Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cauliflower Crusted Mini Pizzas




individual sized pizza round topped with a slice of tomato and cheese

Low carb individual sized gluten free mini pizza crusts are great to eat for a healthy lunch, dinner, or snacks. Once you get the hang of ricing cauliflower in your food processor ( very easy in 5 minutes) , this recipe is a cinch! Cauliflower is a low carb yet nutrient rich vegetable that you can substitute for grain in most recipes and it tastes great this way.

 I can make these mini pizza crusts without using any flour. That means I can eat not only a healthier crust but also eliminate the high carbohydrate content of regular dough .
That works for me!

The recipe makes 12 mini pizza crusts. I calculate that each crust is just 1 Point Plus on WW+ the topping. Yes,- I'm back counting points on Weight Watchers after a long time partying! I put on some weight, struggling with my clothes, and realize it's time for me to start counting those points again and eating more consciously.

I know that I need to start my day with a food plan. It's just that simple- otherwise the little kid in me can make some very poor choices.

 Cauliflower pizza crusts fit into a healthy diet plan. They can be topped any way you like them.
 They are gluten free and grain free.

These are some of the toppings I've used for my mini pizza crusts :

  • Marinara sauce, shredded cheese, mushrooms
  • Chopped summer tomato, red onion, chopped cucumber
  • Large slice of tomato covered in shredded cheese and a basil leaf
There is no limit to your creativity when it comes to toppings- top the crusts with whatever you like!


Author:      Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes + 5 minutes again
Equipment: Food Processor
Preheat Oven: 450 degrees
Makes : 12 mini pizza crusts

Ingredients: 

1 head of cauliflower chopped ( then riced in the food processor- see below)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
optional: add garlic powder is desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

How to rice your cauliflower : 
Place 1/2 of the cut up cauliflower in a food processor using the metal blade. Whiz a 2-3 times very quickly ( on off , on off, on off) until the cauliflower resembles rice. Remove from the processor and place in a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the other half of the cauliflower.

Cook Your Cauliflower: 
Place the riced cauliflower in a large skillet and cook on med high for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste cauliflower to see if it is cooked but not overcooked. Remove from heat and return to the mixing bowl. Add the eggs, shredded mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper and mix well with a spoon.

Bake Your Pizza Crusts: 
Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spray well with cooking oil spray.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out 12 scoops onto the cookie sheets .
Flatten each scoop with the palm of your hand to make a small round circle.
Place in oven (450 degrees) for 15 minutes until the pizza crusts begin to brown.

Remove from oven. Place toppings on Pizza crusts and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

Or ** Remove from oven, allow to cool, and save for later. Top and heat just before you would like to eat them.



snow white chopped cauliflower and food processor



mounds of cauliflower on parchment papper
Scoop 1/4 cup of the cauliflower and egg mixture into mounds onto cookie sheets

end result of 8 mini pizza crusts after baking
Flatten with palm of hand and bake for 15 minutes


My Notes: 
1. If you don't want to or can't use a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower with a hand grater. It will be more time consuming. 

2.  Prepare and bake the crusts in advance for the 15 minutes and then top them and bake again for 5-10 minutes before eating

3. My parchment paper is brown because I use an all natural parchment that has not been chlorinated.

4. These pizza crusts are not as crunchy as a non grain crust, but still really work well.


Will be linking this post to my
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Blog Author: Judee Algazi
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hearty Corn Chowder






Yes, I'm making soup again. Yes, I know it's summer, but it's also corn season and all the local farms are bursting with fresh corn on the cob. AND fresh corn from the cob and little chunks of red potatoes make a fabulously flavorful chowder. 

Personally, I love soup no matter what the season, even during this brutal heat wave! However, I did make it late at night so not to heat up the kitchen.

This hearty delicious soup is easy and quick to make and contains no dairy or added thickeners. The potatoes become creamy as they cook and the corn releases it's own starch giving the soup the consistency of a thick chowder.

I'm usually not a big corn lover, but there is something about fresh corn on the cob from the local farms that calls my name. I do love eating the crunchy kernels raw right off the cob, and I do love adding the fresh sweet uncooked kernels to soup and salads.

I buy my corn at a local farm that grows Non GMO corn- believe me that's hard to find, so I'm taking advantage of it. I may even freeze some ears for the fall.

