After a long week of parent-teacher conferences and tons of work, I felt like I deserved to treat myself to my favorite foods. Honestly, I’ll make up nearly any excuse to prepare my faves. “I’m exhausted. I think I need some No-Bake Nutella Pie to perk me up”……”I was coughing all day. I bet Quinoa Pizza would make me feel better”……(and my personal favorite) “_______ hurts (insert any body part). It’s a good thing chocolate heals everything!” Yep, it doesn’t take much for me to convince myself that I need a good dose of foodie therapy–aka, time spent playing in the kitchen and eating non-stop.
I think it’s probably no secret that I’m obsessed with the Quinoa Pizza. I mean, seriously? Pizza that’s super easy, vegan, AND gluten-free? How could I not make it constantly?!! Over the years, I’ve probably tried hundreds–if not thousands–of variations of this yummy pizza. I don’t think I have a favorite, but there are a few tried-and-true versions that I eat pretty regularly. Yesterday, exhausted from work and conferences, I decided that I was too tired to put much effort into the pizza that I was desperately craving. Instead, I used the hummus that I had on hand along with some fresh veggies and dubbed it my Mediterranean Hummus Pizza. The end result: a light, fresh, and completely healthy pizza that cured my cravings and left this pooped girl with a very content smile on her face.
Without a doubt, this pizza will be making its way into my regular rotation. In fact, ahem……I think I feel another cough coming on, and I’m pretty sure I know exactly what would make me feel better!!
Mediterranean Hummus Pizza
A delicious and healthy pizza that's also gluten-free and vegan.
3/4 cup raw quinoa, soaked for at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained
1/4 - 1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 + 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small clove garlic, minced
For the Toppings
3-4 Tbs. hummus
1 Roma tomato, sliced thin
1/4 - 1/2 of a cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1-2 mushrooms, sliced thin
a few thin slices of red onion
a few kalamata olives, sliced thin
artichoke hearts, sliced thin (optional)
a sprinkling of fresh or dried oregano (optional)
Blend all of the crust ingredients (using only 1/2 Tbs. olive oil) in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Begin with only 1/4 cup water and add more as needed until it reaches a pancake batter-like consistency.
There are 2 methods for cooking the dough. In the oven: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and coat either a cast iron skillet or an 8-inch cake pan with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. olive oil. Allow the skillet/pan to heat up for approx. 10 min. (you can do this while you prepare the toppings). Add the quinoa "dough" to the heated pan, swirl the pan around so that the batter distributes evenly, and return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Flip the dough over and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the dough begins to turn a golden brown.
OR, on the stove: Heat a non-stick pan with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. of olive oil over medium heat. Pour the quinoa "dough" into the pan and swirl the pan around to distribute the batter evenly. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the bottom is firm and golden brown. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes or until the dough is cooked evenly on both sides.
Turn on the broiler and set the rack on the second level from the top.
Top the pizza with hummus, leaving about 1/2-1 inch of the edges exposed. Layer the veggies on top.
Place the pizza on a cookie sheet and set on the oven rack under the broiler. Allow the pizza toppings to cook for approx. 5-10 minutes, watching carefully to make sure that the veggies don't burn. When the toppings are done, remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool.
There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t crave Mexican food. I could eat tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never tire of it. Even though Mexican food isn’t known for being particularly healthy, I believe everything is OK in moderation. The problem with that: I just can’t control myself! I’ll eat several veggie tacos and an entire bag of tortilla chips and still crave more. And don’t even get me started on the guacamole….
It’s for that very reason that I like to make my own Mexican-style meals when those pesky cravings strike. That way, at least I know all of the ingredients that are going into my food and I’m able to cut out as much of the unhealthy and fatty elements as possible. Yes, I still eat a lot, but it’s a lot of healthy, whole foods.
“Eat the Rainbow.” I’ve heard this saying at least a million times and the main idea behind it is that you should consume a wide variety of foods to ensure that you’re getting all of the nutrients your body needs. In my mind, this Purple Potato Quinoa Salad is the epitome of eating the rainbow! And since I’m throwing old adages around, I’ll toss another one out there: “You first eat with your eyes.” Basically, the more visually appealing the dish, the more likely you are to want to eat it and to enjoy it. Yep, once again, I’m reminded of this salad.
With only two days left until Thanksgiving, this is about the time when I start putting the finishing touches on the holiday menu. This year is a bit different though: my hubby, stepson, and I are all visiting my amazing in-laws. Because I’m a guest in a house full of big-time meat eaters, I’ve decided that, rather than make a bunch of food and take command of the entire kitchen, I’ll make one big dish containing many of my favorite fall foods and flavors. (Oh yeah, and I might just have to make this too.)
This year’s dish–Roasted Cinnamon Apple and Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad–was inspired by something I picked up from Central Market last week to take to my work’s pre-Thanksgiving feast. Not only did I instantly fall in love with the dish, I swore that I would make my own version as soon as I had the time. Well, now that I’m finally on break, the first thing I did (actually, the second thing–the first thing I did was take a nap) was to heat up the oven and roast some cinnamon-spiced apples and sweet potatoes… Continue reading →
I don’t know how the weather has been lately where you are, but it’s been gorgeous in Dallas! Summers can be downright brutal here and no one dares to venture outdoors for months. But fall and spring are amazingly pleasant here and these are the times when I’m the happiest–when I can be outside and not feel like I’m roasting! This morning, I woke up and went for a jog in my neighborhood and then to brunch with my dad and stepson. We sat on the patio, enjoying the clear skies, cool breeze, and warm sun streaming in through the slats of the covering. For the first time in a long time, I actually got goosebumps while sitting outside. As soon as I got home, I heated up the oven to begin roasting my first pumpkin of the season and then curled up on the couch to watch some football with my hubby. So far, today has been perfect. I can’t think of a better way to welcome the new season…. Continue reading →