Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
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St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this week so I went through my recipes to see if I had anything green I can post, and I found a recipe for roasted asparagus I had made a few weeks ago. It is just a veggie side dish, so if you are looking for something a little more green and festive for St. Paddy’s Day, I like to make St. Patrick’s Day Green Eggs for breakfast every year. I use spinach to dye the eggs green so it adds both extra nutrients and fun!

Roasted Asparagus

Anyways, asparagus is a great vegetable. It is one of my go to side veggies when making fish. For some reason I love salmon with roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes…the flavors and textures just seem to go together.

Asparagus is full of many nutrients such as fiber (good for staying regular and feeling full), Vitamin A (good for your eye health and immune system) and folic acid (super important for pregnant ladies). It is super easy to cook, you can steam, roast or saute it, and although it does have a strong flavor you can still season it in very different ways. A lot of times I just use olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper which is fresh and super simple, but recently I have been adding a few different flavors…hence this new recipe today, which I think make become my new go to asparagus recipe.

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

1/2 Pound Fresh Asparagus (about 20 stalks)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Rinse off asparagus and chop off bottom tough ends of stalks. Spread cleaned asparagus out in in a glass baking dish. Mix oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl and drizzle over asparagus. Toss to evenly coat and then spread out asparagus in a single layer for even cooking. Cook in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and drizzle balsamic vinegar over asparagus. Place back in oven and cook for an additional ten minutes or until asparagus reaches desired tenderness.

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

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Healthy Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust
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I love pizza and trying to make it healthier and gluten free can be a bit of a task. I have seen a lot of recipes for cauliflower pizza crust but have been afraid to try it due to a terribly failed attempt at cauliflower tortillas. Basically the cauliflower tortillas fell apart and just didn’t taste very good so I have been poo-pooing the cauliflower as a pizza crust trend. But I decided to give it a try (it actually took two attempts to get it the way I wanted it), and it turned out pretty flavorful and didn’t fall apart!

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Cauliflower “Rice”

 

Basically making the pizza crust just consisted of making cauliflower “rice” in blender or food processor, cooking and squeezing the extra fluid out of the cauliflower, and then mixing it with eggs, cheese, garlic and basil to make a “dough.” And then bake! Super simple.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Dough
Cauliflower Pizza Crust “Dough”

 

I didn’t put a lot of toppings on my pizza because I didn’t want to test the strength of the crust too much, due to my falling apart cauliflower tortillas…but it really didn’t need that many toppings to make it satisfying and delicious. I would recommend though that if you use watery veggies to top the pizza such as fresh tomatoes or mushrooms that you don’t use a lot and/or cook them a little in the microwave first to remove some of the water, because it will make the cauliflower pizza crust softer.

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

Making pizza crust out of cauliflower is a great way to get some extra veggies in your diet and it actually tastes good too!

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients
1 Head of Cauliflower
2 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
3/4 Cup Reduced Fat Shredded Italian Cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a pizza stone with parchment paper. Rinse cauliflower head and remove stem. Break or chop cauliflower into pieces and pulse in food processor or blender until it looks like rice. Place cauliflower “rice” in a microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave on high for about 7 minutes, uncovered. Pour out onto a clean towel and allow to cool slightly. Wrap up the cauliflower in the towel and wring out over the sink to squeeze out the excess fluid. In a mixing bowl combine cauliflower, eggs, basil, garlic and cheese. Mix together well. Place mixture in center of the parchment lined pizza stone and spread out into a circle, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top evenly with desired toppings and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, slice and serve. Enjoy!

Healthy Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust
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Good morning everyone! It has been awhile since my last post because I recently had a baby and things have been a little crazy around here. We are both healthy and doing well so far, although I am a little sleep deprived, but that was expected.

Prior to giving birth I did make some meal preparations because I knew it would be difficult to make healthy meals while dealing with a newborn’s eating and sleeping pattern….I feel like my life is currently in two hour increments. Having some prepared meals in the freezer have been really helpful and I’m super glad I had the foresight to prepare a variety of foods. I highly recommend stocking your freezer with some prepared meals if you know you are going to be very busy in the near future.

One of the meals I decided to prepare and freeze was a lentil veggie soup. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber and adding any type of vegetables is always a good healthy choice. I also used unsalted vegetable stock and no salt added canned tomatoes so I could control the amount of salt that I wanted to add. My husband did add some hot sauce to his bowl so that is always an option too if you like a spicier bolder soup. Anyways, this recipe is super easy and freezes well and I hope you enjoy it!
 Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup

Ingredients
4 Cups Unsalted Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Uncooked Lentils, Rinsed
1 Can (14.5 oz) No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Zucchini
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
3 Cups Raw Chopped Kale – Ribs Removed
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Add all ingredients except for the kale, salt and pepper to slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add kale and stir in until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or allow to cool and freeze in smaller containers for future use.
Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup
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