It's a hard to tell from the photo, but the soup also has chunks of red peppers and sautéed onions. 

If you are not a summer soup lover, why not pin the recipe right now to make in the fall ( yes, you could use frozen corn)

OtherRecipes for Fresh Corn : 

My favorite way to eat corn is cut raw off the cob and add it to a salad. My Tomato and Corn summer salad is delicious.

You could also add fresh corn to my easy Egg Drop soup  or 
my Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad when fresh corn is in season

Another popular corn recipe is my Pot luck Corn and Bean Bake


Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients: 

4 ears of fresh ( non- gmo) corn on the cob ( about 3 cups of corn) 
5 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of water or corn broth ( see below)
2 Tablespoons olive oil ( or butter)
1 and 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 large red potato, chopped
1 cup of chopped red pepper
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

How to make corn broth
After you cut the corn off the cob, place the cobs in a saucepan and cover with water ( just to the top of the corn) Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer covered for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for another 10 minutes covered before using. Strain and use. 

Directions for the chowder

Using a large knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob 
Heat the oil ( or butter)  in a large soup pan. 
Add the onion and sauté until the onion it is beginning to become soft. 
Add the potatoes, red pepper, corn and continue to saute and stir for about 5 minutes coating all the veggies. 
Add the 2 cups of corn broth and 4 cups of vegetable broth ( or 6 cups of vegetable broth)  to the sautéed vegetables and allow to cook uncovered for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are very soft and crumbly. Cover and simmer for about 5-10 more minutes. ( If the liquid cooked down- add 1 cup of additional broth or water) 

My Notes : 

  • When I want a thinner soup, I add more broth or water especially the next day.
  • I love the idea of making my own corn broth from the cobs, but it does require a little more time. Make your broth the day before or just use all vegetable broth in the recipe if you are in a hurry. 




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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cucumber Avocado Detox Soup



This is one of the best chilled soups I've ever tasted, and it's really healthy too. 
Summer is a great time to detox, and this delightful chilled cucumber avocado soup is a delicious way to do it. The simple soup contains specific healthy ingredients that can help increase your body's alkalinity and help eliminate toxins that may clog your liver.

The soup is very easy to make, tasty, and so so refreshing! The Avocado makes it creamy, the cucumber makes it light, the red onion gives it flavor, the lemon and apple cider vinegar make it a slightly tangy and cayenne gives it a little kick! It serves as a quick snack or a mid afternoon pick me up after a day's work. The nutrients and healthy fats are energizing, and it only takes 5 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

Personally, I sometimes leave out the cayenne and drink it for breakfast like a green smoothie.
If I want even more greens, I add a leaf of kale or spinach!



I found this recipe on Dr. Axe's website.  Dr. Axe says that his Secret Cucumber Detox Soup, as he calls it, is loaded with ingredients that facilitate detoxification and enrich the growth of healthy hair, skin, and nails.

In addition, Dr. Axe extols the benefits of cucumbers because he says they are highly alkaline and help balance the body's ph level while counteracting the negative effects of a highly acidic diet
that is often created by eating foods high in sugar, fried foods, refined carbohydrates, and flour etc.

Mild, cooling, and delicious, this vegan and gluten free soup is a welcome treat on hot summer's day!I make the recipe for myself in advance as a snack, pick me up, or breakfast smoothie.
If you would like to make it for 2-4 people, the recipe multiplies well

My notes: Although you can drink it immediately after whirling it in the high speed blender , it really tastes best when it's been chilled for a few hours. It also holds up great overnight in the refrigerator so you can make it in advance for guests! Yes, Chill It!

Author: Judee Algazi
Adapted From: Dr. Axe's Secret Cucumber Detox Soup
Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Serves 1- multiply by 4 if desired

Ingredients: 
1 medium or 2 Persian or Kirby type organic cucumbers ( if not organic peel off skin), sliced
1 teaspoon of chopped red onion
1/4 avocado, peeled
1/4 cup of chopped organic parsley
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon ( or lime) juice
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar ( more or less depending on your tolerance)
1/8 teaspoon of pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1 cup of water
Optional: 1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper


Directions:
Using a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or blender, add all the ingredients and whiz until well blended.
Remove and drink or chill for later.
Garnish with sliced cucumber or mint sprig.





green chilled cucumber soup in a bowl
Chilled Delicious Cucumber Avocado Detox Soup


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