Thursday, July 11, 2013

Layered Eggplant Veggie Pizzas

On a quest for health... and to restock my fridge, I found myself trotting around the local grocery store. I have seen many posts lately for making the ever so famous "zucchini boats". After much searching and to my own surprise they were SOLD OUT! I guess the DSM metro had the same idea? BLAST! I aimlessly wondered around the store trying to think of items that I could make. This is also the time in my shopping trip where I would start to look at things that I shouldn't be. Like pre-made gluten free cookie dough in the refrigerated section. (Yep... I deterred myself.... proud moment !) As I found myself back in the produce section my eyes glanced to the deep purple skin of the eggplant... LIGHT BULB! I would use the eggplant as the base of the pizzas. And to take my challenge a step further I would make these little Italian gems vegetarian (veggies just sounded great!!!).

The end product resulted in the beautiful richness and flavors of pizza without the calories and glutenous crust! Even though I was bummed about the store being sold out of zucchini I am so glad they were. I really feel that the eggplant was perfect for this both in flavor and texture :) 


1 Eggplant, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 Pepper, sliced into 1/4" rings
1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped and sautéed
Pinch of Garlic Powder
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Cooking Spray

Heat a large saute´pan to med-high and evenly lay eggplant slices so the flat surfaces are fully on the pan (you may need to do this in batches). While the first side is sautéing, sprinkle the top side with a bit of pepper, salt and garlic. Cook until the first side starts to slightly brown. Flip and repeat seasoning for other side. Cook until the 2nd side is slightly brown. Lay cooked eggplant slices flat in a baking dish. 

Sear pepper slices in saute´pan on each side until lightly browned. This will help control the juices of the pepper. Place cooked pepper slices on top of the eggplant slices. 1 slice onto 1 eggplant round. If some of the slices are too big you can cut them in 1/2 but the slice works best on the round to hold the pizza sauce. In the middle of each pepper slice spoon in pizza sauce until full. Top each small "pizza" with mushrooms or other toppings to your liking. Cover with cheese and a sprinkle of parm. Bake uncovered at 425˚ for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

Each eggplant contains 2-3 servings, pending the size and if you use the slices with seeds in them (I disgard of those). 1 serving has around 215 calories, 9 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash with Sweet Turkey Sausage

Well I did it... I FINALLY got over my fears and apprehensions and made a spaghetti squash. SOOOOO glad I did. How easy, healthy, gluten free and awesome this is! When I grew up my mom always made acorn squash and I turned my nose up every time. So of course I figured that this "squash" would be the same. NOPE! Sweet, tasty and soooo great in the Italian dish I made. Hooray for squash!!

1 Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoon EV Olive Oil
1 pkg cherub tomatoes, halved
6 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chicken stock (I use low-sodium)
Pinch of chili pepper
Feta to garnish
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut your squash in half, remove seeds and drizzle with oil. Roast on a sheet pan for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, you can "pull" apart the inner flesh of the squash with a fork creating the "spaghetti" like texture. (It was super fun and even the hubs was baffled by it) Set aside.
For the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of oil with onion. Add tomatoes with garlic powder and cook until tender. Once the tomatoes are tender smush them with the back of your spatula, about 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock. To the mixture add spaghetti squash and any meats/protein that you would like. I chose Sweet Turkey Sausage. I had grilled these previously during my food prep session. Add fresh basil and continue to cook on low about 5 minutes to let the flavors merry. I always add a bit of chili pepper to add a bit of heat but it is not necessary. Serve with a garnish of Feta and enjoy!

You'll never miss the pasta with this one and a serving (with feta and sausage) comes in right around 300 calories and is packed with vitamins!!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skillet

 (Above Left - October 2012, Above Right - March 2013)


AHHHHH..... Summer break is upon us and after a bit of a crazy spring I am back to the blog :) This past winter/spring I have not only been attending to my cooking and educating duties but I have also been on the track to a healthier self. So far on my journey I am down 50+ pounds and almost 60 inches! I have found that with my success that others have found inspiration in my story and I have chosen to help others in their journey to health. :) 

So far my "summer" here in Iowa has seem A LOT of rain and this gal wants to hotness and sunshine!!! To keep me in the summery mood I decided to make something filling and yet lighter for lunch. I have always been a seafood fan and just love the ease of using shrimp. It is fast, tasty and easy!!!


