

If you try anything that works really well and want to share, please do!  You can post your substitutions or variations in the comments section below each recipe.  I happen to think that learning from each other is one of the best parts about cooking, and if we all help and encourage each other down this path towards better health, it makes it an awful lot more fun!