Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lo Carb Pizza ( GF too)

This pizza which is low in carbohydrates can also be made low calorie, and of course its gluten free. It is so delicious, you won't have to feel guilty about eating it!

cheese and sauce cauliflower pizza

I love pizza, but I try to stay away from eating even gluten free pizza crust because it fattening and just packs on the pounds. This Pizza recipe doesn't! It tastes great and is gluten free and can be made very low calorie or very low carb. It is a dieter's dream come true.

The crust is made with a secret ingredient that is very healthy and tasty.
Instead of using flour to make a pizza crust , this low carbohydrate ( or low calorie version)  uses cauliflower. Yes, frozen or fresh!

Even if you are not a cauliflower lover, don't stop reading. It doesn't taste like cauliflower.You will love this crust and not even know the cauliflower is in there! It's a great way to sneak in extra vegetables for the family and a great way to reduce the amount of calories and carbohydrates in your meal. I adapted this recipe from a recipe I saw on a Jaime Carbarella's blog " Your Lighter Side" 

Here is my version.

Ingredients  
1 pkg. frozen cauliflower, steamed and drained
1/3 cup vegetable style egg beaters ( or 1 egg, beaten)
1 cup grated pizza cheese ( fat free or regular)
a few shakes of Trader Joe's 21 Salute  Seasoning or
1 tsp. oregano
Topping:
Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup grated pizza cheese
sauteed mushrooms or other sauteed vegetables


Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Drain water ( squeeze out) from steamed cauliflower.
Grate cauliflower in food processor  ( like you would grated carrots for coleslaw)
Place in bowl and try to press out any liquid.
Mix egg beaters, grated cheese and seasoning with the grated cauliflower. Mix well
Spread batter in a oiled 8X8 metal baking pan
Bake for 15 minutes
Remove from oven.
Spread with marinara sauce,  grated pizza cheese, and any sauteed vegetables of choice

Put back in oven at 500 degrees for 5 minutes until cheese melts.


Step By Step Pictures
cauliflower in a steamer basket
Steam Cauliflower



Grate Cauliflower in Food Processor

Grated Cauliflower

Mix with Egg Beaters, Grated Cheese, and Seasonings

Spread Mixture Into a Greased Metal Baking Pan

Remove From Pan Before Adding Toppings or Leave in Pan

Add Marinara Sauce and Grated Cheese ( and any sauteed vegetable toppings if desired)
Return to oven on oven proof dish or pan at 500 degrees for another 5 minutes


Can You Believe It ! Enjoy 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eat More Iron Rich Foods

                     black beans in a bowl on gluten free a-z blog

Do you eat enough iron rich foods ? Did you know that beans and lentils are not only a good source of protein, but  also a rich source of iron? Did you know that if you are deficient in iron , it may weaken your immune system , and you may be more prone to infection ?

It is easy to become deficient in iron without even knowing it.
Iron is important for a strong immune system and without enough iron you can become prone to infection.

A friend of mine donates blood a few times a year. Often when she goes, they don't accept her blood because her hemoglobin levels are too low. They give her flyer which explains how to increase iron levels. She is surprised because she is not a vegetarian, but her levels are frequently  low non the less. The good news is that after about 3-4  weeks of following their suggestions, her iron levels return to the normal range.
 
Information and suggestions from the Community Blood Council of New Jersey, Inc. ( 2008)

  • Hemoglobin is the oxygen -carrying pigment and major protein in the red blood cells. Iron rich foods help individuals maintain healthy levels.
  • There are two types of iron rich foods. Heme iron which comes from animal products like meat, poultry, and fish and Non-heme iron which comes from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Although heme iron is more easily absorbed,  if you eat foods rich in Vitamin C with non-heme iron sources, the Vitamin C increases absorption.



Foods That Help Absorption                                   
Cantaloupe, broccoli, tomatoes,                                      
strawberries, peppers, white wine


Foods that Inhibit Absorption

Coffee, tea, red wine, bran, fiber,
Beware :  Spinach is rich in iron; however, it also contains oxalic acid which is an iron inhibitor. In order to absorb more of the iron in spinach, cook and then drain before eating. Oxalic acid is water soluble and will wash away in the water.

Men require about 10 mg of iron a day, while women require about 18mg a day.
Iron is an important mineral and essential for energy and strong immune system.

According to the Mayo Clinic a deficiency in iron can lead to the following symptoms:

■ Fatigue

■Pale skin

■Weakness

■Shortness of breath

■Headaches

■Dizziness or light headedness
■Cold hands and feet

■Irritability

■Inflammation or soreness of your tongue

■Increased likelihood for infection

Vegetarian/ Vegan Iron Rich Sources

1. Cooked beans and lentils    1 cup   4.7 mg

2. Dark Leafy Greens   ( cooked)  1 cup  6 mg.

3. Prune Juice  1/2 cup    5.2 mg

4. Sesame Seeds /pumpkin seeds/ watermelon seeds ( dried)  1 oz.  4 mg.

5. Walnuts  1/2 cup 3.75 mg.

6. Dried Fruit    2 ounces  1.5- 2.0

It is no surprise that many ethnic recipes have depended on iron rich beans or lentils.

Try this delicious Middle Eastern Iron Rich Recipe


Mujadara

A traditional recipe popular in Middle Eastern countries. Simple, yet very  tasty. Top with  diced tomatoes and Greek yogurt.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 large yellow onions, diced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup brown lentils, washed
1 cup brown rice or white rice, washed
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
4 and 1/2 cups water

Directions:

Saute diced onions in olive oil until browned. Add rice and lentils to mixture and saute an additional 1-2 minutes until rice and lentils are coated and a little toasted. Cover with water, add salt, bring to a boil, simmer covered for about 25-30 minutes until rice and lentils are tender and water is absorbed.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, and this information is for educational purposes only. Always check with your doctor before making any changes in your diet.