1 pkg frozen shrimp (mine was deveined, shelled and tail-off.... not precooked)
1 can beans, rinsed and drained (I used light red as it was what I had on hand)
1 cup frozen corn
1 can Rotel, juice drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon dried onion (no fresh on hand)
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Juice of one lime
4 Radishes, chopped
pepper to taste

In a large skillet saute frozen shrimp with dried onions, lime, garlic powder and pepper. Once shrimp start to turn pink add in beans, corn and Rotel. When everything is heated through and the shrimp are fully cooked stir in cilantro. Garnish with radishes for a nice, fresh crunch :)  Enjoy!

It is honestly that easy to enjoy a healthy, quick tasty meal!! This easily makes enough for four and comes in at 270 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

EASY French Mussels

As I have been cooking many of the same meals lately, I decided to challenge myself and cook something that I have never attempted. After looking around the store for a bit I found quite the deal on mussels. Beautiful beautiful oceany mussels :) I got two pounds and the kind man packed them in ice for me. Since it was one of the first things I got I tied the bag shut. Turns out that is not a good thing to do. The cashier untied them and stated that they needed to breathe. Turns out you can't suffocate the mussels before you cook them... good to know :)

Either way these were so simple to make, quick and easy and oooo so tasty!!! Generally one would want some crusty bread to sop of the juices. Being that I am gluten free I opted for some clean fries instead. Vive la France!


2lbs Raw Mussels
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 teaspoon dried onions (all I had on hand)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
2 cups white wine (something you would drink)

In a large dutch over (aka a big pot), add EVOO, onions, garlic and parsley. Saute for a few minutes until garlic is softened. Add in the wine and bring to a simmer. Add in the mussels and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer the mussels for 5-8 minutes. During the cooking process I also shook the pot to prevent any burning to the bottom mussels. Serve and enjoy! (NOTE... be sure to not eat any mussels that do not open. These may be discarded)

2lbs of these will server about 5 people and runs about 200 calories. Not bad for this nice lil French treat :) 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Healthy Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Ever since I made the baked apples I have been wanting to do a full on baked oatmeal. After lots of research, I finally wanted to try my own. The result was super tasty...and perfect for a cold winter morning or a burst of energy snack in the afternoon :) I was even more impressed with myself and I threw this bad boy in the oven while I did my nightly work out... yahooo!


3 cups oats (I used quick but since it cooks for awhile you could pry use any)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used plain but a flavored may be fun)
1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon (pending how much you prefer)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
1 cap full of vanilla
1 tablespoon baking powder

Garnish Ideas: drizzle of honey, greek yogurt, milk... the options are endless

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray (I used a casserole dish). In a mixer, combine the above ingredients until mixed and do not over beat. Bake covered for 20 minutes and then uncovered for 25 minutes or until the crust/top is golden brown. Serve. Devour. Enjoy :) 

This lil joy of goodness makes enough for 10 servings at 150 calories and 2 gram of fat.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Appetizer

In my journey to health I have felt it necessary to try and branch out a bit on my food selection. Growing up, I was a crazy picky eater! No salad dressing, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, watermelon, green beans, olives, pickles peaches... the list goes on an on. Today I will happily eat all of those with exception to most watermelon and for sure NO pickles and olives :) Today was brussel sprouts and o man were they tasty!!!


1lb fresh brussel sprouts, quartered
1 table spoon olive oil
1 strip of bacon, cubed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, place brussel sprouts, oil, bacon and seasoning. Toss until sprouts are evenly coated. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until they are brown and toasted. While the sprouts are toasting, mix the items for the dipping sauce and set aside to let the flavors merry. When the cooking time is complete it is time to enjoy!

These lil tasty treats work great with the dipping sauce but would be lovely on their own as a side dish. An addition of raisins or dried cranberries would also make a great pop of flavor!

The brussel sprouts above makes a healthy four servings at 79 calories!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Portobello Mini Pizzas

Despite the weather, what a great weekend it has been! After a wonderful day of shopping with my girlfriends and scoring huge on the clearance racks I came home to a hubs who wanted to go out for dinner. After much debate of where to go we decided to go to one of his favorite steak places. This place only has one size of steak per cut so the portions are HUGE! I made plans immediately to do something with the left overs. Much of the leftover steak went into a chicken/steak chili. The rest went into a lil treat for myself of portobello mini pizzas! YUM!

Portobello mushrooms (stem and inside scooped out)
Pizza Sauce of choice
Various Toppings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast mushrooms (as many as you are wanting to cook) for 7-9 minutes. You will know when to take them out when you start to smell them :) Take them out of the oven and top just like a pizza. Today I started with some pizza sauce, red peppers, cheese and left over steak. After you are done dressing your mushrooms pop them back in the oven and cook 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. 

The result is super tasty and super healthy! I had two of these for around 350 calories.