Upside Down Pizza

This appetizer, I made at a family cookout after finding inspiration from Giada De Laurentiis. I am a huge fan of the food network and happened to watch her create a similar dish on “Giada in Italy”. I perceived this recipe as a creation of pizza backwards!

To create this dish, I cut up two large onions and cooked them down in a sauté pan with some salt, pepper and vegetable oil. Once they were soft and caramalized, I turned off the heat and drizzled some balsamic vinegar over the top. I flattened the onions on the pan and added dollops of whipped ricotta with lemon zest overtop the onions. I then put a sheet of puff pastry on top of the pan and pressed down (do you get how we are creating this pizza backwards now??). I cut off the edges and put the pan in the oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. When I took the pan out of the oven, the puff pastry had risen and browned. At this point you need a plate or pan that’s bigger than the sauté pan. Put the pan over the sautéed creation and flip it quickly. You now have your “pizza” or savory crostata. I let it cool and added some halved grape tomatoes, fresh oregano and arugula. This was a fan favorite and super  easy to create! Try it at home and let me know how it goes! 

Build Your Own

Who loves meals that are both easy and impressive?🙋🏼This meal can be so versatile and is great for parties! Guests can make their own bowls or burritos just the way they like them! We have a base of cilantro lime rice and all the “fixins” ready to be piled on top! I’ve included roasted corn, cheese, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and lime! The chickens on the grill with a chile, garlic, lime rub 😋 You can of course use any meat you prefer: pork, steak, fish or none at all! We always finish off our plates with some spicy hot sauce from the fridge. Don’t forget to toast those corn tortillas if you choose to go the burrito route! Go ahead and get to the grocery store to prepare this EASY and flavorful meal!

*Lettuce* Be Healthy and Eat Well 

Time to detox after my birthday celebrations this week 😜 I was craving a fresh salad and whipped this up today. I love a good salad but what’s on top of the lettuce is really what matters to me (my family calls this “the fixins”). So, over my bed of spring mix lettuce, I added sunflower seeds, red onion, goat cheese and radish chips with a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The crunchy radish chips went perfectly with the creamy goat cheese. For the radish chips, I used my mandolin so I could get very thin slices. I laid the radish slices onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven with some vegetable oil, salt and pepper at 425 degrees. I let these cook and crisp up for about 12 minutes. I made sure to let them sit out and cool for a while after taking them out. They tend to crisp up even more at this point! Tip: soak the red onion slices in cold ice water before eating raw. This will take some of the bitterness away👌🏻

Yogurt Power Bowl 

The easiest of midday snacks! Healthy, tasty and pretty 😍 I used a base of nonfat Fage yogurt for my bowl, but you can pretty much use any yogurt you please! The toppings can be flexible as well. I chose to add apple slices, frozen berries, honey and a broken up brown rice cake for crunch. The honey and fruit added a much needed sweetness to the yogurt. I’d rather add my own natural sugars than buy a yogurt that’s already packed with sugars. There is a nice balance of textures, temperatures and flavors 👌🏻

From Fast Food to Fresh Food

When people think of fast food the word “healthy” doesn’t usually come to mind. Well, Fresh Healthy Cafe is trying to change this perception! They have lots of healthy meals and snacks made right “in house”. They do super smoothies, pure smoothies, juices, power bowls, protein bowls, salads, wraps, and paninis! They have many different flavor profiles as well… they have Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican and of course American dishes on their menu. The dish I chose was the Kale Vegetarian Salad. I love a juicy steak as much as the next person… but sometimes a light, cleansing salad is just what I need! This salad consisted of kale, red peppers, red onion, feta cheese, black olives, sliced almonds, tomatoes and cranberries. It came with a lemon and olive oil dressing on the side. Fresh + tasty = sold. I’ll be back @freshhealthycafe

Orzo and Roasted Vegetables

This tasty recipe I got from my mother! In honor of Mother’s Day, here is how to create this dish! :

Start by preheating the oven to 425 and chopping up your veggies. You need to dice red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper and red onion to one inch thickness. Toss this with 2 cloves minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper onto a baking sheet. Roast these in the oven for 30 minutes or until browned (flipping once). Meanwhile, start the orzo. Cook it in salted boiling water for 7-9 minutes. Drain the orzo and put into a serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl along with any juices that they released when cooking. Add the dressing. This consists of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. (Super simple and fresh). Top it off with fresh basil, scallions, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. This is a great recipe for parties because it can be made in large batches! It’s a tasty, fresh and healthy summer recipe! 

Tastes Like Home 

Tonight’s recipe: Black Bean Corn Salad. I have had my food instagram and blog since early January and I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe yet! As I’ve improved and learned throughout my culinary journey, I have tried some great new recipes and techniques, but sometimes you just have to go back to the basics. This salad reminds me of home.. this was a staple snack in our household growing up, and I have made it a staple snack in my own home now. It is super simple and can be made in large batches so you can eat it throughout the week! It’s pretty open ended as well. You can use canned items or go the fresh route! I used canned black beans that I rinsed and drained, diced fresh green peppers, diced fresh tomatoes, diced fresh onion, diced jalapeño (you know I gotta have the kick), I boiled a couple of ears of corn on the cob and cut off the kernels once they cooled, lime juice and some chopped fresh cilantro. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and drizzled some olive oil and golden balsamic vinegar to taste.